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Obama and Why The Peikoff Argument Does Not Apply

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..., is it possible to believe in creationism and not be a nut?
It is a completely nutty view, that even the Pope disavows. At the very least it shows a person who is not intellectual. OTOH, of course people holding it can be rational in other areas of their lives, and of course they can be right on many things where Harvard graduates are wrong.

It's definitely a negative against her. In terms of objective political importance, I think a lot depends on how much importance she gives to religious political activism, vis-a-vis other political action. For instance, will she ask to be given some rational job like exploiting ANWR, or will she want to influence the Justice department, in vetting people for their Christian credentials?

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Is Sarah Palin a creationist? blog entries dated Friday, August 29, 2008.

The characterization of Gov. Sarah Palin as a "nutty creationist" is wrong. As normal, rural blue-collar background American who doesn't really give a shit about abstract ideas and doesn't let her belief in god get in the way of living a typical materialist pragmatic American life, permitting both evolution and creationism in the schools seems like a politician's safe way out of a pointless debate. I agree. I was given a brief creationist presentation in high school and am none the worse for it, because it is obvious to students who care about ideas which of the two is plausible. I also learned phlogiston theory when introduced later to thermodynamics, and the flat earth theory in grade school at the beginning of geography. The contrast between opposing theories is a great way to learn to apply critical thinking skills. When schools are government financed, it is a form of censorship to permit only a single viewpoint to be presented when a large minority objects. The real way out of this conflict is to end government control of schools.

People who care about the truth will find it, those who do not care do not matter. When teaching evolution is banned, when freedom of speech is diminished, then we are in trouble.

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Ominous Parallels:

Obama: “We need somebody who's got the heart, the empathy, to recognize what it's like to be a young teenage mom, the empathy to understand what it's like to be poor or African-American or gay or disabled or old - and that's the criterion by which I'll be selecting my judges.”

John Galt’s speech, paragraph 3: “You have sacrificed justice to mercy.”

Obama: “This is the moment when we must build on the wealth that open markets have created, and share its benefits more equitably. Trade has been a cornerstone of our growth and global development. But we will not be able to sustain this growth if it favors the few, and not the many.”

Galt: “You have sacrificed independence to unity.”

Obama: “We should never forget that God granted us the power to reason so that we would do His work here on Earth - so that we would use science to cure disease, and heal the sick, and save lives."

Galt: “You have sacrificed reason to faith.”

Obama: “We have an obligation and a responsibility to be investing in our students and our schools. We must make sure that people who have the grades, the desire and the will, but not the money, can still get the best education possible.”

Galt: “You have sacrificed wealth to need.”

Obama: “People are whupped. I'm whupped. My wife is whupped. Unless it's your job to be curious, who really has the time to sit and ask questions and explore issues?"

Galt: “You have sacrificed self-esteem to self-denial.”

Obama: “Focusing your life solely on making a buck shows a certain poverty of ambition. It asks too little of yourself. Because it's only when you hitch your wagon to something larger than yourself that you realize your true potential.”

Galt: “You have sacrificed happiness to duty.”

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It is a completely nutty view, that even the Pope disavows. At the very least it shows a person who is not intellectual. OTOH, of course people holding it can be rational in other areas of their lives, and of course they can be right on many things where Harvard graduates are wrong.

It's definitely a negative against her. In terms of objective political importance, I think a lot depends on how much importance she gives to religious political activism, vis-a-vis other political action. For instance, will she ask to be given some rational job like exploiting ANWR, or will she want to influence the Justice department, in vetting people for their Christian credentials?

Yes, I do agree that it's a strike against her. On the other hand, as you say, if she doesn't do things like attempt to force schools to teach it and she doesn't establish religion as a litmus test for government positions, etc.... then I don't much care about her views on the subject.

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Ominous Parallels:

Obama: “We need somebody who's got the heart, the empathy, to recognize what it's like to be a young teenage mom, the empathy to understand what it's like to be poor or African-American or gay or disabled or old - and that's the criterion by which I'll be selecting my judges.”

John Galt’s speech, paragraph 3: “You have sacrificed justice to mercy.”

Obama: “This is the moment when we must build on the wealth that open markets have created, and share its benefits more equitably. Trade has been a cornerstone of our growth and global development. But we will not be able to sustain this growth if it favors the few, and not the many.”

Galt: “You have sacrificed independence to unity.”

Obama: “We should never forget that God granted us the power to reason so that we would do His work here on Earth - so that we would use science to cure disease, and heal the sick, and save lives."

Galt: “You have sacrificed reason to faith.”

Obama: “We have an obligation and a responsibility to be investing in our students and our schools. We must make sure that people who have the grades, the desire and the will, but not the money, can still get the best education possible.”

Galt: “You have sacrificed wealth to need.”

Obama: “People are whupped. I'm whupped. My wife is whupped. Unless it's your job to be curious, who really has the time to sit and ask questions and explore issues?"

Galt: “You have sacrificed self-esteem to self-denial.”

Obama: “Focusing your life solely on making a buck shows a certain poverty of ambition. It asks too little of yourself. Because it's only when you hitch your wagon to something larger than yourself that you realize your true potential.”

Galt: “You have sacrificed happiness to duty.”

How nice of you to leave out McCain.

Edited by dadmonson
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Ayn Rand once wrote that in any ideological conflict the more consistent faction would win. Conservative's attempt to integrate religion and capitalism is a contradiction which will eventually be defeated by the more consistent combination of religion and socialism. Religion and socialism will pop up on the Democratic side, not the Republican because the Conservatives already occupy the Republican party. Conservatism isn't going to evolve, the socialist Democrats will. The more extreme religious elements currently associated with the Conservatives will migrate to the Democrats once they can find a place there.

Watch for the Democrats becoming more pro-life as a sign of this progression.

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The contrast between opposing theories is a great way to learn to apply critical thinking skills. When schools are government financed, it is a form of censorship to permit only a single viewpoint to be presented when a large minority objects. The real way out of this conflict is to end government control of schools.
I agree. Teaching evolution and the evidence there is for that theory along side of creationism and the complete lack of evidence for that theory is actually good for children in my opinion for the very reason you mentioned. Frankly, I am more concerned about the environmental agenda being pushed in schools than the religious one. My daughter was introduced to the idea that man was destroying the planet in the 4th grade. And I dont expect to ever see a class extolling the virtues of capitalism or the greatness of America.

People who care about the truth will find it, those who do not care do not matter. When teaching evolution is banned, when freedom of speech is diminished, then we are in trouble.
From the Christian perspective, that last sentence would read: "When teaching creationism is banned, when freedom of speech is diminished, then we are in trouble."Just as the rise of Christian fundamentalism is a reaction to the social meltdown of the 60's, the push for creationism in schools is a reaction to the injection of leftist social and political ideology into the classrooms over the last couple of decades. The solution, as you said, is the end of government schools. And in that regard, the religious right would make a formidable ally. They feel their beliefs are under assault by the left...and they are right about that. Schools have just become the latest battleground. The way to defeat the left is to dismantle the power of the state. In education, that means private schools. There is no reason to believe that the religious right cannot be swayed to this idea since there is not likely to be any other means for them to get their agenda into public schools.
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Is Sarah Palin a creationist? blog entries dated Friday, August 29, 2008.

The characterization of Gov. Sarah Palin as a "nutty creationist" is wrong. As normal, rural blue-collar background American who doesn't really give a shit about abstract ideas and doesn't let her belief in god get in the way of living a typical materialist pragmatic American life, permitting both evolution and creationism in the schools seems like a politician's safe way out of a pointless debate. I agree. I was given a brief creationist presentation in high school and am none the worse for it, because it is obvious to students who care about ideas which of the two is plausible. I also learned phlogiston theory when introduced later to thermodynamics, and the flat earth theory in grade school at the beginning of geography. The contrast between opposing theories is a great way to learn to apply critical thinking skills. When schools are government financed, it is a form of censorship to permit only a single viewpoint to be presented when a large minority objects. The real way out of this conflict is to end government control of schools.

People who care about the truth will find it, those who do not care do not matter. When teaching evolution is banned, when freedom of speech is diminished, then we are in trouble.

We live in an increasingly technological and science-based world.

I, personally, find the prospect of electing any leader that would let some bronze age texts trump the latest scientific investigations to be concerning - to say the least.

Are policies going to be based on the facts on the ground - good or bad, or theology?

The US is falling behind in biotech because of misguided policies by the present administration. This is one of the major future branches of research.

Where would the US be if some administration had outlawed investigation into the steam engine?

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The US is falling behind in biotech because of misguided policies by the present administration. This is one of the major future branches of research.

And if the state controls the entire healthcare system, directing resources where the bureaucrats decide, what effect do you think that will have on future medical research?

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I think the point was missed entirely here.

Why is "the left" embracing religion more? Maybe because for the past two decades there has been much clamor and noise made about "the left" a.k.a. the Democrats being totally godless, evil, out to take away your money, kill your children, let your children have sex, let people who want to harm your children run around, let people commit acts of sodomy that God destroys cities over, let people hurt you through terrorism... They hate this country, and everyone in it and they want you to suffer.

Why? Because they are godless! They don't like this country because it was founded on Christian values, and "the left" hates Christians and Christian’s values and all values for that matter! They just want people to run around having tons of pre-marital and extra-marital sex, do drugs, say offensive things, make offensive art, teach our children ungodly things, and push their views down our throats by saying we shouldn't use government force to put an end to their destructive rampage.

The dialogue is always centered on "the left" and it's Culture War against Traditional White Protestant Christian American Values. All the problems in the country are blamed on the Democrats and their anti-Christian, anti-American view points.

This is why George W. Bush won in a landslide. People were and still are convinced that the Democrats are evil incarnate and are the worst possible thing to evil befall this great, God-fearing, flawless nation.

So this time the Democrats are trying to show they aren't totally anti-Christian and anti-American and they are actually trying to make things better. They may have realized that they can't get over the anti-Christian stigma and they have to pander in some way to the Christian majority in the country to even have any kind of hope of getting their candidate elected.

That's the real issue here. The fact that the Christians make up such a large powerful majority that everyone in public office has to pander to their irrational, destructive whims and wishes to get anything done.

Does this worry anyone else?

Does it worry anyone else that if you aren't part of this collectivist cult, you have barely a chance of participating in politics; in choosing how to spend your tax money, how much to take, how much to give back, how much to give away, who to take from, when to take it?

What about the laws? What is a proper punishment for crimes, how long should you spend in jail for a certain crime, and should you got to jail at all for an activity?

Does it worry anyone else that only Christians get to decide what’s just and what's fair?

Does it worry anyone else that on fringes of this majority is the domain of the White Supremacists, the anti-science and anti-reason Creationists, the ones who advocate killing non-Christians, the ones who advocate propping up a Christian monarchy. We have a very specific majority here, and having a large group like this always leads down the road to fascism.

...

I'm sure some of you will vote in the 4th Reich if it meant that you have a few more pennies in your pocket. I'm sure some of you will even praise them. Praise their consistency in their policies and programs; praises their strength in slaughtering all those who oppose them. Praise their bravery, their loyalty and their patriotic sense of life in ensuring our country is number one in everything. Praise their honesty for pointing out the true enemies and the real problems. Praise their vigorous attempts to keep up their image...

... So long as they don't touch that tax rate!

There is a possibility that I’m wrong about you. But I’m not seeing the evidence of that. I see people desperately trying to evade reality. When a Republican does wrong, there is a rush to apologize, shove the issue under the rug, make up excuses on behalf of the person; too call the injustices irrelevant, the remarks redundant and the policies “not a problem!” When a Democrat does wrong, there is a rush to condemn them in every facet of life, to proclaim the problem is much larger, more threatening and quite possibly the worst thing we’ve ever faced. The quotes fly out of context, the issues explode of out proportion, the judgments are based off of broken weights and the corollaries come out of thin air.

The subject of this thread is crystal clear evidence of this. Of the rationalization regime that’s reigning around here. That is the “Democrats=Bad in everything” while “Republicans=Mostly good, but a little misguided on some minor, excusable issues” mindset. Leonard Peikoff’s stance on voting for the Democrats (as of the latest remarks on the issue) flies in the face of this mindset and its obvious how much it irks you people. So you begin to come up excuse after rationalizing excuse to ignore or challenge this stance. Sure, challenging someone’s claim and debating it is a proper and moral thing to do, but that’s not what’s being done here. The issue in question is ignored – the threat Evangelicals and Christians pose to American’s individual rights.

It’s obvious who embodies, embraces and empathizes with this threat the most. It’s also obvious that some of you are a few sentences and rationalizations away from becoming full-on cheerleaders for this threat; it’s a logical upgrade from the apologists you are already are or are becoming.

Why can’t we look for hope? Why can’t we promote change? Why can’t we find the good and elevate it over the bad, instead of finding the bad and ignoring the good? Why can’t it be our country right when it’s right and condemning it when it’s wrong? It’s reasonable to do these things, it’s possible and practical too.

Edited by Mammon
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Uhm, the Democrat-Republican change in this country has been pretty steady. If you didn't realize, we had a Democrat in office 8 years ago, and we currently have a Democrat majority in the house. Before 1994, once again, we had a house controlled by Dems. They aren't some oppressed political party for Christ's sake.

Your entire post is filled with absolutely ridiculous claims that don't apply to most people in this topic.

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Uhm, the Democrat-Republican change in this country has been pretty steady. If you didn't realize, we had a Democrat in office 8 years ago, and we currently have a Democrat majority in the house. Before 1994, once again, we had a house controlled by Dems. They aren't some oppressed political party for Christ's sake.

Your entire post is filled with absolutely ridiculous claims that don't apply to most people in this topic.

I don't know if he is saying the democrats are oppressed.

The fact is though is that in the past 28 years alone, only 8 of those were years in which a democrat was president, a president who never earned a majority vote.

Edited by dadmonson
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Does it worry anyone else that on fringes of this majority is the domain of the White Supremacists, the anti-science and anti-reason Creationists, the ones who advocate killing non-Christians, the ones who advocate propping up a Christian monarchy. We have a very specific majority here, and having a large group like this always leads down the road to fascism.
I suppose it would probably help the discussion if you could name someone openly advocating "killing non Christians, " While you are at it, tell me who it is that is looking to set up a "Christian monarchy." There are legitimate reasons to object to theism, so there is no need to make up more.

The issue in question is ignored – the threat Evangelicals and Christians pose to American’s individual rights.
I havent ignored it, I just dont agree with it. Many on the right accept that individual rights are endowed upon man by his Creator. Thats fine with me. The left has successfully pulled the old switcharoo and have substituted economic rights for political rights. Thats a problem.

Why can’t we look for hope? Why can’t we promote change? Why can’t we find the good and elevate it over the bad, instead of finding the bad and ignoring the good? Why can’t it be our country right when it’s right and condemning it when it’s wrong? It’s reasonable to do these things, it’s possible and practical too.
Sounds like someone is under the Great Teleprompter Readers spell.
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Does it worry anyone else that on fringes of this majority is the domain of the White Supremacists, the anti-science and anti-reason Creationists, the ones who advocate killing non-Christians, the ones who advocate propping up a Christian monarchy. We have a very specific majority here, and having a large group like this always leads down the road to fascism.

This country has been majority christian since it was colonized. The Constitution and its amendments were written by christians. If this country ever turns fascist, it will be because some other ideological element combines with christianity.

The issue in question is ignored – the threat Evangelicals and Christians pose to American’s individual rights.

Individual rights were written into the constitution by christians. Why would they work to remove them? If they do, is it specifically the christianity that moves them or something else, something new?

Why can’t we look for hope? Why can’t we promote change? Why can’t we find the good and elevate it over the bad, instead of finding the bad and ignoring the good? Why can’t it be our country right when it’s right and condemning it when it’s wrong? It’s reasonable to do these things, it’s possible and practical too.

Change to what, lurch toward socialism instead of religion? This is no improvement, and can be a lot more dangerous.

What I don't understand is the source of this anti-christian hate. If I had the opportunity to choose which oppressive religious majority to be born and live under, I would definitely pick these American style christians. Have some perspective and keep your sanity. As an Objectivist, you are in a minority. America is a great place to be in a minority. We should work to become a majority, but that will take time. The socialists are still more of an immediate threat than the religionists. Contra Piekoff, the socialists themselves are still here, still working for socialism, and don't have the epistemology to appreciate the fact that they have been refuted by facts, logic and history.

The first amendment provides a strong barrier between the federal gov't and religion. Constitutional barriers to enacting a socialist economic agenda are much weaker. This is why the socialists are still a bigger danger than the religionists.

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Many on the right accept that individual rights are endowed upon man by his Creator. Thats fine with me.

That isn't fine with me. Denying the true nature of Americas founding principles is equally destructive (if not more) as spouting vague generalities about hope or change. How can a republican expect to reasonably defend individual rights if he accepts it as a faith based principle? Constitutional barriers mean nothing when the principles that support them are turned into a super natural ghost. I disagree with fletch that religion is less of a threat than socialism. Sure a socialist doesn't have the epistemology to admit their wrong, but a voter with common sense may at least see its historical failure. Can the voter even judge a politicians historical adherence to principles that derive from outside this reality? Most republican voters just have faith that federal spending will decrease, inflation will subside, and our rights will be protected under republican leadership. Although, historically that hasn't been the case ,no one can argue with god(he's been rather despondent lately).

I have voted republican many times, but I currently don't plan to vote this election. I can't waste my time trying to figure out who will take less money out of my paychecks, destroy the dollar the slowest, or amass the least federal debt. The voting booth has become more like a gambling machine to me now-a blind game of chance to see who will do the least damage. I have and never will gamble.

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How nice of you to leave out McCain.

But please know, whether you believe campaign contributions are speech or property, that I learned to love very dearly the right of free expression when I lived without that freedom for a while a long time ago.

John McCain

It's not social issues I care about.

John McCain

Only an a**hole would put together a budget like this... I wouldn't call you an a**hole unless you really were an a**hole.

John McCain

You know that old Beach Boys song, Bomb Iran? Bomb bomb bomb, bomb bomb Iran.

John McCain

It would be a wonderful thing if we lived in a world where we don't have enemies. That's not the world we live in. And until Sen. Obama understands that reality, the American people have every reason to doubt whether he has strength, judgment and determination to keep us safe.

John McCain

We spent $3 million to study the DNA of bears in Montana. I don’t know if that was a paternity issue or a criminal issue.

John McCain

You know the difference between a lawyer and a catfish? One is a scum-sucking bottom-dweller. The other is a fish.

John McCain

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I disagree with fletch that religion is less of a threat than socialism.

Aren't they the exact same threat? Socialism and Mysticism are just collectivism, the only difference being where they draw their 'power' from, god or society. The end result is exactly the same, the destruction of individual rights.

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Aren't they the exact same threat? Socialism and Mysticism are just collectivism, the only difference being where they draw their 'power' from, god or society. The end result is exactly the same, the destruction of individual rights.

Being selfless according to a particular religion doesn't require government force and can be 100% voluntary.

It is quite possible to believe in god and live your own personal life according to the rules of your religion, but also support freedom, individual rights and separation of church and state, as has been proven by the founding fathers of the United States of America.

Socialism requires government force (it can't and won't happen voluntarily).

And it can be supported by anyone and everyone, regardless of faith, as has been shown in this thread and LP's DIM hypothesis.

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How can a republican expect to reasonably defend individual rights if he accepts it as a faith based principle?
Easy. But unfortunately, you don't hear them do it often enough. 90-something percent of the US believes in the existence of God. A republican who states that 'we are endowed by our Creator with certain unalienable rights' is making a faith based argument that the majority of Americans would probably still agree with. As to whether religion or socialism is the greater threat, I suppose that if someone could demonstrate how the current religious revival in this country is somehow different and more dangerous than it was at any other point in US history, I might be persuaded to vote for the Dems. But from my perspective, the idea of Christianity and individual rights have coexisted since the nations' founding. A Christian who believes that individual rights are bestowed upon man by God is no threat to me. He will, in fact, be more likely to defend those rights when they come under assault by the political left.

Socialism may have been discredited, but many (no one here) argue that the Great Depression did the same thing to capitalism. So that has left us with welfare statism that has a built in bias towards statism, not capitalism. Capitalism is nothing more than that evil necessary for the support of the welfare state. Republicans, fresh out of ideas about how to fight this trend, have been overrun by a group with an agenda. I just don't see that agenda as more threatening as the one posed by people like Obama, Reed, Pelosi.

As an aside, what is the proper word to define a person like Obama? Socialist? Marxist? Welfare statist? Leftist? None of those seem right. Any suggestions?

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Easy. But unfortunately, you don't hear them do it often enough. 90-something percent of the US believes in the existence of God. A republican who states that 'we are endowed by our Creator with certain unalienable rights' is making a faith based argument that the majority of Americans would probably still agree with. As to whether religion or socialism is the greater threat, I suppose that if someone could demonstrate how the current religious revival in this country is somehow different and more dangerous than it was at any other point in US history, I might be persuaded to vote for the Dems. But from my perspective, the idea of Christianity and individual rights have coexisted since the nations' founding. A Christian who believes that individual rights are bestowed upon man by God is no threat to me. He will, in fact, be more likely to defend those rights when they come under assault by the political left.

Socialism may have been discredited, but many (no one here) argue that the Great Depression did the same thing to capitalism. So that has left us with welfare statism that has a built in bias towards statism, not capitalism. Capitalism is nothing more than that evil necessary for the support of the welfare state. Republicans, fresh out of ideas about how to fight this trend, have been overrun by a group with an agenda. I just don't see that agenda as more threatening as the one posed by people like Obama, Reed, Pelosi.

This article has been suggested by other people in the past during political threads. But it's still worth reading now.

The Decline and Fall of American Conservatism by C. Bradley Thompson

Seriously read it, read the entire thing. Some specific quotes:

Government spending has increased faster under George Bush and his Republican Congress than it did under Bill Clinton, and more people work for the federal government today than at any time since the end of the Cold War. During Bush’s first term, total government spending skyrocketed from $1.86 trillion to $2.48 trillion, an increase of 33 percent (almost $23,000 per household, the highest level since World War II). The federal budget grew by $616.4 billion during Bush’s first term in office. If post 9/11 defense spending is taken off the table, domestic spending has ballooned by 23 percent since Bush took office. When Bill Clinton left office in 2000, federal spending equaled 18.5 percent of the gross domestic product, but by the end of the first Bush administration, government outlays had increased to 20.3 percent of the GDP. The annualized growth rate of non-defense and non-homeland-security outlays has more than doubled from 2.1 percent under Clinton to 4.8 percent under Bush.

despite President Bush’s much vaunted tax cuts, Americans actually pay more in taxes today than they did during Bill Clinton’s last year in office.

Americans had to work 86.5 days just to pay their federal taxes, as compared to 78.5 days in 2000 under Bill Clinton. In other words, the average American has worked 10.2 percent more for the federal government under George Bush than under Bill Clinton. When state and local taxes (controlled in the majority of places by Republicans) are added to federal taxes, Americans worked for the government eight hours a day, five days a week, from January 1 until July 12, meaning they worked full-time for the government for more than half the year. As Tom Feeney, a congressional Republican put it: “I remember growing up and reading in some school textbooks that if more than half your paycheck went to the government, then you were living in a socialist society.”7 Just so, Mr. Feeney.

Kristol is deeply committed to the moral ends of the welfare state. This is why he not only supports saving and perpetuating most New Deal welfare programs but would also expand the socialist welfare state to include new programs, such as universal medical and child care and increases in social security. In the 1960s, Kristol and his friends embraced the “desired aims” of Lyndon Johnson’s Great Society programs (and apparently they still do), but broke with liberals only over how to satisfy the people’s needs and deliver their rights to welfare.

How does a conservative welfare state work? And how does it differ from a liberal welfare state? The neocons advocate a strong central government that provides welfare services to all people who need them while, at the same time, giving people choice about how they want those services delivered. That is what makes it “conservative,” they argue. That is how the neocons reconcile Adam Smith and Karl Marx, Hayek and Trotsky.

Since it took control of both the White House and Capitol Hill, the Republican Party has presided over the biggest explosion in federal spending and the greatest extension of the welfare state since Lyndon B. Johnson’s Great Society programs of the 1960s.

the Bush administration enthusiastically signed into law a multi-billion dollar prescription drug bill, which represents the largest expansion of the federal government in over thirty years. Conservative estimates put the cost of this Medicare drug benefit at more than $724 billion over the next decade, and as much as $2 trillion ten years beyond that.

Newt Gingrich in a story in The New York Times: “'Choice creates competition, and competition drives down price,’ Mr. Gingrich said, in a pithy statement of the philosophy that inspires most of the Republican proposals.”59 Only a Republican could view the expansion of a government program as a free-market reform.

Thus there is no meaningful difference between the Christian sentimentalism of the New Right and the moral relativism of the New Left. They both treat emotions and feelings as their means of knowing what is true and good—and what they “know” to be true and good is that self-sacrifice is moral and self-interest is immoral. Thus there is no meaningful difference between the aims of today’s conservatives and those of today’s liberals. They share the same moral premises and political ends; they differ only marginally in the means they choose to achieve their shared goal: the welfare state.

The redistributionist state that began with the New Deal, and that was radicalized by the Great Society, has now been saved, reborn, and advanced by the Conservative Revolution.

As the United States advances toward socialism by a series of gradual, halting steps, it is not the liberals or the socialists but rather the conservatives who bear the greatest guilt for dragging America down the road to statism. When they are out of power, conservatives often claim to stand for private property, limited government, and capitalism (thereby serving as a brake against the ambitions of the Left), but when they are in power they have a proven record of hastening our descent into socialism (which is fueled by the mutual desires of the Left). Conservatives may posture as supporters of individual rights, limited government, and capitalism; but, in reality, they are morally opposed to these values, and their history is one of actively betraying them.

There is so much in this article I could go on and on quoting. Socialist government programs are going to continue whether the left or the right is in power. The difference being a party which is vaguely equated with Socialism, or one that claims to stand for American values, the free-market, individualism, and choice. The Republican party of today deserves none of the assumed relationship with original American values it has inherited. Now, on top of that the Right also pushes to pass laws that are based upon their biblical beliefs.

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This article has been suggested by other people in the past during political threads. But it's still worth reading now.

The Decline and Fall of American Conservatism by C. Bradley Thompson

Seriously read it, read the entire thing. Some specific quotes:

There is so much in this article I could go on and on quoting. Socialist government programs are going to continue whether the left or the right is in power. The difference being a party which is vaguely equated with Socialism, or one that claims to stand for American values, the free-market, individualism, and choice. The Republican party of today deserves none of the assumed relationship with original American values it has inherited. Now, on top of that the Right also pushes to pass laws that are based upon their biblical beliefs.

I have a feeling that your article is going to get dissected. Notice how people are waiting so long before they reply. Some people here are diehard Republicans. Nice try though.

Edited by dadmonson
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I have a feeling that your article is going to get dissected. Notice how people are waiting so long before they reply. Some people here are diehard Republicans. Nice try though.

The Republican Inquisition is coming. :)

It could be that some of our resident diehards don't know about the information presented in the article? Or they do and they ignore it?

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Piekoff's argument (like most of his recent arguments, of say the last ten years) is wrong. It is much worse to empower the Left of this country than it is the "religous" right. My guess is if Miss Rand was still around he wouldn't be allowed to spout most of the stuff he has been saying as congruent with Objectivism, but that's a moot point. The reason his argument is wrong in this case is simple--while most American's claim to be "Christian's", they mostly do it out of a sort of argument from intimidation from others, who also claim it for a similar reason. I.e., everyone says, "You believe in God, don't you?" in a sort of accusing way, so the other person feels like an ass if he says no (and hasn't fully thought the question through).

In reality though, most of these people rarely if ever go to church or follow the more evil of the Christian doctrines, it is more of a "Christianity" via peer pressure that most of these people fall into. Call it Deism light because they are usually so un-philosophic in their thinking that they don't even have the slightlest clue what Deism is. This is the majority of Americans. So they "believe" in God, whatever that means, but simultaneously laugh at the "Jesus freaks". Visualize those idiots at the mall passing out religous flyers and saying nonsense like God is love, or something. In other words most people are "afraid" to explicitly reject God while at the same time mostly rejecting the bulk of religion.

This is why it doesn't matter if we elect people from the religous right into positions of power, because the only real power they will ever have is the power to talk their crap that nobody (read the majority of Americans) actually believes. The plus with electing these idiots like Bush is that they occasionally to the right things but for the wrong reasons. Say lowering taxes. But the more evil parts of their agenda rarely if ever have a chance of going anywhere. Striking down Roe v Wade or teaching creationism or whatever in schools, because most people know that stuff is bunk. So when members of the hard right are elected useful thing *sometimes* happen, while really bad think rarely if *ever* happen.

The converse is true if the Left is put in power. Normal American's don't take the Left's more extreme positions as seriously as they do, but they do except most of them, again from a sort of argument from intimidation from two different sets of people this time. Once again from average Joe, "You don't think the oil companies should be gouging all this money from us, do you?" and second and more importantly--from people who they actually consider to be their intellectual superiors, various politician's (Al Gore HA! or their senators), the "scientific community", Michael Moore, whoever; it does take much for someone to be considered your intellectual "superior" when you've been taught your whole life NOT to use or even think that you could ever be part of "that" group. This is the majority of Americans

When they are told that free trade is bad and should be "stopped", or the earth is warming and something should be "done" about it, or that we are running out of oil and we need new alternative energy source, or whatever (insert other common bromide from the Left here) they (the general American public) believe it. And they will (and do) allow new legislation to be passed over time to enforce these beliefs. This is what is leading America towards tyranny and it is here not from the right where the "ominous parallels" to Nazi Germany or the Soviet Union lie, NOT with the relatively benign evils of the Right.

And that is why Piekoff's present arguments are WRONG, and why all those who love liberty and Capitalism should do everything to stop the Left's march to power.

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My guess is if Miss Rand was still around he wouldn't be allowed to spout most of the stuff he has been saying as congruent with Objectivism, but that's a moot point.

Before you put words in Rand's mouth to justify your argument, you really ought to read most of what she wrote on the Republicans, which would prevent you from looking as silly as you do. The threat of religion is a huge threat (it's the primary reason she chose not to vote for Reagan - so if you want to throw stones, you better start there...), and you might check the ARI web site for the Brook/Ghate lectures from OCON. Part of the reason it is is because of the actions of those who would compromise with religion by continuing to vote with the Right, thinking they are somehow fighting socialism, but unwittingly enablign religion by thinking it's impact is innocuous.

Justin's concern that there are so many Objectivists who truly believe that the right somehow helps our cause is founded. And it's too bad that so many don't read Rand's discussion of the issues.

Just as a case in point, the Bush presidency was far more socialist de facto than the Clinton presidency. An altruistic war, the largest socialist health care increase in recent history, and a monetary policy that while attempting to be in defense of trade, looks like Carter stagflation all over again. And it is his religiousness that is at the heart of it. If this ist he type of free market defense we get on the right, I'll take the left thanks much.

Edited by KendallJ
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