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Fight the Ravenous Beast of Socialism

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Slow down for a second. According to the latest Evans and Novak Political Report: "In House and Senate races, things get worse every week for the GOP. Democrats will approach 60 seats in the U.S. Senate, and have guaranteed double-digit gains in the House."

http://www.humanevents.com/article.php?id=29151

It's becoming clear that if Obama wins, the Democrats will control both houses of congress as well as the executive branch. The only question now is whether the Dems will end up with a fillibuster-proof majority in the US Senate. If that happens, I'm truly frightened for this country. It's a legitimate strategy to vote for McCain in an attempt to promote gridlock and to slow our trajectory toward complete destruction. With the way events are shaping up, a vote for McCain is not only acceptable, I think it's a very reasonable thing to do.

Bam. That's the whole point. I sincerely hope many of you consider this. It could really make a difference.

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I said that Obama is a comparison to Phillip Reardon. The moocher brother. Moocher, not looter.

McCain's the looter in this election.

Voting for either is voting for the other.

Like I said - are you sure you've read Rand?

Edited by Greebo
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The stage is set for us to follow the world into the pit of socialism, the horrors of collectivism and bleak wastelands of bleeding our lives for beggars and thugs; or, to be free to advance America and Capitalism (at least for another 4-8 years)
Dramatic. But since we're throwing around the word "socialism" so freely, tell me: has 8 years of a "socialist" conservative as president brought us a candidate whose less socialist? Or has endorsing socialism-lite merely created a reliable voting bloc?

I don't see how voting for McCain in order to protect ourselves is going to do anything other than create more political McCains.

Here are the main points on which I think the two will probably not be significantly different:
Well said.

It is absolutely necessary to fight and destroy socialism, altruism, mysticism, and collectivism in any form.
True. Too bad McCain's not fighting any of that.
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As others have said, McCain and Obama are almost identical. I think that an Obama administration would, most likely, cause slightly faster economic decline than a McCain administration. Similarly, McCain has a slightly better chance of improving foreign policy than Obama. However, McCain, though not nearly as bad as many Christian conservatives, would continue to inject religion into government with faith-based initiatives and the like, and he'll continue to sacrifice individual liberty in the name of "national security." He also has a decent chance of overturning Roe v. Wade, considering the current balance of the supreme court.

They're both horrible choices, but I would rather have Obama as president. I do think that McCain would be a little bit better for the country, but not significantly enough for me to want to risk having abortion declared illegal.

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Health care: Obama will probably manage to push through some type of "employer mandate" system; he will not switch existing employer-provided insurance to a government (single payer) scheme;

I am not so optimistic.

His proposal reads:

insurance companies (force accross the board):

- Require insurance companies to cover pre-existing conditions so all Americans regardless of their health status or history can get comprehensive benefits at fair and stable premiums.

- Prevent insurers from overcharging doctors for their malpractice insurance and invest in proven strategies to reduce preventable medical errors.

- Participating insurance companies with NHIE (see below) will be required to report data to ensure that standards for quality, health information technology and administration are being met.

for employers (force):

- Create a new Small Business Health Tax Credit to help small businesses provide affordable health insurance to their employees. (he will force small businesses to provide it regardless if they can afford it)

- Make employer contributions more fair by requiring large employers that do not offer coverage or make a meaningful contribution to the cost of quality health coverage for their employees to contribute a percentage of payroll toward the costs of their employees health care. (he will mandate the level of employer contribution)

everybody else:

- Establish a National Health Insurance Exchange with a range of private insurance options (he will mandate what they have to offer and for how much) as well as a new public plan based on benefits available to members of Congress.

NHIE will feature:

• Guaranteed Eligibility: No American will be turned away from any insurance plan because of

or pre-existing conditions.

• Comprehensive Benefits: The benefit package will be similar to that offered through Federal Employees

Health Benefits Program, the plan members of Congress have (huge coverage).

The plan will cover all essential medical services, including preventive, maternity, and mental health care.

• Affordable Premiums

• Tax Credits: Individuals and families who do not qualify for Medicaid or SCHIP but still need financial

assistance will receive a tax credit to purchase health insurance.

• Portability and Choice: Participants will be able to move from job to job without changing or

jeopardizing their health care coverage.

How long do you think private insurance will be able to survive under those conditions and/or compete with this huge and cheap to the user (certainly not cheap to those who will pay for it - you) public coverage? If he makes deductibles low enough - people will start using services left and right.

Edited by ~Sophia~
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I forgot drug companies (more force):

- Allow Americans to import inexpensive and safe prescription drugs from developed countries where the same medicines are cheaper

- Increase the use of generic drugs in all public health plans, stop large drug companies from paying to keep generics out of markets to preserve their profits, and create a pathway to bring generic vaccines and other biologic medicines to the market.

- Allow Medicare to negotiate for better prices.

And with such a system comes control of your life under "prevention" because what you do matters if somebody is paying for your care. If you smoke it matters and if you are not wearing a helmet while you bike it matters.

Edited by ~Sophia~
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I am not so optimistic.

Nor am I. Any health care reform plan that Obama proposes will be re-written by congress, and likely not resemble the original Obama plan at all--but will be even worse. The left wants socialized medicine. If Obama is elected the left will run the government. Anyone who thinks that what remains of our free market health care system will survive his election is only fooling himself. McCain, as bad as he is on many issues, will fight this one

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McCain, as bad as he is on many issues, will fight this one
McCain has been completely inarticulate about defending the free-market. I doubt he will fight it in any intellectual sense. I agree that he will veto it at least once. However, if he does, and most Americans want that bill, he'll simply be setting the issue up as a sure winner for the Democrats in four years. Just as Bush caved in on Medicare, if there is strong public support for a Democratic bill, some variant will probably be enacted. The essential battle on this is the public-opinion battle.

Remember that Clinton's 1993 health-care proposal was followed by a resurgence of the GOP, and a huge comeback for Newt Gingrich and company. I do agree that Obama will likely take us somewhere worse than on health care than McCain (though this is not a sure thing). Already a majority of health care spending in the U.S. goes via the government; any version of the Obama plan will take us one step closer to 100%. I think we're going there in small steps unless public opinion changes.

Since Obama appears to be a shoo-in, I hope -- for everyone's sake -- that you and Sophia are less on target about this than I am.

Edited by softwareNerd
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Sophia, almost without a exception, the issues you raise above are Legislative controlled. Obama can't do those things. Only Congress can.

Secondly, the last 8 years have been under a president who is argulably of "mixed premises" and we've had statist expansion (Republican legislature even) like no Democrat or Republican administration since The Great Society.

I realize your pitch is "imagine what someone could do if they believed that consistently." Carter did. He didn't get very far.

McCain however, has a proven history of selling out both his party and any previously articulated principles on the expediency of getting rid of a problem. In addition, throughout the debates McCain's response to any sement where Obama said "the cause of this problem is X" was to agree with his assessment, and simply say he'd handle it differently. Given that what makes you think he is going to be a heavy handed user of the veto where Obama would not? He's sold himself as a bi partisan, someone who can reach across the aisle and someone who has proven himself to have no strong partisan ties back to his party. This makes for pragmatic captiaulation on every issue here.

The president enables or checks the Legislative. Given the context of that function, ideology is more limited, and there is ample reason to believe McCain will be as bad as Obama in that role. Again, I'm not debating with you the ideological stances. I'm debating them in the context of what the Executive is allowed to do.

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We're faced by two worthless candidates. If Obama is an empty suit, McCain is an empty old bag. Neither offers a bright peg on which to hang a hat of hope. Nothing, from either. Far from thinking that any Objectivist who does not vote/abstain as I do is significantly different from me, I see it just the opposite: the choices are so bad that one can just as easily vote for one as the other, or abstain completely.

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We're faced by two worthless candidates. If Obama is an empty suit, McCain is an empty old bag. Neither offers a bright peg on which to hang a hat of hope. Nothing, from either. Far from thinking that any Objectivist who does not vote/abstain as I do is significantly different from me, I see it just the opposite: the choices are so bad that one can just as easily vote for one as the other, or abstain completely.

But, if you do vote for one, you give sanction to a system that offers you 2 attrocious choices. At least if more people abstain, they can see that what they're offering is not what people want.

I believe that a candidate should have to earn their votes. I don't think Obama or McCain have earned theirs in the slightest.

I like what Peikoff had to say about the candidates in his most recent podcast. Pretty much summed it up.

Edited by Grant
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But, if you do vote for one, you give sanction to a system that offers you 2 attrocious choices. At least if more people abstain, they can see that what they're offering is not what people want.

I think they already know that what they're offering is not what people want.

I don't think they're interested in what people want.

I think they're interested in obtaining more power, more control and more money in their own pockets.

I think that's why they became politicians in the first place.

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But, if you do vote for one, you give sanction to a system that offers you 2 attrocious choices. At least if more people abstain, they can see that what they're offering is not what people want.

I believe that a candidate should have to earn their votes. I don't think Obama or McCain have earned theirs in the slightest.

I like what Peikoff had to say about the candidates in his most recent podcast. Pretty much summed it up.

Voting is not an act of sanction. It is an action to help put one candidate in office and not the other. It is an action which determines who takes the power between the choices you are faced with.

I do not sanction any of the candidates I have been voting for here in Canada. I have no influence personally over the choices I am given.

People abstain in every election. Politicians are not worried about those who do because you are only relevant if you can prevending them from winning.

Message can only be understood when you speak out which you can do regardless of how you vote. Change is not something that is accomplished through using political elections "to send a philosophical message". It can only happen through intellectual activism, through speaking out with good arguments and loud enough. You won't influence the future selection of candidates by not voting.

Edited by ~Sophia~
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I think they already know that what they're offering is not what people want.

I don't think they're interested in what people want.

I think they're interested in obtaining more power, more control and more money in their own pockets.

I think that's why they became politicians in the first place.

As the saying goes,

"All the people who we want in office were smart enough to stay out of politics."

The moral people are not in politics. :(

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As the saying goes,

"All the people who we want in office were smart enough to stay out of politics."

The moral people are not in politics. :(

Nevertheless, politicians do not tend to be intellectual leaders. in a country with the type of freedoms we have, the intellectual culture is the primary driver. Behind Bush, McCain and Obama are the non-politicians like Dobson, Greenspan and Krugman.
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I understand the desire to abstain but I'm also aware of how such a thing will be viewed.

Lets say that a significant number of O'ists or Libertarians abstain on principal.

That number is going to be almost insignificant when measured against the total number of voters. Furthermore the end result will be a side comment on election night about low voter turnout (as has happened for every election since what? the 60's?) or maybe an OpEd the next day in a large daily like the NY Times, and then, the new King having been elected whether or not 200,000 pissed off Objectivists voted, will go about his business of destroying freedom in America.

Congratulations, nothing to see here, move along...

I'm also reminded that in every banana republic where Dictator X steals the election the last thing Party "Y" does before it is frog marched off to the gulag or death camp is "abstain" from participating in the Dictators farcical electoral process.

As others have said, there are more than two parties running in your political race, you don't have to vote for the ObamaNation or the McNation. At the very least you can vote for Mr. "None of the Above" and force them to count it.

By the way, feel free to tell me to piss off, :( I'm a Canadian and as such only peripherally do I have a dog in this hunt...

That's my 2 cents.

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Voting is not an act of sanction. It is an action to help put one candidate in office and not the other. It is an action which determines who takes the power between the choices you are faced with.

I do not sanction any of the candidates I have been voting for here in Canada. I have no influence personally over the choices I am given.

People abstain in every election. Politicians are not worried about those who do because you are only relevant if you can prevending them from winning.

Message can only be understood when you speak out which you can do regardless of how you vote. Change is not something that is accomplished through using political elections "to send a philosophical message". It can only happen through intellectual activism, through speaking out with good arguments and loud enough. You won't influence the future selection of candidates by not voting.

Firstly, I'm not saying that you'll bring about change by abstaining, but I don't think it makes sense to willfully participate in an election where the only 2 options you're given are equally horrid. On a far lesser scale, it's like choosing between Stalin and Pol Pot. How the hell do you do it? At what stage do you say "Screw this. These people aren't worthy of my vote."? And if for instance, 1,000,000 people chose to abstain, I'm pretty sure the candidates would take that into account. After all, they're looking for as many votes as possible.

In Canada, it's far easier to pick your candidate, because as much as there's no great choices there either, there's an obvious lesser evil as far as I can tell (Conservatives over all the liberal parties). This US election is not the same. There's no clear-cut lesser evil. Both have the potential to be just as horrendous. I can't see a good reason for picking one over the other. It's a pure gamble either way.

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Message can only be understood when you speak out which you can do regardless of how you vote. Change is not something that is accomplished through using political elections "to send a philosophical message". It can only happen through intellectual activism, through speaking out with good arguments and loud enough. You won't influence the future selection of candidates by not voting.

That is a brilliant observation!

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If you decide to abstain, be sure to go to the polls and vote on other issues or races. Or turn in a completely blank ballot if need be.

When they see that X number of people cared enough to go to the polls and still refused to choose between dufus #1 and dufus #2, they can't blame that on apathy, as they are wont to do.

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"I think voting is great, but if I have to choose between a douche and a turd, I don't see the point." - Stan Marsh :confused:

Unfortunately, I think Zip & Sophia are right (damned Canadians! :D ) - abstaining on principle will get you nowhere. Voting for a third party/write-in candidate is effectively the same as abstaining unless they can get enough votes to realistically affect the election (~15-20% minimum). Consequently, we are realistically left (this cycle) with picking either the douche or turd. :dough:

As demonstrated (kinda) in a previous thread, I find the thought of endorsing Obama as about as antithetical to Objectivism as is realistically possible in this context. OTOH, a case could be made for the long-term efficacy of such a vote, given the backlash that historically develops after one-party control of both the Congress and the Presidency. [in this context, this election environment very much seems to resemble 1976, which effectively paved the way for the resurgence of Ronald Reagan and Conservatism.] Unfortunately, the specter of new, and even farther-reaching entitlement programs (which would likely gain a constituency quickly, and therefore be almost impossible to repeal) which could haunt us to the end of our days would then be very real.

Either way, I will likely need an anti-emetic on my way out of the polls this year. :(

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When faced with a choice of two evils who appear to be equal, as may be the case here, it's tough to choose the lesser. This is why, in my opinion, it makes the most sense to vote for stagnation. If the candidates really are equally bad and you can't choose who is worse, then choose the one who you think will be least able to implement his bad policies.

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