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Is the GOP a viable option in 2010?

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So, the debate about who to vote for seems to never end, or whether to vote at all. Many Objectivists were in consensus with Dr. Peikoff about voting out the Republicans in 04 and 06. In 08, Peikoff refused to endorse or vote for any candidate. I'd say that also was the general feeling on this board and amongst Objectivist friends of mine elsewhere. But many will now say not voting for Republicans is foolish, giving the Democrats a further rubber stamp in the Congress. Many votes for Republicans will merely be opposition votes, like a vote for Kerry in 04 or for the Dems in 06.

So, should we avert a further digging into this particular collectivist hole by voting out at least a few Democrats and ending a supermajority in the Senate, or is the Republican party still too dangerous to endorse even with an opposition vote? I would not suggest giving them power again as religion IS indeed more insidious and dangerous than big government socialism, which will inevitably fail, especially in a large country like America. However, I fear another two years added on to whatever has happened will seriously endanger American life as we know it. We thought we hit bottom in 08? I'd predict an even worse fall under Obama.

So, should one oppose the Dems with a vote for Republican reps or not?

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So, should one oppose the Dems with a vote for Republican reps or not?

I haven't thought about this in depth, so I may change my mind on further reflection. My current thought is that both the Democrats and Republicans are basically worthless for reclaiming our freedom, but that we can buy more time for cultural activism by getting them more evenly balanced to fight against each other. What I'd like to see ideally would be continued nominal Democratic control of the House and Senate, with thin enough margins that passing anything substantive is essentially impossible -- i.e. a return to "gridlock". That way the Democrats continue to 'own' the government, making it harder for them to avoid responsibility for the consequences of their policies, but their ability to do further damage will be more restricted. The GOP doesn't deserve to be formally restored to power until they have made a stronger and more principled move towards actually supporting individual rights across the board. Giving them back control of Congress without such a change in their ideas would just teach them that there was no need to change their ideas.

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One theory is that things will have to get very bad for things to get better.

If the Reps and Dems hold each other in stalemate it is too easy for people to be apathetic.

Unfortunately what America needs right now is the "Brother You Asked For It" moment.

If people had any common sense, and if the Reps weren't just as stupid as the Dems the mortgage crisis could've been that moment.

Instead through the foolishness of the Reps most Americans STILL don't know it was the liberals that caused the whole financial crisis.

Until something truly awful happens and the blame is put in the right place I don't see anything improving.. but then I'm having a very cranky kind of day :lol:

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One theory is that things will have to get very bad for things to get better.

If the Reps and Dems hold each other in stalemate it is too easy for people to be apathetic.

Unfortunately what America needs right now is the "Brother You Asked For It" moment.

If people had any common sense, and if the Reps weren't just as stupid as the Dems the mortgage crisis could've been that moment.

Instead through the foolishness of the Reps most Americans STILL don't know it was the liberals that caused the whole financial crisis.

Until something truly awful happens and the blame is put in the right place I don't see anything improving.. but then I'm having a very cranky kind of day :lol:

QuoVadis is right; cranky day be damned!

Every generation needs a new revolution.

Thomas Jefferson

Every government degenerates when trusted to the rulers of the people alone. The people themselves are its only safe depositories.

Thomas Jefferson

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I find the Religious Right's clinging to god far more threatening than the Left's clinging to socialism in the long haul.

Ayn Rand has shown, as has common experience & history, that when socialism fails and communism fails people start to abandon it.

People are able to recognize ... unfortunately too late.. the cost and folly of those methods.

Most people however when confronted with the failure of religion either think they aren't doing it right, or god is punishing a whole nation for someone else's sins, or the end of the world or whatever.

America has turned into a nation of mystics believing this and believing that and feeling the need to prove nothing.

But we CAN eventually stick the doubting finger in the wound so to speak when the economy collapses and some will see the folly of socialism.

Alas.. since we have not the body we can't prove to the mystics' satisfaction just how very dead god is.

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The problem is the two-party system in America. Neither party is a "good" option as defined by Objectivist principles. Given the two-flavors-of-the-same-thing choice promoted, we have to sacrifice much of what we want and then justify our compromises.

One solution is to reject the false choice. Vote for who you believe most in. When outsiders get any significant amount of votes (like Ross Perot), the two major parties adopt the core issues of the third party. This is done to make the third party irrelevant. While it's not a great solution, it is a potential source of change.

Another option is to enjoy the show in a cynical detached way. We're talking about mass mentality that you don't have direct control over. Notice how the republicans were given complete control of government. The plurality of the people didn't like what republicans did. The government has now been handed over to the democrats. After a while, the plurality won't like what the democrats do. Whether power is given back to the republicans or the people demand a different party will determine the state of the U.S. in this century.

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This primarily doesn't deal with the essence of the original post, but if viable were to mean the electability of candidates due to the opinions of the electorate, then yes, I think the GOP is a viable option in 2010. One of the reasons for such a statement is that I don't think the electorate can yet come close to making an educated decision when it comes to their voting on election day; I think they will once again be led by emotion. Just as has happened in so many elections in the past, whoever is in office during some sort of turmoil, even if they were not in office when the turmoil began, will receive blame for the turmoil or the inability to fix it. When the turmoil is the sad state of the economy, instead of blaming the real cause of the problem(s)--improper role of government through improper ideas of ethics--the electorate will simply blame the Democrats, instead of upholding realized principles and unelecting the problem.

It is also to be expected that after the election of President Obama, GOP members have finally something to go to the polls in droves about. The success of the Democrats, with the presidency being the final achievement was expected because members of the GOP were not going to have a good turn out for the elections, and they sure were not going to have a good amount of independent support. Sarah Palin, because of her pentecostal religious nuttery, was probably the majority base for the GOP turnout during the presidential election. Slightly off topic, but I still find it funny and sad that most of the grass roots 'advertisement' I got during the presidential election from the Republican side, was completely about Sarah Palin and her ability to speak of god, prophesy, heal, and not have an abortion. With GOP members and independents who are having all these knee jerk reactions ready to go to the polls in high numbers, and Democrats and independents having won the battle, nothing to attack, and/or a little confused or sour not willing to go heavily to the polls, I think there is good chance for GOP victory.

As far as viability from my perspective as a voter, I don't think the GOP has learned a lesson yet. Of course it's hard to say if they have or have not changed because they are still running around confused and no one is putting out this 'new' GOP message. I do view religion to be worse than socialism, and therefore wont support the GOP unless they do make substantial change; however, this is not to say that I will vote Democrat or vote at all, but that I will not vote Republican.

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Under the current 2 party system, we're faced with choosing between a slow, meandering stroll toward statism under the Republicans vs. a sprint toward socialism under the Democrats. Not a great choice, but I still prefer the Reps because at least under that party, we have a fighting chance (as well as more time) to change the culture and the underlying philosophy that makes both parties possible. This recent healthcare insanity is a case in point. It now looks as though Obama's push is going to be delayed. So, perhaps we can now convince enough people that socializing America's healthcare system is not the way to go. However, if the Dems had been able to ram this through, we'd now be stuck with a system that would be virtually impossible to reverse in the future.

I'm voting for gridlock.

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While jogging I realized that I forgot to add that I also am in favor of political gridlock. However, I only realize this as a sort of desired end state without any real organized means of achieving it. How could one go about organizing a national gridlock movement, when it seems impossible to do so on the state level?

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While jogging I realized that I forgot to add that I also am in favor of political gridlock. However, I only realize this as a sort of desired end state without any real organized means of achieving it. How could one go about organizing a national gridlock movement, when it seems impossible to do so on the state level?

The problem with that is that it ain't so. If a chosen course is not taken, the ship does not stop, momentum pushies it in the direction it was travelling under power. While it appears to be a zero-sum situtation, it is not a static situation. the same dynamic forces are still at play, it's just that they are perfectly balanced. However these aren't unguided since the are human forces and the powers behind them would be looking for ways to break the impasse.

If stasis is your goal, that's the best possible scenario. But stasis is not your goal. You would be tryimg to undo the statism that has been alread put into the system so you would be part of the dynamics.

Even if you shut off dynamic input all sides would be working with the existing dynamics to maximuze the effectiveness of both the internals of the system and to break the impasse from the inside to open the system up to outside influence

Din't forger, the bad guys are a complex, not just the pols so they would be working outside the system within the culture so the stasis you desire would not even be tenable and maybe not even possible. You would have to attack the collectivist-alruist parts of the culture just to maintain stasis

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If stasis is your goal, that's the best possible scenario. But stasis is not your goal. You would be trying to undo the statism that has been already put into the system so you would be part of the dynamics.

Stasis is not the 'goal' in the sense of something I would like to preserve over the long term. I'm not advocating an Objectivist political version of Directive 10-289. Gridlock is a short-term tactical goal, to buy additional time to work on changing the culture. Hopefully the eventual payoff of that cultural change will be the ability to break the gridlock and move the politics towards a real sustainable increase in freedom.

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But stasis is not your goal.

Yeah, you're right, gridlock is only hoped for so the statists squabble about 'plans' and don't get anything done. It's not really something to advocate as principle. The conclusion of my last post was more of an attempt to elicit a response on how one actually brings about gridlock through voting, etc. Though, at this exact moment I think I realize what most are meaning when they talk about supporting gridlock: distributing the power by having different parties in control of different branches of government. Of course I knew that :) but I thought about the issue in the wrong way or went to far with it. I was caught up on an idea of total gridlock where power by party was completely equal.

Edited by RussK
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But then Republicans get voted in and are galvanized into advocating the same old policies. "Oh we got good results, so lets continue our path of mixed economics and religious social policy"

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But then Republicans get voted in and are galvanized into advocating the same old policies. "Oh we got good results, so lets continue our path of mixed economics and religious social policy"

I think issues like national healthcare and our ballooning deficits are helpful in the sense that they present opportunities to demonstrate to the knuckleheads in the Republican party that there is a substantial block of independents who will vote with them if they activley support smaller, less intrusive government and don't mix religion with politics. They have to be made to understand that "Democrat-lite" with a religious twist is not what's going to win elections for them.

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But then Republicans get voted in and are galvanized into advocating the same old policies. "Oh we got good results, so lets continue our path of mixed economics and religious social policy"

You'll note that the particular form of gridlock I am hoping for involves continued Democratic control of Congress, just with very thin margins. I explicitly said that the Republicans will not deserve to regain control until they have adopted a more principled support of individual rights and limited government. So I think we're on the same page.

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Still, the psychological result of them picking up seats and defeating Democrats will be "Continue the current Republican policies, because they get us elected.". What you want, a Republican minority but big enough to block legislation is going to require, to some extent, galvanizing the party. Now which is worse? I'm not too sure. I think it might be short-sighted to vote in any Republican unless they are particularly good, which no Republican currently serving is.

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After the 2010 elections, I don't see how continuing to allow the Democrats to have a supermajority in the Senate and control of the House can be a positive development for freedom loving people. These guys are well on their way to ramming through changes that are going to be impossible to reverse. One of the points that has to be made when supporting Republicans at this time is that they are benefiting from those policies where they advocate freedom, not from their religiousness or their lesser forms of statism.

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With Peter Schiff's almost certain entrance into the 2010 Senatorial bid against Chris Dodd of CT, I think we're coming closer to a breaking point.

When he was interviewed sitting next to Yaron Brook a few weeks ago, the two showed miraculous philosophical similarities - most importantly, Schiff agreed completely with the rejection of the altruistic ethic.

Schiff is an atheist, who had previously never even been registered to vote, let alone to a political party. He chose to register Republican simply because he felt they would support him more. His father, Irwin Schiff, is the well-known tax protester now serving jail time for his refusal to pay the income tax. He runs a successful boutique investment firm called Euro Pacific Capital, which has made a killing recently for Schiff's correct predictions of the US financial collapse and credit crunch. By investing in foreign stocks, commodities, and precious metals, he has made a good deal of money. His books also forecast the collapse years before it actually happened.

Anyway, I think he's a good guy to look out for. He could definitely spark some renewed interest in selfishness and reason within the GOP. This point in American history is a perfect time for a guy like Schiff to win an election like this.

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With Peter Schiff's almost certain entrance into the 2010 Senatorial bid against Chris Dodd of CT, I think we're coming closer to a breaking point.

I'm afraid Schiff won't be winning anytime soon. (Admitted) Atheists are practically unelectable and Chris Dodd routinely draws 65% of the vote in his district.

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Dodd's sparked a lot of unpopularity across the country. Perhaps it reflects in his district. I remember a poll that showed it did...No access right now.

Schiff is an atheist? Is there a source for that?

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Question: Current Republicans?

Schiff: Well, the Republicans talk about smaller government, less government. They don't govern that way but at least that's their rhetoric. Take out the religious elements — where I'm not necessarily on board — or the social conservative aspect, but the small government wing, the Ronald Reagan, Barry Goldwater types that are in the Republican party, they're not in the Democratic party. There's obviously Republicans that still believe in small government, in sound money. It's just none of the elected officials ever govern that way. That's one of the reasons you really need to put some people in office who really don't want to be in office. They're just there to do a job and get out. And the job is of dismantling the government and shrinking it and restoring it to its proper function.

http://www.fairfieldweekly.com/article.cfm?aid=12042

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I'm afraid Schiff won't be winning anytime soon. (Admitted) Atheists are practically unelectable and Chris Dodd routinely draws 65% of the vote in his district.

http://www.quinnipiac.edu/x1284.xml?ReleaseID=1353

The latest polling shows that he has a slight (within the margin of error) trail behind Dodd. However, 80-something percent of Republicans, according to this poll, could could not give an answer to their favor-ability towards him because they didn't know enough about him.

There's a big movement to draft him into his campaign and get his name out there, once and for all... www.schiffathon.com

Edited by Andrew Grathwohl
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