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Let's Discuss The Election!

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So, I'm kicking off a post to be the place to chime in "central" about exciting events in this election season.

Today is particularly appropriate to be getting it going, because today Paul Ryan was announced as the VP choice.

Below is a video showing him logically-based demonstrating the problems of Obamacare. A nice job:

He's not an Objectivist, but him being picked, what with his semi-advocacy of AR's ideas, is a rather positive indirect plug for Ayn Rand that I am glad about.

You?

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This could be political opportunism on his part. Ayn Rand's ideas (or what is thought to be her ideas) resonates with enough folks for him to give those ideas some verbal endorsement but when addressing a group of catholics, he did reverse himself:

[\video]

I hate the fact that he claims to admire Ayn Rand given that almost everything he does is the opposite of what Objectivism demands. He's just giving the left an opening to denigrate Objectivism by blaming the inevitable failure of his policies on Ayn Rand's philosophy.

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The Objective Standard, Craig Biddle's statement which can be read in full here: http://www.theobjectivestandard.com/blog/index.php/2012/08/romney-ryan-2012ayn-rand-forever/

"Prior to Mitt Romney’s selection of Paul Ryan as his running mate, I was going to vote “for” Romney in the sense of voting against Obama. In light of this development, however, I not only plan to vote for Romney-Ryan; I also emphatically endorse their ticket, and I urge readers of TOS, Objectivists, and fans of Ayn Rand to do the same."

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The Objective Standard, Craig Biddle's statement which can be read in full here: http://www.theobject...n-rand-forever/

In that article, Biddle says this in defense of Paul Ryan:

"But it is crucial to bear in mind that no politician today advocates genuine freedom, none understands the principle of rights, all support rights-violating policies, all embrace fundamentally false philosophies. This is the political reality of the day. And, in this reality, Paul Ryan is as good as it gets."

This is already wrong. Gary Johnson, although an arguably inviable candidate, is a far better choice. He respects individual rights and knows that they don't come from a god or from the government. He argues against the Patriot Act, CISPA, the NDAA, and the stimulus, all of which Ryan voted for. In fact, Ryan even explicitly accepted money from the stimulus. Gary Johnson has a plan to balance the federal budget in 2013, not in thirty years. Johnson believes that marriage equality and abortion are inalienable rights, not a "states issue". Even Ron Paul is a state's-rights Libertarian on these two issues, but Gary is not. Gary Johnson realizes the futility of America's engagement in Iraq, Afghanistan, and Libya, but is not the kind of terrorist-apologist hippy that is so commonplace in the Libertarian party. He's just about as Objectivist-friendly as it gets, and his jump-ship move from the GOP to the LP shows that he is with the LP not because he is a Libertarian at heart, but rather because he is just a man with a plan who will get into the White House on whatever ticket will bring him there. In short, Gary Johnson does dvocate genuine freedom, he does understand the principle of individual rights, and he does not nor has he ever supported rights-violating policies, as Biddle claims all politicians do.

Further, Biddle attempts to get Objectivists excited over Paul Ryan paying a little lip-service to Atlas Shrugged:

"Ryan’s reverence for Rand, shallow as it may be, is a major positive because it helps to bring Rand’s ideas to the fore in American politics."

Ryan's reverence for Rand is about as shallow as possible. As far as I can tell, Ryan's only respect for Rand is for her pro-Capitalism advocacy, and because he subscribes fundamentally to a philosophy (Catholicism) which explicitly denies the moral grounds for Capitalism, I think it is clear that he is only a Rand fanboy because she gives him some thin excuse to selfishly enjoy his own wealth without feeling too bad about it.

Getting Ryan into the WH and using him as a posterboy for Objectivism is really only going to confuse people into associating Objectivism with Corporatism, Statism, and greed. He will be all the fodder that the left will need to continue their campaign to paint Objectivism as the "excuse-to-be-an-enormous-dickhead" philosophy, and because he fails to understand Objectivism, he will not bring any positive light to Ayn Rand or her ideas, whatsoever.

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First, I doubt that the association you fear is going to happen. The news media have been doing a thorough job of exposing Ryan's differences with Rand. Second, Objectivism is already associated with greed. Rand, not the left, did the associating, and I, for one, am glad that she did. Third, bringing any kind of light on any ideas is not a politician's job, so no one can or should expect Ryan to do this.

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This is already wrong. Gary Johnson, although an arguably inviable candidate, is a far better choice. He respects individual rights and knows that they don't come from a god or from the government. He argues against the Patriot Act, CISPA, the NDAA, and the stimulus, all of which Ryan voted for. In fact, Ryan even explicitly accepted money from the stimulus. Gary Johnson has a plan to balance the federal budget in 2013, not in thirty years. Johnson believes that marriage equality and abortion are inalienable rights, not a "states issue". Even Ron Paul is a state's-rights Libertarian on these two issues, but Gary is not. Gary Johnson realizes the futility of America's engagement in Iraq, Afghanistan, and Libya, but is not the kind of terrorist-apologist hippy that is so commonplace in the Libertarian party. He's just about as Objectivist-friendly as it gets, and his jump-ship move from the GOP to the LP shows that he is with the LP not because he is a Libertarian at heart, but rather because he is just a man with a plan who will get into the White House on whatever ticket will bring him there. In short, Gary Johnson does dvocate genuine freedom, he does understand the principle of individual rights, and he does not nor has he ever supported rights-violating policies, as Biddle claims all politicians do.

I would just add to that that Gary Johnson also has a track record of practicing what he preaches, as governor, and that his policies in New Mexico were both successful and popular.

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Further, Biddle attempts to get Objectivists excited over Paul Ryan paying a little lip-service to Atlas Shrugged:

"Ryan’s reverence for Rand, shallow as it may be, is a major positive because it helps to bring Rand’s ideas to the fore in American politics."

Ryan's reverence for Rand is about as shallow as possible.

He writes another entry in response to all the comments, questions and so forth that arose from the initial blog entry, here:

http://www.theobjectivestandard.com/blog/index.php/2012/08/further-thoughts-on-why-objectivists-should-actively-campaign-for-romney-ryan/

Here is a quote from it that goes further into what you have him quoted as saying in the initial blog entry:

"If Ryan becomes vice president, we will have four years, possibly eight years—and then possibly another four or eight years—of Ayn Rand’s ideas being constantly discussed in the media, in boardrooms, at cocktail parties, in college classrooms, and so on. We can take advantage of this by writing, speaking, and explaining to people how any rights-respecting policies in question are in concert with Objectivism, how any rights-violating policies are not, and how to tell the difference. We can explain what rights are, where they come from, and how we know it; what rational egoism is, why it is the morality of life, and why altruism is the morality of death; what reason is, how concepts are formed, and so on. Most importantly, we can recommend Rand’s books and essays that will help people gain deeper knowledge of the issues in question. In short, we can help to rapidly educate large numbers of Americans in ways we didn’t think possible just a few weeks ago."

This entry by Ari Armstrong details just how Ryan's views reject Rand:

http://www.theobjectivestandard.com/blog/index.php/2012/08/paul-ryan-rejects-ayn-rands-ideas-in-word-and-deed/

Also I received an email from the Ayn Rand Institute, this is just a bit from it:

"Ryan is by his own admission not an Objectivist.

On the other hand, he is, again by his own admission, an unabashed admirer of Ayn Rand’s Atlas Shrugged.

The very idea that a major party candidate for the nation’s second highest elective office would have read and publicly admired Ayn Rand and at least some of her ideas is something that would have been unimaginable a generation ago.

Let me be clear: as a 501©(3) organization we cannot and will not endorse or oppose any political candidate.

But we can—and will—do all that we can to seize the opportunity that this development offers us to promote Ayn Rand and her philosophy.

This is where you come in."

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I suppose some Objectivists were similarly excited when Alan Greenspan made it to the White house and then to the FED. Ryan -- as VP -- may be considered more central than Greenspan. OTOH, Ryan is much further to the left of Greenspan. Ryan knows how to talk, but all his actions have been studiously down-the-middle.

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I think Craig Biddle is spot on, especially as it pertains to this election, concerning the reality of the election and our realistic choices in preventing a great deal of future destruction to our country. I have never voted for a member of the GOP or Democratic Party for federal office, but Biddle's commentary has persuaded me a great deal. As for voting for Gary Johnson, I'll just quote my response to Biddle's reply to one of my comments on the TOS blog:

"One argument I usually make in regards to not voting, is that, if one continues to vote (Republican), the only candidates that will be elected in the future will be the same old rights violating politicians. Unfortunately, the stakes may be too high to abstain or register a protest vote in this election."

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I think Craig Biddle is spot on, especially as it pertains to this election, concerning the reality of the election and our realistic choices in preventing a great deal of future destruction to our country. I have never voted for a member of the GOP or Democratic Party for federal office, but Biddle's commentary has persuaded me a great deal. As for voting for Gary Johnson, I'll just quote my response to Biddle's reply to one of my comments on the TOS blog:

"One argument I usually make in regards to not voting, is that, if one continues to vote (Republican), the only candidates that will be elected in the future will be the same old rights violating politicians. Unfortunately, the stakes may be too high to abstain or register a protest vote in this election."

What are the stakes? What will be different if Romney wins vs. if Obama wins, given a Republican House?

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One difference between a Romney administration and an Obama administration with a Republican congress is that in the latter case Obama's executive branch - his appointments to the cabinet and the regulatory agencies - would remain in place. Another is that whoever wins this year is going to nominate judges, probably at least two for the Supreme Court. The Senate, not the House, confirms judges.

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I've heard it mentioned that Obama is pushing through a lot of his "agenda" by influencing regulatory agencies (Reidy may have alluded to this). I don't know enough to give you a comprehensive analysis of this. I do remember his reversal regarding medical marijuana growers. I'm also interested to know how a Romney administration would handle the Tombstone water fiasco, which the Obama administration botched. Nay, worse than botched; a botch implies a mistake. This is intentional. And let's not forget Gibson Guitars.

My parents believe that Obama's handlers are directing federal agencies at red states and Republican donors. They are a little more quick than I am to see conspiracies where things could be coincidental. I don't have enough evidence to paint a clear picture of abuse, but I wish I could say I didn't think this was possible.

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  • 4 weeks later...

This video has been leaked and is doing the rounds. Some commentators think it will hurt Romney, because -- supposedly -- he speaks disdainfully of the poor. Perhaps it will...not that I care. My impression is that what has really hurt Romney is his nothingness... his constant appearance of being the candidate who is trying to say whatever some focus-group said he ought to say... which often gets you poor products, and seldom the political "iPhone" type product.

Edited by softwareNerd
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I said this before in another thread: I know it sounds like a stretch, but I truly wonder if he's losing the will to win himself.

The example was his latest statement about Obamacare: in that statement, he reiterated that he'd repeal it, but "keep some of the good parts" including prior condition coverage.

The problem with that is that even he knows this is a campaign promise that absolutely must be broken since that logically makes no sense (it's a long story about the dynamics of insurance coverage, but Romney's been through all of this in his own state so he knows the deal).

Another recent example is the criticism of Obama on foreign policy (middle east events)--one which he has to know he'd almost exactly duplicate. As such, he's currently busy criticizing his own future foreign policy (Obama did this with Guantanamo, but in that case I think he truly thought he would close it--but Romney knows now that the current middle east policy is the same as he'd do).

To work the 120 hours per week for six straight months necessary to become president, you have to really want it. The giant contradiction in trying to be a differentiated candidate from a welfare statist when you are yourself a welfare statist is bound to catch up with you. With that set of premises, I don't know why you'd want to do anything.

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Obama quote from 1998 on redistribution:

"I think the trick is figuring out how do we structure government systems that pool resources, and hence facilitate some redistribution, because I actually believe in redistribution, at least at a certain level, to make sure that everybody has a shot," Obama says.

Romney recently in response to what Obama said all those years ago:

"We are compassionate people but we let people build their own lives," the GOP nominee said on Fox News. "We believe in free people and free enterprise, not redistribution. It's to create growth and not to redistribute wealth."

"[…] you have a great divide about whether we want a government that is larger and more intrusive and redistributing income or instead you wanted have government had a protecting freedom and opportunity and letting more people build more wealth."

And this is further reason for me to vote Romney/Ryan. Redistribution is sacrificing what someone has earned, and redistributing it, to those that did not earn it. You should have the right to all that you earned and decide what to do with that which you earned. No ones need is a claim on it, it is yours by right. I want to end the trend towards the regulatory-entitlement state, mixed economy we live in, and work towards a political economic social system that actually does recognize and uphold individual rights, in fact, it is the only system that does: http://capitalism.org/

quotes taken from here:

http://thehill.com/video/campaign/250183-romney-pushes-new-audio-of-old-obama-redistribution-comment

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"Redistribution" is also known as, "progressive taxation". We've had this here in the USA for oh, 80 years now?

Romney believes in "redistribution" every bit as much as Obama does. He's just playing word games here to deflect criticism from his secretly taped remarks (which managed to be both factually idiotic and in no way a defense of freedom and simply an admission that class warfare shall be the norm, and he simply represents the other class).

If Romney came out against the welfare state in clear terms, then that would be an honest defense of capitalism. Saying he wants lower taxes and smaller government even though he's in favor of everything that costs lots of money and expands the government is dishonest.

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