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Biden is our only hope, says Yaron Brook

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On 7/30/2020 at 11:58 PM, Dupin said:

The article alluded to in the original post is

Biden Must Win or America is Doomed
It quotes most of the pro-Biden speech that Brook made on his show (link in the original post).

 

Mark, I think there's an error in your piece.  Peikoff urged voting Democratic in 2006, not 2004. 

https://web.archive.org/web/20061102065824/http://www.peikoff.com/

It was hotly debated at the time.  I'm not aware of an equivalent statement from 2004.  He did, however, urge voting against Bush in 1992.

Following the election of Obama we all got a good reminder of what can happen when Democrats are in power.  Clinton was pretty bad too, but he never had a filibuster-proof majority as Obama (briefly) did. 

Imagine the current crop of Democrats with that much power.  Do like scary movies?

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15 hours ago, dream_weaver said:

and basically anti-altruist president of America

Ascribing virtuous philosophical leanings to Trump now?

The rhetoric does not get passed a decent examination

Anti Altruist is one thing, narcissistic is another. A sociopath can be an anti altruist too. A meaningless virtuous attribution in this forum.

To make statements like that is a major disservice to Objectivism. People end up thinking that Narcissism is the virtue that we promote, that when we say selfish, we mean narcissistic.

Anti Altruism is a virtue only when and if it advocates rational self interest.

Trump is a narcissistic president, not for rational self interest.

The virtuous kind of Anti Altruism is an advocacy of self interest, it means Anti-Socialism. Trump is not an anti-socialist. His agenda is mostly socialist. The FDR type stuff, the Cares act and his lament that Biden Stole his economic plan are enough of an indicator. (one could go through a list including the tariffs etc)

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2 hours ago, Easy Truth said:

Ascribing virtuous philosophical leanings to Trump now?

That was in quotes from the post just prior to it that I lifted it from. Mr. Trump has the virtue of having gained the office he holds. With the position comes the background noise of how he gets discussed in various circles. 

In the philosophical hierarchy, "cultural ethic" lends more weight to a nations direction. The nature of political discussions often reveals more about the participants than the candidates.

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3 hours ago, Easy Truth said:

Ascribing virtuous philosophical leanings to Trump now?

The rhetoric does not get passed a decent examination

Anti Altruist is one thing, narcissistic is another. A sociopath can be an anti altruist too. A meaningless virtuous attribution in this forum.

To make statements like that is a major disservice to Objectivism. People end up thinking that Narcissism is the virtue that we promote, that when we say selfish, we mean narcissistic.

Anti Altruism is a virtue only when and if it advocates rational self interest.

Trump is a narcissistic president, not for rational self interest.

The virtuous kind of Anti Altruism is an advocacy of self interest, it means Anti-Socialism. Trump is not an anti-socialist. His agenda is mostly socialist. The FDR type stuff, the Cares act and his lament that Biden Stole his economic plan are enough of an indicator. (one could go through a list including the tariffs etc)

As a president intent upon ~American self-interests and independence~, free from prior (economic/military) encumbrances, - yes, I think this is evident. He explicitly has advanced this. An "anti-altruist" president, I said and repeat - in practice and by consequence, I did not say by philosophical conviction.

I have also remarked that he is squarely in favor of individual American self-responsibility, which I thought evident. He displays few of the flaws of Nanny-ism which pervade most national leaders with highly submissive populations, and which is increasing in the USA.

I did NOT state, and do not mean, he is ethically "FOR rational self interest". That's another thing. There has never been such a world leader.

You made that leap.

Trump's so-called "narcissism" - I think is grandiosity - is a job-requirement for every politician with aspirations for high Office, some just hide it better under a show of humility and modesty, than others. Although I'd have voted for Obama's first term, for instance, it was clear to me that he also had a (subtle) grandiose - "narcissistic" - tendency which didn't initially put me off him.

Should I say this simply? Trump has shown he is against a self-sacrificial America. One which the rest of the world has long taken for granted and depended on while also disparaging. When dealing with foreign countries he's also indicated how they could act in their self-interests ("make a good deal") if they choose. Therefore is "anti-altruist".

While he has publicly denounced Socialism, right, he might have mixed premises in policy decisions. As have all presidents. But for full-blown Socialism let the Democrats have their way for some terms. Trump represents the block on that outcome. For a while.

 

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12 hours ago, AlexL said:

" I think ..." Do you have some hard facts to substantiate your assumption? Otherwise it is simply wishful thinking or rationalization.

No, I have not. One has to have observed the course of events closely for oneself.

You'd have to have made many inferential deductions to pick up those characteristics of Trump.

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Ninth Doctor,

Peikoff urged voting for the Democrat (Kerry) in the 2004 presidential election (that’s when he made his infamous “apocalyptic bad” remark) and a straight Democratic ticket in the 2006 Congressional election.  I’ll add that second part to the footnote, thanks.

The archive.org server hosting Peikoff.com’s 2006 page is down at the moment.  This, from CapMag, will do as well:
https://www.capitalismmagazine.com/2006/10/peikoff-on-the-2006-elections/
Peikoff is a smart guy, but ... well, at times what an idiot.

The footnote is (now was) wrong about voting a straight Democratic ticket, that was in 2006 as you point out.   I fixed it, thanks a lot.

Edited by Dupin
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On 8/1/2020 at 4:50 PM, Eiuol said:

My concern is that Republicans will throw off Trump as the Machiavellian pragmatist he really is, and the extreme Republicans (Pence etc) will gain converts, thereby creating the religious authoritarian scenario that I imagined earlier. 

I realise center vs extreme are too simplistic blurring the lines.

Trump is the extreme in the sense of, "atypical" from a Republican, as in: against traditional alliances, against free trade, racially charged against non white (perhaps sometimes to protect whites but also overtly racist at times), a popular (a populist voting block) position. Trump is not typical of Republican who have been pro "appearance of decorum", respect for the law and rules being tradition based "conservatives". 

Whatever the analysis of the benefits of Trump has been, it has blinded people to the fact that if the impeachment had successfully gone through, the ticket would have now been Pence and Haley, and instead the Trump "very small chance of veto against Socialism", one would have had a strong noticeable push against Socialism. An actual one, not a fake one.

Pence et. al, are religious, but their religious agenda would not be any different than Trump's. Economically Pence is very Libertarian friendly. There would be a theocratic supreme court no matter if it were Trump or Pence. Some may argue that a theocratic Supreme court is anti altruist.

Now granted, this is not a justification for voting for Biden, et al.

The fundamental case for Biden is to stop the fact that corruption is being embedded or being attempted to be embedded in our system of governance. It is not an ideological problem, but a process issue. Trump is destroying the makeup of governance, maybe in the name of getting rid of the deep state, the valid state functions are being destroyed. Supposedly he is for law and order yet he undercuts the FBI and takes Putin's word. His misogynist statements are normal, in many cases based on the idea that "the other guy did it", so I can do it openly now. The Democrats had a fair amount of unethical behavior, enriching themselves, and lying to the courts that should have caused an impeachment of Bill Clinton. But it did not. That got the corruption ball rolling. Now it is out of control with Trump doing all of those things (and more) openly without shame.

We have a long record to watch Biden, other than his nepotism, most people don't attribute the idea of getting rid of the inspector general's office, asking to delay to the election, casting doubt on almost every institution (good and bad), pardoning people who violate the law in for his personal benefit, or destroying requirements for respectful communication. One can only hope that he will do some repairing.

This is a structural problem that has to be addressed. It is like we are in a building that can collapse. It is VERY unlikely that Trump will address this, rather he will make it worse, build on it. Ultimately leading to civil war. The worst likely outcome is not communism, it is civil war.

For authoritarianism to work, it has to control the machinery of government. Our job is to prevent the machinery to be controllable in the ways that they want. Trump wants that control to be set up.

When a president can openly steal, bribe, influence jurors, openly invite outside forces to influence elections, constantly tear at the divides rather than trying to mend them, there is no protection against a dictator.

The structure has to be repaired, it won't happen with Trump but someone other than Trump, be it Republican or Democrat. Just someone else!

We need an inspector general's office, protection of a whistleblower at a  minimum, and for a functional system to protect us. Trump is dysfunctional getting rid of checks and balances. Communism, Fascism, Authoritarianism in general, can only work when levers of governance have lost their checks and balances and are openly ignored.

The argument against Hillary was a family, presidential dynasty that circuments or encourages circumvention of the rules, should not be allowed to be president. We initially say little evidence of this with Trump but now that we have seen clear and definite evidence of this behavior, it should be acted on.

Escaping socialism and running to the safety of fascism is not an escape to to safety. We can't get into a habit of pushing socialism away by destroying the fundamental rules of conduct of the executive branch and Congress. We need these rules in place to allow Capitalism to rise eventually. 

Our individual responsibility is to change the culture with reachable arguments, arguments that people can hear, art that can seep into the consciousness of the majority. We should NOT be in need of illegal or immoral or unfair means to win. 

That was Rand's greatest contribution to mankind.

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11 hours ago, whYNOT said:

No, I have not. One has to have observed the course of events closely for oneself.

I don't buy into the oneself part because we are both conceptual beings.

Therefore, I still expect you to provide some clues/indications YOU did observe and which made you to allege :

Quote

I think most of it [Trump’s chaotic and erratic behavior, clownishness] is bluff by Twitter to throw off or tease his virulent media opponents into frenzies… analogy - Columbo's (seeming) ingenuous naivete, lulling his suspects

 

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9 hours ago, Easy Truth said:

Pence et. al, are religious, but their religious agenda would not be any different than Trump's. Economically Pence is very Libertarian friendly. There would be a theocratic supreme court no matter if it were Trump or Pence. Some may argue that a theocratic Supreme court is anti altruist.

I really don't get what you're saying. Theocratic Supreme Court? I can't come up with the reason to say this. Saying Pence is Libertarian friendly economically speaking? I'm not sure how that is true either, and even if he was, his religious views directly inform his strong opposition to things like abortion, and radically so. He actually has a religious agenda. Trump's agenda isn't much of anything, except his degree of populism, but his actual enacted policies aren't much different than what we've had for decades (since Reagan probably).

9 hours ago, Easy Truth said:

We need an inspector general's office, protection of a whistleblower at a  minimum, and for a functional system to protect us. Trump is dysfunctional getting rid of checks and balances. Communism, Fascism, Authoritarianism in general, can only work when levers of governance have lost their checks and balances and are openly ignored.

That's fine, but if Biden gets us the same exact system, but center-left instead of center-right, we are merely adjusting the focus of the conversation. Trump is more bark than bite, and the severity of his bite I don't think is any worse than Obama or Bush. Previous elections may have been easier to weigh the benefits and make a pragmatic decision, but I think with this election, neither Biden nor Trump seem like they would do anything that would alter the radical political trends going on these days. I'm much more concerned about the 2024 election, and how this election will influence that one. 

 

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Does anyone recall whether the democrats were worried about the US increasing reliance on China for ... well ... almost everything.   Also, does anyone recall democrats reminding Americans that China is a Communist state and not to get too cozy,  or rely too much upon them, economically, manufacturing wise, for medicines like antibiotics etc?  

 

I don’t know, do any Objectivists find America’s previous complacent reliance on, naive appeasement of, blind faith in, and essentially forfeiting a portion of its self-reliance and independence to a dictatorial Communist State (one whose explicit political ideology is diametrically opposite to everything good about America no matter how flawed its current mixed economy is) even remotely alarming?

What is most likely going to be the democrat’s policy and action on China and America’s ability to be as self reliant as possible as China continues bolder and bolder moves on the world stage?

 

Trump probably is the only president who could or would have stood up to China before its too late... and it might already be too late.

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27 minutes ago, StrictlyLogical said:

Does anyone recall whether the democrats were worried about the US increasing reliance on China for ... well ... almost everything.

SL, unfortunately that argument gives the opposition ammunition of "I told you so".

The Socialists have been against free trade with China forever. 
They have been vehemently against it.

That is a populist position that could have allowed Bernie to win, Trump used it for himself.

But even Trump's position was not against their stealing intellectual property or dependence, it has been and issue "stealing your jobs".

The Bernie Sanders and Elizabeth Warren Wing have been against free trade with China, Mexica, Canada and even the European free trade deal.

It has and is against any free trade deal with any one.

Sadly, highly regulated trade (or no free trade) is the cornerstone of the Democratic party.

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9 minutes ago, Easy Truth said:

But even Trump's position was not against their stealing intellectual property or dependence, it has been and issue "stealing your jobs".

Don't forget his pathetic response to authoritarian measures by China against Hong Kong and even Taiwan.

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1 hour ago, Easy Truth said:

SL, unfortunately that argument gives the opposition ammunition of "I told you so".

The Socialists have been against free trade with China forever. 
They have been vehemently against it.

That is a populist position that could have allowed Bernie to win, Trump used it for himself.

But even Trump's position was not against their stealing intellectual property or dependence, it has been and issue "stealing your jobs".

The Bernie Sanders and Elizabeth Warren Wing have been against free trade with China, Mexica, Canada and even the European free trade deal.

It has and is against any free trade deal with any one.

Sadly, highly regulated trade (or no free trade) is the cornerstone of the Democratic party.

“Told you so” Hardly.

I am asking about the concrete long term threat China poses, and the current rapidly weakened position of America.

This isn’t some nit picky philosophical grading rubric about globalization, trade, or  immigration.  I’m not saying Trump is at all philosophically driven let alone correct in his philosophy and deserving of our gold sticker of approval.

 

This is about long term strategy... dare I say cold war strategy... in the face of a prodigious Communist enemy who should not be underestimated, placated, appeased, nor ignored any longer.

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9 hours ago, AlexL said:

I don't buy into the oneself part because we are both conceptual beings.

Therefore, I still expect you to provide some clues/indications YOU did observe and which made you to allege :

 

AlexL, we are conceptual beings *because* we first regard and induce instances of reality - in this case - a person's words/behavior, and infer certain traits of character and assess the intent of the person. This is only doable by each individual, one can't "see" for another. I cannot list everyone of those instances re: Trump -  I haven't followed nor remember more than a quoted sampling of his often extravagant Tweets and watch the malicious CNN a bare minimum lately. Plenty enough instances and reactions in the past 3years though to extrapolate an inference.

Such as when (e.g.) he made a sympathetic-sounding  remark for that Ghislaine Maxwell being arrested. Outrage erupted, with the media trying to link him to the sleazy operation, claiming his sympathy meant he must have been one of her clients! (Turns out he was referring ironically to her survival chances in the wake of Epstein's death...).

He was playing the media again. Who are so insane with loathing they fall for his ploys every time.

So CNN, etc. is exposed for its bad and biased journalism. (A trait of Leftists I constantly note  is not being able to see, let alone acknowledge, their own contradictions or hypocrisy - they never seem to be embarrassed when caught out in deceit and corruption; but other people there and abroad do, are amused by the MSM and lose most trust in them). In short, Trump deceives them with his minor asides and sleight of hand, which reveals their premises.

Similar with Det. Colombo who only needed to act (purposely) dumb, then, to allow his suspects enough rope to hang themselves with. Like above, the suspects took him literally but not seriously (at their cost).

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13 hours ago, Easy Truth said:

The fundamental case for Biden is to stop the fact that corruption is being embedded or being attempted to be embedded in our system of governance.

Basement Biden fighting corruption, now that's pretty funny.

13 hours ago, Easy Truth said:

Trump is destroying the makeup of governance, maybe in the name of getting rid of the deep state, the valid state functions are being destroyed.

Which valid state functions are being destroyed?

13 hours ago, Easy Truth said:

Supposedly he is for law and order yet he undercuts the FBI and takes Putin's word.

Why would he "undercut" the FBI? They've been nothing but nice to him.

13 hours ago, Easy Truth said:

His misogynist statements are normal, in many cases based on the idea that "the other guy did it", so I can do it openly now.

What's hilarious is that Ayn Rand might have said more "misogynist statements" than Trump ever did. What do you think is Trump's most misogynistic statement?

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1 hour ago, StrictlyLogical said:

This is about long term strategy... dare I say cold war strategy... in the face of a prodigious Communist enemy who should not be underestimated, placated, appeased, nor ignored any longer.

But this is making a case that Trump would do a better Job (objectively speaking). Question is, "are Democrats against such a policy?".

What can be said with certainty that is a republican talking point. It started the wall Street Journal April 22, 2020 and ever since we hear more and more about it.

"With the economy in shambles and the pandemic ravaging the country, making the election a referendum on China is perhaps Mr. Trump’s only chance to extend his White House tenure past January 2021."

The argument will get some votes on the republican side but I wonder if it may in fact get just as many (or more) on the democratic side.

Looking at the big picture, Obama strategically moved the US focus from the Middle East to East Asia, primarily to counter China and Biden was part of that Strategy. Trump moved it back to the Middle East somewhat thinking that he could Charm China and North Korea (i.e. that they are not as big a threat as we think). Can one say he took his eye off the ball? In reality, there is no point in saying Trump's effort was a complete failure, because it was a gamble and it may have worked. Now it is plan B.

And on the other side of the coin, Democrats have NOT shown a special love for China unless you have some data on that. Biden personally has been a law and order and foreign policy hawk for a long time. Almost like a typical republican with his (past) friendship with Mccain and Lindsey Graham would attest. So it is a hard case to make that Trump the only one laser focused on this policy.

Keep in mind, in the process of free trade, China has become a very fragile Communist system. The population wants more and more of the Capitalism that they have seen. You realize that there used to be 10,000 protests per year in China in the early 2000nds, and now more than 100,000 riots in China per year (180k in 2010). At any moment this house of cards can fall, mostly because the population was woken up to a better world. One one hand that is good that is weakens the leadership. On the other hand it is bad because the leadership has gotten aggressive to raise public support for itself with its aggressive moves in India and the South China Sea. It could lead to an invasion of Taiwan if pushed hard enough. So pick your poison.

The actual and specific problem with trade with China is specifically the transfer of technology to improve their military which would be a concern for any party in our government, not just a Republican or Trump administration. Even the Green Party will not want to sell them weapons that would be used against us.

Morally speaking, China has to pay compensation over COVID-19. And those countries that got hit, and got large Chinese Loans are the best way to cause a loss to China. Like Africa, Italy etc. If they can be encouraged to NOT to PAY China back, it would be great. But there is no talk of that by anyone it seems.

There is no discernible advantage to Trump leading that effort, but it may have some political benefit to push that claim.

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On 8/3/2020 at 9:18 PM, MisterSwig said:

What's hilarious is that Ayn Rand might have said more "misogynist statements" than Trump ever did. What do you think is Trump's most misogynistic statement?

You'd have to wonder how history could have changed if another supposed "misogynist", Winston Churchill, had not risen to Prime Minister and another - and nicer one -  had appeased Hitler, at that critical crossroads. He was from many accounts, brashly unpleasant, certainly a British Imperialist, one could say, a "Nationalist", and physically unattractive (all black marks against him in today's socially sensitized context) who happened to have a more acute view of reality than any politician, and a foreboding of a future and dominant Nazi Europe which the Britons' freedom and character would never submit to. His unpopular (among the upper class, those elitists) stand against Hitler eventually united the country in the effort of 'sacrifice' and resistance in order to keep this value. But that was also a generation of people with more individual courage and integrity to do what was right, less concerned with stifling, surface pretences of 'social virtue'.

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5 hours ago, whYNOT said:

You'd have to wonder how history could have changed if another supposed "misogynist", Winston Churchill, had not risen to Prime Minister

First off, there is no point judging Ayn Rand as one would a President of the United States.
Secondly Misogyny is not a virtue
Thirdly. Rand, a female author, showed off admirable women with high self esteem, while Trump, a male President, focused on "bleeding", obesity, ugly faces, and insestuous feelings.

To take a demonstrated flaw that Trump has and to find someone with the same flaw that did something good, does not absolve him of the evil.

Furthermore, to elevate Misogyny to being a virtue is ludicrous, even shameful and heinous.

If you want to argue what is good about him, you can be coherent and objective.

1. He did not move us into any major wars
2. He does not drink Alcohol
3. He has Kids that don't commit suicide or do drugs
4. He was the "different" candidate after Obama/Hillary
5. He pushed through "right to try" drugs
6. He wanted to have health insurance offered beyond state borders
(and maybe others)

These would be understandable, but elevating vices is losing one's moral compass and plain stupid.

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48 minutes ago, Easy Truth said:

First off, there is no point judging Ayn Rand as one would a President of the United States.
Secondly Misogyny is not a virtue
Thirdly. Rand, a female author, showed off admirable women with high self esteem, while Trump, a male President, focused on "bleeding", obesity, ugly faces, and insestuous feelings.

To take a demonstrated flaw that Trump has and to find someone with the same flaw that did something good, does not absolve him of the evil.

Furthermore, to elevate Misogyny to being a virtue is ludicrous, even shameful and heinous.

If you want to argue what is good about him, you can be coherent and objective.

1. He did not move us into any major wars
2. He does not drink Alcohol
3. He has Kids that don't commit suicide or do drugs
4. He was the "different" candidate after Obama/Hillary
5. He pushed through "right to try" drugs
6. He wanted to have health insurance offered beyond state borders
(and maybe others)

These would be understandable, but elevating vices is losing one's moral compass and plain stupid.

I drew a parallel of two considered 'misogynists'. (WC was heard to be rude to one or two women, he didn't suffer fools). I mentioned nothing about Rand, btw.

And who said Trump (or Churchill for that matter) was misogynistic? Or even racist? Only his critics, bred in political correctness and social metaphysics.

I don't think it's true, obviously, why I said "supposed". And I did not and do not "elevate" misogyny to a virtue - bla, bla.

Misogyny, another brand of collectivism. Save the lecture for someone who needs it.

Objective argument is to argue in essentials, not quibbling on inessentials. Churchill, for all his perceived or real flaws, was instrumental in keeping Britain free from Nazi fascism.  If anyone reads this as Trump, his flaws notwithstanding, being the last line of defense against Leftist/Marxist fascism, be my guest..

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12 hours ago, Easy Truth said:

First off, there is no point judging Ayn Rand as one would a President of the United States.

That wasn't the plan.

12 hours ago, Easy Truth said:

Thirdly. Rand, a female author, showed off admirable women with high self esteem, while Trump, a male President, focused on "bleeding", obesity, ugly faces, and insestuous feelings.

Rand called women "parasitic" and "revolting," and she thought they were "psychologically unworthy" of becoming President. It's pretty easy when you drop all context whatsoever. 

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On 8/3/2020 at 8:08 PM, whYNOT said:

...

Your claim was that most of Trump’s chaotic and erratic behavior etc. is only “bluff to throw off or tease his virulent media opponents into frenzies”, but is not fundamental to his personality.

You mention some instances when, in your opinion, he is doing this bluffing and provocation, namely directed toward media. This is not sufficient to prove that.

What about the chaotic and erratic behavior outside and beyond his interaction with the media, namely in domestic and foreign policies, in WH personnel decisions etc.? Are these also for bluffing/taunting the hostile media?

So: no, I cannot buy your arguments to explain away his behavior.

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8 hours ago, AlexL said:

You mention some instances when, in your opinion, he is doing this bluffing and provocation, namely directed toward media. This is not sufficient to prove that.

I find it interesting that when I hear people say things like Trump is only doing it to the media, they don't realize that he is doing it to the people as well. WhyNot doesn't recognize how he is been manipulated, even if you point it out. Just to remind some people, Trump has gotten his supporters to either believe that he didn't want to close down the economy in order to maintain economic health, and also to believe that he did want to close down the economy in order to save lives. The brilliant thing about Trump is that he manages to hold two positions at once, and people get distracted when they only argue about one of those positions at a time. 

 

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If anyone is under any illusion that the Democrats have been so sick for power, they will go to any lengths to gain and keep it, the rule-of-mob riots and their soft handling - more like aiding and abetting - of by some governors and mayors should disabuse you. Now a Dem Senator has refused to condemn Antifa (citing "their freedom of speech" - right, like invited speakers on many campuses had their freedom upheld by Leftists...) at a hearing. And the msm spews the deceit of "peaceful protests". Why should the Left condemn Antifa and BLM? These are their attack dogs, brute force available on tap to cow opponents into submission. Although they will find the leashes are around their necks, if they ever want to curb Antifa. 

Put the shoe on the other foot, and if it were white supremacists and the Aryan Brotherhood rampaging, violently occupying and frightening people in cities for some pretext of an injustice suffered to one of their own. You can bet that they'd be instantly condemned and stopped - by Republicans and conservatives. Then of course the white racists would draw international vilification instead of obeisance. Thankfully they've been quiet. 

Here's the 'wakky-ness on both sides' which Yaron sees and finds moral equivalence in. For moral character and value in the country and respect for the Constitution, not even close.

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