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Biden is our only hope, says Yaron Brook

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2 hours ago, Eiuol said:

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.

Trump has his contradictions, but here there are two issues to distinguish. He was talking about banning travel from China and Europe to protect America from further infection. So he partially shut down international economic relations, which is probably what he was referring to. Then there is the issue of shutting down domestic economic relations, which he doesn't even have much control over. That's been handled by local and state officials.

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I am not trying to provide an explanation of all his behavior, in every instance, but pointing out that having a hostile and prejudiced Press (from the very start) against one has to have something to

I meant what I said. In the examples that I gave, his orders clearly violated well-established law, though perhaps you are not happy about with the law on these points. Your response is mostly part di

I don’t agree with this. Explaining why requires two distinctions. - Dictatorial about government policy versus dictatorial to the USA’s people in general. - A dictator personally versus a d

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No, he wasn't talking about shutting down economic relations. He said: "I shut it down; I closed down the greatest economy ever in history. I closed it down. Now we're opening it." I would be perfectly fine if he said he shut down international economic relations with China, but that's not what he said. An interesting strategy he has is to talk about related topics such that we would want to infer what he probably meant in order to make sense of why he would bring up to topics right next to each other. When we get down to the words themselves, there is no causal relationship between his claims. Psychologically this is effective because people on average try to establish a sensible causal story connecting a series of statements. But if the speaker doesn't actually use causal connectors between facts, then you can't make up the connection for them.

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Clarification: you shouldn't make inferences of what someone means if they don't even establish a causal or logical connection between statements. This can be fine in discussion, because then you ask for clarification. Except clarification in this case is apparently just throwing out more words.

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On 8/6/2020 at 8:26 AM, AlexL 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.

I am not trying to provide an explanation of all his behavior, in every instance, but pointing out that having a hostile and prejudiced Press (from the very start) against one has to have something to do with his actions. It meant that not a single Executive decision would ever meet with approval or a fair debate. He took them on at their own game, and I don't believe this was always smart or principled. I don't fault his unconventional methods in foreign policies, keeping enemies guessing and showing they can voluntarily make good choices: a carrot or the stick. My position is the over all positives for the country, not the personality/style of the president. This isn't a Mr Congeniality Contest. There is no such thing as perfection in a political leader. The Objectivist "good" - for whom and for what purpose? -  surpasses that mystical, intrinsicist notion, anyway. In short, you make best use of what you're given, making constructive criticism. The alternative on offer to any standards of freedom and self-responsibility - and a thriving US economy/employment which did enable and encourage those moral goods - until this year -  does not bear considering. Not necessarily in Biden's time in office, if that should happen, but veering further Left is being planned after him, no doubt.

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On 7/26/2020 at 2:16 PM, Dupin said:

If anyone is still interested in the goings on at the Ayn Rand Institute, Yaron Brook has come out strongly in support of Biden for President: 

 

I'm with Yaron Brook.  All things considered, Trump's abject failure as a president to even accomplish what little is good about his agenda, plus his pitiful response to Covid-19, in which his government failed to protect the rights of Americans against being infected by others, and add to that his disrespect for voting rights and the woman's right to an abortion, and that leaves only the choice that Yaron Brook advocates.

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Given the choice between an inconsistent good and a consistent evil, I'd go for the good side, even though it's inconsistent.

Prior to Ayn Rand, the Platonistic philosophies led the way in (internal) consistency, compared to the Aristotelian ones. It's a good thing that Ayn Rand preferred Aristotelianism (which was more consistent with reality) and it's good that she was also able to correct its inconsistencies. I think we should follow her example in that.

To my mind, this would mean voting for Trump in spite of all of his problems. This does not mean pretending his problems don't exist or don't matter; quite the contrary; these problems need to be called out -- and the proper solutions need to be explained to the public, at least on paper.

You may be asking why I hold that Trump, rather than Biden, is the "inconsistent good." Trump does support quite a few evil policies, such as infringing the rights of people in the US who wish to hire immigrants, and infringing the rights of women "who are pregnant or might become pregnant" you could say, and he does sometimes support policies that would dangerously increase the power of government, but I think the difference is that the evils he supports do not follow logically from his core position, which is pro-freedom on a sense of life level -- whereas the evil policies that Biden supports do flow from his core position, which I think is government over freedom. It should be easy to tell Trump that, if he really wants to support freedom, he should do X instead of Y. Even if Trump doesn't listen, others might, and that clears the way for Trump's mistakes to be corrected by others. You can't do that sort of thing for Biden because his evil is much more fundamental; he doesn't really want to support freedom. You could try to appeal to Biden's desire for prosperity, I suppose, but I think if anyone actually persuaded Biden that prosperity doesn't flow from government, he wouldn't support prosperity anymore.

I don't think Biden himself is a far leftist, but the far leftists share his fundamental ideas, and are more consistent about them than he is. (Edit: So Biden isn't quite the "consistent evil" I was describing at the top, because he's inconsistent, too. But a decision between an inconsistent good and an inconsistent evil ought to be easier... and I am worried about the people riding his coattails.) What the far leftists object to most about Trump is not any particular policy or mistake -- it's the American desire for freedom itself; that is what they regard as Trump's greatest evil. They regard freedom as "racist" and so forth. Freedom is Trump's core position; freedom is what he is appealing to when he campaigns.

Another thing. Given the choice between communism and civil war -- given that the civil war would be about communism -- I think it would be better to fight communism than to give in to it, so if it came to it, I'd actually prefer civil war.

Some people think we can just split the United States into two countries, but that won't work because socialism and communism are parasitic in nature. You would have one country that needs to enslave the other, and that would lead to war, anyway.

The communists of course would prefer willing slaves over the kind of people who would fight to the death for their freedom. The communists need willing slaves in order to survive. If the communists don't have slaves, they will die off even if they win a civil war. That's probably what scares them the most.

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18 minutes ago, necrovore said:

Another thing. Given the choice between communism and civil war -- given that the civil war would be about communism -- I think it would be better to fight communism than to give in to it, so if it came to it, I'd actually prefer civil war.

Sounds to me that what you really think is that Civil War is coming, so you're picking your side now. You sound completely alarmist, apocalyptic even. Because of the statement here, I don't know how anyone could take it seriously. 

You say that

23 minutes ago, necrovore said:

but I think the difference is that the evils he supports do not follow logically from his core position, which is pro-freedom on a sense of life level

as if this encourages me to think that the lack of logical coherence is reassuring. You are emphasizing to me that anyone can take what he says to mean whatever they want. If you support something you disagree with and think is fundamentally evil, all you will do is say "it doesn't follow from his core position". This is a nice way of saying "whenever he supports evil, it in no way logically follows from anything he believes, so any evil he does is completely arbitrary and without reason of any kind". 

And here's the thing: why should I believe that of any evil he supports, it doesn't logically follow from his core position? What if the evil he does support logically follows from his core position? I can just as easily switch around to say this: the evil he supports logically follows from his core position, but the difference is that the good he supports does not logically follow from his core position, which is self-serving narcissism. 

 

 

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You wrote:

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Sounds to me that what you really think is that Civil War is coming, so you're picking your side now.

Are you saying I shouldn't pick sides?

"One side is right and the other is wrong, but the middle is always evil."

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You sound completely alarmist, apocalyptic even.

Haven't you been watching the news? ...

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Because of the statement here, I don't know how anyone could take it seriously.

They could if they looked at the full context. But also, I was responding to a half-remembered statement from EasyTruth who said:

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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.... 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.

I disagree and think the worst outcome is actually communism, especially if it wins without a fight.

I don't really want a civil war. Is it too much to hope that the far left would lose the election, get discouraged, and just go home and cry themselves to sleep? I would prefer that...

Back to you:

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You say [that Trump's evils don't follow from his core position] as if this encourages me to think that the lack of logical coherence is reassuring. You are emphasizing to me that anyone can take what he says to mean whatever they want. If you support something you disagree with and think is fundamentally evil, all you will do is say "it doesn't follow from his core position". This is a nice way of saying "whenever he supports evil, it in no way logically follows from anything he believes, so any evil he does is completely arbitrary and without reason of any kind".

No, that's not my position at all. The key to understanding my position here is fundamentality.

Trump has a lot of views. Some of them are mutually contradictory. And some of them are more fundamental than others. Anyone's views about reality are more fundamental than their views about freedom, which in turn are more fundamental than their views about abortion, which in turn are more fundamental than their views about third-trimester abortions, and so forth. So if somebody holds two contradictory views, but one of them is more fundamental than the other, then it should be easier for the more fundamental one to win out. In other words, they can possibly be persuaded to "flip" on the less fundamental view.

If somebody already believes that freedom is good then they probably have a lot of reasons for that. But then if they believe that allowing abortion is bad, then they are contradicting themselves because they are contradicting the notion that freedom is good. So you could try convincing them that abortion is good because freedom is good -- and in that case you have "ammo" coming from all the other reasons why freedom is good -- and you can show how a belief that abortion is bad contradicts all of those reasons. Or someone could try convincing them that freedom is bad because abortion is bad, but that is more difficult, because now all that "ammo" is working against them.

Similarly if somebody already believes that freedom is bad, then they probably have a lot of reasons for that. (These reasons would have to be false in this case, but the person would still have them.) If they also believe that prosperity is good, then they have a contradiction, but their belief about freedom is more fundamental. So trying to convince them that freedom is good because prosperity is good, would be an uphill battle, because all their "reasons" for freedom being bad would seem to contradict such a notion. On the other hand, it would be easy to talk them into believing that prosperity is actually bad because freedom is bad, because all their "reasons" for believing that freedom is bad could be used as ammo against prosperity, too.

It's pretty unlikely that anyone could change the views of Trump himself -- but there are open-minded people out there who might currently agree with Trump, but be unsure of their agreement, because of the contradictions. Their views could possibly be made more correct than they already are, and thus, cultural change could be accomplished.

I suppose that it would be possible to argue that Trump has a false belief which is more fundamental than freedom, such as a false view about reality itself. You would also have to argue that his fundamental belief about reality contradicts his belief about freedom. In that case, someone could turn him against freedom by using his own beliefs about reality.

This would be possible, for example, if he were a staunch religionist, if he believed in God instead of reality. Then someone could point out all of the "reasons" for his belief in God and how those all contradict the notion that freedom is good. No, freedom is bad, they would say, because it permits disobedience to God.

I don't think that will be a problem, because Trump is not a religionist. He does pay lip service to religion, but I think he is just pandering for votes, and in fact, many religious people think that, too.

Biden is a religionist, though: his religion is government.

In the cases of both Trump and Biden, there is no contradiction between their beliefs about reality and their beliefs about freedom.

It has been said that this election is about "two conflicting realities." However, Trump at least uses reality when it suits him, and it does suit him sometimes; Biden rejects reality entirely [edit: well almost entirely], in favor of a "deeper truth." (This is what the leftists mean when they say that Trump is against "the truth." As far as they are concerned, communism is "the truth," and they do not think it should even be up for debate.)

I'll concede that Trump's view of reality is probably the primacy of consciousness variant that he "creates his own reality." He is not consistent in this regard. His view of reality is not a solid support for freedom, and it helps to make possible the evils that he does do, but it's probably easier to "rebase" a positive appraisal of freedom onto objective reality, than to try to persuade somebody like Biden to embrace an objective reality that contradicts everything he believes...

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1 hour ago, necrovore said:

Are you saying I shouldn't pick sides?

No. I'm referring to sides in the Civil War, not political sides. I don't think you should pick sides in this imaginary war right now, because it doesn't exist, it's fantasy, and a baseless position to reason from.

1 hour ago, necrovore said:

Anyone's views about reality are more fundamental than their views about freedom, which in turn are more fundamental than their views about abortion, which in turn are more fundamental than their views about third-trimester abortions, and so forth.

Right, and by saying that the evil he does *doesn't follow from his core beliefs* demonstrates that he is willing to contradict his beliefs. You weren't talking about mistakes in the application of reason, you weren't even talking about some Machiavellian way of thinking that at least has some application of thought for the purpose of committing evil. You were talking about committing evil for completely arbitrary reasons, a willingness to abdicate reason at times. I would venture to say that committing evil for reasons that have nothing to do with core beliefs is more dangerous than committing evil for reasons that follow from core beliefs. 

But in any case, why can't I say that any evil he happens to do follows from his core beliefs? I'm using the evil he is committed as evidence for his core beliefs, but you are denying the evil he has committed as evidence for his core beliefs. I understand what you mean by fundamentality, but evil following from nothing at all seems pretty fundamental to me.

1 hour ago, necrovore said:

I'll concede that Trump's view of reality is probably the primacy of consciousness variant that he "creates his own reality.

Exactly what I'm getting at. To embrace objective reality contradicts everything he believes: the ability to create his own reality. 

 

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MisterSwig posted something on Facebook that is relevant here:

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The “lesser of two evils” means there is some good in Trump. Otherwise they would be equally evil. But in this case I see more good in Trump than evil. So it’s not even a case of the lesser evil. It’s a case between a flawed good and an evil.

Videos are an inefficient way to get news and commentary but this 20 minute video – skipping commercials – by Rudy Giuliani is worth the extra time.  Biden isn't just evil in the sense of evil politics, he is evil in the sense of corrupt as hell:
How Joe Biden Got Millions in Foreign Bribes
October 23rd 2020

Skimpy prose comment by Paul Craig Roberts:  NPR, CNN, NYT, Wa-Po, MSNBC, Twitter, Facebook, Google Presstitutes Covering Up Biden Scandals by Refusing to Report on Them

 

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I would venture to say that committing evil for reasons that have nothing to do with core beliefs is more dangerous than committing evil for reasons that follow from core beliefs.

I disagree, because it's much easier to show the error in committing evil, when it's for reasons that have nothing to do with core beliefs, because in that case you can use the core beliefs to show why it's evil.

This comes back to supporting an inconsistent good over a consistent evil. Consistency is a value when you're talking about ideas that are already good, but it is not a value in and of itself. Nothing is a value "in and of itself." To claim that "consistency is always better than inconsistency" is to evaluate "consistency" out of context. Making an evil idea more consistent makes it worse.

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18 hours ago, Yes said:

the rights of Americans against being infected by others

This is not a right. When you live in a society, you assume the natural risks inherent in that social condition. Other people must also live their lives, which means possibly infecting others with communicable diseases. You might have a case if they purposefully infect you, showing a malicious intent. But, otherwise, being exposed to disease is part of the struggle with nature.

In a pandemic, though, the risk might be so extreme that it constitutes a national emergency to the proper functioning of society itself. In emergencies it's not always clear how best to get out of them. Extreme measures, including restrictions on freedoms, are sometimes necessary, when simply interacting with others might increase the problem.

I don't blame Trump for failing to protect people from the Wu. It's like blaming him for failing to protect people from hurricanes and earthquakes. There was only so much Trump could do under our system of government. Mostly it's the state and local leaders' responsibility to deal with diseases spreading in their regions. 

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3 hours ago, necrovore said:

...

Making an evil idea more consistent makes it worse.

Well, there are two very different situations, action and propaganda.  In action something more consistently evil is probably worse than the same alloyed with good.  In propaganda probably the reverse is true.  Dictator wannabes mix truth with their lies the better to put them over.

About the original post, at Shysters you’ll find more election quotes by Yaron Brook, Peter Schwartz, Robert Mayhew, and several others at ARI.

 

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3 hours ago, necrovore said:

I disagree, because it's much easier to show the error in committing evil, when it's for reasons that have nothing to do with core beliefs, because in that case you can use the core beliefs to show why it's evil.

It may be easier, but easier doesn't mean more dangerous. Definitely, it's easier to demonstrate evil when evil actions follow from core beliefs, because it's predictable and logical. It's easy to see the logic in not voting for Biden, many people do, and that he has been complicit in evil. But when evil actions follow from beliefs that aren't even "core", and you can't boil down the evil action to some premise following from the core, there isn't really a way to demonstrate the evil. I can't make it appeals to reason, because there aren't reasons to speak of, right or wrong. How can I demonstrate the evil of someone who isn't even wrong? 

By the way, I agree that making an evil idea more consistent makes idea worse. I'm not talking about evil ideas, I'm talking about evil actions in the context of evaluating an entire person. We can't talk about how ideas themselves *use* reason, people do. Of course anyone who abandons reason will have no consistency whatsoever, but I'm not convinced that people who have abandoned reason or do evil for no particular reason are less dangerous than those who at least acknowledge the use of reason on some level. They are different kinds of danger, but I wouldn't say one is worse than the other. Pragmatically, I think you could make the case that Trump is a better choice strategically speaking, even if the two of them are equally as evil as individuals.

But I'd still like to know, if we assume that you're right about the core belief thing, why should I believe that Trump's core beliefs are freedom-oriented? What if his core belief is that "reason is impotent compared to my will"? 

 

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[from Dupin] Well, there are two very different situations, action and propaganda.  In action something more consistently evil is probably worse than the same alloyed with good.  In propaganda probably the reverse is true.  Dictator wannabes mix truth with their lies the better to put them over.

A mixture of truth and lies like that would be inconsistent, and it could be attacked on that basis.

Voting Biden into office is not a propaganda move, it's an action move. It means letting Biden put his ideas into action.

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[from Eiuol] What if his core belief is that "reason is impotent compared to my will"?

I don't think that's the case.

Trump believes he creates his own reality -- but he doesn't believe this consistently or across-the-board. Sometimes he does use reason and sometimes he doesn't -- and either way it's like the choice is by accident without him realizing what he is doing. He's pre-philosophical in this regard, and so he's more like an Aristotle with all of Aristotle's mistakes than like a Kant running a complete and systematic war against reason. I don't see Trump wanting to "crush reason." It seems he uses reason when he understands how to use it, which is much less often than would be ideal. But he does seem to at least partially accept its validity. That's the impression I get, anyway.

Sometimes he has failed to use reason correctly, sometimes he has failed to use it at all, and sometimes, when his enemies have falsely claimed to be using reason, he has failed to call them out on it (and this contributes to the notion that reason is on the side of his enemies). However, his failures in this regard are not unique to him and are not historically new.

In some cases these kinds of failures are leading to disastrous errors, such as regulating speech on the Internet -- but even Aristotle's mistakes have led to disastrous errors.

Biden, on the other hand, pays lip service to "science" but, in his view, science is a function of government, not of the individual mind. Biden does not believe in reason and attacks its necessary roots, such as the idea that reason is an attribute of the individual, and the idea that an individual uses reason to make his own choices (which is anathema to the idea that all the important choices should be made by the government and that the people should bend to its will).

(Edit: in case it isn't clear, I really wish that there were someone better than Trump who could become President. But I have to play the hand that I'm dealt...)

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46 minutes ago, necrovore said:

It seems he uses reason when he understands how to use it, which is much less often than would be ideal.

When? I'm looking for an example. I mean, most examples that I can think of that you might give I would say are clear examples of using emotionalism and primacy of consciousness, despite the positive consequences. You said that he makes the choice to use reason by accident. To me, that's a strong sign of emotionalism. I can think of positive moves with regard to regulations, and occasionally foreign policy with China, but reaching these conclusions doesn't necessarily have to do with using reason anyway, even by accident. He likes Xi's attention, seeming more to manipulate the situation so that reality bends to his will rather than some complex foreign-policy maneuver - and then failing in the long run to get Xi to bend anything. 

By the way, I don't think anyone alive can exist if they don't use the tiniest amount of reason, and the less they use, the more evil they are. I don't think Trump is worse than Hitler, but I don't think he's better than Biden.

46 minutes ago, necrovore said:

He's pre-philosophical in this regard

You know who else is pre-philosophical? Barbarians, like Attila the Hun. You know what Rand said about Atila? I'm being rhetorical here, so I won't say more about it.

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1 hour ago, Eiuol said:

You said that he makes the choice to use reason by accident. To me, that's a strong sign of emotionalism.

I agree with you here, since Peikoff does say in OPAR: "If one attempts to combine reason and emotionalism, the principle of reason cannot be his guide, the element that defines the terms of the compromise, because reason does not permit subjective feeling to have any voice in cognitive issues. Subjective feeling, therefore, which permits anyone anything he wants, must set the terms; it must be the element that decides the role and limits of reason. Thus the ruling principle of the epistemological middle-of-the-roader is: 'I will consult facts and obey the rules of evidence sometimes -- when I feel like it.'"

I still think, however, that this is the kind of mistake that can be called out and ultimately corrected. The person who makes this mistake is not necessarily as far gone as the kind of person who "has abandoned reason and cannot be dealt with any further." If he's willing to concede that reason works "sometimes" then maybe he can be led a little farther in its direction.

1 hour ago, Eiuol said:

You know who else is pre-philosophical? Barbarians, like Attila the Hun. You know what Rand said about Attila? I'm being rhetorical here, so I won't say more about it.

In OPAR, Peikoff wrote about the difference between

  • a primitive who "ha(s) no way to adhere to the axioms consistently and typically fall(s) into some form of contradicting the self-evident" and "subject(s) himself to an undeclared epistemological civil war," versus
  • the "even lower ... men of advanced civilization" who have a "declared inner war -- i.e., deliberate, systematic self-contradiction" (italics are Peikoff's).

I think Trump is an example of the former, and Biden is an example of the latter.

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6 hours ago, necrovore said:

I think Trump is an example of the former, and Biden is an example of the latter.

Okay, but that quote offers no argument about which one is worse. My issue is when you said that Trump's core belief is freedom *somewhere* in his barbaric epistemology. That's not a question of if Trump is better or worse than someone. I'm asking why I can't say that his core belief is "Trump first, Trump only", and leave it at that. We could calculate from there if strategically speaking that Trump is a better choice, but I don't see where in his actions I would see that freedom enters his thoughts any more than as a word that makes people yell 'Murica in a campaign rally. 

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I don't see the slightest appeal to Donald Trump. He's an anti-intellectual con-artist. And when I say "con-artist," I'm almost giving him too much credit; I don't see how he can "fool" anyone who isn't already complicit in his scams, if subconsciously. He's openly contemptuous of, among other things, the rule of law and democracy. He has undermined our institutions and our norms. He has no respect for any notion of "liberty" that we would recognize, nor for any other constraint on either his power or his personal ambition (the former is almost exclusively important to him as a means to the latter): he thinks nothing of using the law to advance his own interests and punish his perceived adversaries, or flouting the law for the same reasons. He is openly admiring of authoritarians and authoritarianism because that is what he wishes for himself. He is, at heart, at tyrant.

Biden is almost immaterial to the equation, except insofar as he is not Trump. He is the average and the ordinary, and while none of that is particularly good from my perspective, Trump shares every flaw and then goes further, does more, to damage rights and freedoms and undermine the office of the Presidency and our standing in the world. The communist takeover people fear from the left is a remote boogeyman that might be imaginable under other circumstances, or in the future (though it has nothing to do with a Biden administration, imo), but the danger that Trump represents is real, is imminent, is ongoing. If he is voted out of office, I'm not yet convinced that we will have avoided it.

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I don't see the slightest appeal to Donald Trump.

•  Trump has the right enemies. For example the Deep State – he is so repellent it’s existence has become widely known through its brazen attacks.

•  He saw the political expediency of bringing up the immigration issue in public.

•  He pointed out the bias in the news – “fake news.”  (Rand would have liked this one.)

•  He ended an Obama regulation that forced low-income housing onto suburbs.

•  He appointed Tom Fitton, president of Judicial Watch (founded by Larry Klayman), to a court oversight commission that can remove judges for misconduct.

•  He appointed three – count ’em, three – not-so-bad Supreme Court justices.  Can you imagine if Hillary ... but I don’t want to have nightmares.

•  His first Attorney General prosecuted elite child slavery rings. (I haven’t read anything about the current one, William Barr.)
hagmannreport.com/president-trump-zeros-in-on-elite-pedophiles
lizcrokin.com/uncategorized/trump-takes-two-dozen-elite-pedophiles-including-celebrities-politicians

•  He’s at least trying to prosecute those behind the Russiagate hoax (William Barr is dragging it out).

•  He withdrew the U.S. from the Paris Climate Accord.

•  He banned the indoctrination of federal government employees and contractors with critical race theory.

One could easily think of more but isn’t that enough?

 

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On 10/25/2020 at 11:24 PM, DonAthos said:

The communist takeover people fear from the left is a remote boogeyman that might be imaginable under other circumstances, or in the future (though it has nothing to do with a Biden administration, imo)

For the most part, I think the "communist takeover" is viewed as a true and real threat without much basis in reality it without even understanding what actually brings on communist revolution. It trivializes people who have experienced actual communist takeovers. Sometimes I think such people just fantasize about executing communists, or fantasize about their own revolution. 

 

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10 hours ago, Dupin said:

•  Trump has the right enemies. For example the Deep State – he is so repellent it’s existence has become widely known through its brazen attacks.

Deep state? Elite child slavery rings? I don't know how seriously to take any of this, and I fear we're treading close to some kind of QAnon, lizard-people-infested deep water. Suffice it to say that I am against child slavery (whether elite or pedestrian), and trust that both parties are broadly in agreement on that score, but I am not convinced that the "deep state," by which I take you to mean organizations like the FBI, or long-tenured bureaucrats in the State Dept., and etc., is either 1) an actual problem or 2) that Trump has engaged with it in any meaningful fashion. So far as I can tell from my somewhat remove, the swamp is just as swampy as ever, at minimum.

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•  He saw the political expediency of bringing up the immigration issue in public.

Is the insinuation that politicians have avoided discussing immigration publicly before Trump? That this is some new issue he's brought to light, or that he is the first populist to inflame and capitalize upon xenophobic fear? The first willing to violate the rights of others in the name of economic protectionism?

Regardless, Trump's stance on immigration is deeply immoral and a violation of fundamental rights. He has previously and routinely continues to initiate the use of force against innocents, as a matter of both policy and pride. Oughtn't that matter in the face of "political expediency," at least here?

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•  He pointed out the bias in the news – “fake news.”  (Rand would have liked this one.)

The idea that Rand would offer any form of support or sanction to Donald Trump is incomprehensible to me. He's Cuffy Meigs in clown paint. And if there is bias in the news (yes, certainly), the right wing sources that Trump peddles and regurgitates and follows slavishly are equally biased, or worse, or far worse.

(As an addendum, a liberal bias in mainstream media has been a common talking point since forever, and well before Trump decided he was himself no longer a Democrat. He gets no credit for that, though I'll allow that he has put it into bumper sticker form, whatever the cost to discourse or thought.)

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•  He ended an Obama regulation that forced low-income housing onto suburbs.

I agree that's a fine thing, in abstract, in isolation. But in context? Do I take it as some sign that Trump has an interest in liberty or individual rights, generally (or even any understanding of the same)? Do I think that a Trump presidency brings us meaningfully closer to capitalism? Or, these "victories" notwithstanding, do I think that Trump brings us further and faster towards totalitarianism than any of the mainstream Democrat alternatives?

(At the very least, Joe Biden will never be mistaken for some personal incarnation of Capitalism; when the Trump circus finally closes, we will have to work at untangling ourselves from him and his cronies for years, maybe decades.)

You have me quoted as saying, "I don't see the slightest appeal to Donald Trump," but perhaps that needs amending to: I don't see the slightest appeal to Donald Trump for anyone who wishes for individual rights to be protected in a principled manner. Celebrating the rolling back of a regulation here and there, or withdrawing from Paris, while Trump subverts the foundation of the very system, is a compounded tragedy. Of course he's going to bait the hook with something; doesn't mean we have to bite.

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•  He appointed three – count ’em, three – not-so-bad Supreme Court justices.  Can you imagine if Hillary ... but I don’t want to have nightmares.

Is this a net-positive if done in the service of pandering to religious interests for the obvious end of abrogating abortion rights, and through foul political means that will assuredly foster their own substantial blowback?

I can't blame the latter all on Trump or even McConnell; the Democrats and Republicans have been playing these games for decades. But the current escalation? It feels like the moment in Romeo & Juliet when the duel between Tybalt and Mercutio shifts from half-jest into an earnest life-and-death struggle. "Packing the court," which used to be and ought to be unconscionable, now seems like a vaguely realistic option, should the Dems obtain sufficient power. And of course that would demand its own escalating reprisal, and on and on. Where would that kind of games playing end, and who would be the loser? (Trick question: we all would.)

There needs to be an adult in the room to help put an end to that sort of nonsense, for the sake of the good of the country, and even at the cost of their own partisan advantage. I don't know whether Biden is that adult, and probably he isn't, but I do know that Trump is the very opposite -- an incendiary without any hint of scruple or self-control.

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•  He’s at least trying to prosecute those behind the Russiagate hoax (William Barr is dragging it out).

If you're going to use the term "fake news" unironically, you should at least apply the same sort of scrutiny to whatever your own sources of information happen to be.

Tangentially, whoever decided (and continues to decide) to append -gate to whatever scandal of the moment should be tarred and quartered. Or is it drawn and feathered? Hell, all of it, just to be sure.

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•  He banned the indoctrination of federal government employees and contractors with critical race theory.

I'm sure we agree that critical race theory is the devil. I'll count this as a point in Trump's favor, with some reservation, in part because I'm also concerned about his support for some kind of "patriotic education." I mean, I have him quoted (in Time) as saying, "Our youth will be taught to love America with all of their heart and all of their soul." That doesn't stir some fascist echo to your hearing?

Of course, perhaps the fault lies in the government's involvement with education, as such (and perhaps with some of those employees and contractors), but my broader point is that Trump isn't interested in liberty or any notion of "hands off." He's fully hands on -- no pussy-grabbing pun intended -- so long as the hands are his own, so long as he is the one in charge.

If the government wasn't involved with education at all, or "indoctrination" on whatever level, I'm certain Trump would wish it to be, would push for it to be, because his end is power. No principle, no credo, no ideology other than that. It's just about him and his power.

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One could easily think of more but isn’t that enough?

I'm sure it's enough. If one wished to make a bullet-point-style list of the deficiencies in Trump and his administration, how many pages do you suppose that would span?

3 hours ago, Eiuol said:

For the most part, I think the "communist takeover" is viewed as a true and real threat without much basis in reality it without even understanding what actually brings on communist revolution. It trivializes people who have experienced actual communist takeovers. Sometimes I think such people just fantasize about executing communists, or fantasize about their own revolution.

Of course you're right, on all counts. I was trying to be as generous as I could. I mean, it's not wrong that the left poses a real threat or several -- truly we seek to pass through Scylla and Charybdis -- but somehow there are Objectivists who continually lose sight of the dangers on the right, and it's maddening.

Edited by DonAthos
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13 hours ago, Dupin said:

•  Trump has the right enemies. For example the Deep State – he is so repellent it’s existence has become widely known through its brazen attacks.

•  He saw the political expediency of bringing up the immigration issue in public.

•  He pointed out the bias in the news – “fake news.”  (Rand would have liked this one.)

•  He ended an Obama regulation that forced low-income housing onto suburbs.

•  He appointed Tom Fitton, president of Judicial Watch (founded by Larry Klayman), to a court oversight commission that can remove judges for misconduct.

•  He appointed three – count ’em, three – not-so-bad Supreme Court justices.  Can you imagine if Hillary ... but I don’t want to have nightmares.

•  His first Attorney General prosecuted elite child slavery rings. (I haven’t read anything about the current one, William Barr.)
hagmannreport.com/president-trump-zeros-in-on-elite-pedophiles
lizcrokin.com/uncategorized/trump-takes-two-dozen-elite-pedophiles-including-celebrities-politicians

•  He’s at least trying to prosecute those behind the Russiagate hoax (William Barr is dragging it out).

•  He withdrew the U.S. from the Paris Climate Accord.

•  He banned the indoctrination of federal government employees and contractors with critical race theory.

One could easily think of more but isn’t that enough?

 

His appointment of justices, hopefully, will prevent further erosion of the Constitution and the slow slippery slide toward Statism and Socialism that accompanies it.

IF I didn't have a touch of "orange man bad"-syndrome... I'd have to say that this speech at Amy Coney Barret's swearing in ceremony was actually pretty good.

https://youtu.be/Qi8yZdOmESE

 

Dupin...

There are those who do not see that the Marxist movement have been using race, identity politics, health care, the environment, and countless other false causes to advance their grasping for power.. to attack America and Capitalism in media, schools, universities and other institutions to trap the unwary... Do not doubt they have ensnared some subconsciously left-leaning self-proclaimed "Objectivists"... but always keep in mind, there IS no such thing as a left-leaning Objectivist.

Edited by StrictlyLogical
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On 10/24/2020 at 10:15 AM, MisterSwig said:

This is not a right. When you live in a society, you assume the natural risks inherent in that social condition. Other people must also live their lives, which means possibly infecting others with communicable diseases. You might have a case if they purposefully infect you, showing a malicious intent. But, otherwise, being exposed to disease is part of the struggle with nature.

 

The assumption being made here is that humans have no control over nature when it comes to one's right to live a healthy life.  And yes- one has a right to live a healthy life, free of infections.  Science has spent innumerable resources in developing those items which enable one to live out life in a healthy manner, whether by vaccines, treatments, drugs, or simple wellness measures.  I disagree there is an "assumption of natural risks"  as the awareness of natural risks comes with knowledge.  One's right to live a life of "life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness" must include wellness.  And the government, in its mission to protect our rights, has to include protecting us from infectious diseases.

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4 hours ago, StrictlyLogical said:

Do not doubt they have ensnared some subconsciously left-leaning self-proclaimed "Objectivists"... but always keep in mind, there IS no such thing as a left-leaning Objectivist.

You can disagree all you want, and that's perfectly fine.

But you're insinuating that DonAthos has been ensnared by Marxism, isn't a "real" Objectivist (which should be interpreted as you saying "you have the audacity to think for yourself and come to different conclusions than me, a Galt-fearing Objectivist?), and that being anywhere to the left of Trump makes him a subconscious leftist (as if everything is on a right-left dichotomy). At least if you're going to personally attack someone, use their name.

Necrovore and I disagreed and still talked without accusing each other of being manipulated by others or being disingenuous. Be more like that.

 

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