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2020 election

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20 hours ago, Eiuol said:

Which I think is naïve to believe (tactical deception of the media is manipulation anyway and all I meant). That's not an argument on my part. Do you forget though that Trump has very strong allies in the media in general (Fox sometimes, and Breitbart although it is not really mainstream)? And that Trump is really good at making bad press into good press? 

But I still don't know why it's so hard to acknowledge that whatever you think of Trump, he was ineffective at stopping his opponents. You can argue that he was effective at other things, but certainly not effective at winning...

This logic is confounding. I.e. Trump was effective in some/many ways and meeting goals so should have been effective at the last hurdle, re-election?

That's apparent "perfectionism" coming up. Reminder: "Good? for whom and for what purpose". The perfect politician will never exist, just good for the period and context. And how does one 'stop' one's opposition, without recourse to authoritarian or under-hand and unconstitutional means? damned if he does ...etc.

Apparently he wasn't "good" enough for most voters. Results weren't enough for them, perceptions took prime position. That's their look out, not any or altogether his. If their feelings ruled their critical judgments concerning the ultimate good of the country, that they'd rather turn to unknown territory, a future of Biden/Harris,  indeed if they have a far different vision of what the country and people should be, who's at fault?

(Whatever I saw from Fox has been a quite fair mixture of criticism and credit due to the president  - a try for impartiality other media could have done well to emulate if they took professional pride in the Fourth Estate. So - one supportive-to neutral TV news channel against the tide of enraged and sneering opposition networks and their anchors. No contest).  

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5 hours ago, whYNOT said:

This logic is confounding. I.e. Trump was effective in some/many ways and meeting goals so should have been effective at the last hurdle, re-election?

Why is it confounding? I didn't say "if he was effective at those things then he should have been effective at winning the election". I'm saying that regardless of how he was or was not effective at all kinds of things, he wasn't effective at beating his opponents in the election. Maybe he won all the battles, but he sure as hell lost the war. 

5 hours ago, whYNOT said:

And how does one 'stop' one's opposition, without recourse to authoritarian or under-hand and unconstitutional means? damned if he does ...etc.

...better persuasion? 

 

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On 11/22/2020 at 2:13 AM, whYNOT said:

Honest individuals presume upon others' good faith and equal honesty, they don't try to manipulate perceptions of reality in their favor.

Too much virtue is placed in being truthful with other people. It's not automatically virtuous to tell someone the truth. You need to be honest with yourself, because that's a matter of recognizing reality. But lying to an enemy or moron might be necessary to achieve something good in life. I certainly don't presume other people are honest. I deal with them the way they actually are. And whether I tell someone the truth or not depends on my self-interest. Under normal circumstances I wouldn't lie to a friend. I would probably lie to an enemy if it saved me a nickel.

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4 hours ago, Eiuol said:

Why is it confounding? I didn't say "if he was effective at those things then he should have been effective at winning the election". I'm saying that regardless of how he was or was not effective at all kinds of things, he wasn't effective at beating his opponents in the election. Maybe he won all the battles, but he sure as hell lost the war. 

...better persuasion? 

 

You're missing the bigger picture, methinks. Look past Trump.

The Democrats won by fostering a climate of fear.

They had all the essential tools in their pocket: a monolithic media, the movie industry, Silicon Valley billionaires, a controlling social media, the embedded Leftist intelligentsia, many scientists, etc. - doing their part to promote ... you name it: 'Runaway' global warming, the Covid virus and deaths and lockdowns, racial discord, street violence, Western cultural shame, "Right Wing fascists" ....

And before someone cries "Conspiracy Theory!" to add, those elements and individuals didn't have to plan and collude, explicitly. I'm certain some did. Tacitly, they all understand how to take over the nation's minds. Feelings.

Fear dominates thought, guilt saps self-confidence.

You'd have to believe that bodes badly for the future. Anyone and any political/ideological institution who'd stoop this low to take over power has to be morally corrupt beneath anything we've known.

("Give up a little freedom for a little security and you deserve neither and will lose both").

Bear that in mind: The climate of fear.

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57 minutes ago, whYNOT said:

The Democrats won by fostering a climate of fear.

Sure. I just wish there was somebody that was effective at pushing back against that. The sooner you acknowledge that Trump failed in this regard, the sooner you will find someone that will be effective in the next election. 

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13 hours ago, Eiuol said:

Sure. I just wish there was somebody that was effective at pushing back against that. The sooner you acknowledge that Trump failed in this regard, the sooner you will find someone that will be effective in the next election. 

How does one "find" someone? The choices of candidates are out of our control.

And are we political activists ... or active philosopher-intellectuals? One tries to influence the philosophical grounds which are consequent to the political. Never by duty but in conceived value/self-interest.

But next time round, it would be nice if Objectivists were in accord and distinguish (identify/evaluate) better. This party from that one, this individual from that - is the better path to improved, at least sustaining some freedom. While that route will lose freedom.

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14 hours ago, whYNOT said:

But next time round, it would be nice if Objectivists were in accord and distinguish (identify/evaluate) better. This party from that one, this individual from that - is the better path to improved, at least sustaining some freedom. While that route will lose freedom.

That certainly would be nice.

Trump raises the specter of the death of American democracy. Quite beyond what Trump himself represents in his lack of principle, and in his easy, thoughtless willingness to violate liberty, to lie, defraud and cheat -- what would the decline of our democratic institutions mean for individual rights, in either the short or the long term? How would we better safeguard rights by entrusting them to a man who has shown consistent disdain for every liberal virtue, rights included?

Further, if Trump had gotten his way (and while I feel a touch optimistic, at present, we're not out of the woods yet) and if he had managed to overturn this election through spinning ridiculous conspiracy theories, cynical legal maneuvering and malevolent political pressure, what would have resulted? What would the immediate response have been and what would have been his reply? How could it result in anything other than blood in the streets, martial law, and maybe even some form of civil war?

I won't say that no one who supports or supported Trump is disqualified from being an Objectivist: unfortunately, there are many misguided, deeply wrong Objectivists on this and many other issues. But those Objectivists who continue to cheer on the possibility of a democracy-destroying coup in America, and all it would entail, are in dire need of reflection.

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Would anyone dare call Biden or Obama "xenophobic"?**

Does anyone recall that Obama was briefly called the Deporter in Chief? (Not to be heard again). Trump conversely was forthright - candid - about his intentions on border control and paid the price in a bad public image all over the world. But never Obama!

That's the power of the media's "narrative", what you are allowed to hear, what you don't hear, what you see/don't see, what you selectively remember and what is believed and felt create an image of a person or an issue.

From an article by Chris Farrell, "What a Biden Administration Means for Border Security":

"Biden has a long public record, so you will not be surprised to learn that a few years ago he was proudly in favor of building 700 miles of border fence. Biden had a border hawk position back on November 27, 2006 at a Q&A with a Columbia, SC Rotary Club meeting. Notably, Biden has faced criticism for his past track record on immigration issues. Obama/Biden deported 3 million illegal aliens. The Trump administration deported fewer than 1 million over the last 3+ years".

** For the record I argue against open borders in the present context (of any nation), so don't believe any of them were 'xenophobic'.

 

 

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11 hours ago, DonAthos said:

 But those Objectivists who continue to cheer on the possibility of a democracy-destroying coup in America, and all it would entail, are in dire need of reflection.

What?! Where have you seen or heard of those Objectivists, Don Athos? Not me for one.

The "coup", in a sense, was already carried out by the Dems, unless you can make a counter-argument against mine: that they effectively and immorally exploited existing emergency circumstances, encouraging the race riots, the severity of the pandemic and life-destroying lockdowns to their advantage. Feeding conditions of fear and havoc that could only tell against an incumbent Administration.

Immoral although legal and democratic, I'd say of their "coup".

Sacrificers I detected them to be, 5-6 years ago, and they haven't disappointed.

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On 11/25/2020 at 4:34 AM, DonAthos said:

That certainly would be nice.

Trump raises the specter of the death of American democracy.

The death of American democracy? As opposed to the Democrats who not for a moment paused in their ludicrous attempts to discredit, invalidate and overthrow Trump's presidency? (Some in Africa had a chuckle at that hypocrisy by self-labeled 'democrats', having been there ourselves in many contested elections, often fraudulent). This recent crop of Democrats displayed the petulant outrage of little children who didn't get their way. Who could never accept the outcome of a free and fair election. Trump also could have moments of petulance, and the unjust onslaught against him could excuse this. But he's just one. They are thousands and millions who on whim believe the 2016 election HAD to have been stolen, and such is the irrational type you are saddled with continuing from here. I sympathize.

 

I'm no expert, but at this stage of proceedings I think Trump has every legal right - and moral obligation to his supporters - to try to chase down the potential of fraud and irregularities; but will he concede and leave at the given day? without doubt, I think. And from all those cynics online and in media who expose their own premises by predicting he won't, ("We'll have to send in the Marines..."B.O. ) I will expect a gracious withdrawal and apology (Ha).

I don't know if there's much to agree on in future, Don Athios, if you made the identification like many (I claim, superficially) that Trump was a bad faith actor from the beginning. These are two opposing fundamental premises. I think you said he was self-aggrandizing and self-enriching? Four years ago, I, and others, non-Oists I know, immediately elicited his honest motives and values and do still, while accepting that his methodology was erratic and public expression, style, mannerisms, of his view was poor.

"Unselfishly" - so to speak - we think he had nothing but the good (by his vision and standard and that of many) of an independent America and Americans in mind and paid a heavy price in the constant skepticism, mockery and hatred he got in return for that.

Why? One has to deduce that the original American vision is not shared by many Americans any longer. Since for sure, they knew damn well what Trump was about, and it wasn't their doctrines of American-altruism plus a national division by 'tribal victimhood', which they saw.

Facts, facts - and if Objectivists can't agree on the facts ('human facts', character, motives and actions are terribly complicated, especially when distorted by our one big source of information, the Press) then they won't agree on value-judgments. Political or any.

Character is "a fact". Reading character qualities and vices of persons is something I've thought Oi'sts to be iffy at, rationalism, intrinsicism or skeptical-subjectivity play their part.  

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On 11/25/2020 at 4:34 AM, DonAthos said:

That certainly would be nice.

 

I won't say that no one who supports or supported Trump is disqualified from being an Objectivist: unfortunately, there are many misguided, deeply wrong Objectivists on this and many other issues.

There are certainly some Objectivists who think, by way of Rand's insights, that a country, as an individual, needs to be strong in order to be gentle. In order to practice kindness and assistance to others, undutifully and non-sacrificially.

"Strong" that is, rationally, morally and intellectually as well as physically-materially. The process has never been reversed, tail wagging the dog - one evidently doesn't gain such strength through compassion (etc.) but fritters both away.

And do you know what?

If you look only at the essentials of his actions , what is clear is Trump perceived this quality in the USA's original strength and wanted to revive it.

He got no help in an intellectual articulation of those premises from Objectivists who joined the conformist ranks against him. Deeply wrong, yes.

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My estimation of Trump’s support led me to believe that he would win re-election and that if he didn’t win , it would be because of vote count manipulation. 

Sharing that sentiment cemented my conspiratorial nature and had me being branded as beyond naive and prey to vicious lies designed to overthrow the rule of law.

I have to say I’m still comfortable in my deluded state and not ready to abandon it.

The liars’ lies still seem plausible, the lies only seem to be more and more plausible , are they that well crafted ? Am I still blinded and completely deluded? 

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Trump got ~this~ close to stopping "the Left" dead in its tracks, maybe permanently.

One more term and Trump's further successes, domestic and foreign would likely have the effect of breaking up the disordered Left into its fractious elements, Democrats, Socialists, Greens, progressives, post-modernists, neo-Marxists or whatever. And then some sanity could have prevailed.

Now in victory, they are solidly cohesive - a bloc. And having learned their lesson, that an upstart could have derailed their ambitions, they will be prepared, will entrench and expand their grip on power by any means fair or dirty, and be very hard to remove (or combat).

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Chin up, Tony.

President Trump will be sworn into his second term in two months.

That is the only possible outcome, for we won a long time ago and have the legislatures and Supreme Court. Try to relax and enjoy this *literal* show. None of this is truly "live action" but only post-triumph exposure of the bad guys for the sake of the many people who still don't get it. They were closely monitored and allowed to cheat massively. You are about to witness the dead in its tracks takedown you alluded to. Enjoy.

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3 hours ago, Jon Letendre said:

President Trump will be sworn into his second term in two months.

Get it through your head: your QAnon nonsense is not taken seriously. It's not like I can even talk about it, because your wildest beliefs here are premised on what Q says.

 

 

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4 hours ago, Jon Letendre said:

Chin up, Tony.

President Trump will be sworn into his second term in two months.

 

I don't have any conviction in that, Jon. What matters for the longer term is that the handover, when it comes, is acted with self-restraint, casts the Republicans and Trump supporters in a more decently dignified light than what those others have been doing.

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Just some musings. I was revisiting considerations at the time of President Trump's inauguration: the responses seemed two-fold and connected by people I know (and mostly avoid now) who were instantly able and ready to judge him at first glance. That was puzzling at first. I won't repeat the rationally-moral aspect, the opposition to a leader apparently espousing a self-interested, independent and therefore free America and Americans, which outrages still the Leftists - to whom clearly the public show and declaration of self-sacrifice IS the exclusive morality. It seemed the "aesthetics" of the man, his looks, intonation, behavior and mannerisms which, I heard and read, most offended the sensibilities of many S. African, foreign and of course his US opponents.

Naturally, not in the least a Randian esthetics, but I suspect pretty much of a Kantian type - combining ethics and appearance:

"The beautiful is the symbol of the morally-good".

In other words, sensory, sensual, surface impressions tell you all you need to morally know about a natural or man-made thing, or of an individual. And if, Kant implies, you recognize that beauty, you too are "morally-good". (He expounded in further 'proof' that there are no appreciators of beauty among prisoners, by definition immoral, QED, in gaols(!). An O'ist would pick apart that deterministic intrinsicism, the judging of a book by its cover.

Only one's experience shows that while they may run together, in good art or individuals, physical beauty - or the ability to recognize it - bears no necessary correspondence to the objectively moral: The unattractive, gruff, curt, unempathic-looking (etc.) person could many times possess a fine moral, i.e., chosen, character (by our definition). If one takes the time to discover it in his acts.

Conversely, in the "people-pleaser" with 'x' physical attributes, smooth delivery, compassionate manner, noble gestures and a big smile some times may lurk a con man, or a deceitful politician with a hidden agenda and far worse.

Placing an attractive person at the head of the government is then a "symbol" of all the people's moral-good.

Absorbing how Kant casts a long shadow (if I'm correct).

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