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I don't know much about Trump except that he is a real estate investor. On the scale that he operates it takes someone with courage and a confidence in his own judgment. He has to fight the government on so many levels, not just his competitors.

I can understand his frustration right now. Banks have stopped lending. I have heard other commentators and observers say that we are facing a wave of commercial real estate bankruptcies because existing building owners will not be able to roll their debt, even on buildings that have excellent cash flows.

This situation exists because of the residential mortgage collapse. Bank reserves were eaten up by bad loans and without the recapitalization of bank's resources, they cannot make loans, no matter how much the Fed pushes them - which it is doing. Banks are conservative institutions and are going to be very cautious now. We are a long way from getting out of our mess.

The Fed did set up this mess by the expansion of bank credit, which it is trying to expand even more now.

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As long as I can remember, I've looked up to Donald Trump as an amazing example of what I had always wanted to be. Brazen, bold, powerful, an egoist in an extreme sense, and rich enough ... well, okay, maybe he's not really as rich as he makes it out to be, but he's certainly not wanting. I suppose what I had always admired most was his whole "brash honesty" thing (You're fired!) When I was younger, I never understood it when people said he was cruel or mean. I just thought, "He's honest, and that's not something many people are these days". I really looked up to him for that.

Speaking philosophically, like KendallJ said, he's a mixed bag. I've never taken a whole lot of stock in his political opinions ... hell, I've never even taken a whole lot of stock in his financial opinions, I've just always thought he was amazingly cool.

I won't say he's perfect - his war with Rossie O'Donell ended up going a little too far at some points, and he can be a little obnoxious.

I think if someone had given him OPAR during his twenties (or even his 30s), we could have had an amazing ally.

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  • 1 year later...

Donald Trump has been the most successful and applauded speaker at the Conservative Political Action Conference (CPAC) so far, and seems very sincere about running for President. I'd appreciate hearing your thoughts on him as a presidential candidate.

Here's his speech:

It will be interesting to see whether most Objectivists will back him, or rather someone like John Bolton.

Edited by ENikolai
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It will be interesting to see whether most Objectivists will back him, or rather someone like John Bolton.

I wouldn't back Trump (he's a statist and a pragmatist through and through, not even a hint of any support for the principle of individual rights).

I do like Bolton's foreign policy, but that's all I know about him. What are his views on reducing the size of government (is he hawkish or moderate) and the role of religion in government (is he part of the religious right, or more of a secular)?

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I do like Bolton's foreign policy, but that's all I know about him. What are his views on reducing the size of government (is he hawkish or moderate) and the role of religion in government (is he part of the religious right, or more of a secular)?

Here's an excerpt from a National Review article on Bolton. It sounds very promising.

“I’ve been hearing a lot of ‘Bolton for President’ rumbles. We know he’s rock-solid on foreign policy. But what about his domestic views? For all we know, he’s a socialist — as some of the best hawks have been.” Bolton, with a glint in his eye, leaned into his microphone and said, “I don’t think you have to worry about that.”

One doesn’t. On Election Day 1964, John Bolton, 15, got permission to be absent from school: in order to pass out leaflets for Goldwater. “That was my formative political experience,” he says, the Goldwater campaign. Unlike his fellow Goldwaterite, Miss Hillary Rodham, he remained a Goldwaterite, unalloyed. His favorite line from The Conscience of a Conservative, the senator’s 1960 book, is, “My aim is not to pass laws, but to repeal them.” Bolton says, “Individual liberty is the whole purpose of political life, and I thought it was threatened back then” — in 1964 — “and I think it’s threatened now.”

Also, I submit that this video, where John Bolton states his views on the United Nations, would make any Objectivist deeply aroused.

Unfortunately Bolton's uncompromising and confrontational attitude, and his strong "hawkishness," is unlikely to resonate much with independents and moderate Democrats. I doubt he'd win in the general election.

Edited by ENikolai
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  • 2 months later...

I was initially impressed by some of Donald Trump’s views on war and foreign policy. He takes a pre-WW II perspective: to the victor go the spoils. He recently expressed these “radical” views on The O’Reilly Factor:

On Iraq, Trump said he would not leave if he were President now. Instead he said he would keep a U.S. presence there to prevent Iran from taking over the oil fields – which he said they will do “two minutes” after we pull our troops out of Iraq. He also said he would protect those oil fields and take some of the Iraqi Oil to pay the United States, Great Britain and other countries back that helped the Iraqis obtain their freedom from Saddam Hussein. That is what O’Reilly had said would make our heads snap back in his teaser of tonight’s interview segment.

On Libya, Donald Trump said the most amazing thing is that we have let France take the lead and not insisted on the Arab League paying for much of the operation. Trump said “it could happen” that the Rebels we are supporting turn out to be worse than Gadhafi.

On Iran, Trump said he would not allow Iran to obtain Nuclear Weapons. When asked how he would stop them, Trump said he would “do what I have to do” to stop them.

But is that enough to justify supporting him? Objectivist Jonathan Hoenig apparently doesn’t think so:

Trump professes to support free trade, yet proposes a 25% tax on imported goods from China to level what he sees as trade imbalances in the global economy. It's a contemptuous proposal which would immediately punish Americans by raising the price on virtually everything we buy.

He has also called for regulators to stop European stock operator Deutsche Börse's planned $9.5 billion buyout of the NYSE Euronext, telling Fox Business Network, "I don't want foreign countries owning the New York Stock Exchange." If he was the president, he added, he "wouldn't even have allowed the discussions to take place." In a capitalist country, shareholders make that kind of decision, not regulators . Trump sees a clear role for government picking winners and losers in the economy, just the same as the previous presidents he claims to critique.

On top of that, he has pushed for a one-time 14.25% tax on the rich as a means of supplementing funding for Social Security and Medicaid, along with universal health care . Philosophically, those positions are indistinguishable from the anti-capitalist political establishment now in power.

Donald Trump is No Capitalist

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Says the guy who benefitted from statist policies like rent controls, eminent domain, and easy credit. Interestingly, the majority of Trump's political donations have been to Democrats. I listened to the entirety of Trump's embarrassing speech & he seems to be ignorant of the most basic principles of economics. Sorry Donald, you will need more than your arrogance and Daddy Trump's purse-strings to get the Presidency.

http://www.smartmoney.com/investing/economy/donald-trump-is-no-capitalist-1302540677772/

‎"For example, Trump professes to support free trade, yet proposes a 25% tax on imported goods from China to level what he sees as trade imbalances in the global economy. It's a contemptuous proposal which would immediately punish Americans by raising the price on virtually everything we buy.

He has also called for regulators to stop European stock operator Deutsche Börse's ( DBOEY ) planned $9.5 billion buyout of the NYSE Euronext ( NYX: 37.85, +0.26, +0.69% ) , telling Fox Business Network, "I don't want foreign countries owning the New York Stock Exchange." If he was the president, he added, he "wouldn't even have allowed the discussions to take place." In a capitalist country, shareholders make that kind of decision, not regulators . Trump sees a clear role for government picking winners and losers in the economy, just the same as the previous presidents he claims to critique.

On top of that, he has pushed for a one-time 14.25% tax on the rich as a means of supplementing funding for Social Security and Medicaid, along with universal health care . Philosophically, those positions are indistinguishable from the anti-capitalist political establishment now in power."

So to answer the question: What would Ayn Rand think of such a man?

She would loathe him.

Edited by CapitalistSwine
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I also hope he does not run.

Nevertheless, it has been highly entertaining watching him run straight up the middle against Obama like a big running back against Team Big Media. Obama is not the teflon President, he can be beaten. No one else fights Obama so directly except for Palin, and even she does not use the birth certificate angle.

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Let's see:

1.) Wants to reinvade Iraq for the self-confessed aggressive purpose of taking its oil.

2.) Wants to slap China with a 25% tariff.

3.) Buys into the tin-foil hat nonsense about Obama being born in Kenya.

These right here are reason enough to be scared shitless of someone like this ever obtaining high office. It's difficult to see how someone this irrational, reactionary, and completely undiplomatic could have become such a successful businessman. Supposedly, he's threatening to run as an independent if he doesn't get the Republican nomination. If he does, you can pretty much be assured that Obama gets another term.

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This is from 2000 but I'm under the impression his views are currently no different:

I’m a conservative on most issues but a liberal on health. It is an unacceptable but accurate fact that the number of uninsured Americans has risen to 42 million. Working out detailed plans will take time. But the goal should be clear: Our people are our greatest asset. We must take care of our own. We must have universal healthcare.

If you guy weren't already jumping up and down in excitement about him possibly running for pres...

Edited by OCSL
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Let's see:

1.) Wants to reinvade Iraq for the self-confessed aggressive purpose of taking its oil.

2.) Wants to slap China with a 25% tariff.

3.) Buys into the tin-foil hat nonsense about Obama being born in Kenya.

These right here are reason enough to be scared shitless of someone like this ever obtaining high office. It's difficult to see how someone this irrational, reactionary, and completely undiplomatic could have become such a successful businessman. Supposedly, he's threatening to run as an independent if he doesn't get the Republican nomination. If he does, you can pretty much be assured that Obama gets another term.

Regarding point one above, here is what Trump said:

On Iraq, Trump said he would not leave if he were President now. Instead he said he would keep a U.S. presence there to prevent Iran from taking over the oil fields – which he said they will do “two minutes” after we pull our troops out of Iraq. He also said he would protect those oil fields and take some of the Iraqi Oil to pay the United States, Great Britain and other countries back that helped the Iraqis obtain their freedom from Saddam Hussein.

Apparently this is the viewpoint you consider "irrational, reactionary and undiplomatic." Whether it happens to be reactionary or undiplomatic could not matter less to me. But how is it "irrational?" What is irrational about insisting that a country we helped to rid itself of a brutal, dictatorial regime pay us back with oil?

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What is irrational about insisting that a country we helped to rid itself of a brutal, dictatorial regime pay us back with oil?

Pay back *who*? And to be a bit more particular, if a military is acting properly by being used only for rights violations of the country it's fighting for, it would not be proper to demand that the *other* country having a dictator disposed of pay for that. To say otherwise sounds to be taking a US-as-world-police position. Asking for payment is different, though.

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Regarding point one above, here is what Trump said:

Apparently this is the viewpoint you consider "irrational, reactionary and undiplomatic." Whether it happens to be reactionary or undiplomatic could not matter less to me. But how is it "irrational?" What is irrational about insisting that a country we helped to rid itself of a brutal, dictatorial regime pay us back with oil?

Here is something else he said:

Trump: George, let me explain something to you. We go into Iraq. We have spent thus far, $1.5 trillion. We could have rebuilt half of the United States. $1.5 trillion. And we’re going to then leave. So, in the old days, you know when you had a war, to the victor belong the spoils. You go in. You win the war and you take it.

Stephanopoulos: It would take hundreds of thousands of troops to secure the oil fields.

Trump: Excuse me. No, it wouldn’t at all.

Stephanopoulos: So, we steal an oil field?

Trump: Excuse me. You’re not stealing. Excuse me. You’re not stealing anything. You’re taking-- we’re reimbursing ourselves-- at least, at a minimum, and I say more. We’re taking back $1.5 trillion to reimburse ourselves.

First of all, he is woefully misinformed if he thinks we are "leaving." That would have been an accurate statement in 2009. We have left. Setting up the kind of operation needed to *ahem* acquire an oil-field would essentially require that we reinvade Iraq, starting a whole new cycle of violence in the process (since the Iraqi people would never accept it), possibly having to depose the government (since the Iraqi government would never accept it), betraying the Kurds (since they control some of the largest oil fields), feeding Iran's influence in the region, and--worst-case scenario--prompting some kind of conflict that spills over into other regional countries.

However, let's assume that we can safely and more-or-less peacefully take control of the oil fields with the full consent of the Iraqi government and people, using a handful of security contractors and petrol engineers. We're on pretty shaky moral ground, considering this argument boils down to "we conquered those mother-fuckers, and we're gonna take whatever we damn-well please." Sure, he qualifies it by saying we are "reimbursing" ourselves. But, reimbursing for what? Whatever your views on the morality of invading Iraq, it's not exactly like we were invited. If a man badly needs his house repainted and you decide to do it for him while he's out of town, you don't then demand that he pay you for the job. What he's recommending is theft, and no amount of protestations to the contrary will make any reasonable person see it as payment for services rendered.

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  • 5 years later...

As much as I agree with Trump's fear mongering, Islamic terror IS a legitimate threat. And it's not going to end, ISIS sympathizers are going to keep murdering people in Europe (and maybe even in the US) all the way into November.

And the current US leadership saying monumentally stupid things like this isn't going to help stop Trump:

Kerry: Air conditioners as big a threat as ISIS

Note: the headline (from FoxNews) is a shameless lie, but what he actually said is just as stupid.

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I get the impression the Lakoff article was intended to be anti-Trump, but every point he raised was evaluated in my mind as a positive.   Lakoff's article succeeded at: illustrating Trump's competence at modern rhetorical methods, the effectiveness of naming as identifying (and as an Objectivist, I understand identification as critical), that the old familiar pragmatism that is an American political tradition would be welcome relief from crusading leftism and "me-too" conservativism, the tracing of Trump's opinion on healthcare makes him into a conventional and easily understood interested party in an economic sense.  Everything Lakoff thinks is a Big Lie is in fact a Big Truth.  

As bad he may think Trump is, it is ludicrous to postulate a Clinton as a viable alternative.   I would remind everyone here that Ayn Rand voted for Richard Nixon.  Trump looks to be better than Nixon in every respect, and Clinton worse.  Clinton is not a good stand-in for George McGovern, but she would certainly give cover for further socialist progress in "long-marching" through American government institutions and especially the Supreme Court.  I'll be voting Trump come November.

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5 hours ago, Grames said:

I get the impression the Lakoff article was intended to be anti-Trump, but every point he raised was evaluated in my mind as a positive.   Lakoff's article succeeded at: illustrating Trump's competence at modern rhetorical methods, the effectiveness of naming as identifying (and as an Objectivist, I understand identification as critical), that the old familiar pragmatism that is an American political tradition would be welcome relief from crusading leftism and "me-too" conservativism, the tracing of Trump's opinion on healthcare makes him into a conventional and easily understood interested party in an economic sense.  Everything Lakoff thinks is a Big Lie is in fact a Big Truth.  

As bad he may think Trump is, it is ludicrous to postulate a Clinton as a viable alternative.   I would remind everyone here that Ayn Rand voted for Richard Nixon.  Trump looks to be better than Nixon in every respect, and Clinton worse.  Clinton is not a good stand-in for George McGovern, but she would certainly give cover for further socialist progress in "long-marching" through American government institutions and especially the Supreme Court.  I'll be voting Trump come November.

Do you foresee any possible economic disaster if Trump initiates his promised trade war?  What about Immigration?  He seems adamant to keep out the Mexican and muslim "riff raff" but quite a lot of innocent immigrants and refugees will pay the price for that it seems.  

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2 hours ago, Craig24 said:

Do you foresee any possible economic disaster if Trump initiates his promised trade war?  What about Immigration?  He seems adamant to keep out the Mexican and muslim "riff raff" but quite a lot of innocent immigrants and refugees will pay the price for that it seems.  

Trump can't get anything too wild past Congress.  Furthermore, his "labor market argument" that mass numbers of unskilled third world migrants just depress wages for Americans is a straightforward application of the economic law of supply and demand.   I have become skeptical of the value of immigration because immigrants don't assimilate anymore when they can conveniently communicate and visit the home country.  I wouldn't want to live in Mexico or Pakistan, nor do I see any benefit to bringing Mexico or Pakistan to America.  

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