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Ron Paul

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He's no Objectivist but a constitutionalist.

But a Ron Paul in office would certainly level the field for other candidates in later elections who promote Capitalism and maybe even Objectivism.

While some Objectivists do not approve of some of his positions the fact alone that he gets that much attention is a good sign. It 'healed' some of the political apathy some people had facing the growing support of socialism and authoritarianism.

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Ron Paul talks about how we have lost our Moral Compass, and that we need to go back to our Republic and Practice Free Trade.

Many of the same views that objectivists say makes them what they are.

I really don't understand how people can say Ron Paul does not act or talk like an objectivist because from what I have seen he does.

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Well I would really like someone to put the question to him. As I showed in that Video he said outright that he was a Fan of Ayn Rand so I suspect he holds many of the same values.

First of all, I am supporting Ron Paul much for the same reasons Clawg stated. I view him as not perfect, but will encourage Americans to think about things like individualism and capitalism again. Maybe he will help bring us out of this intellectual dark age.

However he has views inconsistent with objectivism such as: anti-immigration, he is religious, he believes states should decide abortion laws (in other words he is against abortion).

Although he is religious he is against mixing state & church. He believes in individual rights for women, homosexuals, and all races. He is against social security.

He is not perfect but certainly the best of the candidates IMO.

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@xare: you might want to check out Ayn Rand's position on Barry Goldwater. There are also two letters in "Letters of Ayn Rand" to Goldwater about his book (as a side-note: Yesterday Barry Goldwater Jr has released his endorsement on

).

I think her criticism applies to Goldwater as it does to Paul. His defense of Capitalism is rather weak, without the development of the Iraq war, excessive government spending etc. he would have significant difficulties to defend his position. He relies on arguments coming from politics and tradition (mainly the Constitution), not necessarily from philosophy - at least in the TV debates. On the other hand the 30 second-answer-format and the liberal bias of the questions might have something to do with it and in his writings he does mention individualism, person responsibility and personal pride.

While RP does mention religion I think he is a better candidate than Goldwater was in that regard (although I still have to read the speeches Goldwater gave to compare them accurately) while he is worse regarding foreign policy. I agree with his general position on preferring peace, ending some of the rather one-sided alliances and returning parts of the troops, but he should add in his arguments that war, even first-strike, is an option. The objectivist position on war is rather hard to defend without the underlying philosophy. I think this underlines that Ron Paul is not a pro-Objectivist but an anti-Statist candidate.

Still, I think he would do the job. In Ayn Rand's words:

"One cannot expect, nor is it necessary, to agree with a candidate’s total philosophy - only with his political philosophy (and only in terms of essentials). It is not a Philosopher-King that we are electing, but an executive for a specific, delimited job…. we have to judge him as we judge any work, theory or product of mixed premises: by his dominant trend…. A vote for a candidate does not constitute an endorsement of his entire position, not even of his entire political position, only of his basic political principles…."

As I've said, the main thing he can accomplish is to move the Republican party in the direction of Capitalism and not in the direction of statism. While the objectivity of 'politicalcompass.org' is questionable it does show the general trend. All candidates (except RP) are either for more economic control and a less authoritarian state or the other way around, no matter who you vote for you won't be able to come closer to the center right.

usprimaries_2008.png

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That graphic in Clawg's post appears to show that Ron Paul is more "Authoritarian" than "Libertarian"! It also argues that Bill Richardson, Hillary Clinton, Barack Obama and John Edwards are more "Right" (!) than "Left".

If you have ever done the politicalcompass quiz you know why. The questions are somewhat strange to a certain degree. A 2-dimensional graph can include more political positions but it also inserts some redundancy (think of a collectivist libertarian or a laissez-faire dictatorship, i.e. the bottom left and the top right).

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If you have ever done the politicalcompass quiz you know why. The questions are somewhat strange to a certain degree. A 2-dimensional graph can include more political positions but it also inserts some redundancy (think of a collectivist libertarian or a laissez-faire dictatorship, i.e. the bottom left and the top right).

Either way, this graph seems pretty useless since the four extremes are not well defined. I suspect that it is not safe to assume that "Left" means "collectivist" and "Right" means "laissez-faire." Of course, I lack the information about the underlying data to make such judgment.

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I just read/skimmed this entire thread and I must say it's the most useful thing I've read for assessing Ron Paul. Thanks everyone.

I estimate about 40% of the posters support him and about 60% oppose him; if I weigh this by my (purely subjective) sense of the posters' "philosophic expertise" however, I think the support goes down to around 10-20% (no offense to anyone).

It's too soon to decide who to vote for, but I must say I enjoy having Ron Paul in the race. It makes the debates, polls and stuff a lot more interesting, and I agree with Clawq's point that his campaign has "'healed' some of the political apathy people had" (though I think what most people refer to as "apathy" is really mental paralysis from poor epistemology and it's subsequent confusion).

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All you guys who think Ron Paul does not follow Objectivist Ideals must be delusional.

I just found out that Paul named his Son after Ayn Rand.

And check out this quote I came across:

"Racism is simply an ugly form of collectivism, the mindset that views humans strictly as members of groups rather than as individuals." ---Ron Paul

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All you guys who think Ron Paul does not follow Objectivist Ideals must be delusional.

I just found out that Paul named his Son after Ayn Rand.

And check out this quote I came across:

"Racism is simply an ugly form of collectivism, the mindset that views humans strictly as members of groups rather than as individuals." ---Ron Paul

So, if a guy names his son after Ayn Rand (something I find to be quite strange) and says a sentence that Ayn Rand would agree with, he must "follow Objectivist Ideals" and anyone who says otherwise "must be delusional." I see.

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Does anyone ever catch the part where politicians say "Our jobs", as if those jobs are a right of the American people? THose jobs belong to the companies moving them overseas, and they are doing so because it's become such a farce in paperwork, wages, and bending over for the unions, to hire an American worker.

Those jobs are not ours, nor do they belong to the people trying to get them.

Well, I can see how outsourcing to china with wages of $40 a month would be profoundly disturbing to the American worker.

When we talk about the benefits of competition and suddenly the American worker is plunged into competition with the 6 billion people of the world soon to be 9 billion … most of them making very poor wages, I can see how it would be a problem. The American worker simply cannot compete on this level and expect to have a good standard of living — naturally it would create resentment.

Moving to a global economy does come with some severe growing pains because many countries have not had the benefits of capitalism, rule of law, private property and are in a feudal and semi feudal state.

The goal of the advocates of free markets is not vast swaths of cheap labor and environmental degradation and somehow we need to balance our ideas of free markets and free trade with the very real problems that globalization is creating for Americans.

The abuses of the labor movements notwithstanding, I think the American worker has a few legitimate concerns which we should try to address.

Also I think a very real issue facing America is the numbers of people coming into the country. By the year 2100 we will be a country of 1 billion people if current immigration trends (legal and illegal) continue. A population the size of India. I think that common sense dictates that the third world countries from whom these populations are coming need to get their houses in order instead of America being flooded with their excess impoverished and illiterate populations. If the situation is allowed to happen I think that socialism and Marxism may become very popular because our poor planning will have created a bad situation. The thing about the Marxists and the socialists is that they take advantage of bad situations but they do nothing to alleviate those situations. My point is that if Americans begin to loose en masse because of globilization and immigration (which is happening today), we may loose to socialist and marxist manipulators and thus we need to pay attention to the very real problems of globilization effecting our populations as they are arising.

Edited by markt
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Are there any better candidates?

I can continue to sit on my hands and do nothing, not vote, and let this country destroy itself with bad ideals and poor philosophies OR I could try in any way to push it in the right direction. Ron Paul is that.

He holds MANY of the same ideas that objectivist do, but he is not completely aligned. Just read his website. He is not John Galt, he is not pefect, I don't see the point in arguing over it anymore.

The only thing I see worth debating is whether or not he is the best candidate, and if not, who would be better.

This may sound absurd but the only other solution I can think of is revolution, and I don't think things are bad enough to succeed at that. I think this country can be fixed.

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The only thing I see worth debating is whether or not he is the best candidate, and if not, who would be better.
I think a more worthy topic of debate is first whether he is an possible candidate, and then whether he is the best candidate. Clearly, he won't be elected president. I don't see how voting for Ron Paul would actually change the country for the better.

Which candidate is the least influenced by religion, and holds most strongly to the separation of church and state? That's the one I'll vote for, because the thread of fundamentalism is rising, and it is very dangerous. His "We The People" Act is not only a dangerous bill, but also suggests a level of grip on reality that approaches Kucinch's.

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His "We The People" Act is not only a dangerous bill, but also suggests a level of grip on reality that approaches Kucinch's.
Not to mention that it conclusively demonstrates that Paul is opposed to the rule of law insofar as it presents an obstacle to enacting his religious beliefs into law. The We The People Act's extreme disrespect for the Constitution disqualifies Paul to take the oath of office, either as President or as a Representative.

~Q

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I think a more worthy topic of debate is first whether he is an possible candidate, and then whether he is the best candidate. Clearly, he won't be elected president. I don't see how voting for Ron Paul would actually change the country for the better.

The emphasis is mine.

This quote summarizes my thoughts precisely. There is a world of a difference between supporting Ron Paul and voting for him in the primaries. You only get one vote and you only get to vote for one candidate. Even if Ron Paul is your favorite candidate, he is still a fringe candidate. If any of the major primaries were today, Ron Paul would not have a chance to win the Republican nomination. If many individuals vote for Representative Paul, as opposed to a more popular and secular candidate such as Rudy Giuliani, this could result in a dangerously religious candidate, such as Mike Huckabee, to win a few major Republican primaries.

I do not recommend supporting Ron Paul in the Republican primaries. However, if you do, at least consider the potential effects your vote could have in your particular primary before casting your ballot. Of course, if the primary appears to be a landslide anyway, then gaming your vote probably will not matter. On the other hand, if the election appears to be close between two starkly different candidates, consider voting for the lesser of the two evils who are closely leading in the polls, as opposed to Ron Paul.

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I think if you are going to support a candidate like Ron Paul, the primary elections are the right time to do it. I see nothing wrong with voting, during the primaries, for the guy that best represents your views. That is really the only way to increase the political value of your views within a given party. If Ron Paul were to move into the top tier of candidates, that would likely indicate the growing acceptance of his ideas--many of which are in line with Objectivist thinking, and that may not be such a bad thing. That being said, his views on Iraq and global war on militant Islam are so opposed to my own that I could never support him.

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I see nothing wrong with voting, during the primaries, for the guy that best represents your views.

Again, it depends. Suppose, for simplicity, there are three candidates: A, B and C and a single primary election where every individual gets to vote exactly once, for one candidate. Here are the current polls as the election is impending:

Candidate A 48%

Candidate B 47%

Candidate C 5%

Suppose Candidate A has been a Baptist pastor for twelve years, does not believe in evolution and makes statements such as "Abortion is the holocaust of America" and "God wants us to combat global warming." Candidate B is not perfect but he is secular and is relatively favorable towards free markets. You like B better than A. Candidate C is your favorite.

Given that this hypothetical election is a tight race between Candidate A and Candidate B, should you vote for Candidate C? Of course not!

Edited by DarkWaters
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The question is from where that candidate B might suddenly arise. :D

I am not sure precisely what you mean. In the hypothetical example, if most people if who list Candidate C as their favorite prefer Candidate B over Candidate A, then the strategy would be for fans of Candidate C to vote for Candidate B.

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