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Trump and Ojectivism

Posted by Tavolino 11 months, 4 weeks ago to Government
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Trump and Objectivism

I’m puzzled by the formal Objectivist movement (ARI, TOS) and their complete disdain for President Trump. From the beginning they have never missed a chance not only to distance themselves, but also follow with a pompous negative certainty, without having the necessary relevant facts. Ironic, considering our foundations are based on proper identification (metaphysics) and validation (epistemology) before passing judgment or taking action (ethics). While I agree principles should never be compromised, context and perspective need to be objectively evaluated and applied, rather than a blind intrinsic repetition. Regarding Trump, there some broad hierarchal recognitions that I believe are very consonant with our philosophy.

Our fundamental basis is metaphysics, which is the proper identification of the nature of something. More than any past politician, however brash, Trump calls it like he sees it within his known knowledge. Be it the emotional motivations of political correctness, the lies of the “fake news,” the imbedded corruption, the recognition of the good and bad on the world stage (Israel, China, North Korea, Iran), the parasitical nations that feed off our teat, etc., etc.. The transparency of his thoughts have been unmatched and not hidden behind political speak, spins, alternate agendas, backroom deals or deceit. It is what it is.

As Dr. Jerome Huyler noted, “Trump has the sense of life of an individualist. His common sense - born of decades of experience as a businessman and dealing with politicians - tells him that taxes and heavy-handed regulations destroy economies. It is true, as Rand said that common sense is the child's method of thinking. But it is born of empirical experience,” the basis of knowledge acquisition.

His “America First” mantra should be championed by us. Rand had always said America will never regain its greatness until it changes its altruist morality. America First is just that. It’s not some blind German nationalism, but an attitude that America’s interests need to be selfishly upheld. This is a necessary fundamental to our ethics. He has attempted to keep open discussions with all, based around trade and fair exchange. Rand had said, “The trader and the warrior have been fundamental antagonist throughout history.” His movement away from aggressive wars, political globalism and multi-lateral agreements keep our own self-interests as paramount. It’s the application of the trader principle.

Lastly, his counter-punch mindset and approach is completely in line with our moral rightness of retaliation. He may prod or poke, but does not pull the proverbial trigger until he’s attacked, either with words or actions.

There is a dire threat that’s facing our country today with the abuses and power of the ingrained bureaucracy utilized for political purposes. It's imperative that all Americans unite, led by the voices of reason to identify and expose this fundamental threat to freedom. It's not about the false alternative of Trump or never Trump, it's about the American system and the fundamental role, purpose and responsibilities of government, regardless ones political persuasion.

As Objectivists, we need to continually apply our principles in the real world of what is, slowly moving it to where it should be. We need to descend from the “ivory tower” to the first floor of reality. Trump may not be able to articulate the principles, but are not what’s mentioned above consistent with our most basic and fundamental beliefs as Objectivists?






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  • Posted by 11 months, 3 weeks ago
    Not trying to fool anyone. Just trying to keep hierarchy and context on many of the examples you note rather than the opinions mentioned. I've been involved with Objectivism since the days I worked at NBI and I'm keenly aware that over the last 50+ years many (not all) wait for the "official position" to be declared. We should be encouraging rational discussion and independent thinking to better understand the application of the principles, rather than emotional retort that may not integrate the actual concretes properly. In life, we have to play the card we're dealt.
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    • Posted by exceller 11 months, 3 weeks ago
      "We should be encouraging rational discussion and independent thinking to better understand the application of the principles."

      We all know that but rational discussion and independent thinking is not part of political and even economic reality.

      BTW, what "principles" are you referring to? Principles are banned from campus life these days, to start with. Not even mentioning social media where there is only one "principle": agree with me or you are history.
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    • Posted by $ Commander 11 months, 3 weeks ago
      Hi Tavolino.
      I'll take up issue with this:
      "We should be encouraging rational discussion and independent thinking to better understand the application of the principles."

      On May 30 a letter of intention was posted to the Federal Register by The State Department. The statement is regarding the formation of a Commission on Unalienable Rights; with the questioning as to why "We" have departed from the intention of this idea as stated in The Declaration of Independence.
      This past Saturday I had a chance to exchange with an old Washington insider that I've been acquainted with for about 20 years. He was very aware of the posting even though his activity was during Nixon admin. I asked if this had been precipitated by The Sec of State's office. He replied "No"...this came from the president's office.
      I've been working on an iteration of objective, self-evident, hierarchical values based principally on the Objectivist's Ethics and supporting explanatory gaps in Rand's essay....she had a couple. The "gap" fillers come from sociological / anthropological sources who were exemplary educators despite "our" compulsory school system. John Gatto, John Holt, Morris Massey, and interestingly, the first Objectivist I've seen in print....Lao Tsu.
      I've sent one message to the contact person listed on the Letter of Intent, and as yet no response. If an authorship of my discovery should be used as a statement of Operable Interpretation of human relations we shall need to rewrite the Constitution. I can see many obstructions to this endeavor. Notwithstanding, I'm talking with the youngsters as they are the future potential adoptees of a secular objective values declaration.
      Thanks for the posting.
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  • Posted by ewv 11 months, 1 week ago in reply to this comment.
    "You should read How to Win Friends and Influence People" is often used as a personal jab. You've been recommending that dubious book without qualification and if you mean to seriously recommend it you should be prepared to say why.
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  • Posted by $ CBJ 11 months, 1 week ago in reply to this comment.
    Okay, using the same criteria, would you endorse the observation that Objectivism is a fringe philosophy by observation of its proponents’ attempts to change the culture and the results? I wouldn’t.

    Ayn Rand used as an example of “argument from intimidation” the sentence: “But everybody knows that capitalism is outdated!” To me this indicates that she considered such a formulation to be an improper form of argument
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    • Posted by ewv 11 months, 1 week ago
      Dismissing observation of the Libertarian Party's fringe status in politics because that observation is widespread as an "argument from intimidation" is part of the Libertarian Party's rationalizing of its rationalizing.

      Ayn Rand's ideas have had a major impact on the culture (which the left periodically attacks), but obviously not enough, mostly because even where it is influential it is not sufficiently well understood. We do observe that Objectivism as a philosophy has no major role in universities and the media. Unlike well publicized politics, "everyone" does not know that because most people don't know about the state of philosophy in universities and the culture at all.

      "There is no parallel in requirements for progress between Objectivism and Libertarian Party politics. Ideas precede politics and there are no shortcuts, despite those who wishfully don't want to "defer" . Significant change in politics waits for philosophy; spreading better ideas cannot wait for something else to pave the way -- other than those doing the spreading understanding the ideas." https://www.galtsgulchonline.com/post...
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      • Posted by $ CBJ 11 months, 1 week ago
        ”Dismissing observation of the Libertarian Party's fringe status in politics because that observation is widespread as an "argument from intimidation" is part of the Libertarian Party's rationalizing of its rationalizing.”

        When it takes a sentence this convoluted to make a point, the point itself is open to question. You can call any statement you disagree with “rationalizing”, but in fact I drew an exact parallel between Ayn Rand’s description of an “argument from intimidation” and your use of similar terminology.

        ”There is no parallel in requirements for progress between Objectivism and Libertarian Party politics.”

        Sure there is. Progress in both endeavors requires engaged activists working to promote their viewpoints. In terms of public awareness and respect Libertarians have been more successful because they have been active in participating in political debate (which, incidentally, is part of the culture), and not waiting for an Objectivist renaissance that may take centuries to arrive.
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        • Posted by ewv 11 months, 1 week ago
          There is no parallel between Ayn Rand's philosophy and premature, garbled politics trying to bypass the role of ideas in cultural change. The method of change does not reduce to "engaged activists" and the ideas do not reduce to "political debate".

          The sentence is not convoluted. The structure is: "Dismissing observation of [...] because that observation is [...] is part of the Libertarian Party's rationalizing of its rationalizing.”

          The rationalizing away of obvious facts together with the intellectual requirements for fundamental change in politics has become so endlessly circling that even rationalization as a method is being rationalized.
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          • Posted by $ CBJ 11 months, 1 week ago
            I’ll leave it to others to decipher that last sentence. Regarding your first point, how can a culture or a political system be changed without engaged activists, and how can ideas be applied to politics without political debate?
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            • Posted by ewv 11 months, 1 week ago
              "Engaging" political activists in Cargo Cult Politics is not engaging minds to change the fundamental premises in a culture. Philosophy is not politics. You seem to not understand the kinds of ideas that are at stake.
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              • Posted by $ CBJ 11 months, 1 week ago
                When one runs out of arguments, I suppose put-downs are the next best thing. Philosophy is not politics, but politics certainly is a branch of philosophy and a legitimate arena for activism.
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                • Posted by ewv 11 months, 1 week ago
                  Cargo Cult Politics is, as described previously, is mimicking political action without regard to the ideas that make it possible to succeed.

                  Political philosophy is a branch of philosophy. Libertarian party activism is not, and worse, is anti-philosophical.

                  That politics is a legitimate arena for activism does not make any action whatsoever appropriate, fruitful or not destructive. You can do a lot better and I think you have the ability. But you of course can do what you want.
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                  • Posted by $ CBJ 11 months, 1 week ago
                    Notice that I’m not telling you what you should or should not be doing to advance the cause of individual liberty. You don’t know me, what I’m doing or how I’m doing it. How can you know I can “do a lot better” when you have nothing to base that statement on. Your assertion that Libertarian Party activism is anti-philosophical is nothing more than a broad-brush condemnation with no basis in fact. So is your put-down of LP activism as “mimicking political action without regard to the ideas that make it possible to succeed.” Ideas are what motivates the activism, and the fact that some forms of activism are ineffective or even counterproductive does not make all LP activism “anti-philosophical.” Some of the activism I’ve seen by supporters of Objectivism would also qualify as ineffective, counterproductive and “anti-philosophical”, but I don’t go around denouncing all such activity just because some of it doesn’t work.
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                    • Posted by ewv 11 months, 1 week ago
                      I don't know details of what you are doing, but you are advocating here supporting the Libertarian Party in electoral politics. That is what is being discussed here. It is the political pragmatism that does not "work".

                      “Mimicking political action without regard to the ideas that make it possible to succeed” refers to your advocating copying the socialist activists of a century ago without regard to the fact that they had an intellectual base already established within the culture, thanks to the counter Enlightenment already long underway.

                      Whatever conflicting ideas that motivate different activists in the Party, and whatever legitimate political goals some of them such as you have (not reflected in the national candidates we were told to support), political freedom will not be supported and implemented in a cultural that increasingly embraces the collectivism, altruism and irrationalism which we are seeing.

                      The requirement for an intellectual, philosophical revolution before political acceptance does not mean political ideas such as those in Hospers' book and it does not mean that the spread of the better more philosophical ideas has always been done effectively.
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                      • Posted by $ CBJ 11 months, 1 week ago
                        Addressing your post, point by point:

                        I’m posting in support of the Libertarian Party only in response to repeated attacks on it, including posts denouncing the fact that the party even exists. I did not initiate this topic, but I think it’s important for members of the Gulch to know that there is another side to the story.

                        The LP is not “pragmatist” any more than Objectivism is. We put forth a principled defense of individual liberty within a clearly delineated context, that of politics. It is arguably more “pragmatist” to attempt to implement a philosophy of individualism by participating in a rigged game masquerading as a two-party system.

                        We did not form the LP to “copy socialists”, we did it to provide a home base for those who wish to promote liberty in the political realm. I used the Socialist Party simply as an example of a “third party” that was effective in implementing its agenda. The spread of the “counter-enlightenment” was aided in part by the political activities of the Socialist Party and the adoption of many of its ideas by the Democratic Party.

                        Libertarians also have “an intellectual base already established within the culture”, including a vast array of thinkers and philosophers other than Rand.

                        A philosophical revolution requires continuous engagement of our opponents within all branches of philosophy, including politics. Logical priority does not imply temporal priority. Objectivists, at least when they’re effective, provide the public with a vision of a rational universe. Likewise Libertarians, at least when they’re effective, provide the public with a vision of a politically and economically free society. A philosophical revolution cannot succeed by leaving out an essential branch of philosophy.
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                        • Posted by 11 months, 1 week ago
                          While I understand the integrity of Objectivism, I can also appreciate the inclusiveness (possibly a poor word considering today's vernacular) Of the LP, and they do not have to be at odds. There are many that loosely view themselves as libertarian, and are not as familiar with the philosophical basis that is needed. As Objectivists, we should view this fertile ground with the potential of educating others as to why our principles needs consistency and where they might be in error. To dismiss this block of possible prospects is contrary to our fundamental, that 'the mind is an attribute of the individual. There is no such thing as collective thought." Changing one mind at a time should be a noble endeavor for all Objectivists.
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  • Posted by ewv 11 months, 2 weeks ago in reply to this comment.
    No Objectivist would want to be president in this circus. He couldn't do much good, would have to execute immoral policies already in law, and would not have public support for major changes. That doesn't have anything to do with "dogmatism". "Dogmatic Objectivist" is a contradiction in terms, and as for those who try it, as Ayn Rand put it "Objectivism is its own avenger".

    Unfortunately, the potential presidents now are not just more or less rational, but less more and more less.
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    • Posted by term2 11 months, 2 weeks ago
      The current presidents. Are definitely intellectually compromised, and I agree a consistent objectivist would not want to be president. If for no other reason than he would have to endure 100x the wrath of the left that trump gets
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  • Posted by ewv 11 months, 2 weeks ago in reply to this comment.
    Thoritsu's "In your version of Objectivism, is lying to manipulate people ok?" is another vicious personal smear.

    He had raised a serious question about practicality and principles that I answered, then complained that I had not addressed something else (which already has been addressed, several times).

    Thoritsu trashes people for criticizing Trump then insists that he doesn't object to criticism of Trump. As long as they are his criticisms, which he wants played down.

    No one has refused to address what he calls "the basic assertion" (which it is not). Our criticizing Trump for his fundamental philosophical flaws and their consequences, in the context that Democrats are worse, is not "undermining" Trump in the election. It's an intellectual, and therefore practical, requirement for understanding the state of the culture and its consequences. This intelligent, honest discussion is not a political campaign. We are allowed to do that. One may vote for the lesser of two evils and support that for the election; discussion of the evil is not prohibited.

    Thositsu appears to have no interest in such a level of discussion and is in fact concerned with much narrower topics like his taxes (and no one else's higher increases). Observing this is not an ad hominem argument. It isn't an argument at all, just an observation of his level of discussion.

    He continues to smear what he doesn't like as: "'Massive pile of disinformation' refers to the discussions bantering about everything but the simple argument" and "'Stupid' refers to the behavior of arguing among ourselves, surrounded by socialists, an not working on addressing this issue."

    His so-called "the basic assertion" aka "simple argument" is not the sole topic of discussion here; we are not prohibited from talking about things he doesn't like. Doing so is not a "massive pile of disinformation" and not "stupid".

    Thoritsu is free to work on the election campaign any way he wants to and may believe anything he wants; he may not tell the rest of us not to discuss and work on "this issue" in ways he doesn't like, smearing and personally attacking others as his means of enforcement through intimidation -- as in "In your version of Objectivism, is lying to manipulate people ok?" and many, many more.
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  • Posted by ewv 11 months, 2 weeks ago in reply to this comment.
    Please tell us what the "lies" about what you said are so that quotes can be provided again.

    Meanwhile the list of arguments above remains a strawman.
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  • Posted by Lucky 11 months, 2 weeks ago in reply to this comment.
    You better go back an look at what I said.
    My post followed yours in which you used the word- 'undermining'.
    I do not agree with the implication that other postings on the Gulch undermine Trump even when they condemn Trump.
    Perhaps 'undermining' meant what msm, the D.party, etc are doing - but that is not how I read it.

    Your five points- I agree,
    that no one has taken these on, could mean agreement.

    The reference to 'what evw lied' I do not follow unless it means that if I disagree with evw I should do so replying to his statements rather than following yours - Yes of course.
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    • Posted by ewv 11 months, 2 weeks ago
      His accusation of "lied" isn't about who you reply to, it's another dishonest smear in his sustained personal attack, which he somehow left out of his "five points".
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    • Posted by $ Thoritsu 11 months, 2 weeks ago
      When I get back to a real computer, I’ll point you to the comment ewv probably made after too much wine or something.

      Doing this on a phone sucks out loud.
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  • Posted by ewv 11 months, 2 weeks ago in reply to this comment.
    This is no faculty senate governing itself, and it's not in keeping with Ayn Rand's philosophy. You don't need Ayn Rand's philosophy to tell the difference between civilized behavior and the behavior of school yard punks re-enacting Lord of the Flies and know what to do about it. Ayn Rand would have booted them out long ago. It's a private forum. Tolerating it has led to sneering intolerance of the rational by anyone with a petty resentment of Ayn Rand. That's some "Galt's Gulch".
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    • Posted by $ Thoritsu 11 months, 2 weeks ago
      Unfortunately, Ayn or an Objectivist couldn’t boot out a GS13, much less a legislator anymore.

      The problem we should be focused on is how to compel and educate people to bring her philosophy, or consistent thought back to relevancy.
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      • Posted by ewv 11 months, 2 weeks ago
        A stream of personal attacks is not educating people. The personal attacks are what should be booted off the forum, in accordance with its guidelines and integrity.

        But there are no GS13s or legislators in his faculty senate, which is the name of part of the governance of a private university.
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    • Posted by $ jbrenner 11 months, 2 weeks ago
      There is more to what the moderators do and do not do than meets the eye. So that I do not betray any confidences, I can go no further.
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      • Posted by ewv 11 months, 2 weeks ago
        I understand that, but meanwhile the personal attacks are escalating and becoming more viciously intense with abandon. "Welcome to Galt's Guch". Really?
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        • Posted by $ jbrenner 11 months, 2 weeks ago
          As it does in the rest of society. We live in an imperfect world.
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          • Posted by ewv 11 months, 2 weeks ago
            This isn't a matter of "perfection". The standards here are not supposed to be "the rest of the world". Others at their worst in the past have not gotten away with anything like such sustained behavior here. Something is very wrong.
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            • Posted by 11 months, 2 weeks ago
              What's wrong is the media is pushing a false reality, as the political and bureaucratic establishment, along with the upper levels of the intelligentsia, fear being exposed and having their power collapse. As I've said in the past, emotion has replaced reason and TDS has become a true psychological issue, throughout society to the highest levels, including some on this forum.
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              • Posted by ewv 11 months, 2 weeks ago
                The most vicious personal attacks here are coming from a sustained psycho vendetta by a Trump supporter and a couple of his buddies who like smearing Ayn Rand's philosophy as "religious dogma". He's brought the psychology of the politics of personal destruction in the form of schoolyard taunting to "Galt's Gulch" and it hasn't been stopped by the moderators. An "imperfect world" doesn't explain that.
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            • Posted by $ jbrenner 11 months, 2 weeks ago
              Tavolino makes a reasonable point. The constant pushing of a false reality in society external to the Gulch has taken its toll on many of us, including me. A = A, but not in their world.
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              • Posted by ewv 11 months, 2 weeks ago
                A is always A, but not in their thoughts. But the media don't have anything to do with this and it isn't even about anyone's opinions on Trump specifically. It's about a particular person on this forum who is engaged sustained abusive taunting behavior of personal attacks which have been allowed by the forum owner to continue for months contrary to the guidelines, ordinary civility, and past practice. There is something wrong with him. Allowing it is not explained away by "we live in an imperfect world". It's about the integrity of this forum to rein in the obvious.
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                • Posted by $ Technocracy 11 months, 1 week ago
                  If they reined in the obvious, you would have been muted too, and likely first. Be careful what you ask for.
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                  • Posted by ewv 11 months, 1 week ago
                    Posts you don't like are not the standard. The vicious personal attacks are not from me, let alone the "sustained abusive taunting behavior of personal attacks" you refer to. Rejecting a personal attack for what it is is not a personal attack. Your personal hostility and feuding do not belong here.
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                    • Posted by $ Technocracy 11 months, 1 week ago
                      That quote in your post here are not my words. So there we go. Find whose they are and rail at them. Honestly, they sound like your words.
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                      • Posted by ewv 11 months, 1 week ago
                        The quote is from my post that you replied to. My statement "It's about the integrity of this forum to rein in the obvious" referred specifically to "sustained abusive taunting behavior of personal attacks". That is the "obvious" that you referred to when you falsely accused me of that.
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                        • Posted by $ Technocracy 11 months, 1 week ago
                          I was referring specifically to this in your post above, the part you put quote marks around:

                          The vicious personal attacks are not from me, let alone the "sustained abusive taunting behavior of personal attacks" you refer to.

                          Those are not my words, yet you are attributing them to me.
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                          • Posted by ewv 11 months, 1 week ago
                            I did not attribute that to you. I just explained to you again that "sustained abusive taunting behavior of personal attacks" were my words in the post you referred to.

                            I did not put quotes around "The vicious personal attacks are not from me, let alone the 'sustained abusive taunting behavior of personal attacks' you refer to."

                            That was a response to your false personal attack claiming I should be "muted" as "obvious".
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                    • Posted by $ Technocracy 11 months, 1 week ago
                      Nor is what you like the standard, even though you seem to believe your standards are the only ones. As for not liking your posts that would require that I care about them and I don’t.

                      Your unrelenting interpretation of anyone who disagrees as an attack is your problem and no-one else’s.

                      Edit- completed the sentence
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                      • Posted by ewv 11 months, 1 week ago
                        The standard of not allowing "sustained abusive taunting behavior of personal attacks" is from the forum guidelines and basic civility.

                        Your false accusation "Your unrelenting interpretation of anyone who disagrees as an attack is your problem" is another personal attack from you. Just stop it.
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                      • Posted by 11 months, 1 week ago
                        While I understand your comment, I would have to say I have found ewv one of the more objective non-personal writers on this thread. He consistently continues to try to apply the principles of Objectivism, even if we may disagree. Intellectually there should be one set of rules, emotionally it's purely subjective.
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                        • Posted by $ Technocracy 11 months, 1 week ago
                          He also continually claims that anyone who disagrees is attacking and smearing him. He has always been this way, it's nothing new.
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                          • Posted by ewv 11 months, 1 week ago
                            I have never said that "anyone who disagrees is attacking and smearing" me. An example of personally attacking and smearing is your posts right now. Stop it.
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                            • Posted by $ Technocracy 11 months, 1 week ago
                              Report me to the admin if you think I am attacking you.

                              You have ranted about personal attacks all through this thread and the other long thread about President Trump. I could probably find others too.

                              The closest I have come to a personal attack on you is referring to your conduct as those of a zealot and I didn't even use your name, I was replying to someone else. It bit close enough to the bone however for you to accuse me of attacking you then.

                              So go ahead report me to the admins.

                              Try and ride me under with your righteous indignation.

                              Let them look at ALL the posts in these threads and decide.

                              But as I said, be careful what you ask for.
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  • Posted by DrZarkov99 11 months, 2 weeks ago
    Those who stand on moral purity have a right to object to that which does not fit their world view. Just as it does for religious evangelists, so it does for those who take an absolutist view of objectivism. It may seem frustrating and puzzling to those who are happy with an outcome, even if we don't necessarily feel comfortable with the method used to meet a goal.

    Movies like "The Sting" are an example of how a totally unscrupulous pair of crooks pull off an illegal act that the audience finally perceives as having a righteous outcome. When Trump uses his experience in the business and entertainment worlds to achieve an awkward success, there are usually three audiences: those for whom achieving the goal is all that matters; those for whom the outcome was a defeat (nowadays the progressives, who see the Obama gains wiped out); and those who disapprove of his methods (the NeverTrumpers, e.g.).

    Obama had elegance and oratory, which made many who feel a national leader should have a regal public persona comfortable. News flash for those: this is the country of the common man, which is why Trump has been called the "blue collar President," as his style rings a familiar tone with the hourly working crowd. They like hearing a national leader who talks like they do. Trump was made to work alongside the construction crews by his father, so he would gain an appreciation of their world and interests, and his experience shows.

    I'm used to dealing with academics. When I was developing a model of nuclear warfare and detection sensors, I had to deal with an academic who insisted our simulations have random cloud cover because that was more real. No amount of explaining that we needed predictable conditions in order to correctly gauge sensor performance would sway him, so I fired him, over the objections of our dedicated support contractor, who had to find him another job. I can't fire the objectivist purists here, but I can ignore them, rather than get upset because they insist on turning a discussion into a disagreement on how many angels dance on the head of a pin.
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    • Posted by ewv 11 months, 2 weeks ago
      What is an "absolute view of objectivism" equated with "religious evangelists", what are "objectivist purists", and what does "how many angels dance on the head of a pin" have to do with Objectivism at all? This is all a smear of Objectivism and the role of consistent thought and principles in human life. Ayn Rand described her philosophy as a "philosophy for living on earth", which requires objectivity and consistency. What "non absolute" "impure" view of Objectivism do you support?
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      • Posted by 11 months, 2 weeks ago
        You are one of the more articulate with regard to the principles and applications, but don't become defensive when there are many that will not like Beethoven, any modern art, or rock music, because they lack the independent thinking. It's ironic with regards to the philosophy but I've known many, including some that attend every conference. It's just a fact and it's their psychological shortcomings, not the philosophy. Stay positive.
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        • Posted by ewv 11 months, 2 weeks ago
          Thank you. I simply call out what is. It hadn't occurred to me to feel defensive. But a lot of effort went into building this forum as a place for enthusiastic, rational discussion of Ayn Rand's ideas following the movie, and what began as "passionate about Ayn Rand's ideas and hope to assist in their propagation" is turning into Lord of the Flies and resentful politically correct sneering at Objectivism and anyone found to be explaining and applying it.

          The nihilism isn't coming from the obsolete minority of people you describe; it's those who found some political attraction to Atlas Shrugged but who have little interest in or knowledge of her ideas that made it possible. But yes they are obviously displaying psychological problems, resentment, and anger issues.
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          • Posted by 11 months, 2 weeks ago
            Let me let you in on a little secret. There were many in the original "collective" along with close peripheral groups that displayed "psychological problems, resentment, and anger issues" regardless of their intellectual brilliance.
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  • Posted by 11 months, 3 weeks ago
    Fortunately, our political process was designed to move gradually with its intended checks and balances. Unfortunately, our system has suffered from a thousand cuts that have culminated in a cultural/philosophical change towards greater centralized control (and corruption) and an erosion of individual rights. For whatever philosophical inconsistencies Trump may possess, there is at least an effort to reverse this course or at the very least slow it down, so the voices of reason can attempt to show a better way. With all the political spins, substance over rhetoric may be the ultimate arbiter. A number of years ago I had a personal 3 hour conversation with Col. Alan West and had discussed a vote that he cast which I disagreed with. I had even given him a copy of Rand’s Capitalism and dog-eared the chapter “The Anatomy of Compromise.” He explained that the government moves like a battleship and can’t turn on a dime, but needs to slowly change the bias of direction to reach the proper destination. While I still disagreed with his vote, the metaphor was not lost. In 2016 Hillary simply was not an option. I would like to acknowledge EWV for his thoughtful and consistent articulation of Objectivism, not only on this thread, but others that have been commented on. His specific examples have been objectively applied without the typical emotional opinion.
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  • Posted by 11 months, 3 weeks ago
    Reason and truth has been replaced with feelings and opinions. To understand where we should be, we need to understand where we are, and to disregard the last generation of corruption, let alone the last century of increased power centralization is fundamentally evasion, the most evil kind of dishonesty. And the TDS from all sides closes potential portals of any light. To quote Rand once again, “The hardest thing to explain is the glaringly evident which everybody has decided not to see.”
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  • Posted by Roland_Porter 11 months, 3 weeks ago
    I assess each of Trump's policies on an individual basis. I disagree with him fundamentally on the trade war, his ban on transgendered people serving in the armed forces, and his lax attitude on gun control. I agree with his message of putting one's own interests first and generally agree with his foreign policy.
    I can personally vouch for the collectivist mentality of both hardcore Trump supporters ("Trump has been blessed by God Himself") and the far left (My own brother is a democratic socialist and has called me some pretty nasty things for my support of capitalism.).
    Obama was a thesis and Trump was the antithesis. There is no synthesis yet and may not be for a long time.
    Every day I find myself agreeing more with libertarians than I do with conservatives for their consistency in defending liberty so I've largely avoided the Republican/Democratic dichotomy; I have a laundry list of issues with both parties. That said, I am committed to the grey and avoiding the black and white, all-or-nothing mentality. The notion that someone can do no wrong is a dangerous mentality to have regardless of who it is applied to.
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    • Posted by $ Thoritsu 11 months, 3 weeks ago
      You would suggest what rather than a "lax attitude o gun control"?
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      • Posted by Roland_Porter 11 months, 3 weeks ago
        No gun control.
        I'm sorry, I suppose I should make my previous statement more clear. Donald Trump has supported the ban of the bump stock novelty for no apparently good reason and supports tightening background checks for firearms sales (even though all sales in all states require a federal background check, a process made faster and more efficient due to the advent of the Internet). When I say he has a "lax attitude on gun control", I don't mean to imply Donald Trump has necessarily been making efforts to repeal existing gun control or has been doing nothing in regards to gun control.
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    • Posted by term2 11 months, 3 weeks ago
      Trump does less wrong than the democrats who oppose him. His lack of intellectual consistency leads him to stupid moves like the trade war. It wont work and china will never agree to it. They want to "Make China great again", and Trump is standing in the way of that. WE pay the tariffs, NOT China. His claim China is paying the tariffs is just a lie (similar to Obama with "you can keep your doctor...").
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      • Posted by $ Thoritsu 11 months, 3 weeks ago
        His tariffs are hurting China, no doubt. They have unsettled the present leadership, and growth is lower than the last 30 years.

        China is the enemy. Russia lacks any real economic power, and ISIS is a nagging mosquito. China is waging war with the US right now. We just don't recognize it.
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        • Posted by $ Dobrien 11 months, 3 weeks ago
          The Demonrats are also waging war and those on this forum who are led around by the fake news , you know who they are. They ignore the vicious attacks by those who have everything to lose for their guilty corruption those who are easily identified as in the RESIST movement.
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        • Posted by term2 11 months, 3 weeks ago
          I think China says that the prospect of dealing with tariffs is small potatoes compared with the effect of Trump's trade demands on "Make China Great Again" that President Xi has launched on.

          If one looks at the history of china, one sees a very warlike society for thousands of years that has taken over territory after territory whenever it gets the slightest bit powerful. They ARE the enemy, and we need to stop trading with them
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          • Posted by $ Thoritsu 11 months, 3 weeks ago
            China has to say that; however, it does not have to be true to be said.

            We need to move some manufacturing back to the US. It is not far from cost parity in many cases, and we are on an unsustainable trajectory.
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            • Posted by term2 11 months, 3 weeks ago
              I think on the average, we need to balance our exports of certain things with imports of other things. Trade is a good thing in that it allows highest efficiency. In the case of China, I suspect we should decrease our purchases from them, since they want to grow richer and then will use those riches to try and take over other lands and people, and perhaps even the USA. We bought from china because our own labor is too expensive . That isnt going to change unless we radically automate. Better to switch mfg to other countries where labor is cheaper- maybe vietnam, cambodia, indonesia, etc.
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    • -1
      Posted by ewv 11 months, 3 weeks ago
      Endorsing "the grey" in place of clear principles, along with the Hegelian "thesis-antithesis-synthesis" triad, is anti-reason and certainly anti-Objectivist. A Philosophy of reason, egoism, and freedom is not a synthesis of a contradictory false alternative.
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      • Posted by Roland_Porter 11 months, 3 weeks ago
        I am not endorsing ignorance, I am endorsing the very real and observable notion that many humans trend towards grey, unclear, unstructured morality. I do not hold myself to the standards of others and try to live my life as close to Objectivism as I can.
        "A Philosophy of reason, egoism, and freedom is not a synthesis of a contradictory false alternative." I never said it was. I am merely pointing out that Trump was the natural progression of ideas rather than the solution to every problem plaguing the United States today and it seems you agree with me here, a "contradictory false alternative".
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        • -1
          Posted by ewv 11 months, 3 weeks ago
          You wrote: "I am committed to the grey and avoiding the black and white, all-or-nothing mentality." That is not Objectivism. See Ayn Rand's "The Cult of Moral Grayness" in The Virtue of Selfishness.

          You wrote: "Obama was a thesis and Trump was the antithesis. There is no synthesis yet and may not be for a long time." That is not Objectivism and in particular not an Objectivist analysis of history. It is a Hegelian falsehood based on his irrational metaphysics, and has become a common fallacy repeated by those who never heard of Hegel. See Leonard Peikoff's lecture course History of Philosophy, Volume 2 – Modern Philosophy: Kant to the Present, lecture 4 on Hegel.
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          • Posted by Roland_Porter 11 months, 3 weeks ago
            Thank you for taking the time to educate me. I'll check out the attached passages.
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            • Posted by ewv 11 months, 3 weeks ago
              Have you read much of the nonfiction yet?
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              • Posted by Roland_Porter 11 months, 3 weeks ago
                I've purchased the following:
                "The Virtue of Selfishness"
                "Capitalism: The Unknown Ideal"
                "The Romantic Manifesto"
                It's been hard to find time to read them; been doing a lot of university planning as of late. I've managed to read a few chapters of the first two and haven't started TRM yet. Though I clearly have a lot to learn.
                You seem to know your stuff pretty well. Do you mind if I come to you with any questions I have in my discoveries?
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                • Posted by ewv 11 months, 3 weeks ago
                  Those are good ones to start with. They (and For the New Intellectual) are the first non-fiction books she published. Most of the rest are later anthologies of other articles (written from 1962 to 1976) and a few on public appearance Q&A and interview transcripts. All are worth reading as you have the time to get to them.

                  An excellent systematic, more comprehensive presentation of the philosophy is Leonard Peikoff's Objectivism: The Philosophy of Ayn Rand.

                  You can post questions under the topic "Ask the Gulch" or communicate privately.
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                  • Posted by Roland_Porter 11 months, 3 weeks ago
                    Cool, thanks for the information!
                    Took the time to read "The Cult of Moral Grayness" last night. Really enlightening stuff, demonstrating how resigning humanity to "gray" morality is really an acceptance of "black" morality and an unwillingness to demonstrate complete "white" morality, if I'm understanding it correctly.
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  • Posted by PeterSmith 11 months, 1 week ago
    I see all my posts have been downvoted to oblivion by the politically illiterate, religious leftists that seem to be dominant on what is advertised as an objectivist blog.

    Makes sense...
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    • Posted by ewv 11 months, 1 week ago
      A couple of hundred 'points' over night, i.e. in a few hours, smells like Alinkskyite tactics going through all your old posts. One of them openly discussed this tactic not long ago, and it wasn't a religionist. My posts are also being systematically 'downvoted' regardless of content. This forum is being destroyed by a handful of militants who are offended by Ayn Rand's ideas, deemed to be "dogma" and "purism". This is the worst its ever been here. There cannot be a "Galts Gulch" without Ayn Rand's ideas. Welcome to Lord of the Flies Gulch. Where can you be reached?
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  • Posted by ewv 11 months, 1 week ago in reply to this comment.
    He has shown no sign that that is what he is doing. Everything he says contradicts it. Beware the magic 3D chess explanation.

    I don't think tariffs will change China either.
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    • Posted by term2 11 months, 1 week ago
      I say that because:
      1). He has said if we don’t like the tariffs, buy from another country or make it here
      2 tariffs historically make trading decrease
      3) he floated the idea he is “ordering” usa companies to stop buying from China, even knowing the congress would overturn it
      4) he has tied a trade deal to China dealing with Hong Kong “humanely”
      5) he has been very vague about what he requires China actually do to “make a trade deal”. Almost to just keep the tariffs until trade with China decreases and companies change their supply chains away f Rh I’m China
      6). He has said China wants a deal but he isn’t ready for one yet

      If it looks like a duck and quacks like a duck.... maybe it IS a duck
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      • Posted by ewv 11 months, 1 week ago
        He's using the same kind of vague and hyperbolic rhetoric with every country where he's threatening or imposing tariffs. None of it implies a superior hidden strategy. I don't hear quacking, but it looks and sounds like Trump. It's Donald Trump, not Donald Duck.

        If there is something better behind it maybe it will leak out some day.
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        • Posted by term2 11 months, 1 week ago
          I think presidents have little real power, so trump has very limited things he can do. Tariffs is one of the very few actions he can take without pushback from congress and courts. Maybe that’s because government gets more tax money. Trump lies about the source of the tariff money. It’s paid as a tax by Americans, not by the Chinese and will not convince the Chinese to give in until the tariffs ratchet up to 200-300%. Current tariffs are just a warning to the chinese
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          • Posted by ewv 11 months, 1 week ago
            Presidents have enormous powers over the Federal agencies' policies, and therefore their rule-making, and over foreign policy, but not to make new laws (fortunately). Obama publicly said he was surprised and complained about how much he wasn't allowed to do (even when delegated to pen and phone). Trump does have the power over what comes out of his mouth.
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            • Posted by term2 11 months, 1 week ago
              Between the courts and the media, his powers are severely restricted. His mouth is a good thing. He usually says it like it is for a change. What he says is what half the country is thinking
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              • Posted by ewv 11 months, 1 week ago
                It's good that he says what he thinks rather than the usual political word-crafting. But what he thinks is often not what is; much of it is contradictory sales hype to emotionally manipulate for his deals. I don't think that is what half the country is thinking, though a lot of what he says is. In particular treating foreign policy as a sequence of trade deals has people wondering what he is thinking and if it's any more than trade deals. But it's all we have and could be much worse.
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                • Posted by term2 11 months, 1 week ago
                  He is telling us perhaps a backhanded way that China is a power hungry totalitarian regime that is trying to disarm the economy of the world in order toincrease the power of China. Rather than tell us that we have to up our game to be a stronger country, he is using what he, himself, can do to contain china- which is tariffs and getting us to buy less from them. He better tell the real story or he will lose in 2020
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                  • Posted by ewv 11 months, 1 week ago
                    He can't both be "telling it like is" and saying something else in a "backhanded way". Wishful thinking that he must mean something more sensible in an obscure game of 3D chess has been characteristic of his presidency.

                    Yes there is a threat that the Democrats will win in 2020. The number of states likely to vote against them is steadily shrinking. The ideology and anti-American sense of life has moved so much farther to collectivism and statism that we can no longer count on Democrats ruling themselves out by being as nutty and extreme as they now are. This isn't 1972 when almost every state rose up, without having to be told, against McGovern, who was far less radical left than this crowd of nihilists.
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                    • Posted by term2 11 months, 1 week ago
                      I think Trump is hampered by politics and how the media and dems portray him. When it comes to his actions, he isnt so bad at all. As to the tariffs, I doubt they will change the intentions of the commies in china, but there isnt much else he can really do until americans stop supporting the commies by buying from them
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                      • Posted by ewv 11 months, 1 week ago
                        The media attacks on him in the name of news is probably unprecedented. A lot of his actions have been bad, as described here previously, but that isn't what the media is attacking him for.

                        Americans can't support a reasonable administration foreign policy for China until he articulates what one is. Trade deals don't describe it.
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                        • Posted by term2 11 months, 1 week ago
                          I agree. He has to articulate it more clearly. I get the message but it took a long time to see what he is going for. If he stopped all trade with china, they still won’t give up their collectivist and power hungry ways, but will slow them down a bit
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  • Posted by PeterSmith 11 months, 1 week ago in reply to this comment.
    Not "just."
    I've provided the rational reasons for doing so.
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    • Posted by ewv 11 months, 1 week ago
      Some Trump supporters dismiss all significant criticism as "you just hate Trump", an ad hominem non-defense that has become a common response.

      I don't "hate" him, but have a lot of reasons to be alarmed by him and find some of his actions and statements to be destructive and even repugnantly unethical. But I maintain the context and don't conclude a "Never Trump" willingness to get rid of him at any cost, including sacrificing to the Democrat radical egalitarians.
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  • Posted by PeterSmith 11 months, 2 weeks ago in reply to this comment.
    "Hardly an indicator of a country that is “ripe for socialism”."
    I didn't say the country was ripe for socialism, that was my description of the culture in general when socialism started picking up, as a result of the intellectual battle for collectivism having already been won.
    I'm saying we are heading back in that direction and a presidential candidate winning by running on leftist policies, almost verbatim, from the early 20th century is a pretty good indicator of that.

    "Notice that your second statement contradicts the first."
    There's no contradiction there. You need to understand that while a culture is collectivist you cannot run an individualist party and win.
    On the other hand, if a culture becomes more individualistic then you won't need to run any new party because likely existing parties, like the republicans, will start running more individualist political platforms since they can actually win elections doing so.
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  • Posted by PeterSmith 11 months, 2 weeks ago in reply to this comment.
    No it just means Trump is a leftist for the reasons I've already stated in this thread.
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    • Posted by term2 11 months, 2 weeks ago
      So I understand your position is that unless one is a 200% objectivist, one is a leftist. Got it.
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      • Posted by PeterSmith 11 months, 2 weeks ago
        Nope. Just that Trump is a leftist based on his big government and left wing policies.
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        • Posted by term2 11 months, 2 weeks ago
          So vote for a real leftist
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          • Posted by PeterSmith 11 months, 2 weeks ago
            Why would I? I oppose the left, unlike all the Trump supporters here...
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            • Posted by 11 months, 2 weeks ago
              That's a broad statement that's more opinion that factual.
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              • Posted by ewv 11 months, 2 weeks ago
                That depends on what you mean by "Trump supporter". There is a big difference between preferring some of Trump's actions over the political alternative of the Democrats (and Rhinos) who would otherwise be fully in power versus supporting what he is himself. https://www.galtsgulchonline.com/post... The Trump idolizers versus the Never Trumpers are a false alternative.
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                • Posted by 11 months, 2 weeks ago
                  True, but some are misidentified with the alternatives you present, both shut down rational discussion. Put principles to the positives things and if anyone in either of the two groups you mention can understand, just maybe they will be more inquisitive to the hows and whys of Objectivism. Let's keep them in the showroom.
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                  • Posted by ewv 11 months, 2 weeks ago
                    I don't think Pete Smith has directed his comments to any particular individual. Anyone not part of the false alternative knows that he is not. Those who are don't have to stay there. Those who are don't necessarily shut down discussion, but we don't see much of them trying anything else.
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            • Posted by term2 11 months, 2 weeks ago
              The problem we all have is that we live in the here and now, and we WILL get one of the choices of politicians that run. We dont have much control over that. But, the actual choice does affect us in the real world. Typically, we get a choice between a VERY irrational and collectivist president and congress, and a LESS irrational and collectivist president and congress. I will never live to see anywhere near a set of objectivist politicians occupying those offices, BUT I would rather have a less collectivist life than a more collectivist life.

              In any event, whichever way I vote will have zero effect on the outcome, so one could argue its useless to even vote in a mob-rule country like this one.
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              • Posted by PeterSmith 11 months, 2 weeks ago
                There's lots wrong with what you've said here, but that is quite different to the OP suggesting that there is a schism over Trump in Objectivism, or that there's some confusion as to why ARI or TOS are rightly anti-Trump.
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                • Posted by term2 11 months, 2 weeks ago
                  You are entitled to be anti trump. I get it. You will have a choice of trump or a real dyed in the wool leftist in 2020. I suspect the country may choose to swing wildly collectivist if people like you vote against trump and pay the same price as Venezuelans have
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                  • Posted by PeterSmith 11 months, 2 weeks ago
                    How are you not anti-Trump?
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                    • Posted by term2 11 months, 2 weeks ago
                      I think what gets me to overlook some of what trump does is that the left HATES him so much that I have to accept that a lot of what he does is anti collectivist
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                      • Posted by PeterSmith 11 months, 2 weeks ago
                        Yea but then we're back to what you mean by "the left?"
                        Trump is a big government leftist. Those you call "the left" are getting everything they want from Trump (trade, immigration regulations, etc) while at the same time getting to pretend to be opposing him.

                        Who is the real source of damage here, the nihilist left, or those aiding and abetting the nihilist left through sheer incompetence?

                        Trump punching back against the media and his election win causing some heads to explode amusingly is all cold comfort compared to the damage he has done.
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                        • Posted by term2 11 months, 2 weeks ago
                          Democrats HATE everything trump does. They don’t pretend to oppose him, they directly oppose everything he does
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                          • Posted by PeterSmith 11 months, 2 weeks ago
                            Then I think you need to take a fresh look at things and go deeper than the very superficial and not really applicable level of republicans goodies vs democrats baddies.

                            Sad to say but they are ALL baddies.
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                            • Posted by term2 11 months, 2 weeks ago
                              Compared with an objectivist standard, yes they all have flaws. But, we have to deal with the candidates at hand.
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                              • Posted by PeterSmith 11 months, 2 weeks ago
                                Which has to include being able to discuss the terrible aspects of Trump without getting downvoted.
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                                • Posted by 11 months, 2 weeks ago
                                  Still don't know about down voting, but any policies positive or negative should be discussed. It's just that "terrible aspects" creates confusion between facts and opinions, and substance vs. rhetoric. As I said in a previous post, no matter any other policy, the exposure of the highest order of corruption would not have occurred with anyone else. And the importance of that should not be overlooked.
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                                  • PeterSmith replied 11 months, 2 weeks ago
                            • Posted by ewv 11 months, 2 weeks ago
                              They are but there are significant differences. The issue in this thread is the nature of the differences versus the bad aspects in Trump's Pragmatism, anti-intellectualism, and statist actions, and all of it in contrast to the Democrat radical egalitarians. That is what must be objectively analyzed and assessed.
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                          • Posted by ewv 11 months, 2 weeks ago
                            "Everything" includes their obstruction of Trump proposals that they agree with (like infrastructure monument building), just to be disruptive.
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                          • Posted by PeterSmith 11 months, 2 weeks ago
                            Why would democrats hate the implementation of policies they've longed championed? Like building walls to keep out labor that undercuts their unions, or tariffs to help prop-up businesses the unions and leftist regulations made unprofitable in the first place?
                            The democrats are winning and they don't even need to control any branch of government to do so.
                            That's the biggest lesson the Trump administration...
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                        • Posted by $ Thoritsu 11 months, 2 weeks ago
                          Trump might become a big government leftist, but he did not start his administration that way.

                          And he is waaayyyyy better than the alternatives.
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                          • Posted by PeterSmith 11 months, 2 weeks ago
                            Trumps administration has been big government and left wing from the very beginning. His entire election win was based on the populist, collectivist premise of nationalism.
                            Not to mention the major policies of his administration have also been big government and left wing.
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                      • Posted by ewv 11 months, 2 weeks ago
                        "The enemy of your enemy is not necessarily your friend" but you naturally have to feel some affinity to someone who stands up to the nihilistic left and who is victimized by them. It's not as if the left has rational arguments against Trump.
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                        • Posted by term2 11 months, 2 weeks ago
                          I will agree that trump, not being consistently operating on rational principles, takes some good actions and some bad ones. I also think that he is blocked by his own party and the democrats from taking more rationally thought out actions
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                          • Posted by 11 months, 2 weeks ago
                            In my original post I never asserted that Trump was an Objectivist, just that some of his basic actions were not contradictory to our principles. The discussion moved all over the map, Trump/anti-Trump, 3D chess master/chaotic idiot, evil/less evil, leftist/more leftist, etc. Then there’s deep discussion on the minutia of policy, tactics, tweets, by Objectivists, pseudo Objectivist, quasi Objectivists and non-Objectivists.
                            But the most essential point has been overlooked. He called it like he saw it with the “fake news” and the witch hunt of an investigation. And the facts being exposed are bearing validity in these observations. It is what it is, a metaphysical fundamental.
                            Had Hillary been elected there was a much great danger that transcends this entire conversation. Under the Obama administration (and others) along with the embedded bureaucratic establishment, the rule of law was abandoned and its powers utilized to threaten, lie and spin its political adversaries, both pre and post-election. This new “normal” continued to erode individual rights without consequences, and appeared to lead to an organized coup that was gestating to put the final nail in the American coffin. Add in a media that long ago lost its purpose and journalistic integrity, and you have the precursor of every totalitarian state.
                            For the moment, this has been averted and regardless of the pros and cons of every other Trump issue, the hierarchical importance of this cannot be understated. If this is his only positive the country is still better for it. Without Trump it would have been business as usual, possibly reaching the point of no return.
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                            • Posted by ewv 11 months, 2 weeks ago
                              There is much more to assessing Trump's statements and actions than his "calling it like he saw it" on the "fake news" and "witch hunt" pseudo investigation. That those criticisms by Trump (and many others) are true doesn't make it the "most essential point", elevated to the level of "a metaphysical fundamental".

                              It's True that Trump is far more open about what he really thinks than the typical carefully (and cynically) crafted political statements we are supposed to accept as intellectually superior. His being so open doesn't mean that what he says and thinks identifies "what is". Part of the problem is that thinking is often "isn't" -- sometimes being shockingly amateurishly irrelevant or abhorrent, like debating in the primaries to be considered as President of the United States by mocking the size of his opponents hands or after being elected extolling murderous dictators. There are many more, filled with self-inconsistencies. This legitimately raises a lot of questions.

                              What in your opening post did you mean specifically by ARI's and TOS's "complete disdain for President Trump"? I have heard some of the criticisms, but haven't followed it systematically.
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                              • Posted by 11 months, 2 weeks ago
                                I agree there's much more and it wasn't my intent to be simplistic. It was just one example of voicing the proper identification of an important concrete, something that hasn't existed in the general political arena for over a generation. The fact that he spews his thoughts neither make them correct or intellectual, but I don't believe they are deceitful.
                                Early on I realized he was the consummate salesman who plays to his audience. Many times his rhetoric and style is confused with his underlying substance and goal (don't take that for more than it's meant). His retorts in the primaries are not the way you or I would reply, but they were all retaliatory, even if crude and childish. He played the cards he was dealt and navigated the field varying his strategy with each. I was closer to the situation than you might know.
                                And with regards to "extolling murderous dictators," do you really believe he admires their fundamentals? He uses a twist of the Machiavellian/Godfather phrase of "keeping your friends close and your enemies closer." And I know that first hand.
                                There are many big government underlying ways we should continue to be aware of, calling them out as they appear with the proper context and explanation of principles. We do it with all we encounter. I am not some blind Trump idealogue.
                                I have hosted book signings, and seminars with both groups, and VERY EARLY on (when he was characterized as a joke) an intellectual position had been taken and any further discussion was closed.
                                A disappointing example of the display of the "official position" was when Hoenig appeared and the last Stossel show. He was asked "you must be happy that a number in his circle have read or admired Rand" (not exact but you get the gist). Keep in mind that he had several minutes with a national audience to respond. His general answer was a terse "they are not Objectivists, they lack the moral center needed and just because they read her books doesn't mean they understand her principles." He finished by wrapping it with an anti-Trump message. He had turned off many viewers that may have wanted to inquire further on Rand. A better answer might have been something like, it's good to see Rand emerging at these levels. Her ideas are coming to fruition on the world stage, and for those of you that want to understand how we got here, read Atlas, Capitalism, etc. I have other examples, but I think you get the idea.
                                I even did my own little experiment (which I shared with Craig) when Biddle published his article on Trump and Kim. You would be surprised by the comments I received re who they were from and the thoughtfulness (or lack) of the responses.
                                I just observe why and how people react in varying situations, social or intellectual, and I've even expressed it on this thread, including the integrity you've tried to keep.
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                            • Posted by term2 11 months, 2 weeks ago
                              Exactly. I will vote for him in 2020. I am so DONE with the left and their convoluted thinking and obstruction. Same thing applies to the RINO contingent too. But, that said, we have to deal with the cards that are dealt.
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                              • Posted by PeterSmith 11 months, 2 weeks ago
                                If you're voting for Trump then you are voting for a left wing administration and cannot claim to be "done with the left."
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                                • Posted by ewv 11 months, 2 weeks ago
                                  No matter who you vote for we won't be "done with the left". One of them will win. The question is which do you want to live under within that limited choice.
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                                • Posted by term2 11 months, 2 weeks ago
                                  We just disagree. There aren’t any dogmatic objectivists that will ever be elected as president of the USA in my lifetime. There are only potential presidents who are more or less rational.
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                                  • ewv replied 11 months, 2 weeks ago
                            • Posted by PeterSmith 11 months, 2 weeks ago
                              "But the most essential point has been overlooked. He called it like he saw it with the “fake news” and the witch hunt of an investigation."
                              That's the most essential point?
                              Trump doesn't call anything like he sees it. He is a showman playing to a crowd and booing the mainstream media gets him big applause from conservatives who equate "owning libs" with "political discourse."

                              "Had Hillary been elected there was a much great danger that transcends this entire conversation."
                              Great danger like what? Trade wars? Cowardly appeasement of the worlds worst dicators like Putin, Kim and Xi? Leftist assault on the rights of tech companies, the last semi-free industry?
                              Sorry, but given how bad the Trump administration has actually been, it's no longer possible to argue that we avoided some danger with Hillary losing. You're still discussing this like the election is happening and we don't yet know if Trump will be all that bad.

                              "Under the Obama administration (and others) along with the embedded bureaucratic establishment, the rule of law was abandoned and its powers utilized to threaten, lie and spin its political adversaries, both pre and post-election. "
                              And that's exactly what's happening under Trump, often even more brazenly than anything we've seen from democrats.
                              For example: https://www.rawstory.com/2019/08/trum...

                              This is without his normalizing authoritarian-like behavior from the Presidents office, endless executive orders because he can't actually make any deals, normalization of nationalists and racists in our discourse and coming to the end of the first Trump term, we have moved much further left than we would have if we had a democrat president with republicans in control of congress.

                              Nothing has been averted by this disastrous administration.
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                  • Posted by ewv 11 months, 2 weeks ago
                    I think it's more likely that Trump himself will do something to lose confidence in him and that too many -- who don't understand either the best of what he has done or the radical egalitarians -- will turn to the Democrats without knowing what they are doing.

                    That wouldn't take much, partly because of his inability to be an articulate intellectual spokesman for himself, partly because the Republican leaders can't either, and partly because of the unprecedented sustained attacks on him from the establishment intellectuals, including almost the entire media.
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                    • Posted by term2 11 months, 2 weeks ago
                      I think that there are hardly any voters who are interested in intellectual reasons for selecting one or another candidate. It’s all about what the government can do for me, as opposed to what I can do for myself without government interference. Add to that the idea that government can somehow guarantee my emotional state in exchange for my money. And add in the promise of government to give me goodies that others will pay for, and you have the formula for the democrats to take over in 2020. All we can hope for is the repubs can hold Onto the presidency as a veto from the nonsense of the democrats

                      I also suspect people in general.are tired of the division created by the democrats and mistakenly think that elimination of trump is the only dolution
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                      • Posted by ewv 11 months, 2 weeks ago
                        People are tired of the circus and Democrats are promoting that and cashing in on it. They manufacture public controversy even when there is none. Trump's inconsistent, bursts of emotional thinking don't help, and Democrats are exploiting it, not intellectually but in creating chaos. Trump's pragmatism doesn't permit him to understand it beyond the level of his own making another controversial tweet, never rising above day to day poking and prodding controversy beyond the level of sustained slogans like "Pocahontas" and "Sleepy Joe". His anti-intellectual failure to provide rational explanations and principles reflects the same failure in the culture.
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                        • Posted by term2 11 months, 2 weeks ago
                          I agree actually, but I am hesitant to say that he doesnt know what he is doing. He DID get elected after all in 2016. I do think that the dems have learned from 2016 and this time around his tactics might not work as well. On the other hand, the dems have really terrible candidates, at least so far.
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                        • Posted by term2 11 months, 2 weeks ago
                          I suspect the rational explanations would go over the heads of the populace unfortunately at this time. Trump’s attraction is more of the working person’s gut understanding. That’s what got him elected. The alternative was not John Galt, but Hillary Clinton in 2016. In 2020 the choice will be trump as he is, or a heavy duty socialist
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                          • Posted by ewv 11 months, 2 weeks ago
                            By rational explanations in this case I don't mean too philosophical, just some common sense with appeals to some idea of individual rights would help. Ordinary people can understand that.
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                            • Posted by term2 11 months, 2 weeks ago
                              Common sense is something ordinary people can understand. That was one of trump’s appeal in 2016
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                              • Posted by ewv 11 months, 2 weeks ago
                                A lot is passing for common sense that is not. Common sense does not mean speaking informally or being unserious. Carrying on over the size of someone's hands was not common sense and neither was or is economic protectionism at the expense of the rights of individuals. Ordinary people can understand basic explanations of policy in rational terms without unnecessary abstraction.
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                                • Posted by term2 11 months, 1 week ago
                                  I think we should not trade with dictatorial warmongering regimes.
                                  Personally I don’t think tariffs will change China

                                  I think what trump is actually trying to do is to encourage aN orderly reduction in imports from communist china, which is working. He should just say that and explain why. If anything would scare the shit out of communist China, it would be a decision of 300000000 Americans to willingly boycott chinese imports
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                                  • ewv replied 11 months, 1 week ago
                      • Posted by ewv 11 months, 2 weeks ago
                        Voters largely have no intellectual understanding of or interest in carefully formulated principles but do have emotional reactions and slogans, some relevant to politics and some not. Those reactions and slogans in turn are based on the values they have uncritically accepted, good or bad, from around them. That sense of life is their substitute for philosophic understanding and represents an implicit philosophy.

                        They mostly don't think or understand where the money comes from, only that people should be "provided" for and taken care of as a vague statement of altruism and collectivism, which quickly surfaces when welfare statism is challenged.
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              • Posted by ewv 11 months, 2 weeks ago
                If and when the candidates make a difference the principle is that everyone vote who cares. Your vote matters because it is one of those counted, and you know it is only one. The system depends on voters acting on that principle. That is true for any election, regardless of the 'mob rule' status now.

                If everyone concluded that his vote "doesn't count" because it is only one of them, and didn't vote because of it, then there would be no election and we would have a much worse dictatorship.

                (Living in the here and now isn't the problem, it's required to exist!)
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                • Posted by term2 11 months, 2 weeks ago
                  I think that the basis of current government is that my life and money are basically available to be taken piecemeal by 50.1% of the voters on each issue. It’s piecemeal death, one issue at a time. I have serious reservations about living among people who just want to take from me, and frankly it’s leading me to have as little to do with people as possible.
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                  • Posted by ewv 11 months, 2 weeks ago
                    It is a piecemeal death by such pressure group warfare. But there is no requirement for 50.1%; any number will do with enough concentrated power on any particular issue.

                    I don't think most people want to take from us; they don't even think of where it coming from. Your neighbors who wouldn't dream of robbing your house think nothing of voting to raise the taxes. But if you prod them for a justification they fall back on altruistic guilt and don't care what they take. They don't think of it as them taking, but rather the government doing it as a "necessity", rationalized with collectivism.

                    Many of them otherwise produce and trade peacefully, which is all that makes it worth while to still live among them in a mixed system rather than going off isolated in a jungle because there is no where else to go.
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        • Posted by term2 11 months, 2 weeks ago
          So where you you place AOC or Bernie in the continuum of “leftism”
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          • Posted by PeterSmith 11 months, 2 weeks ago
            Further left than Trump certainly.
            But being a supporter of Trump and debating his benefits vs AOC or Bernie, is like debating Obama vs AOC or Bernie.
            You're just debating the pros and cons of different leftists of various specific tribes and levels of consistency.
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      • Posted by ewv 11 months, 2 weeks ago
        No, at least 300 to allow for a margin of error :-)

        But there is more to evaluating Trump or any other politician than politics and the general term "leftist". Even a liberal or less radical leftist may show more or less rationality and common sense.
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        • Posted by 11 months, 2 weeks ago
          May I ask where you're from. There was an entertaining article several months ago with the essence being if you're not from the 4 outer boroughs (excluding Manhattan), you can't understand Trump.
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  • Posted by PeterSmith 11 months, 2 weeks ago in reply to this comment.
    We've been over this though. If you support Trump you don't have any grounds to oppose Democrats.
    Potentially there might be a Democrat candidate that is so bad that it is better to vote for Trump, but personally I don't see it, given the reasons already covered in this thread.
    Ideally the best situation for America at the moment is a democrat persident with republicans controlling congress and senate.
    This will create grid lock and buy time.
    Everything else just advances statism.
    You need to discover that conservatives are just religious leftists, not an alternative to the left.
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    • Posted by $ Thoritsu 11 months, 2 weeks ago
      You may have been over this, but I haven't. Your statement is wrong.

      I support Trump because my taxes are massively lower now.. I also support Trump because I do not want my firearms taken away. Lastly, I support Trump because he has limited Executive Branch legislation. These are all perfectly valid reasons, and there is No democrat I can expect the same from.

      This is perfectly logical, and you have no basis to assert my reasoning can not be distinguish democratic candidates.

      Maybe your Congressional/Executive reversal would yield similar results, but that is not on the table presently.

      Yes, the Border Wall is stupid. I would've done that with EOIR towers for a fraction of the cost, or nothing, whatever. Trumps tweets are stupid. His behavior is unbecoming of a state leader. On and on.

      Totally agree with your statement about conservative social left (I think they are social leftists for religious reasons, not religious leftists). That is why I am here.
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    • Posted by ewv 11 months, 2 weeks ago
      The "gridlock" theory advanced some years ago by some Objectivists fails to recognize the enormous power of the presidency through the actions of now virtually uncontrollable Federal agencies and their rule-making. Who runs them is appointed by the party of the President. The President also appoints judges and runs foreign policy.

      What little might be done by Congress to check any of this is not done by Republican congresses. We recently saw this in action under Obama. The "gridlock" theory results in the advance of statism and a lot of people by hurt by government action, not a real gridlock of government.
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      • Posted by PeterSmith 11 months, 2 weeks ago
        You're right it's far from very effective, but there's nothing else that one can aim for with their voting today.
        There's no rolling back any government in the foresee-able future.
        Unless you know something I don't.
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        • Posted by ewv 11 months, 2 weeks ago
          Yes there's no rolling back government in the foreseeable future. An ideological Democrat in the White House only makes growth of government power much worse faster while simultaneously doing more damage to the citizens under existing laws and regulations. It's been that way for a long time.

          Some Republican presidents are not much better than Democrats, if at all, but there have been differences even while government becomes larger and more powerful overall under all of them. Republican Bush-1 was closer to Clinton than Reagan, but can you imagine what it would have been like under Gore instead of Bush-2?

          What one can aim at with voting today is what we have to live under for the next few years at a time while the statist and cultural trends continue downward. There is a zig-zag pattern superimposed on a net downward slide. The zig-zag reflects temporary backlashes in some areas that rarely result in any major reform but at least reduce some problems we have to face on a daily basis. Electing ideological Democrat presidents precludes even that.

          Better to have a relatively more prosperous private economy under a Trump statist than stagnation and worse constantly. But the ideas that Trump caused a better economy -- as opposed to eliminating some punishment on private actions that actually are the economy -- and that he represents some major trend change for the better are myth.
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          • Posted by PeterSmith 11 months, 2 weeks ago
            I pretty much agree with everything here, but I'd stress the damage that conservative do too. Damage which in some ways is more subtle and more destructive than democrats.
            In many ways by failing to provide a coherent alternative to the left, conservatives not only barely slow our descent towards statism but they destroy the discourse, which I think might speed things up even more.
            For example, take Silicon Valley. Why are they so "left wing?"
            Aside from the fact that conservatives launched their assault on this sector of our economy when they took Microsoft away from Bill Gates for failing to pay protection money in the form of lobbying, what have they offered as an alternative to democrats?
            Banning abortion? The idea that our civilization is somehow Christian? Generic religious/traditionalist gobbledygook in place of political literacy?
            When you look at politics today from the point of view of an average punter, you see socialists and then you see confused-socialists-who-also-don't-believe-in-dinosaurs.
            Faced with this choice a lot more people are "democrats" simply because they are "not-republicans." And who can blame them?

            In this way republicans are helping push more people towards the democrats because the latter represent a more consistent and less kooky version of the same thing anyway.
            In other words, things may actually have not been as bad with Gore or Hillary, because if nothing else the policies they enact and their consequences cannot be confused for "free market capitalism" which today is associated with religious kooks. And Donald (Trade War) Trump!
            If nothing else, the political discourse would be clearer if leftists are in office instead of leftists-pretending-to-not-be-leftists-but-who-don't-actually-have-any-ideas-except-leftism-with-more-jesus.
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            • Posted by ewv 11 months, 2 weeks ago
              That is true. The ideological conservatives have done enormous damage to capitalism as they misrepresent and discredit it in their half-hearted "defense" while mixing what is left with their religious agenda. I was describing the direct impact of Democrats and Republicans in power and why the hoped for "gridlock" strategy doesn't work.

              Some Objectivists have argued that putting conservatives like Reagan into office gave more prominence to the threat of religious intrusion in politics (even though he did not implement it). To some extent that is true because a president automatically has a platform. But Reagan also used his platform to say may good things which people found properly appealing and motivating.

              But when prominent conservatives lose an election to a Democrat or Rino it doesn't stop anyone's bad propagandizing. And when one wins an election he tends to cut back on that rhetoric in order to stay in office. While he remains in office he is generally unable to impose the worst (or the best) of his beliefs into government because he is in a minority, but he does help block the radical left agenda when possible and may lead to at least minor relative improvements within the downward trend.

              More fundamental is that ideas precede politics. An election is for who will be in power and what we have to live under. The time and place for fighting for better ideas is before and after elections, everywhere and continuously, regardless of who or what is in power.

              Sacrificing to a worse government in the name of clarity of ideas is a destructive strategy similar to the desires of some to crash the country as a means of reform. Political discourse doesn't become clearer when leftists are in office, though it may raise the level of perceived urgency. Letting the worst leftists into power often causes a backlash -- but that means being on the defensive at a new level, almost too late -- and it's a bad idea to make people suffer more under worse extremes of statism in the hope that they will listen to the right ideas. And it doesn't work. It may create a temporary and partial political reversal within the downward trend, but understanding and accepting better ideas is a long term process.

              But I don't know what you mean by conservatives "took Microsoft away from Bill Gates". The DOJ under Clinton and several state attorneys general initiated the "anti-monopoly" attack on Microsoft in the 1990s. In 2014 Gates left Microsoft to pursue his charities full time.
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              • Posted by PeterSmith 11 months, 2 weeks ago
                "Sacrificing to a worse government in the name of clarity of ideas is a destructive strategy similar to the desires of some to crash the country as a means of reform."
                To be clear, that is not what I'm advocating but I probably needed to be clearer.
                I'm trying to say that often conservatives present us with even WORSE government than democrats, if for no other reason than they will actually push more people in the democrats direction.
                The way I look at it is something like this:
                Democrat president with democrats controlling the other branches of government = massive statism. Worst option.
                Republican president with republicans controlling the other branches of government = also pretty massive statism
                Republican president with democrats controlling the other branches of government = also pretty massive statism
                But democrat president with republicans controlling at least congress and you find you'll suddenly have a slow down. We saw this with Obama who never passed anything else when losing congress after Obamacare and we saw it even more clearly during the Clinton years.
                This was not because conservatives have any ideas or principles, but they tend to remember they should be opposing whatever it is the democrats are trying to do when in opposition.
                The bottom line is that to minimize damaging government it seems that we need a democrat president with republicans slowing him down via congress.
                Seems like the only practical solution given the intellectually bankrupt times we live in.
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      • Posted by 11 months, 2 weeks ago
        What is not readily recognizable is that the progressives, and all their variants, utilize a moving authoritative control from branch to branch with all the minions consistently falling in lockstep. It doesn't matter which branch they control, they use it to further their agenda for the last century.
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    • Posted by ewv 11 months, 2 weeks ago
      Whether or not you're left with grounds to oppose Democrats depends on what you mean by "support". Ideological support for Trump, his premises, and his emotional Pragmatist thinking has pretty much given away everything. The same goes for more religious conservatives.

      But even in that there can be specific policies that, at least for the moment, for as long as it lasts, differ enough to avoid the Democrat candidate, knowing that the overall trend remains the same.

      We can only choose among possible alternatives. A choice in an election is not the same as the choice of what to morally sanction and what you prefer for the longer term. Changing that course isn't done by restricting oneself to voting every two years.
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  • Posted by PeterSmith 11 months, 2 weeks ago in reply to this comment.
    There is no schism within Objectivism over Trump. Just a lot of people who are not really Objectivists trying to reconcile Trump with Objectivism, which cannot be done.
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    • Posted by 11 months, 2 weeks ago
      Your statement is intellectually dishonest whether one is pro/partial/anti Trump. There are many schooled Objectivists that have left the camp because of comments like what is made in the manner above.
      You don't know who and the reasons others may differ from you and to slam the door on those with such a vitriolic statement only fosters the cultish perception we've been trying to counter for over 50 years. Use your understanding of Objectivism in a more positive manner.
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      • Posted by ewv 11 months, 2 weeks ago
        From direct observation we do see Objectivists-in-name-only trying to reconcile Ayn Rand with Trump -- more precisely some who like something about Ayn Rand but aren't particularly interested in her ideas differing from conservativism and who don't typically consider themselves to be Objectivists, which they see as somehow different from or not essential to Ayn Rand. They don't know enough about Objectivism to even attempt such a reconciliation, and tend to talk loosely in terms of some of his actions as "Objectivist" in nature.

        I haven't seen anyone with a serious understanding of Ayn Rand's philosophy to any significant degree claiming Trump's thought and actions have any significant relation to the ideas. I don't know how much debate there is within that intellectual realm over the electoral support, but serious debate in terms of Ayn Rand's principles has nothing to do with "cults".
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        • Posted by 11 months, 2 weeks ago
          When I am talking about Objectivists, I'm referring to those that do have an intellectual understanding and agreement on the broad philosophy. Not the pseudos, in-name-only, or single issue wanna bes. There are many out there. Even Craig was off the island for a while. And you're right "serious debate" is not cultish, but there are many that just reiterate, almost bible-like, the principles and are unable to objectively apply, and become demeaning and irritated with ANY questioning or disagreement. It's been that way since I worked at NBI, and has nothing to do with the validity of the ideas, but more the individual independent thought and conveyance.
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    • Posted by $ Thoritsu 11 months, 2 weeks ago
      Wrong.

      If Objectivism can not be pragmatic, it is uselsss.

      Trump is better, my bank account shows it.

      My used Walker diesel mower is better than a new Home Depo John Deere. Neither is an Obvectivist, but my choice was as logical and in self interest as any decision.
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      • Posted by PeterSmith 11 months, 2 weeks ago
        Well then we've found the problem.
        Objectivists are not pragmatic, they are principled.
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        • Posted by $ Thoritsu 11 months, 2 weeks ago
          I accept this assertion, but it does not liberate the logical basis.

          Being principled, but not pragmatic, is virtuous, but can be (certainly not always) ineffective.
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          • Posted by PeterSmith 11 months, 2 weeks ago
            Yes it is. It's always effective. The moral is the practical.
            Look, if you want to argue there are some not-all-bad things from the Trump administration, like ewv has done, then do so. I can see some of those points.
            But too many here are breathlessly supporting Trump as some turning of the tide, or pretending there's a schism in Objectivism re him. These things are just plain false.
            Trump is a big government leftist. Sure he has some OK appointees that are doing some OK things, but that's not enough for me personally to be celebrating anything. Overall the Trump administration is just another left wing administration.
            But one that's moved the discourse in a far more uglier, tribal and nationalistic direction then it has been before.
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            • Posted by ewv 11 months, 2 weeks ago
              There are a few very good people in high levels of the Trump administration who are a lot better than "ok". They also realize what the trend is and that their specific actions in their current role is not changing it beyond their tenure. They are not Trump idolizers, just willing and grateful that they are able to do something that otherwise would not be possible at all.
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            • Posted by $ Thoritsu 11 months, 2 weeks ago
              I think I have done just as you said, made an argument for some of the good things, and against the worse things.

              Being principled is not always practical. If someone points a gun at your head and says tell me Hillary is a good person or all shoot, it is not practical to be principled.
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              • Posted by ewv 11 months, 2 weeks ago
                When someone has a gun pointed at your head your principles require you to get rid of it, not follow out of context commandments that get you killed in the name of "principles". Following principles requires maintaining context. Being forced to say something at gunpoint has no cognitive meaning and everyone seeing it knows it.
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                • Posted by $ Thoritsu 11 months, 2 weeks ago
                  It is an extreme example, but it is not without cognitive meaning.

                  Take away the gun then, and replace it with:
                  Being threatened to be punched,
                  Being required to berth in the baggage compartment on a transoceanic voyage,
                  Not getting a free lunch

                  There are many examples that are not purely hypothetical. It takes nothing away from the discussion or point.

                  You agree that you address getting the gun out of the way first. This means you agree that you comply with the command. This means you set you principals aside and make a statement you don’t agree with. You can not argue this is not setting your principles aside, because you would not otherwise make the verbal statement.

                  Between a gun to your head and having the other person yell at you, there are a continuum of negatives. Some, you would deal with. Others, you would compromise. This is obvious.

                  It does not mean your principles are abandoned, but they are compromised temporarily to be practical.
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                  • Posted by ewv 11 months, 2 weeks ago
                    When someone has a gun to your head or threatens to punch you, you aren't agreeing to anything, you are being coerced. That is not abandonment of principles.
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                    • Posted by $ Thoritsu 11 months, 2 weeks ago
                      You addressed the easy ones, but not the hard ones.
                      There are clearly examples where an immediate action/decision that is consistent with principles will result in long-term outcomes that are not consistent with the same principles/philosophy.

                      How is this handled?
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                      • Posted by ewv 11 months, 2 weeks ago
                        You described "hard ones" as
                        "Take away the gun then, and replace it with:
                        Being threatened to be punched,
                        Being required to berth in the baggage compartment on a transoceanic voyage,
                        Not getting a free lunch"

                        Being required (by whom and how?) to be in a baggage compartment, and replacing threat with a gun by "not getting a free lunch", do not describe what you mean by violating principles and I didn't want to guess. If you describe what you mean by those examples I will try to respond to that.
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                        • Posted by $ Thoritsu 11 months, 2 weeks ago
                          Those were just to illustrate the point.

                          Voting and/or influencing in an election was what triggered this thought process.

                          Every candidate is a compromise. No candidates embody all one’s beliefs. Almost none or none (closest I could name is Ron Paul, ret.) are Objectivists themselves.

                          How about a hypothetical candidate that was a felon at one time, cheated on his wife last year, and is belligerent but supports reducing government, and is running against an avid socialist?
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                          • Posted by ewv 11 months, 2 weeks ago
                            You wrote "Being principled is not always practical" as illustrated by being forced at gunpoint (or being punched) to say something you don't believe, but being coerced into saying it doesn't make you violate your principles, the perpetrator does that and no one believes what you were forced to say. You then referred to two ambiguous "hard one" examples that you said I didn't address. They were vaguely something about free lunches and being in a baggage compartment. What did you mean?

                            In the realm of elections in particular, regardless of what is on the ballot it doesn't require us to be unprincipled in order to be practical. A proper election process does not mean at least one candidate on the ballot must embrace all that anyone prefers. We make choices from among the alternatives or don't vote -- our voting for a candidate less dangerous to us does not mean we are acting against our principles; it's how in self defense we deal on principle with the political context we are in.

                            There are all kinds of principles being violated, but a finite ballot choice does not mean we are immorally reduced to an unprincipled "practicality"; the principles are violated by the perpetrators and our principles include self defense.

                            If in your hypothetical example there is a choice between a socialist and an ex felon who personally cheats but claims to support reducing government, then you'd better determine if the felon can be trusted at all before deciding on a vote!

                            You may decide you can't find a significant difference between different kinds of evil and therefore not vote for either.

                            Or you may decide to risk the ex-felon. If you vote for him you are not endorsing his character and his crimes, and you don't have to like them to vote; the votes only decide who will be power and that is all you vote on.

                            You can only make moral choices within what is possible. That's no bad reflection on your principled actions and integrity.
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                            • Posted by $ Thoritsu 11 months, 2 weeks ago
                              Why I bother is beyond me.

                              So, like I said several days ago:
                              Undermining Trump is self-defeating and non-Objectivist, unless you are retarded and think The democratic candidate better supports freedom or your own objectives.

                              God (lower case, except for beginning a sentence) knows why this was a difficult conclusion to establish in the first round of comments to this post.

                              Further, in the opportunity cost wasted on this massive pile of disinformation, we could have swayed several other young people to really think. Stupid!
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                              • Posted by Lucky 11 months, 2 weeks ago
                                _Why I bother is beyond me. _ Me too!

                                The particular strength of Trump is that he attacks negativity so well it helps him.
                                So to say that comments on here about Trump, even the negative ones, are undermining, is wrong. They could be helping. (writing small- a pragmatic argument)

                                As well, it is possible to comment and to criticize without condemnation.
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                                • Posted by $ Thoritsu 11 months, 2 weeks ago
                                  You better go back an look at what I said, and not what ewv lied that I said.

                                  I -
                                  1. agree Trump has issues (enumerated some);
                                  2. assert he is better than the alternatives;
                                  3. agree that discussing Trumps issues (and strengths) is of value;
                                  4. provided specific evidence for freedoms expanded by Trump;
                                  5. assert that undermining his election is self-defeating because the alternatives are worse.

                                  No one has taken these on directly. We just argue in circles and generalities.

                                  If you want to discuss them, pick one or more, be clear which one(s), and lets have a discussion.
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                                  • Lucky replied 11 months, 2 weeks ago
                                  • ewv replied 11 months, 2 weeks ago
                              • Posted by ewv 11 months, 2 weeks ago
                                This has nothing to do with the issue you raised about acting on principle which I responded to. You just changed the subject and returned to a demand that we not "undermine" Trump by analyzing what is wrong with him. You continue to ignore that I explicitly advocated keeping the criticism in the context of the Democrat alternative that is worse, which I have repeatedly done. That was not a difficult conclusion and you did not cause it. It does not have to be repeated in every post. Analyzing the fundamental problems with Trump for better understanding of the state of the country is not "stupid" and not a "massive pile of disinformation". Some of us are interested in a broader perspective than someone's AMT tax.
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                                • Posted by $ Thoritsu 11 months, 2 weeks ago
                                  Yes, it does. It is simple and fundamental. It is you who argue in circles and refuse to take on the basic assertion.

                                  I NEVER said, criticizing, and certainly not analyzing, Trump was fundamentally wrong, and in fact offered criticisms of my own.

                                  I did say undermining his election is self defeating. I maintain that undermining Trumps election is self-defeating.

                                  You have not addressed this, simple, logical, well-supported assertion in 20-30 comments.

                                  Here again, you take my statements out of context.
                                  "Massive pile of disinformation" refers to the discussions bantering about everything but the simple argument.
                                  "Stupid" refers to the behavior of arguing among ourselves, surrounded by socialists, an not working on addressing this issue.
                                  Narrowing my logical basis to a single issue, AMT, is a Red Herring fallacy.

                                  This last post you made it Ad Hominem.

                                  You have taken my statements out of context, right here. You have offered written two fallacious statements.

                                  In your version of Objectivism, is lying to manipulate people ok?
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                                  • ewv replied 11 months, 2 weeks ago
          • Posted by 11 months, 2 weeks ago
            Principled and pragmatic (in the common sense) do not have to be at odds. The means do justify the ends.
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            • Posted by PeterSmith 11 months, 2 weeks ago
              Except they are totally at odds. Like hot and cold. Or plus and minus, etc.
              They are opposites.
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              • Posted by ewv 11 months, 2 weeks ago
                He is trying to use "pragmatic" in an alternate, legitimate sense of practical, in which principled and practical are the same because principles are established for the 'practical' of living. Unfortunately there isn't much "common sense" left on what is practical. So called 'common sense' today is no longer sense and is confused with Pragmatist rejection of principle. But that is not what he was endorsing.
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            • Posted by ewv 11 months, 2 weeks ago
              Means to what ends? Both must be justified.
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              • Posted by 11 months, 2 weeks ago
                The philosophical meaning of pragmatism leads to the "ends justify the means" as principles are severed. Wrong on every account.
                What was meant above began with principled (causation) which can lead to a proper pragmatic (in the common usage) ends. That is the fundamental of the scientific theory and cause and effect.
                Unprincipled means will lead to unprincipled ends. It's obvious in the physical sciences, somewhat more muddled in the social sciences.
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                • Posted by ewv 11 months, 2 weeks ago
                  Means require an end which must be justified as a purpose. You choose an end, then find a means to reach it. Both the goal and the means must be justified.
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        • Posted by 11 months, 2 weeks ago
          Once again, we need to define so all are referring to same conceptual meaning. Philosophically I agree 100% with you, but the term has had varied connotations, similar to selfishness.
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          • Posted by ewv 11 months, 2 weeks ago
            It depends on the context. There is less risk of being misunderstood when using "pragmatic" in areas that already rational and practical such as fixing your house or in engineering. But not even in that realm when the discussion concerns ethical issues. It is almost impossible to use "pragmatic" in politics without being misunderstood and it should be avoided.
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      • Posted by 11 months, 2 weeks ago
        Maybe we should coin the term rational pragmatism for the same reason as Rand used rational self-interest.
        Most uses of the term pragmatism are not meant with the same philosophical implications that we know.
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        • Posted by ewv 11 months, 2 weeks ago
          "Rational pragmatism" makes it sound like an endorsement of a notion that there can be a kind of Pragmatism that is rational philosophy. Pragmatism by its essence is not practical and has no rational version. Objectivism by its nature is practical and needs no such qualification. There is no need for and nothing to be gained by mixing "practicality" with anything that smacks of Pragmatism.

          "Pragmatic" has unfortunately become an ambiguous term, or worse a package deal, mixing common sense practicality with Pragmatism. Most people don't know what Pragmatism the philosophy is or where it came from, but the general ideas of that philosophy most certainly have been widely accepted and mixed with the meaning of the "practical".

          That is a result of Pragmatism having spread and been uncritically accepted after more than a century, first from academia (dominating at Harvard), then the intellectuals generally, then the general public. See the well-written but frightening prize-winning The Metaphysical Club: A Story of Ideas in America by Menand (NYT best-seller and editors' choice of best books of 2001 -- they know what they are after).
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        • Posted by $ Thoritsu 11 months, 2 weeks ago
          That is an interesting concept.

          Your point is that "pragmatism" is generally viewed as of immediate value, but without moral/logical/rational support? Like a local minima where one may fail to see the larger picture and be "mired"?
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          • Posted by 11 months, 2 weeks ago
            This is a piece from several years ago.


            Pragmatism and Trump
            Valid or Misunderstood

            To properly utilize a word, concept or idea we must first understand its definition. Merriam-Webster defines pragmatism as:
            1-A practical approach to problems and affairs
            2-An American movement in philosophy founded by C.S. Peirce and William James and marked by the doctrines that the meaning of conceptions is to be sought in their practical bearings, that the function of thought is to guide action, and that truth is preeminently to be tested by the practical consequences of belief

            These two definitions are profoundly different and can have implications that are polar opposites. The first can be seen as a rational attempt to understand the world around us. We begin by observation and formulate an idea or question. We continue to acquire data to propose and test a hypothesis, and then analyze the information to form a conclusion. That is the scientific method and has demonstrated its efficacy in the sciences that has immensely advanced the human condition. Proofs and principles are firmly grounded and form the basis of the inductive/deductive logical method.

            The second definition is more reflective of a philosophical movement that began in the late nineteenth century. The dilemma was to reconcile the claims of science on one hand with those of religion and morality on the other. “The people needed a philosophy that is both empiricist in its adherence to facts yet finds room for religious belief.” To accomplish this they needed to sever the relationship of the real world and knowledge to justify actions of a predetermined morality or conclusion. Simply put, the ends justify the means. Rand more eloquently stated “the pragmatists declared that philosophy must be practical and that practicality consist of dispensing with all absolute principles and standards—that there is no such thing as objective reality or permanent truth—that truth is that which works, and its validity can be judged only by its consequences…………there is only an undifferentiated package-deal labeled ‘experience,’ and whatever one wishes to be true, is true, whatever one wishes to exist, does exist, provided it works and makes one feel better.” She further stated that “a later school of pragmatists (including Dewey) amended this philosophy……….and decided that objectivity consists of collective subjectivism-that knowledge is to be gained by means of public polls among special elites of ‘competent investigators’ who can ‘predict and control’ reality.……since reality is indeterminate and people determine its actual nature.”

            Which of these two definitions more aptly defines today’s political culture. Does Jonathan Gruber’s or Pelosi’s comments on Obamacare come to mind? Or is it Bushes neocon foreign policy of nation building. The recent Clinton strategy was void of any substance and driven by lies, spins and deceptions to achieve a win at any cost. Re read the above and decide which is the current political establishment and which one Trump represents.

            While Trump may not be able to articulate his principles with the scientific factuality of a Stephen Hawking or the eloquent consistence of the philosophical writings of Rand, he still appears to have an “intuitive” sense, not only of practicality but also of right and wrong. One need only to look at his children to realize some form of proper values was present and even Hillary recognized that in one of the debates. His productivity and financial success had to be seated in proper fundamentals as opposed to a chaotic unprincipled achievement of goals. And many, if not all (including his adversaries) that have personally engaged with him have echoed his likability. So does he have a “practical approach to problems and affairs”? Absolutely and if that is pragmatic so be it. But our political system is more reflective of the second definition of pragmatism and it’s what Trump has identified and hopefully will attempt to correct.

            We are at a crossroads and as the more rational policies are instituted and succeed we need to recognize the “cause and effect” to connect the dots of the practical existential applications to the proper fundamental principles in the same manner and integrity that the scientific method accomplishes for the physical sciences.
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            • Posted by ewv 11 months, 2 weeks ago
              Leonard Peilkoff's lecture on Pragmatism in his history of modern philosophy provides an excellent description of Pragmatism and how it evolved from previous philosophy, and how it differs from Objectivism.

              Arthur Ekirch's The Decline of American Liberalism in parts of chapters 11 and 12 describes how Pragmatism, with its perverted ideas of meaning and truth, became the philosophy of the early progressive movement.
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            • Posted by $ Thoritsu 11 months, 2 weeks ago
              Good god, I never heard of the second definition!

              We do need to connect rational policies and the dots, so to speak.

              I hope we have time to do anything, before altruism is the end of all freedom. If so, I probably won't have to fight this out in my lifetime, but wonder if there can ever be enough to take it on in my children's if we let it.

              Imagining:
              - Socialism takes hold.
              - The 28th Amendment eliminates the Second Amendment
              - The 29th Amendment is passed and the needs of the many outweigh the needs of the one. No individual right can infringe on the greater good.
              - The US and China merge, after all in US government are admitted to the top of the party.
              - With the level of technology in government, and lack of privacy, no uprising can succeed.
              - Humans become bees.
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              • Posted by $ Solver 11 months, 2 weeks ago
                A very progressive society where its members only exist to serve. Where if its individual members get sick, injured or die, they are unceremoniously tossed from the hive.
                The future of mankind? (Or would that be human hive, since there would be little kindness as we know it today?)
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                • Posted by $ Thoritsu 11 months, 2 weeks ago
                  I sure hope it isn’t the future. But it is heading that way.

                  You are quite right about the kindness point. When the state assumes control of sympathy, little remains individually. Same thing happened to charity when FDR implemented welfare.
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  • -1
    Posted by PeterSmith 11 months, 1 week ago in reply to this comment.
    If you didn't want to engage then you don't respond.
    Your original statement was an ad hominem not a "light-hearted suggestion."
    Don't double down on your lack of arguments with dishonest too.
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    • Posted by 11 months, 1 week ago
      And I choose not to respond, but your accusatory assumptions are illogical and misinterpreted. Intent is the difference between manslaughter and murder, even though the body is still lifeless. As an old Italian that grew up in Brooklyn, if I wanted to double down and respond there would be no mistake and you would know. I will continue to enjoy your input with others. Promote the good.
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  • Comment hidden by post owner or admin, or due to low comment or member score. View Comment
  • -5
    Posted by PeterSmith 11 months, 3 weeks ago
    It's not clear who posts like this are designed to fool.
    Trump is a complete collectivist and his administration is responsible for continuing the trillion dollar spending fiasco's started by Bush, abolished the debt ceiling (pretty much the only achievement out of the hopeless Tea Party), pushing to regulate tech companies, imposed trade tariffs and further rights violating immigration regulations. Not to mention engaged in cowardly appeasement of the worst dictators on earth as we saw with Russia and most especially NK.
    No Objectivist should support this kind of appalling and leftist administration. In fact it's being so bad that it's not even clear that Hillary would've been a worse choice, so even that line of reasoning doesn't hold anymore.
    As to Trump personally, well he is a liar, a philanderer, intellectually bankrupt pragmatist who thinks he's on a reality TV show.
    Nothing to admire there from an Objectivist point of view either.
    So much as I think there is a lot to criticize in ARI and TOS, their condemnation of Trump is certainly not one of those things at all.
    It should be applauded. Trump and his administration are an unmitigated leftist disaster, pushing American politics into a very ugly Nationalist and Statist direction.
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    • Posted by $ AJAshinoff 11 months, 3 weeks ago
      Just curious, as opposed to whom? I'm not a blind eyed Trump supporter by any means but I in no way see him as a leftist. An argument could be made that you have to spend money to make money. An argument can also be made that Trump has to shore up and rebuild where O tore down, spent without value, and just plain gave away the nations wealth to hostiles (let's not mention the host if theft and fleecing that went on for 8 years or the secrets sold for profit).
      I agree Trump can hardly be called an Objectivist or a Conservative but I cannot say he's a leftist or remotely the ilk of the Ds ravenously opposing him at every turn.
      I don't know you so if I'm out of line I apologize in advance, but I think you have an axe to grind.

      Trump is an opportunistic NY moderate. Plain and simple. Not a great thing in my opinion but we could easily have done worse (and again, there was really no choice)
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      • -3
        Posted by PeterSmith 11 months, 3 weeks ago
        "Just curious, as opposed to whom? I'm not a blind eyed Trump supporter by any means but I in no way see him as a leftist."
        If you don't think that someone who implements trillion dollar spending bills, regulates trade and immigration more than even Obama did, assaults the rights of tech companies more than even Obama did, etc, is not "leftist" then I'm not sure what you think that term even means.
        Trump personally has no ideology, but he is still implementing collectivist and therefore leftist government policy.
        As such it makes perfect sense for Objectivists to oppose Trump and his administration as much as any other collectivist and therefore leftist administration.

        EDIT: also just to add, the Democrats aren't opposing anything. They are getting all their policies through, while pretending to oppose and therefore getting to have their cake and eat it too.

        And we have conservatives to thank for this circus.
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        • Posted by $ AJAshinoff 11 months, 3 weeks ago
          I think much of what is said by his actions has to play out before anyone can come to judgement. He has a habit, routine, way of doing things where people rush to judgement and then revealing a motive that no one considered and making his naysayers look rather foolish. I do hope that's the case with this horrendous budget deal.

          I am a Conservative. I wasn't in favor of Trump (preferred Cruz or Carson), but again there really wasn't a viable alternative in the general election.I am quite disgusted with the caliber of most conservatives and ENTIRELY sick of the tea party.

          We do not elect pious people and we certainly don't elect terribly moral people. I'll wait to see what he does before voicing more than my disappointment.

          Incidentally, any social structure or government is a collectivist entity. So any President, and any elected official, representing a expansive body of people, in our case 230M, must be collectivist minded in his/her decision making. The slippery slope is respecting and adhering to the structure of the Constitution, made more difficult by the contortion of Constitutional original intent and the ladder of violations present government stands on as its foundation. In that way the NY Moderate, as witnessed, is as dangerous as he is duplicitous. As said before, I hope he has a plan, and I hope that plan benefits us, because I do not sense he does anything without a profitable reason.
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          • Posted by exceller 11 months, 3 weeks ago
            "We do not elect pious people and we certainly don't elect terribly moral people."

            Entirely correct.

            Anyone stepping into the political arena severed themselves from both.

            Trump is not a leftist.

            It is stated only by those who are compelled to compartmentalize. Wonder what does the poster think of Obama? Where does he fall on the scale?

            Problems are never solved by applying ONE set of rules. To argue that because someone is using methods that are anathema to a conservative makes that individual a feftist means short sightedness.

            The plethora of problems that Hussein left behind calls for someone who is able to absorb conflicting facts and find a path the country benefits from.
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            • Posted by term2 11 months, 3 weeks ago
              Trump's best slogan so far is "promises made- promoses kept". That is unique for a politician and a very desirable indication of honesty. He is also less collectivist than the leftists, which is also a good thing.
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          • -4
            Posted by PeterSmith 11 months, 3 weeks ago
            "I am a Conservative."
            That's not a good thing. They way I look at it Conservatives are just religious and much more confused arm of the left wing.
            They are certainly the biggest enemy of Objectivists and worked hard to bring Rand down because they knew her ideas meant the end for their movement.

            "I am quite disgusted with the caliber of most conservatives and ENTIRELY sick of the tea party."
            I'm not sure why. I mean you're still waiting to decide on Trump, so not sure how you could dislike anyone in the conservative or Tea Party movements. Let alone even many democrats...

            "We do not elect pious people and we certainly don't elect terribly moral people."
            What do you mean by pious people and why is that an issue?
            Our real issue is that we don't elect anyone with any understanding of political theory and certainly no one with any ideas with which to oppose the left.

            "Incidentally, any social structure or government is a collectivist entity..."
            No, that's not what's meant by "collectivist."
            Collectivist means: rights violating government policy. NO president should ever be a collectivist. If you support a collectivist president then you may as well be a socialist.

            "The slippery slope is respecting and adhering to the structure of the Constitution, made more difficult by the contortion of Constitutional original intent and the ladder of violations present government stands on as its foundation."
            If you support a collectivist president then you fundamentally oppose the constitution.

            "As said before, I hope he has a plan, and I hope that plan benefits us, because I do not sense he does anything without a profitable reason."
            I'm not sure what plan your waiting to be revealed from a statist like Trump that could possibly even remotely undo the disaster of his administration.
            Many seem to be almost in a fantasy world when it comes to Trump when he is basically running a more left wing government than Obama and should be opposed certainly by anyone who identifies as an Objectivist.
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            • Posted by term2 11 months, 3 weeks ago
              None of us are going to live to see a totally rational society. All I can do is promote rationality and choose the options that let me enjoy whatever rationality is out there. If Hillary supporters would wear armbands to identify themselves, it would help me to avoid them.
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              • -4
                Posted by PeterSmith 11 months, 3 weeks ago
                Why? If you support Trump you have no reason to oppose Hillary.
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                • Posted by term2 11 months, 3 weeks ago
                  i dont think you would have liked what Hillary would have done if she had won the election, and I doubt you will like whatever the 2020 dems would do if elected in 2020.
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                  • -3
                    Posted by PeterSmith 11 months, 3 weeks ago
                    Of course I wouldn't.
                    But those who like what Trump has done have no reason to dislike Hillary.
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                    • Posted by term2 11 months, 3 weeks ago
                      I really do wish that everything was black and white. Trump does some things that I like and respect, but does some others that I think are stupid. The acceptable percentage, if I were to calculate it, is maybe 70%. I think with Hillary it would have been like 10% (that doesnt include the back room deals she might make with the clinton foundation).

                      As to the 2020 group, I doubt I would like anything they would do actually, yielding them a percentage score of ZERO.
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            • Posted by Russpilot 11 months, 3 weeks ago
              Jesus, we get it... you are a Trump hater and your TDS is showing through. All of your posts have the same bias. Trumps achievements in his first 8 months in office overshadowed the whole of the 8 years previous and it grates on your poor little heart.
              After that all I hear (read) sounds like Charlie Brown's teacher.
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              • Posted by $ Dobrien 11 months, 3 weeks ago
                +1 Russpilot. This is one of many benefits of freedom of speech. You can separate the wheat from the chaff. Sort the valuable from the worthless. Any love for Hussein is misguided at best and it totally shows a dearth of critical thinking.
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              • Posted by ewv 11 months, 3 weeks ago
                You didn't respond to anything he wrote. Calling someone a "Trump hater" with "TDS" and "biased" is not an argument for anything.
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                • Posted by Russpilot 11 months, 3 weeks ago
                  After a while, debating with the willfully ignorant loses its sport. Which is why, with the exception of this post, I won't be responding to either of you again on this post.
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                  • Posted by ewv 11 months, 3 weeks ago
                    Political and philosophical criticism of Trump is not "willful" ignorance". Stop the personal attacks. Emotional adherence to Trump idolatry is not the standard of knowledge versus ignorance, let alone "willful".

                    This is a forum for Ayn Rand's philosophy of reason and individualism, not the "sport" of name calling in the name of "debate". Neither is it for haughty emotional refusal to respond to rational argument when called on it.
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              • -3
                Posted by PeterSmith 11 months, 3 weeks ago
                I don't think you do get it and you're responding with mindless NPC talking points. Nothing I've posted is Trump TDS. Just pretty basic facts that shouldn't even be all that controversial...
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                • Posted by $ Dobrien 11 months, 3 weeks ago
                  Oh Petey “when it comes to Trump he is basically running a more left wing government than Obama”
                  TDS to the max
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                  • Posted by PeterSmith 11 months, 3 weeks ago
                    So running a government passing trillion dollar spending bills, eliminating the debt ceiling, regulating trade and immigration is not a more left wing government than Obama?
                    You realize Obama didn't eliminate the debt ceiling nor start "trade wars."
                    What planet are you people on?
                    Like I said in one of these threads earlier, when it comes to Trump, most people seem to be in a fantasy world stating their wishes as if they were facts, when the facts are as bad as they can get.
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    • Posted by $ Abaco 11 months, 3 weeks ago
      I stopped reading this post after "...Trump is a complete collectivist." Am I correct to assume the rest was a mess?

      While we're at it...Obama drew everybody together, across racial barriers. Or...Bill Clinton remained true to his wife. George W could fly when he flapped his arms fast enough. Let's really get off in the weeds here...
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    • Posted by $ CBJ 11 months, 3 weeks ago
      Re: "Trump is a complete collectivist"
      1. Tax cuts
      2. Constitutionalist judges
      3. Rollback of regulations
      4. Repeal of Obamacare opt-out "tax"
      5. Withdraw from "climate change accord"
      Yep, "complete collectivist" for sure!
      (For further details, compare to Hillary.)
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      • -2
        Posted by PeterSmith 11 months, 3 weeks ago
        None of these things have happened.
        Point by point:
        1. Tax cuts - are not real because government spending has exploded. This means that the gov will still be collecting this money either through printing or borrowing. Without a cut in government spending first, you can't have tax cuts.

        2. Constitutional judges - are not a thing. No one on the SC understands anything about the constitution today, nor are there any such candidates. Kavanaugh is a massive leftist responsible for implementing unconstitutional spying programs. Gorsuch is not as bad, but still nothing indicates he is a "constitutional judge."

        3. Rollback of regulations - nothing has been rolled back. There has not been a single bill deregulating anything. I think there's confusion between some of Trumps appointees fiddling around the margins and "deregulation."

        4. Repeal of Obamacare - Trump was not able to repeal Obamacare. No such bill has been passed. The fact that Obamacare might a death anyway, just because the checks and balances the Founders first put in place are still somewhat functional, is not something Trump gets any credit for.

        5 Withdraw from climate change accord - so? It's not like he's passed any bills removing any green bureaucracy's or anything. This is more fiddling around the margins.

        And then there's the massive INCREASE in regulations from the Trump administration, in areas of immigration, trade and the assault on tech companies.

        I think I said it another thread but when it comes to Trump so many people are just in fantasy lala land, instead of observing what is ACTUALLY going on.
        You're too invested in Trump, which is generally a sign of weak/non-existent principles or ideas, or ability to think for yourself.
        So Trump IS a complete collectivist.
        Objectivists should be opposed to this appalling, leftist administration.
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        • Posted by $ CBJ 11 months, 3 weeks ago
          If your arguments are so strong, why do you consider it necessary to resort to personal attacks and insults?

          Tax cuts are tax cuts. Trump's judges are way better, Constitution-wise, than anyone Hillary would have proposed. Leftists and statists overlap, but they're not the same thing. I said "repeal of Obamacare opt-out tax", not repeal of Obamacare. Dozens of regulations have been rolled back at the administrative level, where most of them originated. The federal government is no longer supporting (or spending billions of dollars on) "climate change" programs. Securing our borders is a legitimate function of the federal government.

          Just because Trump isn't perfect doesn't make him a complete collectivist. The word "complete" has a specific meaning, and Trump's views and actions don't qualify for it.
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          • -2
            Posted by PeterSmith 11 months, 3 weeks ago
            Ah OK, let's just ignore everything I've said and restate your fantasy as if it's reality, trying to exaggerate trivial technicalities as if they were some kind of momentous achievements.
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        • Posted by $ Dobrien 11 months, 3 weeks ago
          You seem to be incapable of critical thinking.
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          • -1
            Posted by GaltsGulch 11 months, 3 weeks ago
            Attack the argument, not the person. Please refer to the Gulch Code of Conduct: https://www.galtsgulchonline.com/faq#......
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            • Posted by $ Dobrien 11 months, 3 weeks ago
              Please explain why I am singled out in my response to this comment. In the The comment I replied to it was stated “You're too invested in Trump, which is generally a sign of weak/non-existent principles or ideas, or ability to think for yourself.”
              Is it because I did not write a bunch of subjective opinions or false characterizations?
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              • Posted by ewv 11 months, 3 weeks ago
                "You seem to be incapable of critical thinking" is another personal attack.

                That was the entirety of a response to a lengthy post explaining important ways in which Trump is collectivist, not "a bunch of subjective opinions or false characterizations". This is a thread about Trump versus Ayn Rand's principles. Contradicting the campaign talking points bandwagon is not the standard and far from proof of "incapable of critical thinking".

                The Trump idolatry here and elsewhere emotionally following political campaign slogans does indicate a lack of intellectual independence and/or rational standards. That has been pointed out many times on this forum, even while advocating voting for Trump against Clinton as the narrow electoral choice before us at the time (and probably again in 2020 given what the Democrats are offering).
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                • Posted by $ Dobrien 11 months, 3 weeks ago
                  Who are you? Petey’s handler? Or are you the admins spokesman? “The Trump idolatry here And elsewhere emotionalyfollowing campain slogans DOES indicate a lack of intellectual independence and/ or rational standards” your subjective backhanded snipes do not belong on this forum.
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                  • Posted by ewv 11 months, 3 weeks ago
                    Rejection of conservative anti-intellectualism most certainly does belong on this forum. It is not "backhanded swipes". Your personal attacks do not belong here. Please stop it. This is an Ayn Rand forum, not Breitbart. There are no "handlers" and no "spokesmen" for the moderator as has been explained previously.
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                • Posted by $ CBJ 11 months, 3 weeks ago
                  What “campaign talking points bandwagon”? I posted a short list of actual Trump accomplishments to demonstrate that Trump is not “a complete collectivist." As I stated earlier, “The word ‘complete’ has a specific meaning, and Trump's views and actions don't qualify for it.” That is hardly Trump idolatry, and does not “indicate a lack of intellectual independence and/or rational standards” any more than Ayn Rand’s support of Nixon did.
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                  • Posted by ewv 11 months, 3 weeks ago
                    Ayn Rand thoroughly opposed and denounced Nixon on principle and explained why. She advocated voting for him as an "anti-Nixonite for Nixon" only to keep McGovern out, who was advocating far worse policies. She did not grasp for lists of accomplishments within Nixon's statism to promote him as not a "complete collectivist" on principle. That Nixon opposed the communists did not make him not a collectivist himself -- of the nationalist pragmatist variety.

                    Contrary to Dobrien, Peter Smith's characterization of Trump as collectivist, whether or not anyone quibbles over the degree, does not make him "incapable of critical thinking", which was Dobrien's response in its entirety. It was a highly personal attack, for which there is no excuse.
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                    • Posted by $ Dobrien 11 months, 3 weeks ago
                      Apparently you are the spokesman for Galt gulch admin. Very disapointing that the real admin won’t respond.
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                      • Posted by ewv 11 months, 3 weeks ago
                        No, that is not "apparent" or true. It is another personal attack. The moderator's simple rejections of Dobrien's personal attacks speak for themselves. The rest demolishes the rationalizations -- and the bizarre 'downvoting' of the moderator, rejecting the standards of this forum while continuing to exploit it. The forum moderator is not part of the debate; it was Dobrien who responded to and lashed out at the moderator.
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                    • Posted by $ CBJ 11 months, 3 weeks ago
                      Ayn Rand, as far as I know, never called Nixon a complete collectivist. The point I have been making is that Trump is not a complete collectivist either. I have backed up my statement with strong evidence. That does not make me a proponent of “Trump idolatry,” and does not “indicate a lack of intellectual independence and/or rational standards”. For the record, I voted for Gary Johnson in 2016 and expect to vote Libertarian again in 2020.
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                      • Posted by ewv 11 months, 3 weeks ago
                        Your post is non-responsive. There is no excuse for Dobrien's personal attack of "incapable of critical thinking" for rejecting Trump for all the reasons given here.

                        I did not use the term "complete collectivist" either. Ideologically Trump's appeals are almost always collectivist with no mention of individual rights even for policies we regard as better despite that. Quibbling over to what degree his collectivism is "complete" within his pragmatist nationalism is an irrelevant rationalistic diversion, not an excuse to personally attack people for rejecting the currently typical uncritical and populist conservative mantra for Trump, which mantra does “indicate a lack of intellectual independence and/or rational standards”.

                        I did not say that CBJ or other Libertarian Party activists are idolizing Trump; if any are now they certainly did not in the election, in which supporting Johnson-Weld was worse.
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                        • Posted by $ CBJ 11 months, 3 weeks ago
                          Re: “Your post is non-responsive.” Non-responsive to what? Before you even joined the conversation, the issue involved another poster referring to Trump as a “complete collectivist”. I gave reasons that demonstrated that he is not, a position for which I was told I was “too invested in Trump, which is generally a sign of weak/non-existent principles or ideas, or ability to think for yourself.” I agree that personal attacks should be avoided on this forum, and I try to practice what I preach, but this standard should apply to both sides of any disagreement, and any debate should be confined to the actual issues at hand, not a debater’s alleged “lack of intellectual independence and/or rational standards.”
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                          • Posted by ewv 11 months, 3 weeks ago
                            Your post was non-responsive to the rejection of Dobrien's personal attacks. That is what my post was about that you ignored when you replied with another diversion about the degree of Trump's collectivism.

                            Rejecting the widespread anti-intellectualism of conservative Trump idolatry is not a personal attack. It is an "issue at hand". This is a forum for Ayn Rand's philosophy of reason, not a place to spout political emotionalism immune from rebuttal, exploding in personal attacks out of resentment of criticism of conservatism.
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                            • Posted by $ CBJ 11 months, 3 weeks ago
                              Then you and I will continue to differ regarding what constitutes a personal attack.
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                              • Posted by ewv 11 months, 3 weeks ago
                                Dobrien's "You seem to be incapable of critical thinking" as his response to a lengthy serious post was a personal attack, for which he was called out by the moderator, which he then proceeded to attack. No amount of repeatedly quibbling over to what degree Trump is collectivist excuses it.

                                Criticism of conservative positions and poor reasoning is not a personal attack regardless of whether anyone feels 'triggered' by it. We see them reacting that way and personally lashing out here over and over as they misrepresent their target and play victim.

                                Widespread conservative anti-intellectualism and swaggering emotionalism (which is certainly not true of all of conservatives) is a cultural problem that ought to be of concern for any supporter of reason and individualism. It is not to be banned from discussion.
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                      • Posted by PeterSmith 11 months, 3 weeks ago
                        You guys are not arguing that Trump is not a "complete collectivist" you guys seem to think he is some kind of Ayn Randian hero/John Galt second coming and I'm explaining why that is far, far from the case.
                        Compared to your fantastical vision of Trump, calling him a complete collectivist is far more accurate.
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                        • Posted by $ CBJ 11 months, 3 weeks ago
                          Have you discovered some evidence from my previous posts that I think Trump is “some kind of Ayn Randian hero/John Galt second coming”? If so, I would be interested in seeing it.
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                          • Posted by PeterSmith 11 months, 3 weeks ago
                            Funnily enough someone just claimed here that Trump is 40% Objectivist. I'm sure you're going to respond to that post pointing out the obvious nonsense of that?
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                            • Posted by $ CBJ 11 months, 3 weeks ago
                              I’m not responsible for anyone’s posts but my own. You stated, “you guys seem to think he is some kind of Ayn Randian hero/John Galt second coming”. I’m not part of a “you guys” collective, and again please cite evidence from my previous posts that I stated or implied any such thing.
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                              • -1
                                Posted by PeterSmith 11 months, 3 weeks ago
                                OK you didn't personally say that.
                                And since you don't believe such a nonsensical thing I'm sure you're going to respond to the comment suggesting that Trump is 40% Objectivist and call it out for the absurdity that it is...
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                                • Posted by $ CBJ 11 months, 3 weeks ago
                                  Since when is it my responsibility to respond to every comment I don't agree with? As an individualist, I only accept responsibility for my own posts and don't attempt to place myself or anyone else in a "you guys" category.
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                                • -2
                                  Posted by ewv 11 months, 3 weeks ago
                                  Term2 meant it as some kind of ranking for what is acceptable in politics (which still overrates Trump). I don't think he meant literally "Objectivist".
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                        • -1
                          Posted by ewv 11 months, 3 weeks ago
                          The militant conservatives have no understanding or interest in Ayn Rand's ideas; they don't use her characters as a standard for Trump idolatry or anything else.
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                  • -1
                    Posted by PeterSmith 11 months, 3 weeks ago
                    You reposted what the Trump administration and it's mindless supporters keep claiming as accomplishments but I responded pointing out that none of it is real.
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                    • Posted by $ CBJ 11 months, 3 weeks ago
                      In that case, please show how repeal of the Obamacare opt-out tax is not real. And show how Trump’s rollback of regulations is not real. (Here is evidence that it is real: https://www.brookings.edu/interactive... )
                      And please show how such actions and policies demonstrate that Trump a complete collectivist.
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                      • Posted by PeterSmith 11 months, 3 weeks ago
                        Trump hasn't rolled back any regulations and passed no bills doing so. There's nothing further to show, this is a fact you seem to not want to hear.
                        He has not repealed Obamacare.
                        A judge striking down a component of Obamacare that may kill it, maybe, is not an example of "repealing Obamacare."
                        To repeal Obamacare we would needed to have a bill doing so and no such bill is forthcoming.

                        I've also listed out all the ways in which Trump is a collectivist. I have received no counter, just nonsensical responses, evasions and downvotes.

                        If anything I've said is incorrect then it is on YOU to demonstrate that. All my points stand until you do so.
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                        • Posted by $ CBJ 11 months, 3 weeks ago
                          I already demonstrated it several times. I never said Trump repealed Obamacare – his tax cut bill, which was signed into law, eliminated the penalty tax for individuals that refused to sign up for Obamacare. That’s all that I claimed, and you can go back and read my earlier posts if you disagree. As for rolling back regulations, I linked to a website that clearly shows numerous instances of his cabinet appointees doing so. Of course he “passed no bills” doing so, Congress passes bills, not Trump.
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                          • Posted by PeterSmith 11 months, 3 weeks ago
                            "That’s all that I claimed, and you can go back and read my earlier posts if you disagree."
                            OK, what was the point of claiming that? Which of my points was that addressing?

                            "As for rolling back regulations, I linked to a website that clearly shows numerous instances of his cabinet appointees doing so."
                            I never disputed that Trumps appointees are changing things somewhat for the better at the agency level. My point is that doesn't equate deregulating anything and will be undone as soon as democrat appointees are in there instead. Maybe even by other republican appointees.

                            True deregulation requires actual bills to be passed. This requires political literacy and the ability to make deals and negotiation skills, etc, etc. All the things that we are not getting from the Trump administration.

                            "Of course he “passed no bills” doing so, Congress passes bills, not Trump."
                            That's not in dispute, but the President can use his bully pulpit to get his agenda through. But Trump has no agenda aside from old-school, leftist nationalism.
                            When he won office republicans had historic control of all the branches of government and a mandate to do something about the state of affairs, but because conservatives have no clue, they did nothing. Trump certainly didn't drive any agenda.
                            As such this administration cannot be celebrated as a deregulatory administration.
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                            • Posted by $ CBJ 11 months, 3 weeks ago
                              Re: “True deregulation requires actual bills to be passed.” No it doesn’t. Deregulation requires the removal of regulations. That’s what deregulation means. What happens after that is irrelevant. If the Democrats regain control, they can just as easily repeal deregulatory laws as reimpose regulations at the administrative level.

                              I’m no fan of conservatives, but for the most part they weren’t responsible for shutting down Trump’s agenda; that was the work of the Republican “moderates”, aka RINOs, in the Senate.

                              Regarding Obamacare, you stated in response to my posts that Trump did not repeal Obamacare, when I never claimed that he did.
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                              • Posted by ewv 11 months, 3 weeks ago
                                True deregulation requires removing the framework that established and entrenched the regulations, and that requires legislation. Compared with today's scope of regulation the recent rollbacks, while mattering to those impacted, are so minor and temporary that they can't be called "deregulation" in any significant characterization of the system we have.

                                It is not irrelevant "what happens after that". Without changing the system it is not deregulated. Legislation de-authorizing certain kinds of regulation would be far more significant than minor changes within the regulatory framework. Legislation has both authorized whole classes of regulation and established procedures for agencies to formulate or revise them.

                                It is harder to "reform" them at the agency level than it is for the statists to use the procedure to impose them, and harder to change legislation authorizing them. (It is generally harder to pass legislation -- both authorizing and deauthorizing -- than to block it.)

                                But as history has shown, such legislation is far from impossible and grows like a cancer under both parties. True deregulation requires getting rid of the whole mentality and conservatives aren't trying to do that, even in their own minds. It isn't just the Republican "moderates".
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                              • Posted by PeterSmith 11 months, 3 weeks ago
                                So we agree then that the level of "deregulation" under Trump is so trivial and temporary that it hardly qualifies as something worth celebrating. As opposed to deregulations where actual passing of laws is involved, which is what is actually needed now more than ever.

                                As to Obamacare, whatever. I'm not interested in playing semantics where you try to find trivial actions of a largely left wing government so that you can pretend it's not largely a left wing government.

                                The question is: did Trump repeal Obamacare or anything?
                                The answer is: No. No bills deregulating Obamacare or anything else have been passed.

                                Everything else is just fiddling around the margins, as I have said and should not be confused with long term, meaningful deregulations which is those of us who are actually right wing and Objectivist want to see.
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                                • Posted by ewv 11 months, 3 weeks ago
                                  Some of the regulatory "reform" is worth celebrating by those who are being specifically clobbered, who don't find it trivial. Remember that statism in this mixed system impacts different people in different ways (i.e., short of outright totalitarianism).

                                  But for those of us here concerned with the national trend as well as particular injustices against individuals, this is a largely left wing government with 'trivial' reforms in the full context. Trump and his followers are trying to tinker with the establishment system to make it "work" under their nationalist collectivism. It's the last gasp of Republican Pragmatism in a futile attempt to survive the radical left without challenging basic premises.
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                                  • PeterSmith replied 11 months, 3 weeks ago
                        • Posted by ewv 11 months, 3 weeks ago
                          There have been some "rollbacks" in regulations, as described on this same page here https://www.galtsgulchonline.com/post...

                          But it was done by some of the better conservatives through the House, using legal knowledge and analysis from organizations like Pacific Legal Foundation. Trump did not seem to be involved at all. It was not widely reported and most of the public knows nothing about this.

                          Other regulatory reforms have been done through agency rule-making processes, not Congress or Executive Orders. Accomplishing it is non-trivial because of bureaucratic procedures that allow pressure groups to intervene, delay and obstruct changes to regulations. Some good administration officials would like to have done more but could not.

                          Considering the extent of the progressive regulatory state now, it's accurate say that even that is "fiddling around the margins". It is. And it only rolls some controls back to what they were not very long ago.

                          But it matters a lot to those impacted by the regulations, and is more than has been done in 30 years. Politically it is a big deal in the context of what is possible and recent history. Sadly, even that much is very temporary, with the progressively increasing controls resuming with the next administration or Congress.

                          The problem is "what is possible", and neither Trump nor the Republicans in general are challenging the premises of the regulatory state, let alone trying to remove its authority that is obstructing broader reforms. Anti-intellectuals railing against the "Deep State" as if the problem were no more than corruption and conspiracies are not enough.

                          Some of the better conservatives are beginning to talk about the problem of Congress delegating its constitutional legislative power to executive agencies, but even that has not reached the level of legislation or court challenge -- after conservative and Republican complicity in statist growth for a very long time creating and entrenching the problem.

                          And almost no one is challenging the premise that no branch of government should be imposing such regulations, or addressing the question of how highly technical legitimate laws should be handled with Congressional boobs who understand nothing of it.

                          That puts the Trump regulatory reforms in context. Some individuals have worked very hard in Washington to temporarily "reform" some regulations to some degree. It does not absolve Trump of his statism and collectivism.
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                          • Posted by PeterSmith 11 months, 3 weeks ago
                            "That puts the Trump regulatory reforms in context. Some individuals have worked very hard in Washington to temporarily "reform" some regulations to some degree. It does not absolve Trump of his statism and collectivism."

                            Right, so would you call them Trump's regulatory reforms?
                            They are just changes happening under their own momentum, because some republicans are not all bad.

                            Such things cannot be celebrated as Trumps successful government of deregulation, as many here are trying to do.
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                            • Posted by ewv 11 months, 3 weeks ago
                              A lot has been done that Trump knows little or nothing about even though they are under his administration. At least he didn't stop them. There are a few in his Executive Orders that can properly called his reforms, but who knows how much of it he understood as opposed to some kind of emotional support for the moment. He's not dumb, but has poor understanding of principles and left to his own devices could just as easily have done the opposite.
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        • Posted by $ Dobrien 11 months, 3 weeks ago
          “Rollback of Regulations not a single bill”

          WRONG

          The facts .............

          The fall 2018 Regulatory Plan and Unified Agenda of Regulatory and Deregulatory Actions just appeared today. Notably, this is the first time the fall edition has arrived on schedule in October since 2005. (Here’s an administration overview of the new edition.)
          There’s plenty to analyze, but first let’s use the occasion to look at the Trump administration’s simultaneous status update on the now famous one-in, two-out requirement for regulations initiated in Executive Order 13771. This update is called “Regulatory Reform Results for Fiscal Year 2018.”

          Back in fiscal year 2017, the Trump administration claimed success in exceeding its 2-for-1 goals. Detail on what rules came and went is here, but the upshot was the elimination of 67 rules but adding only three (for a 22-to-1 ratio). The fall Unified Agenda at that time revealed a more modest but successful four-to-one ratio, but on the other hand there has been streamlining of guidance documents and independent agency rules that the administration could have taken credit for but didn’t. Next, the spring 2018 Unified Agenda found the administration technically still exceeding the two-for-one directive with a (nearly) six-to-one ratio, with 14 rules in and 80 out. Interim detail on what the rules were is here, but the new “Regulatory Reform Results” updates them, as does the new fall 2018 Agenda itself.

          In the new 2018 update, 57 significant deregulatory actions and 14 significant regulatory actions were completed. Comparing significant deregulatory actions to significant regulatory actions, the ratio of significant regulatory actions removed to those added is four to one. Here’s a summary comparing year-end 2017 to the fiscal year 2018.

          Significant Regulatory Actions 2017 2018

          # Regulatory: 3 14

          # Deregulatory: 66 57

          Claimed ratio of rules out to rules in: 22 4

          If one considers deregulatory actions that do not rise to the “significant” label, the ratio is claimed to be 12-to-one, given that agencies issued 176 deregulatory actions in fiscal year 2018 overall, along with the 14 significant regulatory actions.

          The dollar savings from regulatory streamlining also exceeded goals. The bottom line of the 176 deregulatory and 14 regulatory actions is a claimed cost savings of $23 billion in present value, as detailed in “Regulatory Reform under Executive Order 13771: Final Accounting for Fiscal Year 2018.”

          We know the generation of new regulations has dropped significantly under Trump. But in terms of rollbacks, it is likely to become harder to pick the “significant regulatory action” fruit over time capable of generating rapid rule and cost rollbacks. Major regulations like the Clean Power Plan and Waters of the United States will entail years of public consultation, writing, and legal challenges, and are not to be found in updates like today’s.
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          • Posted by $ Dobrien 11 months, 3 weeks ago
            On December 22, 2017, President Trump signed the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act. It cuts individual income tax rates, doubles the standard deduction, and eliminates personal exemptions. The top individual tax rate drops to 37%.

            The Act cut the corporate tax rate from 35% to 21% beginning in 2018. The corporate cuts are permanent, while the individual changes expire at the end of 2025.
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            • -1
              Posted by PeterSmith 11 months, 3 weeks ago
              I also addressed this in my earlier post. Tax cuts while government spending is exploding is not really tax cuts.
              Since all that money will need to be acquired another way, usually by printing and borrowing, which is WORSE than increasing taxes because of the incorrect market signals that pretend "tax cuts" send.
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              • Posted by ewv 11 months, 3 weeks ago
                He also increased taxes with progressive rhetoric against the "Rich", deliberately exploited IRS power to punish people in states that voted against him by taxing "income" taken by other taxes, and clobbered American citizens with tariffs in the name of punishing foreign countries in order to control trade.

                Tax cuts, when they are real, only let keep our money longer with more flexibility to try to dodge the deliberate coming destruction from the unlimited government spending and control.

                Deficit spending is not only exploding, it is deliberately and dishonestly pursued with wild abandon as an accelerating means to suck wealth out of the economy. Conservatives used to claim to oppose this, but conservatives are now whatever they are told to be in support of Trump idolatry.
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              • Posted by $ Dobrien 11 months, 3 weeks ago
                You do not understand the difference between tax policy and the federal deficit.
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                • Posted by PeterSmith 11 months, 3 weeks ago
                  Why? What's the got to do with the fact that cutting taxes, while increasing government spending, requiring borrowing and printing of additional money, devaluing your existing money, nullifies the "tax cuts" thus you end up with no tax cut?
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          • -1
            Posted by PeterSmith 11 months, 3 weeks ago
            "WRONG

            The facts .............
            "
            If it was wrong, then I'm sure one of the facts you would've provided would've been an example of a BILL repealing some regulations. Instead you went into the usual "fiddling around the margins" that conservatives always do, that does not qualify as any serious kind of "deregulation" and will be undone the moment democrats take over again.
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            • Posted by ewv 11 months, 3 weeks ago
              Executive Orders are even more temporary than agency rule-making. That there is no legislation is the least of it. There is no challenging of the premise establish the cancer of Federal regulations, as if "reforming" a corrupt system with a few changes had any meaningful significance against the progressively increasing statism and collectivism.

              Quoting from a Washington press release that "just appeared today" as a "administrative overview" with a long official-sounding title is a joke, not serious discussion. "14 in, 80" out of what is meaningless. What damage has been done with the "14 in" and exactly what was eliminated? You would think that people on an Ayn Rand forum would not be so gullible and have more common sense than to dramatically quote Washington hype as a supposed justification of Trump idolatry.
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              • -1
                Posted by PeterSmith 11 months, 3 weeks ago
                Not to mention the many regulations that have increased under Trump as we see with areas like trade, for example, that are simply being ignored.
                Or the slow but steady normalization of authoritarian talking points and tribalism in our discourse instead of politically literate arguments.

                Also, I don't think it's gullibility. Sadly I think a lot of people, even many Objectivists, think Trump is something great and are trying to rationalize their support for him with Objectivism.
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                • Posted by ewv 11 months, 3 weeks ago
                  I haven't seen Objectivists thinking Trump is great, and don't see conservatives trying to rationalize anything with Objectivism. There are conservatives here who don't know what Objectivism is, associating it with the positions they found elsewhere following their attraction in some way to an Ayn Rand novel.

                  But no one has to be an Objectivist to any degree to know better than to be so gullible over Washington press releases with official-sounding titles. You can go on from there to ask why someone is so gullible, relating it ultimately to education, or intelligence, or an emotional refusal be more critical even when explained to them.
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            • Posted by $ Dobrien 11 months, 3 weeks ago
              Factoid intolerant.

              Regulations are essential rules created by agencies, commissions, and departments in the federal government's executive branch based off of authority granted to it by Congress.
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              • Posted by ewv 11 months, 3 weeks ago
                Rules created by government are "essential" only to statists who want to "regulate" other people's behavior in contrast to protecting the rights of the individual. Congress has no Constitutional authority to delegate legislation in the form of rules to the executive branch, or to pass laws controlling people.

                In a free society the individual is free to do anything other than what is prohibited as a violation of the rights of others; while the government has no rights or freedom to pass whatever laws it feels like, it must pass and enforce laws protecting the rights of the individual.

                "Factoids" rationalizing statism are the conservative substitute for facts and rational principles.
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              • Posted by PeterSmith 11 months, 3 weeks ago
                What's factoid intolerant?

                Regulations created by agencies are indeed a problem, but they can change like the wind as the government changes.

                To achieve REAL deregulation requires an ability to advance a politically literate agenda, persuade people, get the votes required and pass bills. This is not happening under Trump, who claimed to be a great negotiator but has done less than Obama, who managed to get Obamacare through.

                I don't disagree that there has been some easement because of some of Trumps better appointees, but that's not REAL deregulation and should not be celebrated the same way you would celebrate if a bill was passed doing something like repealing Obamacare.
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        • Posted by $ Dobrien 11 months, 3 weeks ago
          “It’s not like he’s passed any bills removing green bureaucracy “ Apparently you don’t understand the political process for laws and bills.
          First, a representative sponsors a bill. The bill is then assigned to a committee for study. If released by the committee, the bill is put on a calendar to be voted on, debated or amended. If the bill passes by simple majority (218 of 435), the bill moves to the Senate. In the Senate, the bill is assigned to another committee and, if released, debated and voted on. Again, a simple majority (51 of 100) passes the bill. Finally, a conference committee made of House and Senate members works out any differences between the House and Senate versions of the bill. The resulting bill returns to the House and Senate for final approval. The Government Printing Office prints the revised bill in a process called enrolling. The President has 10 days to sign or veto the enrolled bill.
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          • Posted by ewv 11 months, 3 weeks ago
            We don't need a strawman recitation on how bills pass, which is non-responsive to the policy points raised. Everyone knows that Congress, not the President, votes on bills. The President typically has a legislative agenda that he tries to get through Congress.
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            • Posted by $ Dobrien 11 months, 3 weeks ago
              He stated “it’s not like he’s passed any bills removing green bureaucracy “. You or we or are you both one and the same? Your snide comments are unnecessary.
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              • Posted by PeterSmith 11 months, 3 weeks ago
                So I stated a fact.
                You went into a technically that no one is disputing because you have no counter to the fact that Trump hasn't passed any bills deregulating anything, but want to keep arguing anyway.
                This is called being intellectually dishonest.
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          • -1
            Posted by PeterSmith 11 months, 3 weeks ago
            I don't know how you concluded that I don't understand the political process for laws and bills by stating the fact that Trump hasn't passed any bills repealing anything.
            Way to evade and strawman.
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            • Posted by $ Dobrien 11 months, 3 weeks ago
              Of course you don’t. Troll someone else.
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              • Posted by ewv 11 months, 3 weeks ago
                Rejecting the illogic of Dobrien's condescending and demeaning misrepresentation does not mean anyone is "trolling" him. His inappropriate non-response was properly subject to rejection, as is the sarcastic "of course you don't" and false "troll" accusation. This is Dobrien's own personal hostility, arising from resentment of rejection of the conservative position. It does not contribute to the discussion. Conservativism is not the standard and is not immune from criticism here.
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              • Posted by PeterSmith 11 months, 3 weeks ago
                I'm not the one trolling here.
                I'm not really sure what so many politically illiterate, religious leftists and anti-Objectivists are doing on what is meant to be an Objectivist blog.
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        • Posted by ewv 11 months, 3 weeks ago
          Peter Smith: "Repeal of Obamacare - Trump was not able to repeal Obamacare. No such bill has been passed. The fact that Obamacare might a death anyway, just because the checks and balances the Founders first put in place are still somewhat functional, is not something Trump gets any credit for."

          Trump did not try to get a bill repealing Obamacare. He led the Republican "replacement" reversal in which they revoked their almost uniform promises to repeal Obamacare with the strategy to "replace" it with their own statism.

          The "conservative" wing of the Supreme Court failed to reject Obamacare with Robert's last minute goofy reversal, and it's unlikely they will do any better the next time: Kavanaugh devised the original strategy adopted by Roberts.
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        • Posted by ewv 11 months, 3 weeks ago
          Peter Smith: "*Rollback of regulations - nothing has been rolled back. There has not been a single bill deregulating anything. I think there's confusion between some of Trumps appointees fiddling around the margins and 'deregulation'."

          There was some legislation during the first two years when Republicans still controlled the House: It was in the form of rejection of agency rules in force but for which the agencies had failed to notify Congress at the time they were imposed. The agencies had gotten sloppy in imposing rules and left themselves open to a law allowing Congress to revoke agency rule-making without changing the underlying law authorizing the rules.

          The rest of it has been agency revisions to rules. Some of it has resulted in relief much better than "fiddling around the margins", but all such reform is temporary, subject to reversal by a future administration.
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          • -1
            Posted by PeterSmith 11 months, 3 weeks ago
            "Some of it has resulted in relief much better than "fiddling around the margins", but all such reform is temporary, subject to reversal by a future administration."
            Yes this is what I'm saying.
            Compared to passing something like Obamacare, revisioning agency rules is fiddling around the margins.
            Conservatives always do this, claiming something big has been accomplished, but in reality we continue to drift towards statism.
            We need to start holding conservatives, or anyone claiming to be an alternative to the left, to much higher standards.
            Certainly these changes don't justify celebrating the Trump administration as "deregulatory" or anything of the sort.
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        • Posted by ArtIficiarius 11 months, 3 weeks ago
          The meaning of the phrase "constitutional judge" is entirely unclear. Try reading "Reading Law" by Garner and Scalia. Cast your issues in that language and we would have a lot to talk about.
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          • Posted by ewv 11 months, 3 weeks ago
            There is no requirement to cast issues in your preferred language. Trump is repeatedly described as appointing conservative pro-constitution judges. The 'constitution' aspect of that isn't true.

            They are generally not as bad as what the Democrats would have appointed -- other than the religious implications -- but they are not generally for the Constitution as was originally intended (i.e., before the progressive reinterpretation).

            The legal culture is so bad now that it would be impossible for anyone to appoint so many judges to be what is being claimed. And Trump wouldn't know what standard to use at all without his conservative advisors telling him what to do, which is why we are getting conservatives and he is being praised from that quarter.
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            • Posted by $ Dobrien 11 months, 3 weeks ago
              Please tell us that Trump can have a secretary to help him at least. What other assistance might a President use? Are you suggesting that delegating
              A responsibility for a task is bad practice?
              Please without sudjectivity , tell me how you know Trump wouldn’t know what standard to use?
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              • Posted by ewv 11 months, 3 weeks ago
                A "secretary helping him" is a mischaracterization. What little that is being accomplished by a few people in spite of Trump's emotional non-understanding is not Trump leadership. We are lucky that he allows anything good to happen. Trump knows nothing about the meaning of the Constitution and what is required to appoint judges, let alone who to consider and why. He simply let others take over while he boasts that he appointing judges to outlaw abortion, confusing improvement with theocracy.
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    • Posted by term2 11 months, 3 weeks ago
      Trump is LESS of a collectivist than most, and thats why I voted for him. He is slowing the advance of collectivism that the leftists are pushing. Trump is intellectually compromised for sure, and does many collectivist things (repeal and replace Obamacare and make us citizens pay for the tariffs on china that just go to the us government coffers). But the hatred the left has for him tells us all that he is also doing a lot of anti-collectivist things.
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      • -3
        Posted by PeterSmith 11 months, 3 weeks ago
        "Trump is LESS of a collectivist than most,"
        Based on what?
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        • Posted by term2 11 months, 3 weeks ago
          Based on what he has done since he came to office. The other democratic candidates as well as crooked hillary are far more collectivist in their actions. Trump is not perfectly consistent, but we get less of the march of collectivism with him than with the others. One could argue that he hasnt rolled back much collectivism, but he hasnt fostered it like Obama did
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          • Posted by ewv 11 months, 3 weeks ago
            Trump is fostering and condoning collectivism in many ways. To say that he is "not perfectly consistent" is an understatement. He's less a collectivist than the egalitarian nihilists of the Democrats, and less than some of the statist Republicans, but not less than many other politicians and not less than the cultural trends. We had to vote for Trump because of the alternative before us in the election, not because of Trump opposition to collectivism.
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            • Posted by term2 11 months, 3 weeks ago
              I agree with your statements actually. I voted for him in 2016 because I thought he would stand in the way of the fast march to complete collectivism. I never thought he would do much to reverse the process, but just slow it down.

              If you look at the HATRED the left has for Trump, I would say that the root of it is that he DOES stand in the way of their programs- which Is what I wanted.

              Looking at the crop of 2020 democrats chomping at the bit to get rid of Trump, I think a democratic win in 2020 will result in a huge pent up demand for collectivism spilling over into actual programs.
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              • Posted by ewv 11 months, 3 weeks ago
                He's standing in their way, but some of it is only standing in the way of the rate of imposing more statism, and almost all of anything good is very temporary. The left had expected an accelerated and intensified Obama term 3, are doubling down on that for 2020, and it's much worse than collectivism only "spilling over" into programs. It's the real thing in its essence.

                Trump is in general doing what we hoped for given the choice in the election, or in some ways more than anyone could have expected despite other big negatives, but we knew during the election that it would be no utopia. There were no illusions. He is not intellectually capable of more than he is.

                The left's non-stop, vitriolic smear campaign against Trump is unprecedented. The intensity of the hatred is more than over his standing in their way. They have gone nuts because he doesn't sanction them, particularly the establishment intellectuals, in the way they are accustomed, properly showing them no respect. But it's a shame that he isn't capable of a more articulate, principled approach himself than the typical schoolyard taunting.

                The result is that while we can appreciate his standing up to the left, there is no rational, principled explanation in terms of individualism -- which he never invokes even for proper policies -- and he is continuing and setting some very bad precedents.

                The irrational conservative Trump idolatry that has replaced the Tea Party movement with an anti-intellectual populist national statism recognizes none of this. Hence the mindless, cowardly 'downvoting' we see here against it.
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                • Posted by term2 11 months, 3 weeks ago
                  That was a very rational and well thought out post. The left is beginning to scare me actually. They are about 1 mm away from outright violence
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                  • Posted by ewv 11 months, 3 weeks ago
                    The left has been scaring me for a long time and it's becoming more alarming. The threat of violence is on many fronts. Some of it is the Antifa types, some of it is the threat of government violence, some of it is the threat of common criminals running loose because a leftist government does not stop them, and some of it is from the general breakdown in civilization across society. That force and chaos are all aspects of the same rising trend towards irrationalism, collectivism and statism.
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                • Posted by term2 11 months, 3 weeks ago
                  I agree 100%. I also think he is acting stupidly relative to China trade. If he keeps it up, as he seems to be doing, he will lose in 2020
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                  • Posted by ewv 11 months, 3 weeks ago
                    The latest escalation in trade wars could be his undoing politically, especially if it continues to drive the stock market down. Whether or not it comes to that, it's an example of his use of the presidency to go after "deals" in any way he feels like as president, a clear abuse of power illustrating his authoritarian streak. It's the kind of crisis his unstable intellect could cause if his advisors can't reel him in.
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                    • Posted by term2 11 months, 3 weeks ago
                      Trump could back down from the tariff war , saying he gave the Chinese an opportunity to save the trading relationship, but they rejected it and now we will essentially just slow down and stop trading with them. I think AR would actually agree that It’s self defeating for freedom living people to trade with totalitarian states
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                      • Posted by ewv 11 months, 2 weeks ago
                        Helping to prop up a totalitarian state at all is not in our self interest, but that doesn't seem to be Trump's concern. He has no authority to order US companies to not trade with a country not acknowledged as at war with us, and his extolling murderous dictators such as those in China and N. Korea shows no understanding of what is at stake. Ideas and their truth have no meaning to him.

                        He reveals himself repeatedly as interested in making "deals", as if the whole country were his own business and it his place to control trade agreements with entire nations as nothing but dealing for a financial benefit.
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                        • Posted by term2 11 months, 2 weeks ago
                          I am beginning to think trump realized no deal was actually possible with communist China, and his ridiculous minuscule but escalating tariffs were designed to just reduce trade with China on financial grounds. Tariffs would have to be 200-300% to really stop trade, and I would say his next round of tariffs will be in the 100% now that businesses are preparing alternate supply chains. Trump can’t just stop trade with China by executive order overnight, but he can point us in the right direction more slowly. I say he is DONE dealing with China. He gave them their chance and they didn’t take it
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                    • Posted by term2 11 months, 3 weeks ago
                      I agree it’s a stupid move. He is not considering that foreign affairs politics with irrational collectivist countries is NOT like a business deal based on the making of money. China wants power and will not give in to trump. I did like his latest “order” that USA should look to not trade with China if they won’t be fair with us

                      I think that is a more rational response. He should rescind immediately all tariffs with China before he loses the 2020 election.

                      I wouldn’t buy from hitler no matter how low his price was. Given that China government is totalitarian, we shouldn’t trade with them
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                      • Posted by ewv 11 months, 2 weeks ago
                        He has no authority to order US companies to not trade with someone. Congress has not declared war. And after decades of bad foreign policy pushing interdependence with the Chinese dictatorship it is not easy to suddenly wipe it all out over night. He seems to think that US companies can "somehow" instantaneously adjust their entire operations to suit his orders. It's a similar mentality to his unilaterally imposing tariffs to punish foreign countries with no regard that his tariffs are a tax on US citizens.
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                        • Posted by term2 11 months, 2 weeks ago
                          I think the tariffs were designed to slowly wean Americans off Chinese products all along. I think he is convinced trade benefits China and that is not good for us, given the expansionist and power hungry Chinese government

                          Listen carefully to his comments -“if you don’t like the tariffs, make your products here or buy from another country than China”. I say we will see 100% tariffs before we see them go away on Chinese goods

                          I agree he can’t just forbid all purchases from China outright, but I estimate his rhetoric is telling us that for our own good we all should stop buying Chinese goods. Probably good advice actually.
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                          • Posted by ewv 11 months, 2 weeks ago
                            I fear you give him too much credit. His constant inarticulate, inconsistent, emotional rhetoric leads people to think he must have something more intelligent in mind than what he says. There's no evidence that he does. It led to the "he must be playing 3D chess" syndrome when even his most ardent fans couldn't figure out what he's talking about.

                            If he has something consistent, principled, and rational to coherently say about his China policy or anything else, no one is stopping him but himself.

                            In particular he seems obsessed with tariffs clobbering American citizens as a weapon of choice for almost everything -- it's by no means restricted to policy with China. It's an executive power, too broadly authorized by Congress, that he discovered and he's running wild with it.

                            I hope his instability does not create a crises, despite his more sensible advisors trying to rein him in, and/or a further loss of confidence in him so badly that the increasingly extreme Democrat collectivists are able to exploit it to take over, making things much worse. But Trump is what he is and there's nothing we can do about it. The Republicans had nothing else viable to offer, leaving too many to follow the man on the white horse no matter what. This is frightening.
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                            • Posted by term2 11 months, 2 weeks ago
                              As I indicated in another answer to you, I think Trump wants us to stop buying from china and feeding their hitlerian ambitions. He started with the tariffs, but I dont think he really wants a "deal". He talks about "winning the tariff war". The chinese will never give "in". He says that china wants to make a "deal", but that he (Trump) isnt "ready". I say he is inviting usa citizens to essentially start boycotting chinese products, but he had to give china a way to
                              give in" just to tariffs. Once it gets to be a patriotic boycott, there is no turning back for china.
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                              • Posted by ewv 11 months, 2 weeks ago
                                All he talks about is "deals" as he praises the brutal dictatorship there. Within that he stresses intellectual property theft, but treats reducing that as a business deal, too.

                                How are US citizens, especially citizens who aren't getting articulate explanations, and almost no explanations except in terms of business "deals", expected to want to "boycott" China and how are we supposed to do that now that it means boycotting imports from US companies in China whose products are everywhere? I already try to avoid "made in China" consumer products starting with quality reasons. Alternatives are difficult or impossible to find at any price.
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                                • Posted by term2 11 months, 2 weeks ago
                                  There are no deals to be had with brutal dictators who want to stay brutal dictators. We have been duped by propaganda designed to lull us into bringing then economic prosperity they can use to expand their brutality.

                                  Trump has talked for more than three years about China and its plans and actions. It might be even too late for any sort of boycott to even have any effect. The important thing is for the USA to regain its lead in technology and to adopt a more consistent free market philosophical basis ( unfortunately not likely to happen)
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                              • Posted by 11 months, 2 weeks ago
                                Many companies, most notably Tesla, have set up shop in China with subsidized benefits we have provided. Companies making those decision to invest in other countries should be totally on them, and not involve governmental direction, either positive or negative.
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                                • Posted by ewv 11 months, 2 weeks ago
                                  As long as there isn't war or imminent war that legitimately and legally requires stopping the trade the companies have the right to be there. But the subsidies should stop no matter what, let alone for moving investments to what is clearly becoming a threat. We now have a very bad history over many decades of US government encouragements of economic dependence on a totalitarian foreign nation and that makes extrication difficult without major dislocations in the economy. A war or some equivalent, with Chinese cracking down on US companies in China, would be worse. Thanks to our own government policy as well as Chinese fascism this is a real mess that involves much more than companies' choices of where to go to escape US taxes.
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                          • Posted by PeterSmith 11 months, 2 weeks ago
                            No one's confused about Trumps comments. We're just pointing out that those comments are that of a complete leftist and economic illiterate and should be opposed by Objectivists.
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                            • Posted by term2 11 months, 2 weeks ago
                              Complete leftist is the slew of 2020 democratic candidates for president. Trump is nowhere close to them, even though he doesnt pass your "objectivist" test. There wont be an "objectivist" that would even run for president in the USA for at least 50-100 years, even assuming that major changes were made in our education system starting immediately.
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                              • Posted by PeterSmith 11 months, 2 weeks ago
                                "Trump is nowhere close to them,"
                                Except he IS one of them.
                                If you want to argue Trump is the least worst choice that's one thing. But pretending Trump is not a leftist is kidding yourself.
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                                • Posted by term2 11 months, 2 weeks ago
                                  does that mean that unless one is 100% objectivist, yhe is a 100% leftist. I would agree that unless he is 100%, he is not 100% objectivist, and possibly if you are not 100% objectivist, you are 0% objectivist.
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                                  • PeterSmith replied 11 months, 2 weeks ago
                                • Posted by ewv 11 months, 2 weeks ago
                                  He has leftist (collectivist) premises and some bad consequences of that, but is not one of the "them" if by that you mean the Democrat radical egalitarians. We already have a mixed statist system because of the widespread collectivist premises, but there are still differences, and there is significant difference in kind between Trump and the Democrats which is more than "the least worst choice".

                                  Yes we should "oppose" him -- we sure can't "kid ourselves" and support what is happening -- but in the context of the state of the country and the remaining difference between the politicians, not in the sense of "never Trumpers" in the elections.

                                  Another possible position is to vote for neither side, but that would have to be argued, not simply concluded from his "leftist premises", and I don't think that can be successfully done given what the Democrats are. As alarming as some of Trump's anti-intellectual antics are, he is still all that stands between us and the far more alarming radical egalitarian left.
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          • -1
            Posted by PeterSmith 11 months, 3 weeks ago
            "Based on what he has done since he came to office."
            Right...he's passed trillion dollar spending bills, removed the debt ceiling, regulated immigration, trade, is actively attacking the free speech and property rights of tech companies...so based on what he's done it's not possible to conclude Trump is anything other than a complete collectivist.
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            • Posted by term2 11 months, 3 weeks ago
              The spending bills would go on without him if the government was to continue on at all. The debt ceiling is a sham. Once you use the credit cards, you cant just say you wont pay and get awaay with it. He has tried everything he could to control immigration- but got found by congress at every turn. He has made a fool of all of us with the China Trade thing, He has gotten a lot of foreign countries to respect us more, however. He has reduced government regulation. Most things he has tried have been blocked by the democrats and require democratic and republican support- which he hasnt had.

              He is a partial collectivist, and not very consistent one at that. There are much more collectivist politicians like the ones running as democrats for 2020. Hillary was a crook, plain and simple.
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            • Posted by ewv 11 months, 3 weeks ago
              He's collectivist by implication based on what he's uncritically absorbed from everything else around him. But he also has some individualist elements, without understanding it, though he never appeals to individualist premises in defense of policy even when they are partially correct. That is not good, but it's not "complete collectivism" -- he's not a communist.

              Despite Trump's own anti-intellectual, emotional thinking he has appointed people as advisors and to run the agencies that are better than he is, with a better understanding -- namely, some of the better conservatives with a pro-private property rights emphasis. This has resulted in a temporary partial relief from many regulations.

              If Trump were a "complete collectivist" he would not have done that, and neither would the explicit collectivists like Hillary, who would have been far worse on policy. This is still a mixed system, and so is Trump, not "complete collectivism". It is the Democrats who are progressively embracing that.

              Even Trump's "tax cuts", to the extent they were cuts at all, were defended in the name of the national economic good, not to allow individuals and businesses to keep more of their own money. To the extent that real cuts helped people, it is better (temporary) policy, but he further endorsed and entrenched collectivist "nationalist" premises that will increasingly used against us long after Trump is gone, and his "tax cuts" already deliberately raised taxes on some for ideological motives.

              Trump himself employed those premises defend and impose higher taxes on wealthy individuals, conceding the demagoguery of the left as a "carrot" for other changes. And he deliberately further intensified strategic principle of tax policy as a means to punish politically targeted individuals, namely, residents of high tax states likely to vote against him in the electoral college, reversing a century old precedent that income taxed away by state and local government is not in fact income and should not be taxed again by the Federal government.

              His worst collectivist conservative policies are in line with the populist conservatives and Republican trends for years, such as accelerating government spending and deficits without even verbal lip service against it, anti-immigration, religious influences in government, and most recently "anti-trust" and other controls as a weapon against industries they don't like. The "tea party" movement is now dead, with conservatives willingly being whatever Trump adulation wants them to be.

              Trump's "regulation of immigration" is in many ways good -- trying to enforce immigration laws against a flood of unrestricted entry by anyone. But his motives are not all good, such as restrictions for economic protectionism, and his complete lack of immigration reform of the bureaucratic nightmare for legitimate immigration. The defense that he is only against "illegal immigration" is true but begs the question of what should be legal.

              It's all a worsening trend into collectivism and statism, but not yet "complete collectivism", which is still the goal most fervently sought by the left with conservative Republicans not far behind over time.
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              • Posted by $ Thoritsu 11 months, 3 weeks ago
                Clearly a complete collectivist... yawn ...

                If only he had a little of Ayn's DNA, then he could speak without error, and be the beacon of truth we all seek...

                ... someone here does realize that we need to move from "here" to a better place, not just start over with magic Rand beans. However, that someone, isn't you.
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    • Posted by $ Thoritsu 11 months, 3 weeks ago
      Hopefully not all the Objectivists are so unrealistic to believe that Trump is not far better than Hillary, Lizzy or Bernie. That we do not have a continuum of choices, and too much negativity puts a real communist in office.
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      • Posted by term2 11 months, 3 weeks ago
        I think we have to choose the best of the ones that can actually win. In case all the choices are very bad, then its time perhaps to move out of the country, or just not vote and perhaps go galt
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        • Posted by $ Thoritsu 11 months, 3 weeks ago
          Agree! Arguing about him here is one thing. Throwing him under the bus to the lemmings in the world is self-defeating. He is better than all the alternatives in a while. MUCH better than G.W. Much better then O-commie.
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          • Posted by ewv 11 months, 3 weeks ago
            Rational evaluation of Trump as president is not "throwing him under the bus to the lemmings", does not mean that the Clinton socialist mafia would have been better, and rational discussion is never "self defeating". It only upsets the emotions of the idolatry.
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            • Posted by $ Thoritsu 11 months, 3 weeks ago
              In general I agree.

              Discussing the merits and downsides rationally is fine. Discussing them here (not really public) is really fine. Writing an public article with a general set of downsides is unfortunate.

              There will be another election soon, and the options will be limited to Trump, with his downsides, but generally reducing government, and a person very likely to be hell-bent on increasing government control.

              In this election all the media will be misleading the world. Fox will be blindly pushing Trump. Extra negativity, without including the swaying clarity of counterpoints (e.g. however, he is the best choice). does not help Trump get elected.

              Not helping Trump get elected is counter to freedom. Therefore, it is counter to our stated self-interest. Therefore, it is not in line with Objectivist thinking.
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              • Posted by ewv 11 months, 3 weeks ago
                Discussing Trump's weaknesses only here is not enough. The culture and its consequent politics cannot be changed without public discussion and explanation.

                Attempting to hide the discussion so Trump can somehow slip through the next election with no one noticing is futile temporizing and damaging to our own intellectual reputation when others see what is happening with our apparent acquiescence.

                Given that the reasons for supporting his election are relative to the Democrats, a public proper discussion providing the full context is required. That is not counter to our self-interest. But it necessarily requires not being morally intimidated into going along with criticism of Trump without that full explanation -- that is what would support electing the Democrats. Restricting criticism of Trump to smirks sounding like a New York Times editorial and failing to advocate voting against the Democrats is what is not in our self interest, not honest, rational discussion.

                When Ayn Rand advocated voting for Nixon against McGovern she did not refrain from analyzing and evaluating Nixon, fearful of public discussion. She made it clear what was wrong with Nixon, why McGovern was significantly worse, and that she was an "anti-Nixonite for Nixon". She had no illusions about the results of Nixon being in the White House and knew what she was getting. She did not engage in Nixon idolatry, either in self-delusion or deceptively to win an election.
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                • Posted by $ Thoritsu 11 months, 3 weeks ago
                  I did not suggest we hide the downsides, only that when such a discussion is held, the upsides are restated, so that the context is clear.

                  Shocking, it was just like what Ayn did.
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                  • Posted by ewv 11 months, 3 weeks ago
                    It's hard to portray Trump's antics as 'upsides',even when accompanied with some policy that happens to be an improvement. Better to put it in the context of the frightening threat from the Democrats, which destruction is more than a mere 'downside'.
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                    • Posted by $ Thoritsu 11 months, 3 weeks ago
                      I like the CNN wording.

                      “It is hard to view xxx as upside”.

                      An improvement is an improvement. A problem is a problem.

                      Maybe you have other pearls of Objectivist dogma to explain how blue is red. Please extoll. I doubt your ability to defend it.
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                      • Posted by ewv 11 months, 3 weeks ago
                        There is no "Objective dogma" here and no one is using "CNN wording" or endorsing "blue is read" strawman contradictions. Your personal smears and hostility to Objectivism are not a contribution.
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                        • Posted by $ Thoritsu 11 months, 3 weeks ago
                          Here we go again. "smears", "hostility". You really do need to develop some skills in arguing a point, not just appeal to mom when yours isn't supported.

                          "It is hard to portray Trumps antics as 'upsides'..."

                          Precisely, not a little, precisely, the type of language used by people when something works, but it isn't their agenda. Like it or not, this is what you wrote, and this is who also uses the style.

                          There is no "blue is red" strawman here.

                          Now why do they use it? Because they, like you do not want to face the positive of any of it or in any way facilitate public support for such. The fact is EVERY candidate (even Ayn Rand) is a compromise.

                          Trump has quite specifically taken Objectivist and Libertairan actions:
                          Requiring each new regulation to have a prior one eliminated
                          Reducing the Executive Branch overreach by limiting the actions of the Dept of Ed, the EPA and the FCC, et al.
                          These are all upsides, never previously implemented by a Chief Executive in the US. Even you would do the same, and perhaps more.

                          Man up, and stop whining about meaningful discussion.
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                          • -1
                            Posted by ewv 11 months, 2 weeks ago
                            The continuous smears and snide personal hostility from Thoritsu, just repeated again, are all his own, not "arguing a point" that requires any "skills" to rebut. They are not discussion. Trump occasionally doing something better does not make it "Objectivist", let alone excuse the personal attacks.
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                            • Posted by $ Thoritsu 11 months, 2 weeks ago
                              No one said Trump was an Objectivist.

                              One just said, arguing against Trump, in a manner that gets Elizabeth Warren elected, is illogical, spiteful, and not in self-interest.

                              Self-interest is Objective. Spite and non-logic are its antithesis. Therefore, voting for Trump is an Objective behavior..

                              No one has taken on that assertion. Probably because no one can. Yet people continue to discuss this as if there is some better practical alternative.

                              On that note, let me help with a definition:
                              "Ivory Tower (n) - a state of privileged seclusion or separation from the facts and practicalities of the real world."

                              How about you actually use your words and argue the point, instead of beginning another baseless assertion? Just like I did above. Even better, try to take apart the logic of my above simple assertion.

                              You do know how this works right?
                              Begin with facts, introduce logic connecting them, draw conclusion supported by facts. - Not just more circular statements like "Trump occasionally doing something better does not make it "Objectivist". (Nice use of the pronoun "it" that can refer to many things)
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                              • Posted by 11 months, 2 weeks ago
                                Are you guys done with this petty nonsense. We're all on the same side. Let's climb down from the high horse or ivory tower, find common ground and deal with what is to work toward where we should be. Rational men can disagree, but the emotionalism and lack of others perspective is counterproductive. Use your knowledge to promote the good.

                                Reposted from last evening
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                              • Posted by PeterSmith 11 months, 2 weeks ago
                                Yes we all agree Trump is not an Objectivist. But the initial thread question was re clarification as to why ARI and TOS oppose Trump.
                                His positions on things like trade are just one of the many example of why they do so and are RIGHT to do so.
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                                • Posted by 11 months, 2 weeks ago
                                  To be clear, my original question was not why ARI and TOS oppose Trump. I've been with the heads of both (from before Trump even announced) and already know. It was to phrase in a broader context as there is a schism with Objectivists. I have not seen one post re the proper selfishness of America First. Not with every minutia uttered, but with regard to furthering the broader proper ethics, as many on the Gulch having only a passing understanding of Rand.
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                                  • PeterSmith replied 11 months, 2 weeks ago
                                • Posted by $ Thoritsu 11 months, 2 weeks ago
                                  Here comes the cavalry.

                                  Ok look I made a simple logical argument. I'll make it again so people can follow:

                                  1. Arguing against Trump in an overwhelming manner improves the position of the other potential to be elected, the Democrat.
                                  2. It is very likely the Democrat who will make the general election will have policies far worse than Trump's, from an Objectivist point of view.
                                  3. Therefore, arguing against Trump in this manner is not in an Objectivists best self interest.
                                  4. Therefore this behavior is not consistent with a real Objectivist.

                                  Very, very simple.

                                  What did I not say? I did not say that any negative statement about Trump was wrong. I say many negative things about Trump. Here as well.

                                  You, said because Trump's position on trade are an example of they do so, and are RIGHT to do so. I do NOT think the positions on trade are a clearly negative example, but accept that you do. However, just as I defend above, quite clearly, it is self defeating, and nonobjective to make a massive tear into Trump about trade, and not note or even imply that this is one negative among other positives in some manner. Any one asserting there are no positives is simply a liar or completely ignorant.
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                                  • PeterSmith replied 11 months, 2 weeks ago
                                • Posted by ewv 11 months, 2 weeks ago
                                  Of course no one is arguing over whether Trump is an Objectivist. In the name of instructing on logic his post is a sequence of strawmen. But the point of it was to personally insult and taunt; there is nothing to answer. He even went out of his way to obscure the reference of a pronoun in a simple sentence.
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                                  • Thoritsu replied 11 months, 2 weeks ago

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