Selene

Aglialoro and Kelley on the November 6th, 2012 election...can someone translate this for me?

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"Kelley
:
Atlas Shrugged
—Rand's novel, and the two adaptations you have produced—teach us that individuals who produce, who support themselves and create value, at any level, from the janitor in Hank Rearden's mills to Rearden himself, are the Atlases holding up the world. What would you say to these people on the eve of the election?

Aglialoro:
November 6th, my friends, is a more important moment in our country than
any
since our Founding Fathers in the 1770s offered their lives, their fortunes, and their sacred honor to create a free country. On November 6th, you face the choice whether or not to affirm their vision of America, whether or not to affirm the values that Ayn Rand made so clear in Atlas Shrugged. Your immediate imperative is to vote Obama out…."

I admit I just scanned the interview. However, who are they suggesting to vote for?

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They are advocating Romney.

http://www.peikoff.com/election/

That is Leonard Peikoff's advice on voting, and never before has it been more needed.

Evan:

Thank you.

Out of curiosity, why would they not have explicitly stated that conclusion?

Adam

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<<<"Obama is an unprecedented threat to America. Romney is a precedented one.">>>

It is of no importance but I just noticed that Peikoff's initials are the same as the Libertarian Party. Could this be a subliminal suggestion pointing the way?

There is no doubt among those who think the way we do and share the values we share that O will do his best in his second term, if we are unfortunate enough to have to endure it, to push the country, I think his term, and Kagan's term, is "transform" all the way to the full implementation of their dream, the dream of all progressives.

Even if that were to happen I still don't think they would consider it to be a form of tyranny. The question is will O succeed in doing so, or will he fall short, and what would it look like if it were to happen?

Will we have to discuss philosophy and politics in the bathroom with the water running?

I mean there are degrees of dictatorship and perhaps the American version will be somehow "soft" and would tolerate criticism and dissent and opposition parties. No?

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"Obama is an unprecedented threat to America." -- Leonard Peikoff

What poppycock. Obama was preceded by Bush Jr., whose violation of individual rights far exceeded Obama's and whose legacy Obama only builds upon. More immediately, Obama is preceded by four years of himself. It is naive to think that Romney, whose advisors are the same neocon crowd that surrounded Bush Jr, would be any different from Bush Jr.

Romney is an empty suit, filled with neoconservative advisors.™

I hate Obama too -- who besides other faults toadies to the neocons, though not so much as Romney -- and four more years of him will be bad for America. It will be a continuation of the slide to totalitarianism that accelerated after 9/11 beyond anything I could have imagined. But there is nothing, absolutely nothing, coming out of the Romney camp to indicate Romney would not continue this slide.

The apocalyptic pronouncements of an evil so great that we must do this or that uttered by the ARI crowd are getting tiresome, like the boy who cried wolf. In this case the sheep are wolves too, that is, the major candidates are both wolves, there's no choice in this election about getting eaten alive. The Republican and Democrat might as well be one party.

I'm coming round to gulch8's point of view. Though Gary Johnson wants to tax the working poor more than they are now, and let into the country yet more of the Third World hoard, probably the best outcome -- looking to the future – is that his party gets at least 5% of the popular vote. As one wit remarked, we don't need a third party, we need two parties!

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"The Republicans and Democrats might be one party"

With minor variations, I agree with this , and so do a lot of commentators on the leftist end of the spectrum. Nothing major will change, whoever wins.

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They are advocating Romney.

http://www.peikoff.com/election/

That is Leonard Peikoff's advice on voting, and never before has it been more needed.

Peikoff thinks of Romney as a politician who [just as Obama] "will move us closer to dictatorship", but who [as opposed to Obama] "moves by groping through compromises".

[Leonard Peikoff]: http://www.peikoff.com/election/

Although both Obama and Romney will move us closer to dictatorship, there is a critical difference: time. Obama is not stumbling, but racing to his goal, and his pace can only increase in a second term, when keeping the public happy would no longer be an important concern to him. By contrast, though following the same road as Obama, Romney the pragmatist can’t race to anything; since he moves by groping through compromises, he can only, perhaps unknowingly, amble with us to the cliff (no doubt, with some dashes now and then).

<...>

The political choice in November is: non-entity vs. anti-entity. Or: a man who is nothing vs. a man who wants to mass-produce nothings. This, in my judgment, is an unanswerable reason to vote for Romney, no matter what the nature and quantity of his flaws. A man such as our current president is far more dangerous to the survival of the United States than any terrorists from the Mideast.

But isn't the recommendation to vote for a "non-entity" totally going against Objectivist premises? :o

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But isn't the recommendation to vote for a "non-entity" totally going against Objectivist premises? :o

Not if you deem "Anti-Nixonites for Nixon" an idea completely in accord with Objectivism...

Robert Campbell

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Out of curiosity, why would they not have explicitly stated that conclusion?

Adam,

David Kelley may not have mentioned Mitt Romney by name on account of his organization's tax-exempt status.

It is odd to see Romney's name appear constantly in the comments but never in the piece being commented on.

Robert Campbell

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"The Republicans and Democrats might be one party"

With minor variations, I agree with this , and so do a lot of commentators on the leftist end of the spectrum. Nothing major will change, whoever wins.

As bad as they claim to think the Democrats are, the farthest they will go is to recommend against voting for a Democrat.

I've yet to encounter such a commentator on the Left who has concluded that one might just as well vote for a Republican.

Robert Campbell

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and let into the country yet more of the Third World hoard

Mark,

Would anyone really mind if lots of people carry their hoards from the Third World to the United States?

I suspect it's hordes that you're concerned about...

Robert Campbell

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David Kelley may not have mentioned Mitt Romney by name on account of his organization's tax-exempt status.

There's an interview with Gary Johnson on the TAS site, so that might have something to do with it. The omission of a specific recommendation is consistent with my view, which is vote Romney if you're living in a battleground state, otherwise vote Johnson.

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They are advocating Romney.

http://www.peikoff.com/election/

That is Leonard Peikoff's advice on voting, and never before has it been more needed.

Outside of Peikoff tossing around the term Nihilist to easily, I actually find myself agreeing with him on this.

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David Kelley may not have mentioned Mitt Romney by name on account of his organization's tax-exempt status.

There's an interview with Gary Johnson on the TAS site, so that might have something to do with it. This is consistent with my view, which is vote Romney if you're living in a battleground state, otherwise vote Johnson.

Living in Michigan I usually find myself in the position of voting for the LP candidate since the Dems have a lock. This year it is looking close (based on some polls) so I'll be voting for Romney.

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I read Peikoff's thing and I don't find myself agreeing with the notion that Romney will lead the USA to a dictatorship.

I do agree that he leans in the pragmatic direction, but there are a few presumptions--not just Peikoff's--I am looking at that I don't agree with:

1. Romney is driven solely by political expediency.

I hear people say this and insinuate it all the time, especially when they talk about his flip-flops. But as I become more familiar with Romney, I am beginning to discern a man of strong principles. I may not agree with all his principles, but that is different than saying he has none other than getting political advantage.

From what I have seen so far, he basically operates on a strategic level where he does not compromise his principles, and a tactical level where he is far more flexible. Long term and short term. In other words, he will take a short-term gain rather than hold out for the whole hog, but that will not make him change the direction of his future efforts. That direction is guided by his strategy and principles. I see him open to negotiation on tactics, but not on strategy.

2. Romney is a typical pragmatic politician and no different than the rest.

I think he is quite different than the typical crony-capitalist mentality we see all around us, which is what a typical American pragmatic politician is. I'm not saying he will not reward his friends, but I don't think crony-capitalism is his spiritual/political motor. I see him more as a solution-provider. He analyzes a situation, finds the problems, draws up a plan, then executes it, but keeps flexible enough to make sure his intended outcome gets done.

I am also encouraged by the fact that he is surrounding himself with some very good people. As for those of a neocon bent, I believe Romney's religion will be a good brake on their warmongering intentions. I might be wrong, but this is my opinion from what I have observed so far.

3. There is no difference between Romney and Obama.

I'm not even going to comment on this one. Let's just say I strongly disagree. Anything I say will not persuade someone who believes that, and for the rest, there is no real need to comment. This is Expert in the Unsubtle level stuff.

4. The government will grow under Romney and the invitation of Paul Ryan was a fluke or whimsy or pandering to the Tea Party.

I think under a different social and cultural situation, Romney would be ideologically led in a different direction, but right now, the Tea Party is making a huge wave and Paul Ryan is right in the middle of that. I don't think that Romney invited him based on political pragmatism, but instead, on actually agreeing with some of the fundamental ideas (like small government) and looking to the future based on them.

I believe Romney is just like any human being and is open to good ideas when they are presented in a form he can understand--meaning a form that does not violate his core values. I do not agree with the notion that he is a Mormon robot or political pragmatist who is incapable of independent thought and/or growth as a human being.

In short, I don't believe Romney will be an ideal President according to Objectivist, libertarian, or even Tea Party values, but I do expect to see the government shrink under his administration. I expect to see balanced budgets and the government paying down the debt. I expect to see the economy take off. And I also expect to see Tea Party growth in intellectual influence and political activity while he is in office.

If there is any crisis, I expect to see him rise to the occasion with moral strength, frame things in good and evil terms, and act with considered wisdom--or at least what he sincerely believes to be wise and not just expedient. His notion of good and evil might be different than mine when put into practice, only time will tell, but I believe it is a hell of a lot closer than Obama's.

Given that alternative, Romney good enough for me at this point in time.

Call it a tactical position, not a strategic one.

Michael

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Solid analysis.

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They are advocating Romney.

http://www.peikoff.com/election/

That is Leonard Peikoff's advice on voting, and never before has it been more needed.

Evan:

Thank you.

Out of curiosity, why would they not have explicitly stated that conclusion?

Adam

Adam,

The same reason Ayn Rand didn't end up naming Anthem "Ego."

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... "Final US Presidential Debate" on November 5th at 9PM to 10:30 PM hosted by www.freeandequal.org The winners of an earlier debate are Gary Johnson of the Libertarian Party and Jill Stein of the Green Party.

You can ... submit a question for the debate:

http://freeandequal....ubmit-question/

It's tonight (Monday, Nov 5) at 9 EST. The live feed is

http://freeandequal.org/live/

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I read Peikoff's thing and I don't find myself agreeing with the notion that Romney will lead the USA to a dictatorship.

I do agree that he leans in the pragmatic direction, but there are a few presumptions--not just Peikoff's--I am looking at that I don't agree with:

1. Romney is driven solely by political expediency.

I hear people say this and insinuate it all the time, especially when they talk about his flip-flops. But as I become more familiar with Romney, I am beginning to discern a man of strong principles. I may not agree with all his principles, but that is different than saying he has none other than getting political advantage.

From what I have seen so far, he basically operates on a strategic level where he does not compromise his principles, and a tactical level where he is far more flexible. Long term and short term. In other words, he will take a short-term gain rather than hold out for the whole hog, but that will not make him change the direction of his future efforts. That direction is guided by his strategy and principles. I see him open to negotiation on tactics, but not on strategy.

2. Romney is a typical pragmatic politician and no different than the rest.

I think he is quite different than the typical crony-capitalist mentality we see all around us, which is what a typical American pragmatic politician is. I'm not saying he will not reward his friends, but I don't think crony-capitalism is his spiritual/political motor. I see him more as a solution-provider. He analyzes a situation, finds the problems, draws up a plan, then executes it, but keeps flexible enough to make sure his intended outcome gets done.

I am also encouraged by the fact that he is surrounding himself with some very good people. As for those of a neocon bent, I believe Romney's religion will be a good brake on their warmongering intentions. I might be wrong, but this is my opinion from what I have observed so far.

3. There is no difference between Romney and Obama.

I'm not even going to comment on this one. Let's just say I strongly disagree. Anything I say will not persuade someone who believes that, and for the rest, there is no real need to comment. This is Expert in the Unsubtle level stuff.

4. The government will grow under Romney and the invitation of Paul Ryan was a fluke or whimsy or pandering to the Tea Party.

I think under a different social and cultural situation, Romney would be ideologically led in a different direction, but right now, the Tea Party is making a huge wave and Paul Ryan is right in the middle of that. I don't think that Romney invited him based on political pragmatism, but instead, on actually agreeing with some of the fundamental ideas (like small government) and looking to the future based on them.

I believe Romney is just like any human being and is open to good ideas when they are presented in a form he can understand--meaning a form that does not violate his core values. I do not agree with the notion that he is a Mormon robot or political pragmatist who is incapable of independent thought and/or growth as a human being.

In short, I don't believe Romney will be an ideal President according to Objectivist, libertarian, or even Tea Party values, but I do expect to see the government shrink under his administration. I expect to see balanced budgets and the government paying down the debt. I expect to see the economy take off. And I also expect to see Tea Party growth in intellectual influence and political activity while he is in office.

If there is any crisis, I expect to see him rise to the occasion with moral strength, frame things in good and evil terms, and act with considered wisdom--or at least what he sincerely believes to be wise and not just expedient. His notion of good and evil might be different than mine when put into practice, only time will tell, but I believe it is a hell of a lot closer than Obama's.

Given that alternative, Romney good enough for me at this point in time.

Call it a tactical position, not a strategic one.

Michael

I hope you are right and that I'm just suffering from cynicism thanks to the State of things. I'd be delighted to be called out for it two years from now if things are going well in a Romney Presidency.

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