Recommended Posts

I've become increasingly concerned with how focus during the Republican primary campaign has veered strongly away from substantive issues and toward sound bites and personal attacks - and away from conservative advocacy and toward beating the drums for nationalism and populism.

Ted Cruz is not perfect in this respect, but he has done a lot better job of keeping the focus on issues than have most of his opponents. Here's a link to Sean Hannity's interview with Ted Cruz which ran on Fox News Channel on Wed. Jan. 20. I think you can see what I mean as you watch the video.

http://www.foxnews.com/transcript/2016/01/20/ted-cruz-trump-will-continue-cronyism-corporate-welfare-in-dc-marco-rubio-as/

Here's the transcript of the interview, with highlighted important issues material:

SEAN HANNITY, HOST: And welcome to "Hannity." And tonight, the Iowa caucuses are just 12 days away and the rivalry between GOP front-runners Donald Trump and Senator Ted Cruz is intensifying. Now, according to the latest RealClearPolitics average, the two candidates are neck and neck in the Hawkeye State, Donald Trump in first with 28.8 percent of the vote, Senator Ted Cruz right behind at 26.6 percent. Here with reaction, 2016 Republican presidential candidate Texas senator Ted Cruz. Senator, good to see you again. Welcome back.

SEN. TED CRUZ, R-TEXAS, PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: Sean, great to be with you.

HANNITY: I got to tell you, this has really become a slugfest in the minds-- I have friends that support you. I have friends that support Trump. It's palpable! And there's even -- there's almost, like, an anger that's building between the two camps. From your perspective, how do you see this competition?

CRUZ: Well -- well, listen, I agree that Donald seems to be getting very angry. I mean, he's rattled and he's tossing out a lot of insults. I have no intention of responding in kind. I don't intend to insult him. In fact, I like Donald. I respect him. And I'm interested in getting into a mud-slinging fight. So if he wants to do that, that's his choice, but I won't be doing it. What I will be doing is keeping the race focused on issues and substance. I think that's what the voters expect. I think that's what they deserve. And right now, the men and women of this country are trying to make the determination who is best prepared to be commander-in-chief. And who can we trust to be a consistent conservative. We're tired of getting burned. Who can we trust to actually deliver on and do what they say they'll do?

HANNITY: Do you now see this as a two-man race? I mean, I'm looking at polls, obviously very tight in Iowa. It's pretty much a fight for second place, according to the polls in New Hampshire. You're in second place in South Carolina, second place in Florida, second place in Georgia, first place in Utah in a poll that came out this week.

CRUZ: Yes.

HANNITY: Is it a two-man race in your mind?

CRUZ: You know, Sean, I think it very much is becoming a two-man race between me and Donald. And you know, one with of the really strong signs of that is you're seeing the Washington establishment dumping their candidate. So for example, a lot of the establishment had been behind Marco Rubio. They've decided now he doesn't have a path to victory. They're moving to Donald Trump. And we're seeing that more and more. And you know, it's kind of curious. Donald is publicly bragging about how all the big establishment players are getting behind him, and his criticism of me is he said I went to Washington and actually stood up and fought in Washington, and Donald has said, well, the problem he has with me is that I won't go along to get along in Washington. I won't cut deals. And Donald has promised he'll go to Washington, he'll cut deals, he'll go along to get along. Now, I got to tell you, Sean. You know the conservatives across this country. I don't think the problem with Washington is that we haven't had enough Republicans willing to cut deals with the Democrats. The problem is, Republican leadership cuts deals every day with the Democrats, like this horrible omnibus bill that funded a trillion dollars, funded all of Obama's big government priorities. And the establishment seems to have made a determination Donald Trump's guy they can make a deal with who will continue the cronyism and corporate welfare and bail-outs for big banks. And I think we're seeing conservatives getting behind us, and we're seeing the Washington establishment getting behind Donald Trump, interestingly enough.

HANNITY: It's interesting you reveal it that way because I've always thought the establishment despised both of you. And -- which -- and I don't mean that in a bad way. I'm a proud insurgent supporter, if you will, in this election because, like you, I feel that Washington Republicans failed us. When you say you're going to fight -- for example, in 2010, the promise was repeal and replace ObamaCare. They wouldn't use the power of the purse. In 2014, it was stop executive amnesty.

CRUZ: Yes.

HANNITY: They funded it and they've now punted it to the courts. How do you fight that battle if you get to be commander-in-chief? Explain the process in which you would be able to do that.

CRUZ: Look, the only way to fight that battle, I believe, is with a strong conservative president. Congressional leadership -- they're simply not going to lead. But with a strong conservative president, it's an altogether different world. For one thing, the way Obama has abused his power, the tool he has used most often is executive authority. He's abused his constitutional power. The silver lining of that is everything done with executive power can be undone with executive power. That's why I've pledged on day one to rescind every single illegal and unconstitutional executive action done by Barack Obama. It's why I've pledged to direct the Department of Justice to open an investigation into Planned Parenthood and prosecute any criminal violation. It's why I have pledged to end the persecution of religious liberty in the federal government. It's why I've pledged to direct the Department of Education to end Common Core. A strong, vigorous executive can undo the damage of the Obama administration.

HANNITY: You know...

CRUZ: But secondly, when it comes to Congress, a president that is prepared to say to congressional leadership, If you send me a bill that is filled with corporate welfare, that's filled with pork, that's filled with cronyism, I will veto it. That's what Reagan did, and it changed the entire direction of this country. That's exactly what I'm committed to doing, as well.

HANNITY: Let's talk about the trajectory of the race. When you were recently on my radio show, you said, no, Iowa is not a must win for the Cruz campaign, for your campaign. Talk about the path for the primary, through the primary, and tell me in a general election what states do you believe a Ted Cruz candidacy could put in play against either Hillary or Bernie or maybe Elizabeth Warren and Joe Biden, I don't know, if Hillary, in fact, got indicted?

CRUZ: Well, we'll start with the primary, where you asked. I think we are all in in each of the first four states -- Iowa, New Hampshire, South Carolina, Nevada. We've got amazing teams on the ground in each of the first four states. What we're seeing is conservatives coming together behind our campaign, and we're seeing the establishment coming together behind Donald Trump's campaign. I like those odds. There are more conservatives than there are the establishment. I believe we're well positioned to do really well in Iowa and New Hampshire and South Carolina and Nevada. And then 10 days after South Carolina is Super Tuesday, the SEC states -- Georgia, Alabama, Tennessee, Arkansas, Oklahoma, Texas. I think Super Tuesday is going to be an amazing day for our campaign, where conservatives say, We don't want someone who views the job of president as, Let's expand the role of Washington, let's cut more deals with Harry Reid and Nancy Pelosi, let's have more cronyism and bail-outs. And you know, we're seeing real distinctions on the issues. So for example, Donald Trump enthusiastically supported the TARP bail-out of big banks. I opposed it. He enthusiastically supported Barack Obama's stimulus plan. He thought it should have been bigger. I think it was a disaster and a waste of money. Actually, Donald not only supported both of those, but he argued that ObamaCare should be expand to make it socialized medicine for everyone. Actually, Donald Trump and Bernie Sanders have basically the same health care plan. I disagree. As president, I will sign legislation -- we will repeal every word of ObamaCare! So there's a sharp policy distinction, and I think in the primary, Republican voters want a conservative. They don't want a deal maker who has written checks and supported Hillary Clinton and Mitch McConnell and John Boehner and Chuck Schumer.

HANNITY: Let me ask you...

CRUZ: They want instead a principled Reagan conservative.

HANNITY: Maybe Donald Trump took the biggest shot at you today. He actually compared you to Hillary Clinton. I want to ask you about that. And you had two people come out, one against you and one for Donald Trump -- Governor Palin's endorsement. She had endorsed you for the Senate, and Governor Branstad and his comments saying anybody pretty much but Ted Cruz. Your reaction to all those comments.

CRUZ: Oh, listen, Sarah Palin -- I love Sarah Palin. I wouldn't be in the Senate without her support. She's made her decision for 2016. That's her prerogative. Regardless of that decision, I will remain a big, big fan of Sarah Palin's. And I do think the decision of who is the consistent conservative, who's the genuine conservative -- that's a decision that's going to be made by the men and women of Iowa, by the men and women of New Hampshire and South Carolina and the states that are voting. As for Governor Branstad, you know, it's actually interesting. That is an example of the establishment getting behind Donald Trump, of the Washington cartel getting behind Donald Trump. You know, and in fact, the governor's explanation for why is he wants a leader like Donald Trump who will continue the mandates, the ethanol mandate, in fact, expand it. You know, my view is we should have no mandates at all, no subsidies, no Washington picking winners and losers, no cronyism, but rather a level playing field. That's why my tax plan is a simple flat tax, 10 percent for everybody, no mandates, no subsidies for oil and gas, no subsidies ethanol, for wind, for solar, for anybody else. Washington is not in the influence playing business. We bring power back to the people. I think that's what the Republican voters are looking for.

HANNITY: And when we come back, we'll have more with Senator Ted Cruz. He'll give his closing arguments heading into Iowa.

But coming up next...

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP) ED HENRY, FOX NEWS: (INAUDIBLE) Did you wipe the server? HILLARY CLINTON, D-N.Y., FMR. SEC. OF STATE, PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: What, like, with a cloth or something? No. (END VIDEO CLIP) HANNITY: You mean, like, with a cloth or something? Anyway, a new report reveals that Hillary Clinton had e-mails that were beyond top secret on her private server. Now, could this new development put her behind bars? Senator Ted Cruz will weigh in. Also tonight...(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP) LENA DUNHAM, ACTOR: I cannot talk about Hillary Clinton without also acknowledging the horrific gender attack on every aspect of her character that she endures from the media. (END VIDEO CLIP) HANNITY: Now, some of Hillary Clinton's biggest supporters, like Hollywood liberal Lena Dunham -- well, now reportedly second-guessing Hillary over her role in her husband's numerous scandals. All of that plus presidential GOP candidate Senator Marco Rubio is here tonight on "Hannity." (COMMERCIAL BREAK) (NEWSBREAK) HANNITY: Welcome back to "Hannity." There is a major development in Hillary Clinton's ongoing server scandal. Now, as our own Catherine Herridge first reported, e-mails on Clinton's unsecure server were found to have contained information that was beyond top secret. Now, despite being under FBI investigation and mounting evidence against her, now, Clinton has used nearly every excuse in the book to try and brush this scandal aside. Take a look. (BEGIN VIDEO CLIP) HILLARY CLINTON, D-N.Y., FMR. SEC. OF STATE, PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: When I got to work as secretary of state, I opted for convenience to use my personal e-mail account, which was allowed by the State Department, because I thought it would be easier to carry just one device for my work and for my personal e-mails instead of two. I think that it might have been smarter to have those two devices from the very beginning. I did not receive nor sent anything that was classified. ED HENRY, FOX NEWS: (INAUDIBLE) Did you wipe the server? CLINTON: What, like with a cloth or something? No. By the way, you may have seen that I recently launched a Snapchat account. I love it! Those messages disappear all by themselves! My use of personal e-mail was allowed by the State Department. It clearly wasn't the best choice. (END VIDEO CLIP)

HANNITY: My favorite is, "Like with a cloth? Back with more reaction, 2016 Republican presidential candidate Senator Ted Cruz. Senator, this seems to be getting more serious. The intelligence community inspector general, Charles McCullough, laid out findings after review by the intelligence agencies identifying several dozen additional classified e-mails, including Special Access Programs, SAP, a level of classification beyond top secret. Now, that would be a huge -- that would be multiple felonies that we're talking about here.

CRUZ: Yes.

HANNITY: Do you suspect she might not end up being the nominee but might end up being indicted?

CRUZ: Listen, these are very, very serious charges coming from the inspector general. The SAP files, which is the higher level of classification -- the reason they get that higher level of classification because you can reveal intelligence collection methods and sources. The reason it has that classification is you don't want our covert operatives at risk, potentially at risk of being compromised or even kidnapped or murdered by revealing the information, the intelligence that they have collected. And for her to have this on an unsecured server that I guess it was reported was in a bathroom somewhere -- that is a very, very serious allegation. And I would note General Petraeus was criminally prosecuted. Right now, the Obama Pentagon is trying to strip him of one of his stars for doing what appears on the face to be much, much less than Hillary Clinton did. It really raises the suspicion that the Obama White House is behaving as it always does, putting politics ahead of the law and ahead of defending this nation's interests and national security.

HANNITY: I want to go back to what came up in the debate, this "New York values" issue. It was an issue that came up that I took personally, and the result was I got many invitations to become citizens of other states, or certainly move to those states.

But Andrew Cuomo said this about conservatives. I want you to listen.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP) GOV. ANDREW CUOMO, D, NEW YORK: Who are they? Are they these extreme conservatives who are right-to-life, pro-assault weapon, anti-gay? Is that who they are? Because if that's who they are and if they are the extreme conservatives, they have no place in the state of New York because that's not who New Yorkers are. (END VIDEO CLIP)

HANNITY: I'm pro-life. I am pro-Second Amendment. I'm pro-traditional marriage. I'm not anti-anything. That is a pretty severe thing for the governor of a state to say, basically saying I'm not wanted in this state. And they do take a lot of my tax money, I will point out to you, nearly 10 percent state, nearly 4 percent city tax. Your reaction.

CRUZ: Well, look, that comment reflects the arrogance of the big government liberals who have been running New York politics for a long time. That comment manifests exactly what New York values are. And you know, I would note that the phrase "New York values," when I wrought it up, it came originally from Donald Trump, from his own words. He did an interview with Tim Russert, long interview, where he explained his views that he was very, very, very pro-choice, that he supported partial-birth abortion, which is really an extreme view on the issue of life, that he was in favor of partial-birth abortion and he was open to gay marriage because he had been born and raised in New York, and his background -- he said he has the views of New York and that New York views and New York values are different, and he explicitly says they're different from Iowa values. Well, he's right in that. And it's interesting that Donald took such offense when I repeated his own words and said, Well, he reflects New York values.

HANNITY: And you apologized to New Yorkers on my radio show.

CRUZ: I did, indeed. I apologized to the millions of conservatives in New York who've been abandoned by liberal politicians. I apologized to all the men and women that want to work in New York but can't because Governor Cuomo's banned fracking, and so they don't get high-paying jobs that people just south in Pennsylvania get. I apologized to all of the African-American children who Mayor de Blasio tried to throw out of their charter schools, which were giving them lifeline to the American dream. And I apologized in particular to the cops and to the firefighters and all the 9/11 heroes, who had no choice but, stand and turn their back on Mayor de Blasio because over and over again, he sides with the criminals and looters rather than the brave men and women in blue!

HANNITY: Let me give you an opportunity -- we're going to be in Iowa next week, so I assume we'll have you on the program at least one more time before the Iowa caucuses, but -- and in fairness, I'll give Mr. Trump -- I agree this is right now looking like a two-man race -- an opportunity do so, as well. But closing arguments, policy differences, foreign policy, the Iranian deal. What would a Ted Cruz, Senator Cruz, President Cruz, White House look like versus, in your mind, a Donald Trump White House?

CRUZ: Well, Sean, every one of us has had the experience of supporting politicians who say good things on the campaign trail and then they don't do what they say. It's why people are so frustrated with Republican leadership in Congress because we were promised if we had Republican majorities in Congress, they would do something. They wouldn't just cut deals with Harry Reid and the Democrats. So what I would suggest to voters -- don't listen to what any of the candidates say on the campaign trail. Campaigns' rhetoric is cheap. Ignore what I say. Ignore what Donald says. Look to our records. Who has actually stood up and fought? If you say you're going to take on Washington, when you have stood up and led the fight? For example, every Republican says they oppose ObamaCare. The question you ought to ask, in 2013, when we had an epic drag- down battle, where were you in that fight? I was standing with millions of Americans leading the fight against ObamaCare. Mr. Trump was nowhere to be found. He was not part of that fight. He didn't show up for that fight. In 2013, when Harry Reid and Barack Obama and Chuck Schumer came after the Second Amendment right to keep and bear arms, millions of Americans rose up to defend our constitutional rights. Once again, I was proud to lead that fight. Once again Mr. Trump was nowhere to be found. He had been advocating previously for restricting so-called assault weapons. And when it came a time to defend the Second Amendment, he wasn't there. And even on amnesty -- you know, on the campaign trail. Donald likes to talk a lot about amnesty. Well, we had an epic drag-down battle in 2013 on amnesty, where President Obama and Chuck Schumer joined with establishment Republicans like Marco Rubio to push through a massive amnesty plan. And it passed the Senate. It was about to pass the House. You remember, Sean, Republican leadership in the House was going to join with the Democrats and pass it over the objections of Republicans. And I stood shoulder to shoulder with Jeff Sessions and Steve King and millions of Americans defending our sovereignty, standing against amnesty, fighting to secure the borders. On the other side was Marco Rubio, who was with Chuck Schumer and Barack Obama. And missing from the entire battle was Donald Trump! If he cared about this issue so much, where was he when the fight was on the verge of being lost, and if millions of us hadn't risen up, Barack Obama would have granted amnesty to 12 million people here illegally and we would have lost this battle? And what I would suggest is as the scriptures tell us, you shall know them by their fruits. Don't listen to the words of the candidates, look at the walk and the action. That's how we determine. And I'll make one final point. The most important determination anyone is making in this election is who's prepared to be commander-in-chief. Who has the experience, who has the knowledge, who has the clarity of vision, the strength and resolve and the judgment to keep this country safe? If I am elected president, we will defeat radical Islamic terrorism. We will utterly destroy ISIS, and Iran will not get nuclear weapons. I will rip to shreds this Iranian nuclear deal. Donald Trump has pledged to keep the deal in place and try to negotiate! You don't negotiate with the Ayatollah Khamenei, who chants "Death to America," you defeat him! And we need a leader who doesn't get rattled by the latest drop in polls, who doesn't wake up in the morning with a frenzy of tweets, but rather has the clarity of vision and strength to keep this country safe. That's what I'll do as president, Sean, and I think that's why conservatives are uniting behind us across all the country. It's why the establishment is headed to Donald.

HANNITY: All right, Senator, we'll be in Iowa most of next week, and we'll, hopefully, see you and all the other candidates there. Thank you so much. Only 12 days to go. Here we are. Game time.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

This is pretty funny. Apparently twisted minds think alike. :laugh:

http://www.mtv.com/news/2353246/2016-candidates-back-to-the-future/

I tried to post a pic of "Biff Tannen" punching out "George McFly" in "Back to the Future" - kind of a little metaphor of the current state of interplay between The Donald and the Cruzster, but OL wouldn't let me post it. :sad:

REB

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

For someone who claims to not like others' personal attacks, and who says that he has no intention of responding in kind, Cruz sure spends a lot of time attacking Trump, talking about him, complaining about him, and even misinterpreting or misrepresenting him -- occasionally on the verge of smearing him. Attacking Trump while claiming to not be attacking him is not something that he does well. I think he'd do better to ignore other candidates and stay on message. Stop making comparisons, because doing so inevitably leads to others correcting his misrepresentations or lies about their positions or records, and then he's sucked into the quagmire of who should we believe about ten thousand irrelevant facets of minutia and potential misunderstandings of he said she said.

Cruz is at his best when limiting himself to stating what he will do, especially on the occasions when he's aware of when to shut up. If he can manage to keep it concise -- keep the politician blabber mouth jabber jaw thing under control -- I think he's got a great chance of winning.

J

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

For someone who claims to not like others' personal attacks, and who says that he has no intention of responding in kind, Cruz sure spends a lot of time attacking Trump, talking about him, complaining about him, and even misinterpreting or misrepresenting him -- occasionally on the verge of smearing him. Attacking Trump while claiming to not be attacking him is not something that he does well. I think he'd do better to ignore other candidates and stay on message. Stop making comparisons, because doing so inevitably leads to others correcting his misrepresentations or lies about their positions or records, and then he's sucked into the quagmire of who should we believe about ten thousand irrelevant facets of minutia and potential misunderstandings of he said she said.

Cruz is at his best when limiting himself to stating what he will do, especially on the occasions when he's aware of when to shut up. If he can manage to keep it concise -- keep the politician blabber mouth jabber jaw thing under control -- I think he's got a great chance of winning.

J

Good observations J.

I like Cruz, however, his self contradictory behavior with the "I am not attacking The Donald" attacks are just glaringly obviously foolish.

A...

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

CRUZ: ...So what I would suggest to voters -- don't listen to what any of the candidates say on the campaign trail. Campaigns' rhetoric is cheap. Ignore what I say. Ignore what Donald says. Look to our records.

Wish granted, Cruz. I won't listen to what you have to say.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

CRUZ: ...So what I would suggest to voters -- don't listen to what any of the candidates say on the campaign trail. Campaigns' rhetoric is cheap. Ignore what I say. Ignore what Donald says. Look to our records.

Wish granted, Cruz. I won't listen to what you have to say.

Cruz is an articulate piece of future Presidential timber.

He needs to work on his poor kinesics which just make him "appear" "off" and "odd" which is visually disconcerting at a subconscious level.

A...

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

...

He needs to work on his poor kinesics which just make him "appear" "off" and "odd" which is visually disconcerting at a subconscious level.

A...

Ah, the preferred wording.

I was using "sleazy preacher".

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

...

He needs to work on his poor kinesics which just make him "appear" "off" and "odd" which is visually disconcerting at a subconscious level.

A...

Ah, the preferred wording.

I was using "sleazy preacher".

Have you run into a "sleazy preacher?"

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

...

He needs to work on his poor kinesics which just make him "appear" "off" and "odd" which is visually disconcerting at a subconscious level.

A...

Ah, the preferred wording.

I was using "sleazy preacher".

Have you run into a "sleazy preacher?"

I have a proximal avoidance that has so far kept me safe from any such allure

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I was using "sleazy preacher".

Have you run into a "sleazy preacher?"

I have a proximal avoidance that has so far kept me safe from any such allure

See, now I am confused.

How do you come to that conclusion about Cruz?

What do you base your judgment on?

A...

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I was using "sleazy preacher".

Have you run into a "sleazy preacher?"

I have a proximal avoidance that has so far kept me safe from any such allure

See, now I am confused.

How do you come to that conclusion about Cruz?

What do you base your judgment on?

A...

Now I'm really confused, I thought you were joking earlier. My references were partly exaggerated, but his mannerisms do have shades of Benny Hinn and the like. Of course that wasn't a direct indication of his character or philosophy.

Seriously speaking now, Cruz's philosophy is rationalism, and frequently makes arguments based on this. Doing this he runs himself into a corner like what I quoted earlier, "CRUZ: ...So what I would suggest to voters -- don't listen to what any of the candidates say on the campaign trail. Campaigns' rhetoric is cheap. Ignore what I say. Ignore what Donald says. Look to our records." He just told voters, on principle, to not listen to what he says or any other candidate says, in order to make the argument. That's rationalism, and not grounded in reality, and cannot be connected back to it in any way. He does this frequently, and that is my fundamental issue with Cruz.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I was using "sleazy preacher".

Have you run into a "sleazy preacher?"

I have a proximal avoidance that has so far kept me safe from any such allure

See, now I am confused.

How do you come to that conclusion about Cruz?

What do you base your judgment on?

A...

Now I'm really confused, I thought you were joking earlier. My references were partly exaggerated, but his mannerisms do have shades of Benny Hinn and the like. Of course that wasn't a direct indication of his character or philosophy.

Seriously speaking now, Cruz's philosophy is rationalism, and frequently makes arguments based on this. Doing this he runs himself into a corner like what I quoted earlier, "CRUZ: ...So what I would suggest to voters -- don't listen to what any of the candidates say on the campaign trail. Campaigns' rhetoric is cheap. Ignore what I say. Ignore what Donald says. Look to our records." He just told voters, on principle, to not listen to what he says or any other candidate says, in order to make the argument. That's rationalism, and not grounded in reality, and cannot be connected back to it in any way. He does this frequently, and that is my fundamental issue with Cruz.

How is it rationalism to say: don't go by what I say, go by what I do? Don't just talk the talk, but walk the walk? Talk is cheap, look at a person's actions?

What Cruz said is *not* rationalism. It's very factual, real-world Objectivism. Rand for instance said, don't go by what someone "says" his values are, look at his actions. (You can't legitimately claim something is your value, if you contradict it with your actions/inactions.)

Whatever else you might reject about Cruz - personality or policies - I'd think this particular suggestion of his would be a common sense person's guiding principle for telling who is real and who is phony. If it can be used against Cruz to his detriment, so much the worse for Cruz. But rationalism? You're barking up the wrong tree, my friend.

You want rationalism? Look for floating abstractions, vague generalities. Know anyone like that in the campaign? Anyone saying they're going to make America great again, just trust them?

REB

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Correct.

Additionally, it is an Aristotelian Rhetorical Trope when used in this way.

A...

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Yup.

I would be *most* suspicious of a person who said "don't look at my past actions, just listen to what I'm saying (and promising) now."

In his interview with Hannity, Cruz laid out several important issues and pointed to who was involved and taking the pro-liberty position, and who was nowhere to be seen or arguing for the other side. This is the sort of evidence about the candidates that we are now being urged to sweep under the rug and disregard, in order to "beat Hillary at any cost." In other words, facts and principles be damned, we are in a crisis, so "whatever it takes" to keep the bad people out is OK. Well, guess what happens when people - even for the best of intentions - take that kind of approach?

If Trump wants to lay relevant facts and principles on the table, I'll listen. So far, however, his record and (apparent) principles are scaring me off of voting for him, not persuading me to vote for him.

People here on OL have said that Trump's protectionist and regulatory proposals are just temporary, like way stations, needed in the present crisis in order to get things under control (?), and then we can de-control and enter the promised land of real freedom when the crisis is over.

Ummm...that sounds eerily similar to the sales job for communism, where the worker's dictatorship ("dictatorship of the proletariat") would eventually "wither away." It also sounds eerily (and sadly) like Milton Friedman's proposal for Federal income tax withhold as a "temporary wartime expedient" (!!) during World War 2.

On the other hand, Richard Nixon got on board with doing away with the military draft - and he was horrible, even worse than Trump, right? And Jimmy Carter and Teddy Kennedy promoted deregulation of the airlines in the late 70s. Miracles *do* happen on occasion. But do we *really* want to stake so much of our future on the idea that mercantilist-protectionist strong-man stuff is just a temporary way-station to freedom?

REB

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Roger:

Can you please quote his words that explain that he is going to create protectionism as a philosophy.

For heaven's sake Roger, we are still paying a tariff on sugar some 6 decades after it went into effect.

Ethanol is a great example of a clearly better position held by Cruz than Trump.

However, this election is not a "position" election.

It is a cataclysmic election.

A...

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

..

Seriously speaking now, Cruz's philosophy is rationalism, and frequently makes arguments based on this. Doing this he runs himself into a corner like what I quoted earlier, "CRUZ: ...So what I would suggest to voters -- don't listen to what any of the candidates say on the campaign trail. Campaigns' rhetoric is cheap. Ignore what I say. Ignore what Donald says. Look to our records." He just told voters, on principle, to not listen to what he says or any other candidate says, in order to make the argument. That's rationalism, and not grounded in reality, and cannot be connected back to it in any way. He does this frequently, and that is my fundamental issue with Cruz.

How is it rationalism to say: don't go by what I say, go by what I do? Don't just talk the talk, but walk the walk? Talk is cheap, look at a person's actions?

What Cruz said is *not* rationalism. It's very factual, real-world Objectivism. Rand for instance said, don't go by what someone "says" his values are, look at his actions. (You can't legitimately claim something is your value, if you contradict it with your actions/inactions.)

Whatever else you might reject about Cruz - personality or policies - I'd think this particular suggestion of his would be a common sense person's guiding principle for telling who is real and who is phony. If it can be used against Cruz to his detriment, so much the worse for Cruz. But rationalism? You're barking up the wrong tree, my friend.

You want rationalism? Look for floating abstractions, vague generalities. Know anyone like that in the campaign? Anyone saying they're going to make America great again, just trust them?

REB

Cruz's statement I quoted was his attempt to get out of the New York values comments he made. Cruz telling people to ignore what he's saying on the campaign trail, yet what he's saying on the campaign trail is what will largely get him elected. That's a contradiction. So his entire argument rests on a contradiction, one that can't be traced back to reality because the voters do listen to what he says on the campaign trail, and will make decisions based off of that. That's a rationalistic argument, it rests on him requesting us to float everything he's saying on the campaign trail, when his contradiction is what makes his entire argument non-factual.

Since when does Objectivism accept a conflict between what one says and does? That is not Objectivism. Rand did say to not go by what someone says his values are, to look at his actions--but that is not the rest of the context: Rand said this about people who's words contradict their actions. In Objectivism, there shouldn't be a conflict between what one says, and what one does. Cruz, on this issue, is admitting he is dishonest, and NOT objective.

Nor was I injecting irrational (personal) biases into my statements earlier. Like I said, I thought there was joking going on.

I listened very carefully to Cruz before arriving at these judgments (weeks). I do have a sense of humor, so those jokes came later, hierarchically.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Yes, Rand said look at someone's actions, not his words - if there was a conflict between words and actions. And as we all know, there are *plenty* of such conflicts all around us, in and out of politics. Especially *in* politics. Such conflicts are *not* acceptable, but they are *facts* that we can use in order to evaluate candidates. Do they talk out of both sides of their mouths? Are they johnny-come-lately who've never lifted a finger for what they say they believe in?

Cruz is saying, don't just take my claims about what I stand for, look at what I've done that *proves* it. And for the others who *claim* they support something, but act the *opposite* - you know how to judge them, too. This is *not* rationalism. It is how you verify what someone *says* they stand for. You look at what they *did* stand for.

Cruz is about as honest and objective as anyone running for the GOP nomination. (That said, I do *not* like his pro-life and his pro-war positions. I would have to swallow hard to vote for him. I probably won't.) If you want to judge and condemn him, base it on unacceptable facts and policy proposals, please, not on some tortured, mangled misinterpretation of what rationalism means. There's plenty of real stuff to reject him for, without manufacturing bogus stuff.

REB

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Roger:

Can you please quote his words that explain that he is going to create protectionism as a philosophy.

For heaven's sake Roger, we are still paying a tariff on sugar some 6 decades after it went into effect.

Ethanol is a great example of a clearly better position held by Cruz than Trump.

However, this election is not a "position" election.

It is a cataclysmic election.

A...

His protectionism often pops up here and there in his speeches. But heck, go to his web site.

https://www.donaldjtrump.com/positions

Both of his separate pages for US-China trade and Immigration reform are mixed bags of good and bad ideas. The bad ideas are essentially protectionism and, in particular, pandering to labor/workers.

1. Immigration - the thumbnail talks about putting "the needs of working people first." As opposed to "wealthy globetrotting donors" (?), which apparently means companies that hire cheap, immigrant labor. The full page talks about wages needing to be raised in entry-level IT jobs, and companies being required to "hire American workers first." In other words, the same flawed economic reasoning behind mandates for increases in minimum wage and other measures that interfere with free, capitalist relationships between people who want to hire and people who want to work. But people do *not* have a "right" to a certain level of wages, nor do they have a "right" to a job rather than some other person who does not have citizenship status. The free market can produce more and more goods and lower and lower cost to consumers, but only when price *and* wage levels and hiring policies are left entirely free of interference from the government.

2. US-China trade - the thumbnail talks about serving "the interests of American workers" and about how China is not living up to its obligations. And how trade policy should not be for the benefit of US corporations that move investment and manufacturing overseas. On the full page, he points out how China has not engaged in "fair trade" - it takes advantage of being able to sell stuff here, but it keeps up tariff barriers on American goods. In other words, American consumers get cheaper goods, saving money they can use to buy still more goods, or save, or invest, or start up a business and new jobs, etc. None of that matters in Trump's vision. China impoverishes its citizens by denying then American goods that they could be for less, or that would be of higher quality - and instead of shrugging and letting China abuse its citizens as it likes, Trump wants to impose the same kind of burden on *American* citizens. If China won't "play fair," then we should bite our own nose to spite our face. That makes no sense....Also, the whole notion that American workers should be protected by the government from competition by foreigners is antithetical to free trade. That is not part of government's proper function. If a contract is broken, if someone engages in fraud or misrepresentation, that is a job for government to fix. But not to tilt the "playing field" either in favor of or against any particular group of people. It is not proper for the government to pick winners and losers, neither in industry nor in lablr....Also, the big unasked and unanswered question: why is the US government involved in negotiating and dictating trade policy at all?? Isn't trade between individuals and companies? Why are individuals and companies to be regulated and jawboned by governments? No answer, just an assumption that there is another job for a "strong man" to take on.

As I said, both these areas are very mixed bags. I especially *like* Trump's ideas for revamping tax policy - mostly tax cuts, so that a large part of the incentive for moving off-shore are no longer there. There is a lot to strongly like in his ideas - the smaller government, lower taxes ideas, especially. But a lot to strongly dislike, too - in particular, the protectionist ideas I've just pointed to. And who knows which part of these witch's brews will survive the electoral process, if he becomes President? If Trump is not willing to embrace economic freedom, in principle, we really can't trust whether he will remain a "conservative" (whatever that means) - or decide, in order to "make deals," that, hey, he's more of a "moderate" after all.

REB

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Yes, Rand said look at someone's actions, not his words - if there was a conflict between words and actions. And as we all know, there are *plenty* of such conflicts all around us, in and out of politics. Especially *in* politics. Such conflicts are *not* acceptable, but they are *facts* that we can use in order to evaluate candidates. Do they talk out of both sides of their mouths? Are they johnny-come-lately who've never lifted a finger for what they say they believe in?

Cruz is saying, don't just take my claims about what I stand for, look at what I've done that *proves* it. And for the others who *claim* they support something, but act the *opposite* - you know how to judge them, too. This is *not* rationalism. It is how you verify what someone *says* they stand for. You look at what they *did* stand for.

Cruz is about as honest and objective as anyone running for the GOP nomination. (That said, I do *not* like his pro-life and his pro-war positions. I would have to swallow hard to vote for him. I probably won't.) If you want to judge and condemn him, base it on unacceptable facts and policy proposals, please, not on some tortured, mangled misinterpretation of what rationalism means. There's plenty of real stuff to reject him for, without manufacturing bogus stuff.

REB

It's rationalism to make a statement, then abstract anything away that is inconvenient to the statement, or add in things to support it that won't ground to reality. It's also rationalism to do the opposite, to make a large floating argument that seems to be based off of rational principles (& integrations), but then ignore that which would invalidate it in some way. That's no misinterpretation of rationalism.

It's my estimation that Cruz does the latter quite a bit.

This isn't an attack on you REB, it's not my intention. I hope it's not coming across that way. I read a lot of your posts for a couple of years before joining and highly respect you.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Cruz's statement I quoted was his attempt to get out of the New York values comments he made.

I'm actually more interested in Trump's comment in response to Cruz saying not a lot of conservatives came from NYC. Trump, brushing off the point that not many conservatives came from NYC, thought it was sufficient (and rhetorically appropriate) to point to *one* conservative from NYC - namely, William F. Buckley, Jr.

However, there is a little problem with that, and Trump was probably hoping no one would remember until it was too late. Well, perhaps it *is* too late, but here it is anyway: Buckley's very pungent, unequivocal opinion of Trump, which he stated in a National Review piece in 2000. Wonderful stuff:

On Donald Trump and Demagoguery
by William F. Buckley Jr. January 22, 2016 12:25 PM
Editor’s Note: The following excerpts are drawn from an essay by William F. Buckley Jr. that appeared in the March/April 2000 issue of Cigar Aficionado.
Many people are inflamed by the rampant demagoguery in the present scene. Demagoguery — demagogy — comes in two modes. Most conspicuous is that of the candidate who promises the voters what are best described as Nice Things. Why not health care for the uninsured? Or for children? Why not cheaper drugs? Free child delivery? (Free funerals?) Sharpshooters tracking down demagogy were out there waiting last summer, eyes trained, when Bill Bradley arrived in Iowa. Would he do it? Would he advocate an end to the subsidy of ethanol? Ethanol is the program, excogitated during the Carter Administration, which sought to augment the staying power of a gallon of gasoline by an infusion of ethanol. What happened is that the price of oil went down, and the potential economic value of an ethanol additive turned out to be less than the cost of producing ethanol, and that was many moons ago. . . .
What about the aspirant who has a private vision to offer to the public and has the means, personal or contrived, to finance a campaign? In some cases, the vision isn’t merely a program to be adopted. It is a program that includes the visionary’s serving as President. Look for the narcissist. The most obvious target in today’s lineup is, of course, Donald Trump. When he looks at a glass, he is mesmerized by its reflection. If Donald Trump were shaped a little differently, he would compete for Miss America. But whatever the depths of self-enchantment, the demagogue has to say something. So what does Trump say? That he is a successful businessman and that that is what America needs in the Oval Office. There is some plausibility in this, though not much. The greatest deeds of American Presidents — midwifing the new republic; freeing the slaves; harnessing the energies and vision needed to win the Cold War — had little to do with a bottom line.
So what else can Trump offer us? Well to begin with, a self-financed campaign. Does it follow that all who finance their own campaigns are narcissists? At this writing Steve Forbes has spent $63 million in pursuit of the Republican nomination. Forbes is an evangelist, not an exhibitionist. In his long and sober private career, Steve Forbes never bought a casino, and if he had done so, he would not have called it Forbes’s Funhouse. His motivations are discernibly selfless. . . .
There are moments of deep gloom during the primary season. The candidates are immediately approached after a public event to be told whether what they just finished saying added or subtracted from their probable standing in the polls. And the American voter who wants to see a sign of life and of pride in the participants in our expensive and exhausting democratic obstacle course wonder, sometimes with a sense of desperation, whether what we’re seeing is new. Or, are we looking at merely this season’s reenactment of a ritual that began when Aaron Burr and Alexander Hamilton were quarreling before their conclusive encounter at Weehawken?
There is always rivalry, and there is always a search for means of exploiting the means of advancing one’s own position. In other ages, one paid court to the king. Now we pay court to the people. In the final analysis, just as the king might look down with terminal disdain upon a courtier whose hypocrisy repelled him, so we have no substitute for relying on the voter to exercise a quiet veto when it becomes more necessary to discourage cynical demagogy, than to advance free health for the kids. That can come later, in another venue; the resistance to a corrupting demagogy should take first priority. — William F. Buckley Jr. was the founder and editor of National Review.
Interesting, isn't it, that Trump exemplifies *both* of Buckley's modes of demagoguery - the pandering, handouts kind and the narcissistic, corrupting kind. As for the former, the pandering and handouts, it's fascinating that even 16 years ago, the ethanol subsidy/mandate was a prominent issue that came to mind as an example of demagoguery. Seems that Trump was even then perceived by Buckley - Trump's example of an NYC conservative hero - as a narcissistic, corrupting kind of demagogue. Now we can see that he is the pandering, handouts kind, too.
If we vet Trump as well as Obama *should* have been vetted, perhaps the next 2 administrations won't be as bad as the past 2 have been. Buckley's words of warning are valuable input for that process - and I hope that we see them again soon, in campaign ads leading into Iowa and New Hampshire. Trump should not be allowed to get away with draping around him the mantle of one the harshest critics of his character and most clarion warnings against the risks of electing him President.
REB

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.

Guest
Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.

Loading...