Scott A.

Obama Attacks Objectivism(?)!

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I heard the audio clip related to the blog post below on Rush Limbaugh yesterday. I was leaving and couldn't write about it then, and then it slipped my mind until today when my friend sent me the link (here). Here's the relevant portion of Obama's remarks:

The point is, though, that -- and it’s not just charity, it’s not just that I want to help the middle class and working people who are trying to get in the middle class -- it’s that when we actually make sure that everybody’s got a shot – when young people can all go to college, when everybody’s got decent health care, when everybody’s got a little more money at the end of the month – then guess what? Everybody starts spending that money, they decide maybe I can afford a new car, maybe I can afford a computer for my child. They can buy the products and services that businesses are selling and everybody is better off. All boats rise. That’s what happened in the 1990s, that’s what we need to restore. And that’s what I’m gonna do as president of the United States of America.

John McCain and Sarah Palin they call this socialistic. You know I don’t know when, when they decided they wanted to make a virtue out of selfishness.

Could be just a coincidental use of a phrase, but it makes me wonder. I almost hope it's a direct attack; it would mean that somehow Objectivism is getting under his skin.

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John McCain and Sarah Palin they call [Obama's political agenda] socialistic. You know I don’t know when, when they decided they wanted to make a virtue out of selfishness.

Could be just a coincidental use of a phrase, but it makes me wonder. I almost hope it's a direct attack; it would mean that somehow Objectivism is getting under his skin.

Could be. If McCain is pitching altruism, Obama intends to enforce it.

Announcing his plan July 2 at the University of Colorado, he said: "We will ask Americans to serve. We will create new opportunities to serve. And we will direct that service to our most pressing national challenges." He will make us an offer we can't refuse.

Obama says that as president he will "set a goal for all American middle and high school students to perform 50 hours of service a year, and for all college students to perform 100 hours of service a year." What he doesn't say is that he'll make such voluntarism compulsory by attaching strings to federal education dollars. The schools will make the kids volunteer. It's called plausible deniability.

In a commencement speech at Wesleyan University, Obama advised graduates not to pursue the American dream of success, but to serve others.

"You can take your diploma, walk off this stage and chase only after the big house and the nice suits and all the other things that our money culture says you should," he told the graduates. "But I hope you don't."

Don't be another Bill Gates and amass a fortune making people more productive and successful in their daily lives and giving your countrymen a standard of living the world will envy. Exchange your cap and gown for sackcloth and ashes. Leave your possessions behind and come and follow Obama.

"Fulfilling your immediate wants and needs betrays a poverty of ambition," he opined. Shame on us for being selfish and buying that SUV built by an autoworker trying to fulfill his family's immediate wants and needs.

"Our collective service can shape the destiny of this generation," Obama said. "Individual salvation depends on collective salvation."

We already have a Salvation Army that is truly a volunteer organization. Collective service and salvation is not a classic definition of voluntarism. What Obama has in mind is to turn America into a socialist version of the old Soviet collectives.

And if your idea of service is to join the military and keep others alive and free, forget about it. And never mind about ROTC on campus.

Obama has no place for those who are willing to abandon fame and fortune to lay down their lives for their friends and ours. "At a time of war," Obama says, "we need you to work for peace."

"We left corporate America, which is a lot of what we're asking young people to do," Obama's wife, Michelle, told a group of women in Zanesville, Ohio, during the primaries. "Don't go into corporate America. . . . Become teachers. Work for the community. Be social workers. Be a nurse. Those are the careers we need, and we're encouraging people to do just that."

Don't be the engineers who will figure out better ways to extract shale oil from the porous rock that holds it. Figure out how to extract more money from taxpayers' wallets.

But the Obamas are doing more than "encouraging" or "asking." In a speech in California, Michelle, who has made a small fortune in the "helping industry," said: "Barack Obama will require you to work. He is going to demand that you shed your cynicism. That you come out of your isolation, that you move out of your comfort zone. . . . Barack Obama will never allow you to go back to your lives as usual — uninvolved, uninformed."

"Obama Wants You", Investors Business Daily, Thursday, July 31, 2008 (link to full article) [Emphasis mine]

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I heard the audio clip related to the blog post below on Rush Limbaugh yesterday. I was leaving and couldn't write about it then, and then it slipped my mind until today when my friend sent me the link (here). Here's the relevant portion of Obama's remarks:
The point is, though, that -- and it’s not just charity, it’s not just that I want to help the middle class and working people who are trying to get in the middle class -- it’s that when we actually make sure that everybody’s got a shot – when young people can all go to college, when everybody’s got decent health care, when everybody’s got a little more money at the end of the month – then guess what? Everybody starts spending that money, they decide maybe I can afford a new car, maybe I can afford a computer for my child. They can buy the products and services that businesses are selling and everybody is better off. All boats rise. That’s what happened in the 1990s, that’s what we need to restore. And that’s what I’m gonna do as president of the United States of America.

John McCain and Sarah Palin they call this socialistic. You know I don’t know when, when they decided they wanted to make a virtue out of selfishness.

Could be just a coincidental use of a phrase, but it makes me wonder. I almost hope it's a direct attack; it would mean that somehow Objectivism is getting under his skin.

Not to go away from the topic (and I hope you're right), but this reminded me of something that struck me when Obama made his gaffe with Joe the Plumber and is repeated in what you quoted. In the case of Joe, it came out pretty much like this: We'll take money from you and give it to others, so they can buy more from you. That will make you better off. (Listen to what Obama says

.) In what you quoted, the implication is that if we take money from the greedy rich who own greedy corporations, people will...give that money back to the greedy rich via their greedy corporations, in exchange for the goods those corporations produce. So if you have money and a car to sell, we'll take the price of that car from you and give it to someone who'll buy your car with it, leaving you with the same amount you had to start with, but no car. See - everybody...um...uh...wins! Yeah..."wins"...that's what happens.

The stupidity of that kind of economic thinking is so obvious to me that I can't understand how so many millions don't see it.

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The stupidity of that kind of economic thinking is so obvious to me that I can't understand how so many millions don't see it.

The reason the millions of people do not see it is because they have their heads up their a___! In other words, they have put their heads in the s__t pile. I am sorry I meant to write that they have put their head in the sand. ^_^

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I sent an email out about this earlier today - I had found it on Rush's site as well. And it was discussed earlier tonight on Hannity & Colmes.

This is what Dr. Hurd wrote about the election a little while ago.

As for the economy, Obama's philosophy is clear: All socialism, all the time. He'll make America as socialist as he possibly can, and he'll have (for at least two years, maybe even eight) a fully Democratic Congress to help him do it. He will pack the Supreme Court with justices opposed to property rights and ownership of guns, and unapologetically on the side of big government liberalism. Obama is the socialist FDR for the 21st Century--only without the willingness to use American military force, as FDR did. Handing over the military to Obama is enough, by itself, to rush to McCain. I live near a major Air Force base. When I watch those military planes fly over my house and think of those planes and soldiers under the command of Obama, I frankly feel sick. But McCain doesn't deserve the presidency. He is either unable or, worse, unwilling to defend what remains of American capitalism and freedom against the much more philosophical and deeply held belief system of Obama.
Obama invited McCain into a debate not only of policies--with Obama on the wrong side--but also a debate of underlying philosophy. Thanks largely to McCain, we'll get neither.

I blame McCain for this much more than Obama. Obama knows that ideology matters, and he's prepared to act on his. Witness his recent comment to a voter, caught on tape, that it's time to "spread the wealth around." Obama's ideology of wealth redistribution for its own sake is clear. McCain hopes that if you ignore ideology, it will go away. Witness his slide in the polls in a country that really isn't all that socialist. This is because Americans, while practical, also care about morality and ideology. Sometimes both candidates ignore these in an election, but this year one of them doesn't. Unfortunately, this candidate is on the wrong side and is on the verge of a historic--and disastrous--win.

[Emphasis mine.]

Obama fully understands the nature of his "cause." The conservatives don't, which is why the culture is sliding Left. As Ayn Rand wrote about conservatives:

What are the “
conservatives
”? What is it that they are seeking to “
conserve
”?

It is generally understood that those who support the “conservatives,” expect them to uphold the system which has been camouflaged by the loose term of “the
American
way of life.” The moral treason of the “conservative” leaders lies in the fact that they are hiding behind that camouflage: they do not have the courage to admit that the
American
way of life was
capitalism
, that that was the politico-economic system born and established in the United States, the system which, in one brief century, achieved a level of freedom, of progress, of prosperity, of human happiness, unmatched in all the other systems and centuries combined—and that that is the system which they are now allowing to perish by silent default.

If the “conservatives” do not stand for capitalism, they stand for and are nothing; they have no goal, no direction, no political principles, no social ideals, no intellectual values, no leadership to offer anyone.

Yet capitalism is what the “conservatives” dare not advocate or defend. They are paralyzed by the profound conflict between capitalism and the moral code which dominates our culture: the morality of altruism . . . Capitalism and altruism are incompatible; they are philosophical opposites; they cannot co-exist in the same man or in the same society.

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From the ABC News blogs, via the Drudge Report:

Obama's New Attack on Those Who Don't Want Higher Taxes: ‘Selfishness’

October 31, 2008 10:58 AM

On the stump this week, Sen. Barack Obama, D-Ill., has pushed back against Sen. John McCain's description of his tax policies.

"The reason that we want to do this, change our tax code, is not because I have anything against the rich," Obama said in Sarasota, Fla., yesterday. "I love rich people! I want all of you to be rich. Go for it. That’s the American dream, that’s the American way, that’s terrific.

"The point is, though, that -- and it’s not just charity, it’s not just that I want to help the middle class and working people who are trying to get in the middle class -- it’s that when we actually make sure that everybody’s got a shot – when young people can all go to college, when everybody’s got decent health care, when everybody’s got a little more money at the end of the month – then guess what? Everybody starts spending that money, they decide maybe I can afford a new car, maybe I can afford a computer for my child. They can buy the products and services that businesses are selling and everybody is better off. All boats rise. That’s what happened in the 1990s, that’s what we need to restore. And that’s what I’m gonna do as president of the United States of America.

"John McCain and Sarah Palin they call this socialistic," Obama continued. "You know I don’t know when, when they decided they wanted to make a virtue out of selfishness."

It's unclear if this was a nod to the Ayn Rand book "The Virtue of Selfishness," with all that the invocation of Rand implies.

It would seem to be, given the themes of Rand's work, what happens when independent achievers are demonized.

Which would fit with this description of those who want to keep their hard-earned tax dollars as "selfish."

Atlas may not be shrugging, but Obama is.

-- jpt

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I forgot to mention that the Drudge Report piece already has over 1400 comments, and there's a particularly good one by one Seerak:

I have a right to be selfish with my own money. And if I want to give some of my money to the church, or the women's homeless shelter, or to the Red Cross, or to the lady who cleans houses, I have a right to.

Absolutely, you do. It is not just a political right, it is a *moral* right. But would you go as far as to say that you have the same right NOT to do those things?

That's the rub right there. Most of you, when you hear "selfish" you are thinking "at the expense of others". It is clear why nobody defends that sort of conduct, and Ayn Rand certainly did not do so.

But when someone like Obama uses the term, they mean something else. They mean the idea that we have a "duty" to the less fortunate -- and that if you reject this duty, you are "selfish". That is a horse of a different color -- because such a principle precludes your moral right to decide for yourself.

It is this meaning of selfishness -- moral self-determination -- that Obama and his ilk are attacking. If you insist on your *right* to pursue YOUR happiness, YOUR values, YOUR interests -- you are being selfish.

That is what Ayn Rand's famous book is defending. As she put it:

"The issue is not whether or not you should give a dime to a beggar, but rather if you have the right to exist without giving him that dime."

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Thanks for that information, Mercury!

Obama's statement has caused a flood of Ayn Rand references. For example, there is a discussion of Ayn Rand’s philosophy on Little Green Footballs today and she was also mentioned in an AP article. Clearly Objectivism has penetrated the culture to a level I've never before witnessed. This is great news.

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I heard the audio clip related to the blog post below on Rush Limbaugh yesterday. I was leaving and couldn't write about it then, and then it slipped my mind until today when my friend sent me the link (here). Here's the relevant portion of Obama's remarks:
The point is, though, that -- and it’s not just charity, it’s not just that I want to help the middle class and working people who are trying to get in the middle class -- it’s that when we actually make sure that everybody’s got a shot – when young people can all go to college, when everybody’s got decent health care, when everybody’s got a little more money at the end of the month – then guess what? Everybody starts spending that money, they decide maybe I can afford a new car, maybe I can afford a computer for my child. They can buy the products and services that businesses are selling and everybody is better off. All boats rise. That’s what happened in the 1990s, that’s what we need to restore. And that’s what I’m gonna do as president of the United States of America.

John McCain and Sarah Palin they call this socialistic. You know I don’t know when, when they decided they wanted to make a virtue out of selfishness.

Could be just a coincidental use of a phrase, but it makes me wonder. I almost hope it's a direct attack; it would mean that somehow Objectivism is getting under his skin.

I had planned to post this, too. If you listen to how Obama said it, the inflection in his voice makes it sound like a snide comment -- planned in advance as a scripted sound-bite "talking point" -- intended to discredit McCain and Palin in "extremist" terms, which is what it would mean in his mind to say that about someone. He (or his sound-bite writers) probably did get the phrase from Ayn Rand (where else?), but it doesn't mean it is Ayn Rand that he cares to address or that she is "getting under his skin". (Joe the Plumber is getting under his skin.)

Obama is countering the charges of socialism against him with moral intimidation through an implicit appeal to the morality of sacrifice -- as a principle he knows "everyone" accepts as moral -- to justify his socialism without admitting he is a socialist. He is trying to have it both ways, pretending not to be a socialist while promising "tax cuts", etc. to appeal to voters' self interest while justifying confiscation by commonly accepted altruism, daring his listeners to challenge his equalitarian moral premises. He expectins they will ignore the contradiction and its implications for them because he is deliberately keeping the issues on a concrete bound level of promises and threats to specific classes of people with specific proposals in a "divide and conquer" class warfare strategy.

Why should anyone feel threatened when he is constantly told to think only that Obama will give him cash, and never mind what else that means? Conceptual identifications of "socialism", "capitalism", "moral", "tax cuts", "confiscation", and "selfish" never even come up. They count on that, knowing that no one else will dare to bring them up either. (And if someone even begins to, like Barbara West as discussed here on the Forum, they openly mock them and refuse further interviews.)

If the right knew how to respond to him he wouldn't get away with this. The best Rush Limbaugh could come up with was to accuse Obama as being a "thug", not "charitable", for taking other people's wealth, and to accuse Obama as being "selfish" himself for not helping his own brother and aunt, who apparently live in poverty. Here is the audio (mp3) of both Obama and Limbaugh on the October 30, 2008 Rush Limbaugh show. This is the standard conservative evasion of the issue Obama brought up and a great opportunity was missed.

Rush Limbaugh subsequently came back to the subject and continued in this audio (mp3). After emphasizing that Obama has yet to deny that he is a socialist, he denounced the idea that capitalism is selfish as a left wing mischaracterization. He then pointed out that Obama is appealing to self interest himself by promising "tax cuts". Such hypocrisy is inherent in altruism because every act of altruism has a recipient, but neither Obama nor Rush Limbaugh (nor McCain) will discuss that. Rush Limbaugh brought out the contradiction, but only in the form of blaming it on Obama, leaving unanswered the "accusation" that capitalism is selfish, leaving unanswered the question of the moral justification of capitalism, and leaving unanswered Obama's claim that morality requires supporting his redistribution. If any of them had to acknowledge that they all present a false alternative of sacrificing others to yourself or yourself to others, the game would be up -- if there were someone with a national forum who knew how to play it out.

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Thanks for that information, Mercury!

Obama's statement has caused a flood of Ayn Rand references. For example, there is a discussion of Ayn Rand’s philosophy on Little Green Footballs today and she was also mentioned in an AP article. Clearly Objectivism has penetrated the culture to a level I've never before witnessed. This is great news.

My pleasure, Thales.

I noticed the flood, too. Ayn Rand also came up on Instapundit, in two different posts. As ewv notes, a great opportunity was missed by the conservatives.

But, I think the Ayn Rand Center SHOULD put out a Press Release this weekend, and exploit this to the fullest extent possible, while also throwing Greenspan under the biggest, fastest train they can find. At the risk of seeming hysterical, Is anyone listening???

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Thanks for that information, Mercury!

Obama's statement has caused a flood of Ayn Rand references. For example, there is a discussion of Ayn Rand’s philosophy on Little Green Footballs today and she was also mentioned in an AP article. Clearly Objectivism has penetrated the culture to a level I've never before witnessed. This is great news.

My pleasure, Thales.

I noticed the flood, too. Ayn Rand also came up on Instapundit, in two different posts. As ewv notes, a great opportunity was missed by the conservatives.

But, I think the Ayn Rand Center SHOULD put out a Press Release this weekend, and exploit this to the fullest extent possible, while also throwing Greenspan under the biggest, fastest train they can find. At the risk of seeming hysterical, Is anyone listening???

I should also add that the Press Releases should also be sent to leading blogs and radio talk shows, as they are now legitimate media. Maybe Limbaugh - or someone like him - will read an ARC Press Release on the matter, on air, on Monday.

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From my latest Letter to the Editor (of many):

To the Editor:

If Obama had been president long ago to spread young Tom Edison’s wealth around, we’d likely still be living by candlelight. No doubt he’d also spread around young Henry Ford’s wealth. In recompense, Obama would offer Edison a place in his civilian security corps, distributing free candles to the poor, and ask Ford to volunteer cleaning up horse droppings in the street.

Is that the sort of man you want to be president?

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But, I think the Ayn Rand Center SHOULD put out a Press Release this weekend, and exploit this to the fullest extent possible, while also throwing Greenspan under the biggest, fastest train they can find. At the risk of seeming hysterical, Is anyone listening???

Send your suggestion to media@aynrand.org and they will hear it.

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But, I think the Ayn Rand Center SHOULD put out a Press Release this weekend, and exploit this to the fullest extent possible, while also throwing Greenspan under the biggest, fastest train they can find. At the risk of seeming hysterical, Is anyone listening???

Send your suggestion to media@aynrand.org and they will hear it.

I just sent the email off. I also posted it on the ARC site under their "Contact Us" link.

Thanks for the push, Betsy. The sense that I should send them my thoughts had been nagging me all day, and your post stiffened my spine.

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----------

The stupidity of that kind of economic thinking is so obvious to me that I can't understand how so many millions don't see it.

People don't see what their morality won't let them. If altruism is their goal, selfish acts such as keeping what is yours is not in their purview.

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But, I think the Ayn Rand Center SHOULD put out a Press Release this weekend, and exploit this to the fullest extent possible, while also throwing Greenspan under the biggest, fastest train they can find. At the risk of seeming hysterical, Is anyone listening???

Send your suggestion to media@aynrand.org and they will hear it.

I just sent the email off. I also posted it on the ARC site under their "Contact Us" link.

Thanks for the push, Betsy. The sense that I should send them my thoughts had been nagging me all day, and your post stiffened my spine.

As a 501©3 tax exempt organization ARI has to be very careful what it says about the election or risk losing its tax exempt status from the IRS -- especially with Obama beligerently harassing his critics with legal threats and demands that government agencies go after his enemies for him. With the IRS as Obama's private police force this will get worse.

But technically it is legally possible for ARI to comment on the affair if done carefully, especially since "the virtue of selfishness" was taken right out of Ayn Rand and McCain can also be criticized for his adovacy of sacrifice.

A few days before the election it is not possible to educate the populace on what "selfishness" properly means, and if not done properly it could alienate people at exactly the wrong time over exactly the kind of controversy and smear campaign Obama was trying to create to drive people away from McCain. But it is possible -- and an opportunity -- to explain to people the false alternative the politicians are imposing in the form of sacrifice to others rather than make them sacrifice to you -- at the same time they demand that targeted groups be made to sacrifice. The rights to one's life, liberty, property and pursuit of one's own happiness is clear enough to most people that they can understand that it does not mean government-forced sacrifice in the name of pressure group moral cannibalism. Sarah Palin has picked up on that already, although not in the full clarity of stating a moral principle.

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As a 501©3 tax exempt organization ARI has to be very careful what it says about the election or risk losing its tax exempt status from the IRS -- especially with Obama beligerently harassing his critics with legal threats and demands that government agencies go after his enemies for him. With the IRS as Obama's private police force this will get worse.

Thank you for the context.

But technically it is legally possible for ARI to comment on the affair if done carefully, especially since "the virtue of selfishness" was taken right out of Ayn Rand and McCain can also be criticized for his adovacy of sacrifice.

A few days before the election it is not possible to educate the populace on what "selfishness" properly means, and if not done properly it could alienate people at exactly the wrong time over exactly the kind of controversy and smear campaign Obama was trying to create to drive people away from McCain. But it is possible -- and an opportunity -- to explain to people the false alternative the politicians are imposing in the form of sacrifice to others rather than make them sacrifice to you -- at the same time they demand that targeted groups be made to sacrifice. The rights to one's life, liberty, property and pursuit of one's own happiness is clear enough to most people that they can understand that it does not mean government-forced sacrifice in the name of pressure group moral cannibalism. Sarah Palin has picked up on that already, although not in the full clarity of stating a moral principle.

I did not - and do not - think the public could be educated in a "few days" either. But, this is (was?) a wonderful opportunity to connect the Objectivist definition of "selfishness" to the current, intense feeling of anti-statism among the better people.

Yes, the message would have to be very carefully crafted, but I don't think we should be too worried about "alienat[ion]," after all, we are "alienate[d]" now, as it is. There is more than just one fundamental anti-concept standing between us and the conservatives, and this kind of opportunity would be but one of the major early steps. We should not fear the fallout; for, left to their own devices, the conservatives would further deliver us into "bipartisan" dictatorship, as we have seen.

In addition, I think it is too optimistic to say that "[t]he rights to one's life, liberty, property and pursuit of one's own happiness is clear enough to most people that they can understand that it does not mean government-forced sacrifice in the name of pressure group moral cannibalism." [Emphases mine.]

As it stands now, at best, some people very probably sense, not understand, that statism is opposed to individual rights. "Understand[ing]" would require the "full clarity of stating a moral principle," which is what only Objectivism can provide. It would be very effective to tie the anti-Obama-tax-hikes feeling to a guiltless ethical view, so that, even if Obama wins, Americans can continue to explore the nature of the view and how it will save them from future Obamas - or McCains.

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But technically it is legally possible for ARI to comment on the affair if done carefully, especially since "the virtue of selfishness" was taken right out of Ayn Rand and McCain can also be criticized for his adovacy of sacrifice.

A few days before the election it is not possible to educate the populace on what "selfishness" properly means, and if not done properly it could alienate people at exactly the wrong time over exactly the kind of controversy and smear campaign Obama was trying to create to drive people away from McCain. But it is possible -- and an opportunity -- to explain to people the false alternative the politicians are imposing in the form of sacrifice to others rather than make them sacrifice to you -- at the same time they demand that targeted groups be made to sacrifice. The rights to one's life, liberty, property and pursuit of one's own happiness is clear enough to most people that they can understand that it does not mean government-forced sacrifice in the name of pressure group moral cannibalism. Sarah Palin has picked up on that already, although not in the full clarity of stating a moral principle.

I did not - and do not - think the public could be educated in a "few days" either. But, this is (was?) a wonderful opportunity to connect the Objectivist definition of "selfishness" to the current, intense feeling of anti-statism among the better people.

Yes, the message would have to be very carefully crafted, but I don't think we should be too worried about "alienat[ion]," after all, we are "alienate[d]" now, as it is. There is more than just one fundamental anti-concept standing between us and the conservatives, and this kind of opportunity would be but one of the major early steps. We should not fear the fallout; for, left to their own devices, the conservatives would further deliver us into "bipartisan" dictatorship, as we have seen.

In addition, I think it is too optimistic to say that "[t]he rights to one's life, liberty, property and pursuit of one's own happiness is clear enough to most people that they can understand that it does not mean government-forced sacrifice in the name of pressure group moral cannibalism." [Emphases mine.]

As it stands now, at best, some people very probably sense, not understand, that statism is opposed to individual rights. "Understand[ing]" would require the "full clarity of stating a moral principle," which is what only Objectivism can provide. It would be very effective to tie the anti-Obama-tax-hikes feeling to a guiltless ethical view, so that, even if Obama wins, Americans can continue to explore the nature of the view and how it will save them from future Obamas - or McCains.

I think that there is enough understanding now that the proper emphasis could have an inspiring effect on getting people to back away from moral intimidation to submit to tax increases in the name of Obama's "fairness". Reagan could have made such an appeal, even without the full understanding; McCain cannot.

The effects of being careful with respect to the controversy that I referred to pertained to the election, not making a philosophical case. It takes more than a few days to do either, but an attempt to boldly argue for the "virtue of selfishness" on behalf of influencing the election would be disasterous because there isn't time to explain it against the smears that would pour out of the media overwhelming what people hear and think. That is what Obama intended by bringing the subject up in that form. The few who would understand it are already opposed to Obama if they know what he is at all.

But that does not mean that the opportunity to get people's attention philosophically should be ignored, only to use it in a way that does not do more immediate, short term damage in the hands of Obama and the media in the face of an imminent election, if there is any hope for him losing the election at all. It is an opportunity that could be used intelligently both for the election and the longer term future.

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I forgot to mention that the Drudge Report piece already has over 1400 comments, and there's a particularly good one by one Seerak:
I have a right to be selfish with my own money. And if I want to give some of my money to the church, or the women's homeless shelter, or to the Red Cross, or to the lady who cleans houses, I have a right to.

Absolutely, you do. It is not just a political right, it is a *moral* right. But would you go as far as to say that you have the same right NOT to do those things?

That's the rub right there. Most of you, when you hear "selfish" you are thinking "at the expense of others". It is clear why nobody defends that sort of conduct, and Ayn Rand certainly did not do so.

But when someone like Obama uses the term, they mean something else. They mean the idea that we have a "duty" to the less fortunate -- and that if you reject this duty, you are "selfish". That is a horse of a different color -- because such a principle precludes your moral right to decide for yourself.

It is this meaning of selfishness -- moral self-determination -- that Obama and his ilk are attacking. If you insist on your *right* to pursue YOUR happiness, YOUR values, YOUR interests -- you are being selfish.

That is what Ayn Rand's famous book is defending. As she put it:

"The issue is not whether or not you should give a dime to a beggar, but rather if you have the right to exist without giving him that dime."

That comment says it perfectly. The quote at the end is great too.

I've never liked Barack Obama just because I saw him as too much of a used car salesman. And that just gave me a vibe I didn't like. This was at the time when everyone thought Hillary had the primaries all wrapped up. Anyway, that reverend or priest came out and started making comments - than it all started to make sense.

When Barack came out and said the "I'll cut taxes for 95% of people" I cringed. The fact is a lot of people like it. The whole policy is using the wealthy as sacrificial lambs.

I wonder if Obama has heard of "Don't bite the hand that feeds".

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There is a faint silver lining. With Obama as President, it will be the left on the defensive. It was always work for me to defend individual rights, when it's so called (inconsistent) supporters were in power giving freedom a bad name. Since Obama is a consistent spokesman for all I despise, I can now sit back and let reality do the talking.

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There is a faint silver lining. With Obama as President, it will be the left on the defensive. It was always work for me to defend individual rights, when it's so called (inconsistent) supporters were in power giving freedom a bad name. Since Obama is a consistent spokesman for all I despise, I can now sit back and let reality do the talking.

Our enemies are experts in evasive maneuvers, so this is no time for sitting back. The Left will be on the defensive only if people like us are constantly on the offense. Reality will need all the spokesman we can muster.

So, fellow soldiers: Praise Ayn Rand and pass the intellectual ammunition!

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There is a faint silver lining. With Obama as President, it will be the left on the defensive. It was always work for me to defend individual rights, when it's so called (inconsistent) supporters were in power giving freedom a bad name. Since Obama is a consistent spokesman for all I despise, I can now sit back and let reality do the talking.

Our enemies are experts in evasive maneuvers, so this is no time for sitting back. The Left will be on the defensive only if people like us are constantly on the offense. Reality will need all the spokesman we can muster.

So, fellow soldiers: Praise Ayn Rand and pass the intellectual ammunition!

Of course. I was only speaking of being relieved of defending my values from being misrepresented by it's 'defenders'. Certainly I will enjoy being on the attack side. Relish in making them address reality.

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