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It's Election Day!

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The difference in Leonard Peikoff's position is that in opposing all Republicans no matter what they are, he said to vote for Kerry the last time and this time said he wouldn't vote for either. Aside from the nonsense about 'imminent theocracy' and denouncing all Republicans, he thought that the progressive new leftist Kerry was only an 'old fashioned liberal'. Kerry is a slightly less ambitious version of Obama but would have appointed the same kind of thugs to run the government.
*Emphasis mine*

I distinctly remember him blasting people for refusing to vote for either candidate in 2004 on the grounds that they were both bad!

From the October 19, 2006 entery at http://Peikoff.com:

The most urgent political task now is to topple the Republicans from power, if possible in the House and the Senate. This entails voting consistently Democratic, even if the opponent is a “good” Republican.

In my judgment, anyone who votes Republican or abstains from voting in this election has no understanding of the practical role of philosophy in man’s actual life—which means that he does not understand the philosophy of Objectivism, except perhaps as a rationalistic system detached from the world.

In 2004 he emphatically endorsed Kerry, accusing Bush of being an "advocate of totalitarianism" and the "equivalent of a Puritan theocracy", and said "If this goes on for even four more years, how long do you think intellectual freedom and freedom of speech can last?" This isn't on his website now. It may have only been in a recorded lecture.

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Good quote:

When I was a boy I was told that

anybody could become President.

I'm beginning to believe it.

--Clarence Darrow

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I find it fascinating that Dr. Peikoff has changed his position like this. It just points out how truly terrible Obama really is (regardless of whether or not one agrees with Dr. Peikoff on his positions in general regarding elections).

It didn't sound to me like he had changed his mind. He said he still regarded religion as the greatest threat to America and that he "wouldn't dream of voting" for either candidate. As you noted, he said Obama was the first anti-American candidate, and that McCain was old and tired and the Republicans needed to be punished and severely damaged for their yielding to Christian evangelists. As bad as conservatives are, I think we'll see that the Left is much worse. Socialism is alive and well.

The difference in Leonard Peikoff's position is that in opposing all Republicans no matter what they are, he said to vote for Kerry the last time and this time said he wouldn't vote for either. Aside from the nonsense about 'imminent theocracy' and denouncing all Republicans, he thought that the progressive new leftist Kerry was only an 'old fashioned liberal'. Kerry is a slightly less ambitious version of Obama but would have appointed the same kind of thugs to run the government.

I hardly think that one can properly characterize Dr. Peikoff's position as "nonsense," considering that religion remains the most powerful philosophical force for evil around the world. While socialism has to hide itself to have any meaningful impact (see Obama), religion can proudly proclaim the righteousness of self-sacrifice. Look at how people responded to Obama's "spread the wealth" slip, while McCain's quasi-religious, nationalistic call for duty and sacrifice was honored. And McCain was an alleged "maverick" in the Republican Party.

Ultimately, I agree with Dr. Peikoff 100% that the Republican Party needs (or needed) to be punished, to force it to reconsider its affinity for the religious right. If I'm not mistaken, this is precisely what's happening now--albeit the ultimate conclusion remains uncertain. A Republican Party with a renewed commitment to individual rights and capitalism would be much more effective and attractive in 2012. Of course, it could also go in the opposite direction and nominate Sarah Palin.

As an aside, I remain amazed that anyone can consider the Republican Party, in its current incarnation, to be at all superior to the Democratic Party. After all, it was the Republican Party that caused the unnecessary deaths of thousands of American soldiers in a self-sacrificial war in Iraq. And, it's been Republicans who have foisted the "bailout" on the American public to the tune of some trillions of dollars--setting the stage for the Left to sweep in and finish what they started, complete with a moral sanction.

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And, it's been Republicans who have foisted the "bailout" on the American public to the tune of some trillions of dollars--setting the stage for the Left to sweep in and finish what they started, complete with a moral sanction.

It was not "Republicans" who advocated the bailout, it was George Bush. Most Republicans (54%) opposed the bailout, while Democrats (73%) strongly supported it (link).

The fact that most Republicans went so far as to oppose the president of their own party, should tell you something about how much Republicans, in general, supported the bailout.

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And, it's been Republicans who have foisted the "bailout" on the American public to the tune of some trillions of dollars--setting the stage for the Left to sweep in and finish what they started, complete with a moral sanction.

It was not "Republicans" who advocated the bailout, it was George Bush. Most Republicans (54%) opposed the bailout, while Democrats (73%) strongly supported it (link).

The fact that most Republicans went so far as to oppose the president of their own party, should tell you something about how much Republicans, in general, supported the bailout.

54% opposed the bailout, which is barely a majority. And, why did they oppose the bailout? Was it a principled opposition to government intervention into the economy? I don't believe that for a second.

And it was a Republican Administration who perpetrated (and continues to perpetrate) the "bailout," which includes a Republican President, a Republican Fed Chairman, a Republican Secretary of the Treasury, a Republican head of the FDIC, etc., etc. Saying it was just Bush who "advocated" the bailout isn't reasonable, I don't think, unless you believe that Bush simply ordered Paulson to go into a room full of bankers and essentially put a gun to their heads. And, let's not forget that it was a Republican Fed Chairman who sowed the seeds of the current financial crisis in the first place. That's a bit off point, I realize, because it has nothing to do with the religious right (unless one considers the influence of religion on bolstering the notion of "compassionate conservatism").

However, my original point was that it's inappropriate to call Dr. Peikoff's position on religion's influence over the Republican Party "nonsense."

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54% opposed the bailout, which is barely a majority. And, why did they oppose the bailout? Was it a principled opposition to government intervention into the economy? I don't believe that for a second.

Why don't you find out, instead of simply dismissing the possibility?

However, my original point was that it's inappropriate to call Dr. Peikoff's position on religion's influence over the Republican Party "nonsense."

Do you honestly think there is a threat of imminent theocracy?

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54% [of Republicans] opposed the bailout, which is barely a majority. And, why did they oppose the bailout? Was it a principled opposition to government intervention into the economy?

Because the Republican Party is not a monolithic organization of like-thinking, interchangeable clones, that varies with the individual Republican. Most of the Republicans opposed the bailout for the right reasons. Among them was my Congressman, Elton Gallegly, and that's one of the reasons I voted for him.

And, let's not forget that it was a Republican Fed Chairman who sowed the seeds of the current financial crisis in the first place. That's a bit off point, I realize, because it has nothing to do with the religious right (unless one considers the influence of religion on bolstering the notion of "compassionate conservatism").

Alan Greenspan is the fault of religion??

However, my original point was that it's inappropriate to call Dr. Peikoff's position on religion's influence over the Republican Party "nonsense."

I agree. Rather than simply labelling someone's position "nonsense," one should demonstrate why the position does not make sense.

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54% opposed the bailout, which is barely a majority. And, why did they oppose the bailout? Was it a principled opposition to government intervention into the economy? I don't believe that for a second.

Why don't you find out, instead of simply dismissing the possibility?

However, my original point was that it's inappropriate to call Dr. Peikoff's position on religion's influence over the Republican Party "nonsense."

Do you honestly think there is a threat of imminent theocracy?

I was responding to the statement that "most" Republicans opposed their President, whereas "most" here means a difference of 4%. I don't feel the need to do extensive research on such a slim margin. And for me, the weight of the evidence is simply against there being terribly many contemporary politicians who consistently hold the right principles.

As far as there being a threat of "imminent theocracy," I have two comments. First, I'm not familiar with where Dr. Peikoff used the specific phrase, "imminent theocracy," and so I can't speculate on what he meant wherever he's used it. Second, and more important, I think it's proper to characterize the Republican Party, under the sway of the religious right, in precisely the same fashion that many on this forum have characterized the Democratic Party, under the sway of the more general altruist/collectivist mentality (which vacillates nowadays between fascism and socialism).

That is, there are those on this forum who seem to consider Obama to be the second coming of Joseph Stalin. He's not, of course. He won't be calling for legislation prohibiting outright the private ownership of property. He won't explicitly nationalize the American economy (at least, not any more than the Republicans already have done so). Rather, the threat is more insidious and subtle than that. It'll be socialism (and fascism) through the backdoor, more of the same kind as exhibited in the redistribution of wealth in the housing industry. Obama won't come right out and say what he's doing; he and his cronies in Congress will do so on the sly, by enacting greater and greater control and only in some cases outright ownership. They won't, in short, institute an explicit dictatorship--and of course that's not necessary for us to condemn them.

The same would be true with a Republican Party that's dominated by the religious right. They wouldn't put a Protestant Pope in power, or enact the Christian version of shariah law. They wouldn't be that explicit. Rather, it would mean a Supreme Court stacked with religious conservatives, the death of Roe vs. Wade, federal mandates to teach creationism alongside evolution, and a myriad other religious influences--including very socialistic and fascistic policies not much unlike the Left's--that would result in the effective control of religion over our lives. But, it wouldn't be "theocracy" by any narrow definition.

I'm not going to put words in Dr. Peikoff's mouth, however. I will, rather, give him the benefit of the doubt in terms of how and where he's used the word "theocracy" in this context. To go even further, he could be slightly pessimistic and still be entirely correct, just like certain people here might be slightly pessimistic about Obama and still be entirely correct. I simply can't see how he's incorrect in pointing out that religious philosophy is more of a threat than common Leftist altruism/collectivism (i.e., socialism), which is ridiculed and dismissed wherever it's explicitly invoked. I think that far worse things could be done (and, of course, are being done) today in the name of religion than could be done in the name of socialism.

And, again, I stress: I find it inappropriate to call Dr. Peikoff's position on this or any topic "nonsense." One can disagree with him, but I submit that this disagreement should be respectful, and should keep in mind that Dr. Peikoff remains the preeminent Objectivist scholar. I'd wager that nobody on this forum understands Objectivism as well as Dr. Peikoff, and thus nobody shouldn't be so quick to dismiss his positions--particularly where someone uses purely political arguments to counter his more fundamental philosophical applications.

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If you are

... not familiar with where Dr. Peikoff used the specific phrase, "imminent theocracy," and so I can't speculate on what he meant wherever he's used it. -----------------
,

how can you classify someone's comment as

------- inappropriate to call Dr. Peikoff's position on this or any topic "nonsense."
?
One can disagree with him, but I submit that this disagreement should be respectful, and should keep in mind that Dr. Peikoff remains the preeminent Objectivist scholar. I'd wager that nobody on this forum understands Objectivism as well as Dr. Peikoff, and thus nobody shouldn't be so quick to dismiss his positions--particularly where someone uses purely political arguments to counter his more fundamental philosophical applications.

Is it respectful to state

... anyone who votes Republican or abstains from voting in this election has no understanding of the practical role of philosophy in man’s actual life—which means that he does not understand the philosophy of Objectivism, except perhaps as a rationalistic system detached from the world.
without analysis or justification? There are many people who have been involved in Objectivism for decades who disagreed and found such an unjustified statement to be offensive.

Significant comment and analyses have been devoted to his comment in other threads on The Forum. I'd suggest you research it.

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I was responding to the statement that "most" Republicans opposed their President, whereas "most" here means a difference of 4%. I don't feel the need to do extensive research on such a slim margin. And for me, the weight of the evidence is simply against there being terribly many contemporary politicians who consistently hold the right principles.

Such principled men are rare indeed. It is still a fact that more of them are to be found among the Republicans than among the Democrats.

As far as there being a threat of "imminent theocracy," I have two comments. First, I'm not familiar with where Dr. Peikoff used the specific phrase, "imminent theocracy," and so I can't speculate on what he meant wherever he's used it. Second, and more important, I think it's proper to characterize the Republican Party, under the sway of the religious right, in precisely the same fashion that many on this forum have characterized the Democratic Party, under the sway of the more general altruist/collectivist mentality (which vacillates nowadays between fascism and socialism).

I question whether the Republicans are "under the sway of the religious right." Even if it were true, it would be even more important to support individual Republican candidates who advocate individual rights for secular reasons in order to put the Republican party a better moral grounding. I would say the same thing about Democrats who advocate individual rights, but I don't know of any.

That is, there are those on this forum who seem to consider Obama to be the second coming of Joseph Stalin. He's not, of course.

It's disastrous enough that he's the second coming of FDR.

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I find it fascinating that Dr. Peikoff has changed his position like this. It just points out how truly terrible Obama really is (regardless of whether or not one agrees with Dr. Peikoff on his positions in general regarding elections).

It didn't sound to me like he had changed his mind. He said he still regarded religion as the greatest threat to America and that he "wouldn't dream of voting" for either candidate. As you noted, he said Obama was the first anti-American candidate, and that McCain was old and tired and the Republicans needed to be punished and severely damaged for their yielding to Christian evangelists. As bad as conservatives are, I think we'll see that the Left is much worse. Socialism is alive and well.

The difference in Leonard Peikoff's position is that in opposing all Republicans no matter what they are, he said to vote for Kerry the last time and this time said he wouldn't vote for either. Aside from the nonsense about 'imminent theocracy' and denouncing all Republicans, he thought that the progressive new leftist Kerry was only an 'old fashioned liberal'. Kerry is a slightly less ambitious version of Obama but would have appointed the same kind of thugs to run the government.

I hardly think that one can properly characterize Dr. Peikoff's position as "nonsense," considering that religion remains the most powerful philosophical force for evil around the world. While socialism has to hide itself to have any meaningful impact (see Obama), religion can proudly proclaim the righteousness of self-sacrifice. Look at how people responded to Obama's "spread the wealth" slip, while McCain's quasi-religious, nationalistic call for duty and sacrifice was honored. And McCain was an alleged "maverick" in the Republican Party.

Ultimately, I agree with Dr. Peikoff 100% that the Republican Party needs (or needed) to be punished, to force it to reconsider its affinity for the religious right. If I'm not mistaken, this is precisely what's happening now--albeit the ultimate conclusion remains uncertain. A Republican Party with a renewed commitment to individual rights and capitalism would be much more effective and attractive in 2012. Of course, it could also go in the opposite direction and nominate Sarah Palin.

As an aside, I remain amazed that anyone can consider the Republican Party, in its current incarnation, to be at all superior to the Democratic Party. After all, it was the Republican Party that caused the unnecessary deaths of thousands of American soldiers in a self-sacrificial war in Iraq. And, it's been Republicans who have foisted the "bailout" on the American public to the tune of some trillions of dollars--setting the stage for the Left to sweep in and finish what they started, complete with a moral sanction.

The notion that "theocracy is imminent" is in fact nonsense and so is the injunction to vote against "all Republicans even the good ones" to stop "imminent theocracy". Such claims are sweeping, arbitrary assertions detached from reality. This has been discussed extensively on the Forum for years.

The current "bailout" from Washington has been promoted more by Democrats than Republicans. Conservative Republicans have been the only principled opposition to it in Washington. The bailout legislation was sponsored by Democrats and led by Pelosi. Bush's Secretary of the Treasury Paulson is a Democrat who appointed other Democrats to his department. The bailout is not grounds for concluding that Republicans are worse than Democrats and that the most pro-freedom conservatives should be removed.

Both parties in Congress overwhelmingly supported the war in Iraq. When radical progressive Democrats opposed the war because they did not want us to fight the Muslim terrorists both parties in Congress approved the war again. Whatever you think of the conduct of the war, they did so to fight the terrorists, not in the name of a "self-sacrificial war".

The Republican Party consists of individuals who have different views on the role of religion in their lives. These individuals vote and run for office. Very few of them advocate government imposition of religion in any form and no serious candidate supports "theocracy". These individuals are not directed by a theocracy-advocating monster. The Republican Party is not a "thing" that can be punished in order to "force it to reconsider its affinity for the religious right". The Republican Party does not "stand for medieval theocracy" as Leonard Peikoff asserted. The election was not about theocracy except for a tiny handful of Objectivists who know very little about the real world of contemporary politics and who are focused on "theocracy" almost to the exclusion of everything else -- including what advocacy of political and economic freedom there is in Washington by conservatives. That advocacy is what is being "punished" under the banner of fighting the "religious right". When such people are denounced and defeated government and its impact on our own lives become worse.

You would not be so "amazed that anyone can consider the Republican Party, in its current incarnation, to be at all superior to the Democratic Party" if you had more knowledge of who is doing what in Washington instead of trying to deduce it from "philosophy" and the kind of spin published in The New York Times. The situation in politics is bad enough in both parties without withdrawing into that.

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That is, there are those on this forum who seem to consider Obama to be the second coming of Joseph Stalin. He's not, of course.

It's disastrous enough that he's the second coming of FDR.

He is worse than FDR because he is more sophisticated and he has a more entrenched basis of leftism, including the viros entrenched in government, to "build" on than what FDR had. No one on the Forum said Obama is Stalin. That is a strawman serving to divert attention away from the actual threat.

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That is, there are those on this forum who seem to consider Obama to be the second coming of Joseph Stalin. He's not, of course.

It's disastrous enough that he's the second coming of FDR.

He is worse than FDR because he is more sophisticated and he has a more entrenched basis of leftism, including the viros entrenched in government, to "build" on than what FDR had. No one on the Forum said Obama is Stalin. That is a strawman serving to divert attention away from the actual threat.

The bastard is worse than FDR because, judging by everything in his past, he has no respect for human life. Terrorists with their nail bombs, God-damn-America racists, self-described communists, Jew-hating Palestinians, Marxists, supporters of Moamar Khaddafi and Hugo Chavez--THOSE HAVE ALWAYS BEEN HIS CHOSEN FRIENDS AND ASSOCIATES. AND IN HIM, ALL THOSE KILLERS HAVE SEEN A KINDRED SPIRIT.

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That is, there are those on this forum who seem to consider Obama to be the second coming of Joseph Stalin. He's not, of course.

It's disastrous enough that he's the second coming of FDR.

He is worse than FDR because he is more sophisticated and he has a more entrenched basis of leftism, including the viros entrenched in government, to "build" on than what FDR had. No one on the Forum said Obama is Stalin. That is a strawman serving to divert attention away from the actual threat.

The bastard is worse than FDR because, judging by everything in his past, he has no respect for human life. Terrorists with their nail bombs, God-damn-America racists, self-described communists, Jew-hating Palestinians, Marxists, supporters of Moamar Khaddafi and Hugo Chavez--THOSE HAVE ALWAYS BEEN HIS CHOSEN FRIENDS AND ASSOCIATES. AND IN HIM, ALL THOSE KILLERS HAVE SEEN A KINDRED SPIRIT.

I agree that his soul is corrupt to the core. More dangerous politically, however, is that he is sophisticated enough to know not to publicize it in order to avoid appearing controversial (apparently part of Saul Allinsky's influence on his tactics). His power-seeking soul, which he shares with FDR, is also more sophisticated in how he thinks of it himself, translated into political philosophy. FDR was a power-seeking pragmatist with virtually no political principles, but surrounded by all kinds of fascists and communists feeding him with ideas on what the government should do. Obama has all that "built in", with a lot more bad precedents thoroughly entrenched in government and the culture to build on. He won't be a "Staliln" in the sense of mass public murders openly identified as such, but will ruin a lot of innocent victims behind the scenes in ways which will not be reported as he and his henchmen build on destructive government policies becoming ever more extreme.

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