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Edward Cline Considers Mr. Obama's Inauguration

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I did not -- could not -- watch or listen to any of today's proceedings in Washington. I did read Edward Cline's latest at The Rule of Reason. Far from finding today's devastating and hard-hitting piece depressing, however, I was encouraged by the precision of Mr. Cline's thinking. My fears for the future notwithstanding, with such minds as this around, it cannot be wholly lost.

Edward Cline: An Inauguration of Tyranny

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I did not -- could not -- watch or listen to any of today's proceedings in Washington. I did read Edward Cline's latest at The Rule of Reason. Far from finding today's devastating and hard-hitting piece depressing, however, I was encouraged by the precision of Mr. Cline's thinking. My fears for the future notwithstanding, with such minds as this around, it cannot be wholly lost.

Edward Cline: An Inauguration of Tyranny

Mr. Cline is spot on again. Thanks for posting, V.

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I did not -- could not -- watch or listen to any of today's proceedings in Washington. I did read Edward Cline's latest at The Rule of Reason. Far from finding today's devastating and hard-hitting piece depressing, however, I was encouraged by the precision of Mr. Cline's thinking. My fears for the future notwithstanding, with such minds as this around, it cannot be wholly lost.

Edward Cline: An Inauguration of Tyranny

Mr. Cline is spot on again. Thanks for posting, V.

Do take a look at the comments section if you haven't already. There is an Anonymous respondent who makes some interesting definitional points. But what this amount to, in my view, is an attempt by the respondent to split conceptual hairs, an approach Mr. Cline clearly has jettisoned in his assessments of current events. I cannot know what has inspired Mr. Cline's thought process, but it is my view that we find ourselves in the current mess precisely because of the past hair-splitting entailed in the unfortunate election-cycle process of having to identify the lesser of two or more evils and then to justify the choice in some way. This is why I find inspiring Mr. Cline's refusal to give even an inch of ground -- a refusal to compromise -- on essentials. I find this more valuable now than ever.

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I did not -- could not -- watch or listen to any of today's proceedings in Washington. I did read Edward Cline's latest at The Rule of Reason. Far from finding today's devastating and hard-hitting piece depressing, however, I was encouraged by the precision of Mr. Cline's thinking. My fears for the future notwithstanding, with such minds as this around, it cannot be wholly lost.

Edward Cline: An Inauguration of Tyranny

Mr. Cline is spot on again. Thanks for posting, V.

Do take a look at the comments section if you haven't already. There is an Anonymous respondent who makes some interesting definitional points. But what this amount to, in my view, is an attempt by the respondent to split conceptual hairs, an approach Mr. Cline clearly has jettisoned in his assessments of current events. I cannot know what has inspired Mr. Cline's thought process, but it is my view that we find ourselves in the current mess precisely because of the past hair-splitting entailed in the unfortunate election-cycle process of having to identify the lesser of two or more evils and then to justify the choice in some way. This is why I find inspiring Mr. Cline's refusal to give even an inch of ground -- a refusal to compromise -- on essentials. I find this more valuable now than ever.

Thanks, V, for mentioning the comments section. I just finished reading them and I agree about the useless nonsense of the hair-splitting. Mr. Cline's position is admirable.

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Apropos to Ed Cline's article, I found the following quote by Rand.

The greatest threat to mankind and civilization is the spread of the totalitarian philosophy. Its best ally is not the devotion of its followers but the confusion of its enemies. To fight it, we must understand it.

Totalitarianism is collectivism. Collectivism means the subjugation of the individual to a group—whether to a race, class or state does not matter. Collectivism holds that man must be chained to collective action and collective thought for the sake of what is called "the common good."

Throughout history no tyrant ever rose to power except on the claim of representing "the common good." Horrors which no man would dare consider for his own selfish sake are perpetrated with a clear conscience by "altruists" who justify themselves by—the common good.

No tyrant has ever lasted long by force of arms alone. Men have been enslaved primarily by spiritual weapons. And the greatest of these is the collectivist doctrine of the supremacy of the common good over the individual. No dictator could rise if men held as a sacred faith the conviction that they have inalienable rights of which they cannot be deprived for any cause whatsoever, by any man whatsoever, neither by evil-doer nor benefactor; that no cause is higher than these rights.

Individualism holds that man is an independent entity with an inalienable right to the pursuit of his own happiness in a society where men deal with one another as equals in voluntary, unregulated exchange.

The American system is founded on individualism. If it is to survive, we must understand the principles of individualism and hold them as our standard in any public question, in every issue we face. We must have a positive credo, a clear, consistent faith.

We must learn to reject as total evil the conception that "the common good" is superior to individual rights. General happiness cannot be created out of general suffering and self-immolation. The only happy society is one of happy individuals. One cannot have a healthy forest made up of rotten trees.

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I did not -- could not -- watch or listen to any of today's proceedings in Washington. I did read Edward Cline's latest at The Rule of Reason. Far from finding today's devastating and hard-hitting piece depressing, however, I was encouraged by the precision of Mr. Cline's thinking. My fears for the future notwithstanding, with such minds as this around, it cannot be wholly lost.

Edward Cline: An Inauguration of Tyranny

Do take a look at the comments section if you haven't already. There is an Anonymous respondent who makes some interesting definitional points. But what this amount to, in my view, is an attempt by the respondent to split conceptual hairs, an approach Mr. Cline clearly has jettisoned in his assessments of current events. I cannot know what has inspired Mr. Cline's thought process, but it is my view that we find ourselves in the current mess precisely because of the past hair-splitting entailed in the unfortunate election-cycle process of having to identify the lesser of two or more evils and then to justify the choice in some way. This is why I find inspiring Mr. Cline's refusal to give even an inch of ground -- a refusal to compromise -- on essentials. I find this more valuable now than ever.

I especially enjoyed the characterizations of the media by both Mr. Cline and one of the commenters, SarahG. Mr. Cline referred to the media coverage as 'mindless happy talk,' and SarahG called it 'uncritical pap.' I was watching the event on television, and since I've known for a long time how evil Obama is, the part that was hitting me most was not so much his evil, as it was the ignorance and emptiness of his supporters, i.e. the 'uncritical pap' and 'mindless happy talk' of the commentators, the emotionalism of a few 'true believers,' and the listless apathy of the majority. (And as a perceptual-level indication of the disgusting and hypocritical nature of 'green' Obama supporters, I was appalled by all the litter they left behind).

When I was watching the event on television and listening to the commentary, I couldn't help thinking... "Idiots." And I wondered if that was too harsh a judgment of the media, because my judgment seemed to include every commentator I heard. I could not find an exception, though I heartily wished that I could. They all seemed to be so happy; or, if not, they said nothing important. The law of the day seemed to be to say how nice the emperor's clothes looked, or at minimum, to agree that he was, in fact, wearing clothes. The unanimity of this was amazing to me.

I felt a little guilty for judging them that harshly, because I feel lucky to know about Ayn Rand's ideas, and they were (are) still obviously ignorant. However, if it's ignorance that can and should be corrected, then neither idiocy nor ignorance can begin to cover the depth of the moral default I was witnessing.

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They all seemed to be so happy; or, if not, they said nothing important. The law of the day seemed to be to say how nice the emperor's clothes looked, or at minimum, to agree that he was, in fact, wearing clothes. The unanimity of this was amazing to me.

"Happy" or oozing jabbering?

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I did not -- could not -- watch or listen to any of today's proceedings in Washington. I did read Edward Cline's latest at The Rule of Reason. Far from finding today's devastating and hard-hitting piece depressing, however, I was encouraged by the precision of Mr. Cline's thinking. My fears for the future notwithstanding, with such minds as this around, it cannot be wholly lost.

Edward Cline: An Inauguration of Tyranny

Do take a look at the comments section if you haven't already. There is an Anonymous respondent who makes some interesting definitional points. But what this amount to, in my view, is an attempt by the respondent to split conceptual hairs, an approach Mr. Cline clearly has jettisoned in his assessments of current events. I cannot know what has inspired Mr. Cline's thought process, but it is my view that we find ourselves in the current mess precisely because of the past hair-splitting entailed in the unfortunate election-cycle process of having to identify the lesser of two or more evils and then to justify the choice in some way. This is why I find inspiring Mr. Cline's refusal to give even an inch of ground -- a refusal to compromise -- on essentials. I find this more valuable now than ever.

I especially enjoyed the characterizations of the media by both Mr. Cline and one of the commenters, SarahG. Mr. Cline referred to the media coverage as 'mindless happy talk,' and SarahG called it 'uncritical pap.' I was watching the event on television, and since I've known for a long time how evil Obama is, the part that was hitting me most was not so much his evil, as it was the ignorance and emptiness of his supporters, i.e. the 'uncritical pap' and 'mindless happy talk' of the commentators, the emotionalism of a few 'true believers,' and the listless apathy of the majority. (And as a perceptual-level indication of the disgusting and hypocritical nature of 'green' Obama supporters, I was appalled by all the litter they left behind).

When I was watching the event on television and listening to the commentary, I couldn't help thinking... "Idiots." And I wondered if that was too harsh a judgment of the media, because my judgment seemed to include every commentator I heard. I could not find an exception, though I heartily wished that I could. They all seemed to be so happy; or, if not, they said nothing important. The law of the day seemed to be to say how nice the emperor's clothes looked, or at minimum, to agree that he was, in fact, wearing clothes. The unanimity of this was amazing to me.

I felt a little guilty for judging them that harshly, because I feel lucky to know about Ayn Rand's ideas, and they were (are) still obviously ignorant. However, if it's ignorance that can and should be corrected, then neither idiocy nor ignorance can begin to cover the depth of the moral default I was witnessing.

Rose, I was thinking the exact same thing (although without a trace of guilt). You are not "lucky" to know Ayn Rand's ideas; you are courageous to do so. Those reporters, that media, have no courage, no stature as thinking men and women.

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I did not -- could not -- watch or listen to any of today's proceedings in Washington. I did read Edward Cline's latest at The Rule of Reason. Far from finding today's devastating and hard-hitting piece depressing, however, I was encouraged by the precision of Mr. Cline's thinking. My fears for the future notwithstanding, with such minds as this around, it cannot be wholly lost.

Edward Cline: An Inauguration of Tyranny

Excellent analysis, thank you for sharing it. I remember early in the primaries Obama struck me as a bit of an idiot, and he's certainly been a gaffe machine. But while he sometimes opens his mouth before getting his facts straight, this speech shows that he is truly the Toohey of our age, a power luster with a mastery for language able to hypnotize an audience with popular language richly layered in altruistic subtext. There have been socialists railing against Capitalism and there have been interventionists railing against absolutes. Marx even claimed that Capitalism would naturally lead to Socialism, so I'm not surprised that Obama would misuse American history to legitimize his ideas. But it's more than that, if you follow the emotional content of his speech. Obama appeals to individuals to serve, not as a submission to the authority of the state or even to the wishes of the majority, but as a symbol of the power of the individual, that (to paraphrase) "anyone can serve". It is collectivism disguised as self-efficaciousness, as individualism. This is the first time I've seen a socialist attempt to co-opt the American sense of life.

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I did not -- could not -- watch or listen to any of today's proceedings in Washington. I did read Edward Cline's latest at The Rule of Reason. Far from finding today's devastating and hard-hitting piece depressing, however, I was encouraged by the precision of Mr. Cline's thinking. My fears for the future notwithstanding, with such minds as this around, it cannot be wholly lost.

Edward Cline: An Inauguration of Tyranny

Excellent analysis, thank you for sharing it. I remember early in the primaries Obama struck me as a bit of an idiot, and he's certainly been a gaffe machine. But while he sometimes opens his mouth before getting his facts straight, this speech shows that he is truly the Toohey of our age, a power luster with a mastery for language able to hypnotize an audience with popular language richly layered in altruistic subtext. There have been socialists railing against Capitalism and there have been interventionists railing against absolutes. Marx even claimed that Capitalism would naturally lead to Socialism, so I'm not surprised that Obama would misuse American history to legitimize his ideas. But it's more than that, if you follow the emotional content of his speech. Obama appeals to individuals to serve, not as a submission to the authority of the state or even to the wishes of the majority, but as a symbol of the power of the individual, that (to paraphrase) "anyone can serve". It is collectivism disguised as self-efficaciousness, as individualism. This is the first time I've seen a socialist attempt to co-opt the American sense of life.

Excellent points. I was thinking along similar lines myself, especially after listening to children saying that "I can be all I can be" while talking about saving the planet and helping others.

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It is collectivism disguised as self-efficaciousness, as individualism. This is the first time I've seen a socialist attempt to co-opt the American sense of life.

Excellent point. It is in the same vein as those "lectures" I heard as a child about it being "better [for me] to give than to receive" and some of those ancient defences of the institution of slavery as being in the best interest of those supposedly "inferior races".

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... I'm not surprised that Obama would misuse American history to legitimize his ideas.

It's called "revisionist history". During the bicentennial of the American Revolutionists, New Leftists were claiming that the Founding Fathers were philosophically Marxists.

But it's more than that, if you follow the emotional content of his speech. Obama appeals to individuals to serve, not as a submission to the authority of the state or even to the wishes of the majority, but as a symbol of the power of the individual, that (to paraphrase) "anyone can serve". It is collectivism disguised as self-efficaciousness, as individualism. This is the first time I've seen a socialist attempt to co-opt the American sense of life.

To the extent he succeeds it isn't Amerians with an American sense of life he will co-opt.

Presidents have frequently pined for the public mood of WWII when the government could rally people into sacrifice in the face of emergency. Politicians love emergencies to justify 'wider powers' and demands for sacrifice.

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I did not -- could not -- watch or listen to any of today's proceedings in Washington. I did read Edward Cline's latest at The Rule of Reason. Far from finding today's devastating and hard-hitting piece depressing, however, I was encouraged by the precision of Mr. Cline's thinking. My fears for the future notwithstanding, with such minds as this around, it cannot be wholly lost.

Edward Cline: An Inauguration of Tyranny

Excellent analysis, thank you for sharing it. I remember early in the primaries Obama struck me as a bit of an idiot, and he's certainly been a gaffe machine. But while he sometimes opens his mouth before getting his facts straight, this speech shows that he is truly the Toohey of our age, a power luster with a mastery for language able to hypnotize an audience with popular language richly layered in altruistic subtext.

You're giving him way too much credit. Joe the Plumber cleaned his clock. Obama is more a Peter Keating type and the audiences that he appeals to are the sort that are driven more by emotion than reason. And the truth is it's not so much what he says (his rhetoric is empty), as it is how he says it. He seems to be intellectual. He seems to be saying things that are brilliant. That's enough for out of focus people who don't analyze ideas closely. These are the sort of people who show up at Obama functions. Rational people stay away.

Just to give you an example, I met a woman who was enthusiastic about Obama. I mean she was advertising and pushing for him. I asked her why. She replied “I don’t know, I think he’s cute.” She had no ideas what-so-ever, yet she was campaigning for him, unofficially.

Obama is a goofy guy, frankly. He's just goofy and it’s an embarrassment that people think that’s “cool”. And, btw, I’ve always suspected that the thing leftists didn’t like about Joe the Plumber is not so much his outing Obama on the re-distribution of wealth, but on the fact that he said he wasn’t so impressed with Obama. He just seemed like another guy. He was no “Messiah.” That had to rankle them.

There have been socialists railing against Capitalism and there have been interventionists railing against absolutes. Marx even claimed that Capitalism would naturally lead to Socialism, so I'm not surprised that Obama would misuse American history to legitimize his ideas. But it's more than that, if you follow the emotional content of his speech. Obama appeals to individuals to serve, not as a submission to the authority of the state or even to the wishes of the majority, but as a symbol of the power of the individual, that (to paraphrase) "anyone can serve". It is collectivism disguised as self-efficaciousness, as individualism. This is the first time I've seen a socialist attempt to co-opt the American sense of life.

Yes, he is trying to co-opt it, this has been clear for a while, but this is not the first time leftists have tried to steal the American dream. It all started with the morphing of the idea of individual rights. Liberals used to stand for individual rights and freedom, but slowly, from within, intellectuals attacked that idea by stealth to the point where today rights have turned into collectivized rights and claims on others. Gay rights, blacks rights, the right to a chicken in every pot, the right to health care, etc.

Obama is pushing that erosion of rights and individualism all the further.

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You're giving him way too much credit. Joe the Plumber cleaned his clock. Obama is more a Peter Keating type and the audiences that he appeals to are the sort that are driven more by emotion than reason. And the truth is it's not so much what he says (his rhetoric is empty), as it is how he says it. He seems to be intellectual. He seems to be saying things that are brilliant. That's enough for out of focus people who don't analyze ideas closely. These are the sort of people who show up at Obama functions. Rational people stay away.

Just to give you an example, I met a woman who was enthusiastic about Obama. I mean she was advertising and pushing for him. I asked her why. She replied “I don’t know, I think he’s cute.” She had no ideas what-so-ever, yet she was campaigning for him, unofficially.

Peter Keating was a second-hander, but he only sought to be admired, not to rule others. You can argue that Obama is not as intelligent as Toohey, and Toohey understood explicitly what it is he was doing whereas it’s possible that Obama has swallowed some of his own koolaid. But Obama’s rhetoric is certainly not “empty”, as Ed Cline expertly demonstrated. If only it was empty! There is a method to the madness, a consistent message of altruism and a calculated vagueness about his language, including his use of historical allusions. Did you read or listen to the transcript of him talking in 2001 about the civil rights movement? His bungling of the terms “positive rights” and “negative rights” may seem like ignorant mistakes, but it was his misuse of these terms that allowed him to imply that the Constitution was incomplete by only addressing negative rights, and that we should work (through the Supreme Court) to correct this through the redistribution of wealth. He knows how to use the ignorance and out of focus psycho-epistemology of his audience to advocate anti-American ideas. And they swallow it all because they want him to lead. I actually predicted to some people during the primaries that he had little chance of gaining the nomination, because I didn’t see any of this then. And even when he won the nomination, I was sure he would fumble for words in the debates, which are unscripted. But I get it now, loud and clear. The man is not stupid, even if his followers are.

Obama is a goofy guy, frankly. He's just goofy and it’s an embarrassment that people think that’s “cool”. And, btw, I’ve always suspected that the thing leftists didn’t like about Joe the Plumber is not so much his outing Obama on the re-distribution of wealth, but on the fact that he said he wasn’t so impressed with Obama. He just seemed like another guy. He was no “Messiah.” That had to rankle them.

I think you're missing the most important element of the "Messiah" mystique, which is not the man himself but what he does. People don't love Obama because he's perfect, they love him because they are second-handers and he not only acknowledges them but praises them and exalts them above the producers! He is their deliverer. So whatever he has in his past, whatever kind of person he is, they will continue to worship him. It doesn't matter if he's goofy. Some will overlook it and others will love him even more because it makes him look "humble".

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You're giving him way too much credit. Joe the Plumber cleaned his clock. Obama is more a Peter Keating type and the audiences that he appeals to are the sort that are driven more by emotion than reason. And the truth is it's not so much what he says (his rhetoric is empty), as it is how he says it. He seems to be intellectual. He seems to be saying things that are brilliant. That's enough for out of focus people who don't analyze ideas closely. These are the sort of people who show up at Obama functions. Rational people stay away.

Just to give you an example, I met a woman who was enthusiastic about Obama. I mean she was advertising and pushing for him. I asked her why. She replied “I don’t know, I think he’s cute.” She had no ideas what-so-ever, yet she was campaigning for him, unofficially.

Peter Keating was a second-hander, but he only sought to be admired, not to rule others. You can argue that Obama is not as intelligent as Toohey, and Toohey understood explicitly what it is he was doing whereas it’s possible that Obama has swallowed some of his own koolaid. But Obama’s rhetoric is certainly not “empty”, as Ed Cline expertly demonstrated. If only it was empty! There is a method to the madness, a consistent message of altruism and a calculated vagueness about his language, including his use of historical allusions. Did you read or listen to the transcript of him talking in 2001 about the civil rights movement? His bungling of the terms “positive rights” and “negative rights” may seem like ignorant mistakes, but it was his misuse of these terms that allowed him to imply that the Constitution was incomplete by only addressing negative rights, and that we should work (through the Supreme Court) to correct this through the redistribution of wealth. He knows how to use the ignorance and out of focus psycho-epistemology of his audience to advocate anti-American ideas. And they swallow it all because they want him to lead. I actually predicted to some people during the primaries that he had little chance of gaining the nomination, because I didn’t see any of this then. And even when he won the nomination, I was sure he would fumble for words in the debates, which are unscripted. But I get it now, loud and clear. The man is not stupid, even if his followers are.

I agree that Obama is worse than a Keating. He is a political pro with a vicious ideology and personal lust for power who knows how to get real, coercive power over other people. His "calculated vagueness about his language" certainly demonstrates one aspect of that and it is all the more dangerous because of his collectivist agenda. Joe the Plumber may have "cleaned his clock" in one exchange, but Obama is the one who got elected despite it and now rules, and everthing he says still points to him doing exactly what Joe the Plumber objected to. It is true that Obama is not to be overestimated as someone who thinks and says brilliant things, but it doesn't change what he is and the threat he now poses as he uses the illusion of rhetorical brilliance to impose his will.

Obama is a goofy guy, frankly. He's just goofy and it’s an embarrassment that people think that’s “cool”. And, btw, I’ve always suspected that the thing leftists didn’t like about Joe the Plumber is not so much his outing Obama on the re-distribution of wealth, but on the fact that he said he wasn’t so impressed with Obama. He just seemed like another guy. He was no “Messiah.” That had to rankle them.

I think you're missing the most important element of the "Messiah" mystique, which is not the man himself but what he does.

And what people sucked into the mass psychology expect of him because of what they are against.

People don't love Obama because he's perfect, they love him because they are second-handers and he not only acknowledges them but praises them and exalts them above the producers! He is their deliverer. So whatever he has in his past, whatever kind of person he is, they will continue to worship him. It doesn't matter if he's goofy. Some will overlook it and others will love him even more because it makes him look "humble".

For those in the mindless hoards who seem to "love" him that is all true; others are simply impressed with him as the means to an end. A top graduate of Harvard Law who successfully clawed his way through Chigcago politics and a national election, all for a leftist agenda, is exactly what they want.

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