Reason as the Leading Motive

The US Elections Post

Posted by Jerry on July 12, 2007

Gawd, it sucks to not be in the United States during these most exciting of times with the US presidential race moving into full gear. Election year in the US is more than just about elections–it is about large personalities, ideologies, high-rollers and huge amounts of money, elaborately mounted public appearances, an orgy of flag waving and compulsive flag draping, fully orchestrated and pedantically controlled campaign speeches, media frenzy, office buzz, and global attention!

The sense I get from the news is that there’s a huge deal being made out of the 2008 presidential race because the candidates are the most diverse lot in the nation’s history. Frightfully, the front-runners–obviously decided by the media and some terribly unreliable early polls–are Hillary Clinton and Barack Obama.

Frankly, I can’t even stand to breathe next to either of these. I happened to run into Obama at the Thompson Center in Chicago when I worked for Mayor Richard Daley’s office. Obviously, given that I was working in the City Hall building, I was accustomed to running into media persons blindly tripping over each other as they tried to stay focused on some politician. Obama is a really tall man, with narrow shoulders, I remember thinking. He wasn’t too attractive to look at in person–but going by his TV appearances, he seems to have undergone some kind of a makeover.

What I strongly dislike about the man is that he is appears to be a vacillator, a compromiser, an appeaser of the prevailing opinion or the largest crowd. He tries to come off as this benevolent, obviously Christian, personification of all-saints-day. Of course, his far left leanings are highly offensive to me, as well.

But he’s hardly a threat because there simply ain’t no chance for him to win the presidency.

Now, Clinton is Obama’s twin sister–only more insidious and shrewd. I can’t really give any one concrete example for why I perceive Clinton as such. Given what I’ve read and watched on the news of her, she wants nothing more than just to be in power and history as the First Female President of the United States. The scary thing is, she might actually be the next President of the United States.

Were I able to vote in these American elections, I would vote Ron Paul for the presidency. Granted he is a long-shot for even the Republican nomination, but he’s the only candidate I can see myself agreeing with and being in support of. That is not to say that he doesn’t propound his own share of idiocy and nonsense. He’s a pro-life candidate (here, pro-life means someone who violates the rights of women on principle and by claim to the moral primacy of clumps of cells), Christian, and champions “family values”–which are apparently different from and supercede individually chosen values. Nevertheless, his position on fiscal and monetary issues are sound, he stands for limited government and liberty, and insists on strict adherence to the US Constitution.

Here’s a little “about Ron Paul” from his campaign website:

Ron PaulCongressman Ron Paul is the leading advocate for freedom in our nation’s capital. As a member of the U.S. House of Representatives, Dr. Paul tirelessly works for limited constitutional government, low taxes, free markets, and a return to sound monetary policies. He is known among his congressional colleagues and his constituents for his consistent voting record. Dr. Paul never votes for legislation unless the proposed measure is expressly authorized by the Constitution.In the words of former Treasury Secretary William Simon, Dr. Paul is the “one exception to the Gang of 535” on Capitol Hill.

He has never voted to raise taxes.
He has never voted for an unbalanced budget.
He has never voted to raise congressional pay.
He has never voted to increase the power of the executive branch.

He voted against the Patriot Act.
He voted against regulating the Internet.
He voted against the Iraq war.

He does not participate in the lucrative congressional pension program.
He returns a portion of his annual congressional office budget to the U.S. treasury every year.

Anywhoo, Leitmotif officially endorses Ron Paul for the presidency. There, I said it! 🙂

My friend the Sentimental Minion informed me that YouTube will be covering the presidential debates starting with the Democratic debates this July 23rd. Viewers can also participate in the debate by making a 30 second video asking a question to any of the candidates. YouTube’s political video blog, Citizen Tube, will be streaming these debates along with the viewer videos.

Oh, and the most delicious part of this whole affair–Anderson Cooper, the most beautiful (gay) man on television news, will be hosting the Democratic debates on CNN! If nothing else, Cooper is more than enough reason to watch these debates. 🙂



7 Responses to “The US Elections Post”

  1. Ergo said

    I wanted to say, on reflecting upon this post later, that this might be the worst blogpost I have written in a long while! I really dislike what I wrote above… and frankly, I’d like the simply delete it. But I won’t do that for the sake of maintaining a record. I have offered absolutely no insight in the post above; no reasons, no justification.. and even though I know I have my reasons and my justification, I just neglected to get into the details and write them up. Moreover, I almost have to bite my tongue as I say that Leitmotif endorses Ron Paul. His view on abortion is an unforgivable violation of individual rights. He is a man who’s fundamental premise is mysticism and belief in a supernatural power, on whose authority, he advocates the violation of human rights. It is the most abominable behavior to deny an actual, real, independent, human being her rights and grant them instead to a clump of undifferentiated cells.

  2. Runner said

    I just watched the last 20 minutes or so of the CNN debates for the Democratic Primaries.

    As a student of Objectivism and culture, this is where I stand on who I support for the 2008 Presidential election at this point.

    Having good reason to morally disparage ANY Republican as victor of the U.S. Presidency in 2008, no doubt fueled by Peikoff’s “lesser-of-two-evils” argument( as presented in the Q & A entitled “PEIKOFF ON THE COMING ELECTIONS” on http://www.peikoff.com/) for voting for a Democrat to avert the dangers of a Republican-inspired theocracy, which trump any fear of a socialist society, I must say I am VERY impressed by what Hillary Clinton would offer Americans as citizens.

    In the debates Senator Clinton stressed her value that she would, as President, work with people of “differing” policies to benefit the U.S., which is not a value in Objectivism’s sense as she here implies COMPROMISE. Yet no matter who such person she works with, her apparent “integrity” (read as SPINEBONE), strongly suggests that at the end of such collaborations, she would ultimately choose her OWN direction in matters that are critical to her.

    Also in the debates, her unequivocal attitude of appointing a pro-abortion Supreme Court Justice on the basis of the right to privacy–an attitude that she expressed by positively integrating that constititional right to other rights in the constitution (by stressing that it is not consistent to uphold the latter rights while denying the right to abortive privacy)–explicitly displayed a recognition of the value of rights as such.

    Incidentally, Ergo, I recall your insightful disagreement with a statement Peikoff made in that particular Q and A.

    What do you all think?



  3. Ergo said

    Almost immediately after writing the above post, I wanted to retract my endorsement for Ron Paul (which I am). There is no way I can respect a candidate who champions the moral primacy of clumps of cells over the rights of individual human beings. This shows that the man has simply no understanding of the concept of rights at the most fundamental level; how is he going to defend individual rights and liberty then?

    Also, I watched Ron Paul in one of the early Republican debates and was not at all impressed–he came out more shrill than having said anything of substance.

    That said, I can’t stand to imagine Hilary Clinton as president of the United States. That woman cannot hide her power-lust, it’s so obvious. And her chameleon style pandering to the crowd in front of her makes me want to vomit. However, as to the question of who is the lesser evil to vote into power, I have no clue since I am significantly far removed from the whole context and drama of the US elections.

  4. Runner said


    You wrote in post #3 of this thread, “That said, I can’t stand to imagine Hilary Clinton as president of the United States. That woman cannot hide her power-lust, it’s so obvious.”

    Is it so obvious?

    First of all, the essential question in my mind when trying to determine whether any speaker possesses power-lust is, does he speak intimidating words or display (while speaking) frightening body language that is dramatically out of the context of an observer’s expectations qua observer (given that the observer is holding standards of civil public speaking). An example of the former (intimidating words) is, “If I am elected I will protect your life from the Violent Infidel who will destroy you.” An example of the latter (disconsonant body language) is the hypothetical projection of Hitler speaking before a mainstream American audience. To judge a speaker as a power-luster by any other question, strongly appears to me to be nothing short of psychologizing.

    Hillary Clinton neither spoke intimidating words nor displayed such frightening body language during the couple of times I saw her (on television) speaking in a forum (i.e., when I saw and heard her challenge Donald Rumsfeld in Congress about the Iraq War, and when I saw and heard her in the recent debate for the 2007 Democratic primary elections. Now, having only viewed her on these two occasions, I grant that my knowledge might be insufficient to believe she is devoid of power-lust. But that is all the material I have to work with and it is pretty convincing in the context of the question as to whether she is a power-luster. I know via a very old post of yours that you watched (at the time) a great deal of political programming. I wonder–but am not certain–if you watched more such programming than I did, and came across a program including Clinton which I did not see. So, you may be right about her, for all I know.

    But just earlier tonight I bought Time magazine with the words “What Hillary Believes And Why She Thinks She’ll Win” (referring to an article within the magazine)–and look forward to reading about her in this copy of Time.

    Regarding further scrutiny of media information about Mrs. Clinton (by that I mean media information about her which is completely new to me), I am looking forward to seeing if I am right in my belief that she is NOT a power luster.



  5. Apple said

    A power luster to me is someone who wants to grant power to government to do more than it should. Nearly everything Senator Clinton says is about how, if elected, she would get the government to do things for you, me, the country. I have yet to hear from any Democratic candidate a word about leaving me alone.

    The questionners (in the second half of the Las Vegas debate, hosted by CNN) were just as guilty about power lust. One woman asked, “My son is poor. What are you going to do about it?”! For these so-called independent, undecided voters, they are looking for the power of the government to grant what reality has denied them. They too are power lusters.

  6. Tim R said

    In my opinion, Hilary has little integrity. I think she’s a populist and agree with Ergo’s opinion that she’s a power luster. I particularly don’t like her compulsory health insurance plan.
    But then again, I don’t know who I’d endorse and also agree with Apple’s comment.

  7. Runner said

    That is a fair definition of power lust Apple.

    I also have fair reason to support Hillary Clinton in the context of choosing the “lesser of evils” (which, we must note, also means the “greater of the goods” or the “best integrated good”). The question is who will be the best Democrat to avert the burgeoning possibility of a union of church and state–presided over and supported by a Christian fundamentalist.

    I am frightened by the spectacle of Christianity made into law-do I need to explain? I am also frightened by more regulation on trade, and am repulsed by altruistically-inspired taxation on income. But I am least frightened by the latter because the late twentieth century trend toward income regulation and taxation WILL CONTINUE regardless of what person or party will be in power–at least until an Objectivist or true fiscal conservative appears and fights in the political arena to reverse that trend. So if you think voting Republican will improve economic progress, think again.

    The legislation of certain aspects of Christian morality is a real possibility because the epistemology of power-lusting Christian fundamentalists is just–well–incapable of escaping the framework of religious dogma. What epistemological recourse do they have to maintaining objectivity of law–if life is not the standard of value, and by consequence, individual rights are not the standard of the law? A politician who through and through believes the Bible contains any fundamental standard of “value” for humans, will not be able to conceive that individual rights are the ONLY standard of the law, and instead will recourse to Christian dogma as the framework by which he acts to prohibit certain unchristian, self-interested actions!

    And such a politician, unlike one who is a welfare statist or anti-trust supporter, CAN be prevented. Americans LOVE acting on non-Christian morality. (Not that all instances of secular morality are valuable to their lives). That is why the separation of chuch and state CAN be foreseen as being ruthlessly maintained–if measures are taken starting now. Unfortunately, Americans seem to have accepted “a little statism” as the norm in the realm of economics. (Can anyone do otherwise in the absence of Objectivism’s view of living organisms, man, and the concept of value?) They seem to feel less indignant when the government steals their money for, say, the welfare of the poor, than the possibility of the government outlawing abortion or perennially unmarried people :). So–if altruistic taxation cannot be overturned in the near future, why not change what we can, and prevent the seeds of a theocracy from blooming?

    I need to correct myself. I wrote,

    “Also in [last friday’s Democratic debates], her unequivocal attitude of appointing a pro-abortion Supreme Court Justice on the basis of the right to privacy–an attitude that she expressed by positively integrating that constititional right to other rights in the constitution (by stressing that it is not consistent to uphold the latter rights while denying the right to abortive privacy)–explicitly displayed a recognition of the value of rights as such.”

    I want to correct what I wrote in the parentheses in fairness to what Senator Clinton really said in the debates. When I wrote this I did not realize that she was stressing that it is inconsistent to uphold some constititional rights while denying PRIVACY (scratch out “ABORTIVE PRIVACY”). Her starting point was the right to PRIVACY, which I believe she said to be “embedded in the constitution”; in effect she said that the right to ABORTION was one right that would be meaningless without privacy.


    To conclude, I am not pleased to discuss evils but I must. I feel sickened even now. The state of America is so very philosophically and culturally bad at this time. But Im American and want to exercize MY legitimate power: voting for the presidency.

    Thank you all for your comments,


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