Friday, October 05, 2012

Presidential Debates/Why The Hate?

The next one is the Veep-fest and worth a worry; while I am of the opinion that there are dogs who demonstrate more rationality and foresight than Mr. The Vice-Presidente Joseph R. Biden, there is no denying he's got some fire in his belly and in the well-chewed, sound-bitten world of modern televised Executive Branch debates, that could be a very effective technique, especially if Paul "Maths" Ryan tries to play things too cool and logical.

     It hurts to write that.  I'd rather live in a world where histrionics don't trump doing the math; but it's what we've got.


     I'd commented to a co-worker on the President's lack of preparedness for the first debate, adding that " fairness, he does have a day job."  No sooner said than I realized he thinks it's campaigning, and that the Presidenting thing is more of a part-time gig: show up, sign a few bills, bow to the king or caliph of Moorishastan and hop back on the campaign bus, totin' the ol' nuclear football just in case something needs blowed up.  It'll be interesting to see how he does in the next meet-up.


     ...Around the blogosphere, I've found a few instances of what strikes me as the iceberg-tip of a wider issue: some non-Democrat folks faintly hatin' on Ryan for being the variety of semi-wookie who "hands out copies of Atlas Shrugged."  (It's not just you, Og!)

     I don't get it.  Fine, Rand's got herself a powerful loathe on when it comes to religion (specifically, religion used to justify collectivism and sacrificing the individual to the group); fine, she herself was a quarrelsome old lady and no few of her closest followers tend to emulate that behavior -- but they're pullin' in the direction of a smaller, less-powerful government, one with less ability to mess up people's lives including yours.  How's that so bad?  I'm not an Objectivist and even can count myself among the countless thousands of libertarians who, along with most conservatives, were recently dissed and dismissed by a self-proclaimed Objectivist over at Unk's.  We all need to get over it; it's a big world and people hold all manner of damfool notions.  Pull with the people who are headed the same direction as you and argue over how fast, how far and the best way to hold the rope later: the important thing is to get moving!

     L. Neil Smith writes (with some heat) about the fact that the most bitter opposition comes from the people who are nearly on the same side of politics as oneself.  It's a regrettable truth and one we're going to have to start getting over if we're ever going to amount to more than a herd of cats.  You wanna argue about who's the more right, or do you want to stop getting beat up by collectvists, entrenched Progressives and tax-suckling Congresscritters?


TotC said...

My bitter opposition is directed to the fact that as a full on wookie suiter, Mitt Romney supporters seem to believe that the only thing I care about is legalizing some drugs. That particular issue is sooooo far down my list. Recently on a local radio show, one of Mitt's supporters went so far as to call all those who won't support him traitors. Thank goodness this fine example of conservative tolerance is in the extreme minority. I'd hate to have to introduce him to what happens to tyrants.

Blackwing1 said...

You hit on the main reason that the Libertarian Party (big "L" libertarians) is such a huge waste of time. They'd much rather spend their efforts and energy expelling the heretics from their own party than expend it on actually putting up electable candidates or supporting main-stream candidates in Rep-wing primaries who support vaguely libertarian notions.

Rand, her amphetamine psychosis aside, also ended up with the same problem. Reading Barbara or Nathaniel Brandon's autobiographies gives an insight into just how deranged she became in the late '50's to early '60's. She did manage to tone it down to a somewhat more rational level before she died, but her personal problems have since tended to overwhelm her philosophical statements. She ended up expelling as heretics anyone who dared contradict her, even on things such as taste in music ("de gustibus non desputandum" apparently isn't true if you are the Dear Leader).

Somebody asked me if I had watched the debates. My response was, "Why bother watching Humpty debate Dumpty?". The Rep-wing (with one or two notable exceptions...crazy uncle Ron Paul, for example) and the Dem-wing of the DemoPublican party are just the two wings of the same statist, collectivist vulture.

It all goes back to Heinlein's comment about labels versus the reality of those who wish to control other people, and those who have no such urge.

Panamared said...

The next one is the Veep-fest and worth a worry;

You may be right, but I suspect Der-VP will provide a comedic gaffest, balanced by the VP wannabees reasoned response.

Bubblehead Les. said...

Actually, out of all the Debates, I'm really looking forward to Crazy Uncle Joe make an even bigger Idiot out of himself than normal. I've heard that Ryan is so good at debating that during a "Bi-Partizen" meeting at the White House a couple of years ago over the Budget, he so P.O. Obama that the Anointed One left the room in a Huff because he could not dispute the numbers.

So I'm hoping that my Mountain Dew comes out my nose that night.

og said...

"(It's not just you, Og!)" of course not.

I do continually wonder where everyone gets the risible idea that my issue with ms rand is her anti-theism (No, she wasn't an atheist, way different thing) it is the predominant theme of her writing: the idea that the really smart supermen and women will come along and use the powerful force of their will to make us all behave and do things the RIGHT way (hello? isn't this what we HAVE?) and the idea that just by declaring a strike of the productive, talented, (and most likely ruggedly handsome) people is the way to fix it all. it's a wonderful fantasy but can and never will happen, qed.

Jess said...

I'm extremely open minded to most political opinions, until it comes to my finances. At that point, it's not philosophy; it's survival and noble causes don't remove the hunger pains.

Anonymous said...

Booosh's court appointees probably saved the 2nd amendment. supreme Court is the only real reason regular folks have to keep voting Republican. Someday, Republican influenced bureaucracy might quietly untangle some of the regulatory morass, as well. Spending, however, vectors only one direction.

Ken said...

L. Neil Smith writes (with some heat) about the fact that the most bitter opposition comes from the people who are nearly on the same side of politics as oneself.

Sure. Someone who disagrees with you 100% of the time is a garden-variety enemy. Someone who disagrees with you 20% of the time is a heretic who must be destroyed.

PS: @Og, you forgot "ectomorphic." :-)

Roberta X said...

Og, I think you're reading something into Rand's philosophy that isn't there.

Not holding back the talented isn't the same as expecting to be "saved" by "supermen." I will point out that the whole point of Atlas Shrugged was that they stopped tryin' to save anyone and left people to save themselves.

As for the religious angle -- not getting into it except to observe there's rather a lot of being saved from above in most religions. And t's equally unlikely to be happening in this life.

og said...

"Og, I think you're reading something into Rand's philosophy that isn't there."

Really? Did I get a bad copy? Because I read it very carefully- as I read EVERYTHING, and i cannot imagine how anyone could get any other idea. The name of the work in question is "Atlas Shrugged" is it not? What else could the entire work possibly imply?

"As for the religious angle -- not getting into it except"

I always like that "Except" and how people feel it absolves them of anything.

Roberta X said...

Absolves? For what should I seek absolution? ...Nope. There's plenty of other aspects of superstition I could get into but I find the effort pointless and petty; people believe what they believe. It's hardwired in childhood and rarely changes after.

I was interested by the parallel between your perception of John Galt and the popular notions of Jesus. I don't think the two are even close; but I took something totally different from "Atlas Shrugged" than you did, too.

--If the image of Atlas setting down the globe indicates to you being saved by a superman, Og, we are not reading the same meaning from those words. Working title was "The Strike," if that sheds any light.

But you have your position and you will stick to it just as I will mine. Fine -- just don;t let your disdain for Rand keep you from working with Randians when you have similar goals, please.

og said...

I believe in nothing, as far as I know, and if I found that I believed in something I would immediately work very hard to stop doing so. If you reread my comment you will find that I specifically and purposely used the word "Strike". Oddly enough I may not be as obtuse as you like to opine. Maybe I DO actually understand, huh?

When you say you're not "getting into" something and then use the word "Except" it means that you are in fact getting into it, but you expect and will brook no discussion. This is not my first time to this rodeo.

Roberta X said...

Oh, Og, now you're doing as Rand did, and choosing your own favorite, narrower definitions of common words. "Altruism" was one of hers, occasionally in contrast with "beneficience;" you like to slice the narrow line between "faith" and "belief."

I've got a tin ear for most of that sort of thing (and per Webster, she's on firmer etymological ground), so it's no good plying it on me. You're a milder critic of Rand than Whittaker Chambers, who appeared to confuse her with "Ilsa, she-wolf of the SS." -- I commend you for your willingness to overlook Ryan's handing out of Atlas Shrugged and I'll continue to overlook other people's antics, just let's both keep leanin' on the government to try and shrink it, please. I don't give damn what other people's basis for morality is, so long as they bother to apply it and I would suggest any other attitude is profoundly unAmerican.

Don said...

Any person who can read and understand the Constitution as written (including the historical context, i.e. the Federalist and Anti-Federalist papers) should understand the objections to the modern major political parties and their stated antipathy to the values of liberty and freedom.

Neither of them gives a good gosh-darned about what this nation is supposed to be about. This is why I have never, and will never, vote FOR a candidate from either party.

I have "held my nose" and voted for the challenger to any incumbent, whatever party affiliation. However, I always vote FOR a Libertarian or Constitutionalist candidate. Electable or not, and every Libertarian candidate since the '80s has been electable, I vote my conscience.Some folks (Og) have a problem with that. Oh, well.

JohninMd(help) said...

Og - "I believe in nothing, and if I found I did, would work very hard to stop doing it."? I can't even concieve of a human being without belief in SOMETHING. If not a diety, than some other aspect of life or man's ability to rise _eventualy_ above the brutish side of our animal natures. Other wise, why get out of bed in the morning, or even continue living? You have some reason to exist, or you'd blow your own brains out. So what is it? Not to tell us, but to inform yourself. Personally, don't care what they are. That's your bidness. All I know is without SOMETHING, you're the walking dead. And I, for me and mine, choose Life.

Roberta X said...

John, Og holds what you or I might refer to, by some definitions inexactly, as "beliefs," but he distinguishes between that term and "faith." And he's quite commendably strong in his faith and in the behaviors that faith expects of the faithful; while he will tell you he's a poor, poor sinner, he is in fact as generally trustworthy, loyal, helpful, friendly, courteous, kind, obedient, cheerful, thrifty, brave, clean and reverent as anyone could wish. But like me, he will stay up all night to debate with someone who is Wrong On The Internet and he and I find ourselves on the far ends of an argument a few times a year. Withal, I still think the very world of 'im.

MSgt B said...

The back-and-forth between you and Og in the comment thread was even more intriguing than the original blog post. That was awesome.


JohninMd(HELP!) said...

Since I don't know the gent, X, I'll take yer word fer it. But that post was a might confusing to a pore ol' boy here behind enemy lines....

Roberta X said...

John: it is the risk one runs, and why Korzybski was onto something. It's probably also why lawyers make the big bucks.

Rand employed it to make yammerheads see red, with title like The Virtue Of Selfishness. (And as I understand Og, that is *not* his beef with the ol' chain-smoker). This can be fun but it's pretty much the opposite of communication.