Cast a Ballot for Romney/Ryan and Lose Your Integrity? Our “Intervention” Series Continues Today at 5 p.m. PDT (8 p.m. EDT)

PLANNED TOPICS: Can you have integrity and cast a ballot for Romney/Ryan? Does the fact that Johnson might attract Obama voters, too, mean that we shouldn’t care if he ciphons off Romney voters? Is Paul Ryan “evil,” while Obama is merely a “Peter Keating”? We continue our “Intervention” series by addressing these questions, and others, as well as the issue of energy subsidies under Obama. Also Neil Armstrong and Apple.

Today’s live show, and then later the archive recording, can be accessed here.

To access the show page at BlogTalk Radio, which will allow you to check out a past episode, or to subscribe to the recorded archives via iTunes and other services, use this link.

To access the new iTunes store page for “Don’t Let It Go…Unheard,” where you can find past episodes, subscribe, and leave ratings and reviews (pretty please!), use this link.


Filed under Don't Let It Go...Unheard

32 responses to “Cast a Ballot for Romney/Ryan and Lose Your Integrity? Our “Intervention” Series Continues Today at 5 p.m. PDT (8 p.m. EDT)

  1. First please forgive any errors that I miss as I am rushed.

    I am voting for Romney after the Supreme Court debacle.
    Previously I was going to skip the Presidential ballot,or possibly vote for Gary Johnson (As you may recall).

    I will not be “holding my nose” when I do so,I will simply do it.

    When I am convinced that I should vote for someone,I will,and when I am not,I will not,and nothing but what I regard as a persuasive ,rational,argument will deter me,not guilt trips,insults,ridicule, unfriending,or anything else.(All of which I have encountered from some Romney supporters & from some Gary Johnson supporters at times,not from you).

    I have changed my position for two reasons:

    1. Obamacare must go,with the Court’s betrayal,the only possible way for this to happen to elect Romney & then to apply the same level of intense pressure to him & to the GOP to repeal it,that we did to prevent the GOP from voting for it.
    In order to do this,Romney must be in office,but he must also fear that he will be defeated in 2016 if he does not repeal it. That is one reason why I have no patience for the “Republicans always buy us time” argument that is made by some Objectivists (not by you,so far as I know); That argument tells us that ”no matter what the Republicans do, that we must not be ‘perfectionists’ e.g. expect them to repeal Obamacare etc,& that so long as they spend less than
    the Democrats then they will buy us time”. To which I would say:how many Republican defections on Obamacare would we had have,had we not been prepared to throw out any Republican who voted for Obamacare?
    If the GOP feels that they can get away with betraying us,they will.

    2. I have come to believe that creating a viable alternative to the
    GOP need not preclude voting for Republicans in 2012. As a friend noted,if both parties are driving you off a cliff, perhaps it is time to jump out of the car,even if it means that there is a risk of breaking your neck. My answer to that is that when you jump,you try to time it so that you face the least risk of injury.
    2012 is not the time.
    By 2016,if the GOP betrays us, it is concievable that a third party candidate might even be viable.

    As someone who previously would not have voted for Romney, I think that I have some understanding of the views of Objectivists who intend to vote for Gary Johnson.
    If you have already written those Objectivists off,and simply intend to ridicule them,then whether you offend them or not does not matter.If on the other hand,you seek to persuade people who are as convinced of the rightness of their stance,as I am of mine,and as you are of yours,then in order for people to be persuaded by your arguments THEY MUST FIRST LISTEN TO THEM.
    If you insult them they will not.

    “But the term intervention was intended lightheartedly, and in fun! I don’t think Gary Johnson voters will be offended!”

    You also think that Gary Johnson voters should vote for Romney,they don’t,if that is to change,
    you must persuade them,& you are not likely to do so with your current course.
    I myself did not listen to your first
    ”intervention” until today,& I am voting for Romney,how then do you think Johnson voters would respond? If the goal is persuading Objectivists (and other Johnson voters) to vote for Romney,then they must hear what you are saying.
    And even if they do listen, if they believe (in error or not) that
    you are contemptuous of them, then they will be more likely to be in an angry mood & to be on the defensive.

    Now again,this does not mean that you should appease someone’s irrationality,but is it irrational to be offended by the term “intervention”?

    Yes, you said that you did not mean it in that way,but in order to know that,they would have to listen to your program,and even if they did,& believed you,they may still have doubts & think ”then why did she use a term she didn’t mean”?
    But even if they don’t think that,they may still be incensed.

    Appeasement is immoral,tact isn’t.

    “So what should I have done,walk on eggshells,beg them..”

    How about entitling your program ”Why Objectivists (or Gary Johnson voters) who vote for Gary Johnson are tragically mistaken?”

    Over the coming week,I will draw up a list of pro-Gary Johnson arguments,as well as the counter-arguments Gary Johnson supporters make to counter pro-Romney arguments.

    Some brief points now:

    1. Almost no one whom I know,who supports Gary Johnson,believes that he will win.(But see below for those who do)
    Most believe that they are laying the groundwork for a long term solution,by means of a third party.
    They believe that we will survive another Obama term.And it is by no means self-evident to them that we will not.
    What of that person who called in?
    I don’t know him,(so far as I know).
    How should you respond to the ”Johnson can win” argument?
    (A variation of this is that third party candidates are not viable because no one votes for them,because they are not viable…ad infinitum)

    Point out the facts:

    To win you need either a sufficient number of electoral votes,or for the House to approve you.
    Other than asserting that “people said that Johnson would not become governor,& he did” ,is there any actual REASON to believe that this will occur? To win he must sweep the country,or persuade a Republican House to support him;where is the evidence that this may happen?

    2. You should address the Akin fiasco.
    It has drawn attention to the GOP’s abortion plank,and to Ryan’s “personhood amendment” ,& to the possibility of Roe being struck down,in short to everything many Objectivists hate about the GOP.

    On a related note:
    Romney’s lead in Missouri has been erased post-Akin.
    Akin trails by 10 points & may cost the GOP the Senate.
    Yet Akin still has defenders:Huckabee (who will be speaking at the convention,what will he say there?) as well as some crackpots at Townhall,as well as some loons at Redstate. They are encouraging this useful idiot to stay in the race as a albatross around our neck.

    3.As to the bully pulpit argument,it can be argued that having a “arch-capitalist” like Romney make the case for the “conservatism” of the Individual Mandate,and for global warming, is at least as dangerous as having a leftist like Obama is,in office.

    For a example of this kind of reasoning see here:

    “Obama’s Atomic Bomb: The Ideological Clarity of the Democratic Agenda” by John David Lewis

    I do not claim to know what Doctor Lewis would do,but the argument can be made that having a Republican make a case for the “conservatism” of leftist policies will accelerate the decline. This argument is not decisive in my view ,but it should be addressed.

    Finally, Romney’s recent endorsement of Romneycare has become a cause celebre among Johnson advocates:

    Romney invokes Massachusetts health law ahead of Republican convention – The Hill’s Healthwatch

    On Akin:

    Rape, Abortion, and the Moral High Ground | RedState Aaron Gardner

    Using Semantics to Take Down Conservative Representative Todd Akin

    Mike Huckabee: I won’t leave Todd Akin behind |

    Who is standing by Todd Akin?

    Missouri Republican official: ‘God chose to bless’ women with pregnancies from rape | The Raw Story


    Rasmussen’s MO poll: McCaskill 48, Akin … 38 « Hot Air

    ‘God’s Little Shield’: A Short History Of The False No-Pregnancy-From-Rape Theory | TPM2012

    Election 2012: Missouri President – Rasmussen Reports™

  2. Harold

    Sorry that I missed the beginning of your show last week and didn’t hear you address my issue about taking some EC votes from Obama and giving them to Johnson. As per a recent political science study at the U of CO it appears that Romney will probably get about 320 EC votes in 2012.

  3. I used to think that I would sit out this election because while I would never vote for Obama (and didn’t in 2008), I also didn’t like Romney, and – I was standing on my (what turned out to be very slippery) moral high ground – I didn’t want to vote to give anyone my tacit permission to rule over me. My husband and I had several arguments about my decision, but I finally realized that by NOT voting I would be delivering a vote to Obama by default. Also, I came to realize that by voting for Romney, I would be voting for a person who would leave me alone MORE than would Obama. I admit to a perverse schadenfreude-ian desire to see the chickens of his, and the past 80 years or so of Progressive policies, come home to roost, and to bear witness to the logical end of this thuggism (a la “Atlas Shrugged”), but – it would come at my, and my family’s expense, as well as at the country’s expense. This is too high a price to pay. I have maybe 30 or 40 years left to live, and I want to live them in a country that, even if it’s doing so in baby steps, is on its way to a freer society.

  4. Tom

    A very interesting podcast and I’m glad to see Peikoff respond to criticism.

    My first issue with her defense of Ayn Rand’s idea of being an “anti-Nixonite Nixon supporter.” On it’s face this is utterly absurd since Nixon has easily been one of the worst presidents we’ve had, the Watergate Scandal clearly showing that this man undermined the entire democratic process. Understand, I love Rand, but I don’t feel obligated to agree with all her views.

    My second issue is Peikoff’s absurd portrayal of Ryan as a conflicted Catholic. It is the highest form of naivete to assume a political candidate’s public religious view bear any relation to what is happening in their head. In my experience with Republicans I have found that they will always appeal to their Christian base. You will sooner see a flying pig than hear a Republican speak poorly of Christianity, and Ryan is the same. This is all irrelevant anyway, since unless Romney plans on committing suicide if he wins (one can hope) it is very unlikely Ryan will be president, or even matter very much.

    My last issue is the way in which Obama is demonized. I am far from an Obama fan but I recognize that he is much closer to a cynical politician saying what he needs to say for ill begotten gain than a nefarious Ellesworth Toohey who wants to dismantle the world. Either way, he will win. Again the problem isn’t Obama, it’s the two party system that is stuck in a loop.

    My question to Peikoff is simply this: Will 2016 be a good time to actually vote for someone we support? Or will we find another president to call the spawn of Satan by then?

    Johnson 2012

    • jayeldee

      All practicing Catholics tend to be “conflicted”, as a rule. And they are that, owing to: (1) the early infusion of reason, via Aquinas, into their otherwise mystical cult; and (2) their sacrament of “confession”–which enables the cleansing of evil (or what they see as such), upon demand. The former leads to a split intellect (simultaneously mystical and rational)–and the latter, to a split character (simultaneously good and evil). And the end result of this oddball admixture, for those that choose to remain alive as practicing Catholics, comes across as–hypocrisy. And that’s precisely what it is.

      • Tom

        Well yes realistically all Christians today have to be conflicted. What I mean to say though is that Ryan may not even take his Catholicism seriously. The benefit of saying you are religious in politics far outweighs any possible incentive to say otherwise especially for a Republican.

  5. Craig

    Republicans work to remove Gary Johnson from Iowa ballot

    Romney is trying to remove the Johnson (the Libertarian Party) from the ballot in the states of Iowa, Michigan and Pennsylvania. Probably there are more states to come. This is characteristic (as shown by his behavioral record) of the man’s character: if you can’t win honestly, then cheat.

    Still, despicable tho Romney may be, he is not Obama. However, with each passing day it is getting harder to expect any difference that will matter. For instance, I doubt that, if elected, Romney would make any sincere attempt to repeal Obamacare. Which is really worse, a committed communist like Obama or a power mad, utterly unprincipled liar like Romney?

  6. Harold

    Republican National Convention Presidential nominee vote, 2012
    Candidate First Ballot Percentage
    Mitt Romney 2,061 90.1%
    Ron Paul 189 8.26%
    Rick Santorum 9 0.39%
    Michele Bachmann 1 0.04%
    Jon Huntsman 1 0.04%
    Buddy Roemer 1 0.04%
    Abstain 24 1%
    Totals 2,286 100.00%

  7. Harold

    Shovel Ready Jobs – Nazi Style
    I am currently watching a scene from the movie “Triumph of the Will”, a 1934 German propaganda film. This scene shows a field of men standing to attention with shovels adorned with swastikas. They were conscripted to work on Hitler’s road infrastructure projects.

  8. I suppose my first comment went up in blog-smoke as I didn’t have correct log-in. … Here is my second one. A friend of mine, long time businessman with a strong background in Ayn Rand’s philosophy as well as Libertarianism (his mom has been very active since early 70’s), sent me an email with these comments:
    “I’m not in agreement with Amy on this. As bad as Obama is I don’t think Romney is that much better – and the miserable condition we will be in in another 4 years will be attributed incorrectly to free market capitalism if Romney wins.

    Romney & Co. knew they had the delegates to get the nomination and yet they subverted their own convention and snubbed Ron Paul so that they could make it appear that Romney had a “mandate” of support from their party and turn the convention into a purely promotional event.

    This shows that they do not take Ron Paul and his libertarian-oriented voters seriously. Romney has no intention of bringing about limited government and will continue to grow Fed Gov. The Republicans deserve a beat-down so that they will understand that they cannot ignore their would-be constituents and put forth a big-government fascist as their solution to Obama’s brand of Marxism.

    The way the Republicans handled Ron Paul and his supporters at the convention have confirmed to me that Romney is getting far too much credit for being different from Obama and should not get my vote.

    Following Amy’s advice on this would just be perpetuating the false alternative of Republican (fascist) policy vs. Democrat (communist) policy. If the Republicans and Democrats are going to be so similar they might as well merge parties. The US may be far from ready for an Objectivist POTUS but I think it is certainly time for at least a libertarian-leaning POTUS.” –S. Lenger, San Antonio

    Could you please address these issues. Thanks, K. Anderberg

  9. Harold

    Modified Fantasy – The US House votes for Paul Ryan as President if 270 EC votes are not achieved.

  10. J.Oliver

    One more thing: Scott Walker makes a couple of great points. This election is about one thing – repealing Obama Care, and the rise of libertarian-leaning governors. If everyone casts a vote for the libertarian governor, or senator, or representative on his or her state ballot, pretty soon we’ll have a full house, and come future presidential elections, our choices will be, well, libertarian.

    • Craig

      “This election is about one thing – repealing Obama Care …”

      I don’t think there is any chance of Romney really trying to repeal Obamacare. He might pretend to try knowing a Democratic Senate will not allow it. Or, if the Senate is Republican, he might sham to “fix” it which would leave all the evil intact and make some changes that make it even worse. Obamacare confers too much power on the political class for the Republican Party to sincerely want to repeal it.

      On the other hand, if Obama is reelected and the Senate goes Republican then Congress probably would vote to repeal Obamacare out of shear partisanship. Then Obama would veto the repeal and there would not be enough votes to override.

      If you want to escape socialized medicine you are going to have to leave the country.

  11. That guy

    First time commenting so i would like to lay down some gratitude before getting to the meat. Thanks for all you do. I found your podcast a few months ago and have been thoroughly enjoying it. I really appreciate all the work yall do in producing the show. It is really nice to hear fellow travelers… Yay im not alone! 🙂

    so on to it:

    I have yet heard what would be a convincing argument for a Romney vote from what i have listened to so far. I understand (or at least think i do) all the propositions that have been put forth but think they leave a little to be desired. Some of my key reservation are as follows:

    The republicans are not a lesser of two evils. Obama care is deplorable but so is Romney care and the patriot act etc.. I’m not certain that if we get Romney in that he will not do something as equally immoral as what Obama might do. If anything we will get chest pounding about ho much it sucks to have policy X but i would find it hard to swallow that anything of substance would follow. This leads into a second thought.

    Obama or Romney having the white house does not mean that they can implement what ever crazy ideas they may have. A strategic Vote in congress will be a much better vote than for a vote for president to that end. Obama didn’t necessarily give us Obama care, the democratic congress did.

    Now further along the lines actual ability of the office, adding Ryan to the ticket is only a marketing measure. I realize there is an actual function for the vice president but i do not think having Ryan as second in command will much effect Romney’s positions. I do not include Ryan as a positive to the Romney cause.

    After all that i might still consider voting against Obama via Romney. I have not been able to find a reason to vote for Romney but i can find millions to vote against Obama.

    … So a call to action… Any one who cant pull the lever for Romney regardless of the reason, please understand that political change is not done through the ballot box, It is done long before that. Do be silent, create a pod cast, create an avenue for your ideas, talk to people and spread the ideas of liberty through the individual. The nation did not wake up in 2008 and suddenly think health care was a right, it was the end result of bad ideas that found a good home… that and some political shenangins, but alas the battle ground is in the mind.

    • “I have not been able to find a reason to vote for Romney but i can find millions to vote against Obama.”

      This has been the thrust of our argument — that there are many (not sure about millions) reasons to vote against Obama.

      I see this situation as Rand saw the Nixon/McGovern option: No, we can’t trust Romney/Ryan to save the country, but we can trust a more “flexible” Obama to destroy the country — or to get close.

      • jayeldee

        But the Nixon/McGovern fiasco predated the introduction of the Religious Right as an active political force. I welcome correction if I’m wrong, but I don’t think Ayn Rand ever advocated for Ronald Reagan, for example—who first introduced us in a substantive way to these enemies of freedom. And I cannot conceive of her advocating our delivery into their grasp now, in an attempt to escape those whose primary evil is their (slightly) more consistent commitment to socialism. My guess, FWIW, is that she would advocate withholding sanction of either party—while broadcasting, far and wide, her reasons for doing so.

        • Craig

          Being old enough to have been there, I can tell you that Ayn Rand did speak highly of Ronald Reagan when he was campaigning for Goldwater. She was the source from which I first heard of him. Then, a decade later, when he ran for president, she withdrew her support due to (among other things) the association with the religious right.

          • jayeldee

            That’s very interesting. I have, now that you mention it, only a vague recollection of having heard about her earlier support. (I read THE FOUNTAINHEAD–my self-introduction–only in March of 1972; I have to envy you your longer familiarity.)

      • jayeldee

        PS And speaking of “broadcasting, far and wide”: If ever there were a time, since 9/11, for another New York Times editorial—that time would surely be now.

      • Craig

        I would say that a Romney with a Republican congress would do more damage to the country than an Obama with a Republican congress could even tho Obama’s intentions might be more malevolent.

        • jayeldee

          And I would say that you’re quite right (except, I’m not at all sure about your “malevolence estimate”). In fact I’m all in favor of political gridlock, and consider it to be the only viable “time-buyer” available. When the government becomes the enemy, regardless of its guise, the only short-term solution I know of is to incapacitate it, as much as possible…. But then, do we “know”, at this juncture, that we’re doomed to having a Republican congress? IF we do, it would be more important than ever to keep the Religious Right out of the executive branch …. But–how do we know it?

          (This is my idea of Hell: being reduced, as I see it, to a sort of calculating pragmatist.)

          • Craig

            Actually, I do not think you can count a Romney presidency as “religious right”. He, himself, may be religious of a sort, but the “religious right” as a political movement hates him as a Mormon and he despises them in return. I doubt that Romney has any convictions of any sort, but he does know how to revenge himself on his enemies.

        • jayeldee

          (Craig—I’m replying to your reply of September 1, here, because there’s no Reply function for that reply, at that reply…. And I think I will make this my final reply, as I don’t want to wear out whatever welcome I have.) That said….

          That Romney is not actually OF the religious right, but rather a sort of enemy of it, is an interesting insight. And, thinking about it, I bet you are not wrong. He is, after all, effectively without a political identity; so he’s really not “of”—anything. Intellectually and morally (in politics), he appears to be a zero.

          But, he’s got Ryan—who surely IS of the religious right—tailing along with him. (And perhaps that appointment was an attempt to disarm Romney’s own enemies?) .… But whatever moral/religious influence Ryan might have in a Romney administration might be insignificant, given the relative insignificance of the office itself, and the not unlikely possibility that Romney may actually fear and despise him. (Of course, if circumstances transpire that elevate Ryan to the presidency …. Well, that’s a thought that leaves one—at least, this one: me—earnestly hoping that the doctors and the secret service would, in the event, perform their duties for Romney with all due diligence.)

          That said…. Obama, whatever his phoniness, is something; call it, a “-1” (negative one). (Biden is, like Romney, a “0”.)

          Reduced to essentials, then: we’ve got a Republican “0” (with a “-10” [my rating of Ryan], waiting in the wings)—opposing a Democratic “-1” (with a “0”, waiting in the wings).

          And so to the most important point: I see now that there IS another way, apart from or in addition to gridlock, to further the incapacitation of a menacing government. And that is—to displace a NEGATIVE, with a ZERO (while hoping, in this case, by my lights, that the docs and the agents do their jobs).

          It’s certainly worth thinking twice about.

          • jayeldee

            I cannot resist adding….

            Consider: This is a Presidential election—in the United States of America; and I am reduced to speaking of—“displacing a negative, with a zero.” GOOD LORD.

          • Craig

            I still think gridlock is the least bad option. An ambitious zero with power is worse than a negative facing a hostile congress. [You are right that once the election is over, Ryan is irrelevant one way or the other.] In the unlikely event that that negative had a cooperative congress, that would be disastrous.

  12. I completely understand people not wanting to vote for Romney (or any Republican). I also understand people wanting to vote for Gary Johnson (and I would not say that about every Libertarian candidate). But I don’t understand some commenter’s inability to even understand the view of Obama as something worse than a Bill Clinton. Not just a liberal, or a leftist, but rather someone with a fairly OPEN hatred of capitalism and free markets.

    Some people are game changers; they make the unutterable into something utterable, and therefore acceptable. Reagan made low taxes and the end of communism things you could talk about, during an era when BOTH parties agreed that taxes had to be high and communism was something we had to live with, and contain (this is not an endorsement of Reagan, just an example).

    In the same sense Obama is viewed by many in the rational individualist or objectivist community as a game changer, making outright state ownership of huge swaths of our economy a ”sensible” and PUBLICLY DEFENDED policy. This scares the $#!% out of some people. So these people decide to pull the lever (as one, tiny act of resistance) for whatever superstitious statist the Republicans put forward.

    Best scenario? Having come to office on a platform of cutting taxes, cutting spending, shrinking government, and repealing the more uber-statist schemes of Obama, this Republican, for all his hypocrisy and lack of principle, will be compelled to at least do some small amount of what he promised. And we will be spared whatever lunatic schemes a second-term Obama (freed from the need to get elected) would have enacted.

    Disagree? Fine. But you really don’t need to tell us how bad Republicans are. We know all that. That’s why we follow blogs like this one.

    • jayeldee

      Your point about the “game changer” is a very good one, no doubt—alluding, as it does, to one method by which a culture deteriorates or advances across the long term, as the previously “unutterable” becomes the taken-for-granted.

      And the points in your penultimate paragraph are also well taken—although the first, at least, is certainly arguable. (HOW will Romney be “compelled” to fulfill his schemes [whatever they are]? Who or what will compel him? Has Obama been similarly “compelled”?)

      Your final paragraph is puzzling; I mean, just replace “Republicans,” therein—with “Democrats” …. I don’t think every person interested in Objectivism—nor, for that matter, every user of the internet (to whom this website is also available)—has the same level of knowledge or awareness about the vast similarities and few (but significant) differences that exist, between the two parties, and the fundamental character of each. And both parties are contending here, for power over us; both should be closely scrutinized—ad nauseum, if necessary (which it probably is). It is, after all, by no means unheard of, for a medicine to produce side effects more intolerable than the malady…. And no one, I think, ought to get a pass.

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