Sunday, October 02, 2016

The Presidential Choice this Year

From Jeff Jacoby:
WOULD YOU HIRE a babysitter who lied with impunity? Would you choose a therapist who was a compulsive braggart? Would you want as your accountant or financial adviser someone who trailed the reek of corruption and bottomless avarice? Would you list your home with a real-estate agent who routinely played fast and loose with rules that others must abide by? Would you attend the church of a pastor who spewed insults and threats and trafficked in delusional conspiracy theories?

If so, you’ll have no trouble supporting Donald Trump or Hillary Clinton for president.
Jacoby is supporting Gary Johnson, a claimed libertarian. We are unimpressed with him, since he seems none too sharp, and he’s not really a libertarian. He supports gay marriage, a policy that uses government power to force on the entire population the moral judgment that gay unions are as legitimate as straight ones.

A real libertarian would privatize marriage.

So we view him to be not as outrageously bad as Trump and Clinton, but still bad. This is a bad year for American democracy.

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Blogger James Pawlak said...

It appears that the earliest societies/cultures recognized marriage as both (Private) contractual agreements AND a social/community sustaining construct well beyond personal or family concerns.

8:06 AM  
Blogger CS said...

It's hard for an articulate and educated person to like Trump. But then truly articulate and educated people are never going to determine the outcome of an American Presidential election. Donald Trump is a master of fourth-grade English, including fourth-grade invective, which enables him to communicate effectively with that half of the population that is least articulate and educated.

Thus, if one believes in mass democracy, one must surely acknowledge that Trump is, as a communicator, a very well qualified candidate. Moreover, he is a candidate supported by many articulate and educated people, including both Mike Pence and his own seemingly intelligent and thoughtful adult children. So can Trump really be that bad?

Provided that no one is shot or drops dead before the election, significant possibilities I suppose, the US will have either a President Trump or a President Clinton. So, for those who are going to vote (I'm a Canadian, but since the US claims to rule the world, I have an interest in this election), the choice must be based on (a) the claimed policies of Trump and Clinton, (b) the expected integrity of the candidates, and (c) the risk that each candidate would pose if elected of blowing up the world. Looked at that way, Americans have, it seems to me, a pretty clear choice: globalism versus the sovereign, democratic, nation state.

2:22 PM  
Blogger John McAdams said...

Well . . . CS, I would say that yes, he could be that bad.

If somebody says Hillary is worse, I understand that.

The disciplined Trump, who reads from the teleprompter and takes the advice of his advisors, isn't that bad. But we can't ever be sure, at any given time, that Trump is the one we will get.

10:37 PM  
Blogger CS said...

But we can't ever be sure, at any given time, that Trump is the one we will get.

Correct. The US has an elected dictatorship. And the problem you mention with Trump is the problem the US electorate has with any President. Thus, "a humble foreign policy" Bush, started a $6-trillion-dollar war, just as FDR, who promised, prior to the 1940 election, to keep America out of another European war, did everything once elected to ensure America would play a leading role in WW2.

So there's nothing evident to me, that is especially scary about Trump. I mean, more scary than Clinton's blood thirsty cackle over the corpse of Gadaffi or her evident enthusiasm for war: "and frankly there are those who say the best thing that could happen to us is to be attacked by somebody. Just bring it on. That would unify us. It would legitimize the regime ... An argument is made, constantly, on the hard line side of government, ...we're going to provoke an attack because then we're going to be in power for as long as anyone can imagine..."

Given that both candidates are more or less deplorable, why not vote for the one that advocates what you actually want, assuming there is no obvious reason why that candidate is lying. In Trump's case, a key plank of his platform is a national economic policy that would bring back jobs and prosperity to America, a rather poor country where the 81 million lowest paid workers earned an average of just $12,681 in 2014). Such a policy seems entirely consistent with Trump's personal business interests, the success of his golf courses, resorts, hotels, etc. being dependent on the prosperity of ordinary Americans. Moreover, as a business person, Trump probably feels a genuine disgust and horror at the stupendously wasteful consumption of resources by the US to maintain its hegemonistic role in the world, when China and other Asian nations are vastly outpacing America's economic development and soon, probably, America's military capabilities.

10:46 AM  
Blogger thekahoona said...

To your point, Professor McAdams: We are not sure which Trump we will get in any given situation. But, we know *exactly* which Hillary we would get. So for me, I will hold my nose, say a prayer for the Republic and fill in the dot for Trump.

Not that it will matter much here in Cook County, Illinois.

11:24 AM  

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