Where oh where to begin. First, it’s misleading to type the words, “morally fraudulent” as a hyperlink in reference to Ayn Rand when clicking the link simply goes to a quote from Ayn Rand. Her quote states a simple, irrefutable FACT, but you offer that up as evidence to call her “morally fraudulent?” You might as well have linked to an apple pie recipe.
Most people don’t click on links, so hyperlinking a statement like that suggests you are linking to some objective, rational argument that makes your statement true and most people, not clicking on the link, will falsely assume you have made such an argument, and accept it sight unseen, no need for them to waste time reading it. So while you call her convictions a “morally fraudulent pseudo-philosophy” you make no effort to convince anyone why you believe that to be true. Second, I believe you could have made your argument regarding Bernie Sanders without even referencing Ayn Rand, she is entirely extraneous to your postulate, but for some reason you felt like taking a few unsubstantiated swings at her for reasons unclear to me unless your goal was to toss your net as wide as possible in attempt to falsely appeal to fence-sitting Randians.
Third, welcome to 2008. It took eight years of an Obama presidency to show Democrats that they have no representation in their own Government. Then 2014 showed most Republicans that they too have no representation in their own Government. This is the first time that both Democrats and Republicans are scratching their heads in profound confusion in an attempt to determine who exactly is this Government representing.
When the Tea Party came on the scene, for all their faults, they at least exposed the truth - that both parties have been compromised and that America is now ruled by a one-party system. A single party that partners with the largest corporations through regulatory capture and lobbyists to maintain an incestuous revolving door where the “right” politicians (the insiders) secure favorable media coverage, endorsements and campaign financing and the “wrong” politicians (outsiders) are IRS audited, investigated and assaulted by the mainstream media.
While this “new” Government of corporate fascism has been in place for many decades, it took the election in 2008 to start shaking many Americans into consciousness. The Republicans leaped at Obama, attacking him voraciously, to which the Democrats responded, their counter-attacks often including objective data regarding George Bush (both of them), and other Republican presidents and policies, the truth about our global warfare practices, the incestuous nature of our Government, Republican legislation dominated by religious values, etc… These counter arguments caused many die hard Republicans to reassess their positions. They found they could not effectively blame Obama for doing things that the Bushes had clearly done as well, so while Obama was still guilty of many of their accusations, they could only make them in conjunction with the Bushes guilt (and other Republicans).
This started the slow turning of the tide where Republicans, in order to attack Obama and his “socialism” had to vet and investigate their own Republican positions, current and historical, their own candidates, prior Presidents, their own policies and beliefs. In this way, Republicans slowly began realizing their party was lost. Their representation was false. As they let this frightening thought settle in, the Democrats were slowly watching Obama execute many of the same policies, regulations and heavy-handed big government bureaucratic authoritarianisms that the Democrats had railed against Republicans about. Now suddenly the Democrats were forced to look inward and begin a process of re-evaluation. Suddenly, citizens of both parties knew something was terribly wrong.
For Republicans, the final nail in the coffin came in 2014 with the failure of a now fully conservative controlled congress to submit even a single bill to make good on even a single promise that was made by them when they ran for office. The Fed continued un-audited. The NSA spying continued unabated. National Healthcare continued unopposed. The border remained wide open. It was at this moment that most Republicans heard the death knell of their party and realized, it’s not theirs anymore. It’s owned by the bankers and the corporations and the special interests.
Are the Democrats there yet? I don’t think so. I think they think like Republicans did the evening before the congressional race was decided in 2014. They believe that if they can just get that “one right guy” into office then all, or at least most, of these problems will be resolved. That all we are missing is the right Captain that knows how to right this ship. I think it will take another epic fail of another Democrat or Socialist President for Democrats to join Republicans in acknowledging the truth. Your government is not yours anymore.
Your argument posits a false dichotomy. Just because Republicans have failed to support values (and act on that support) that represents most Americans, which I would hazard to say are the values of fiscal conservatism and social liberalism, it doesn’t mean we should leap toward socialism. You don’t explain how you even connected those dots. When I was a Democrat, I believed in helping the environment, staying out of wars that didn’t involve us, letting gay people and women do what they want. When I was a Republican, I believed in lowering taxes, growing businesses and the free market, individual accountability. I became an Independent because I could not simultaneously be a Democrat and a Republican, even though I held several core values consistent with both. I realized that I had no actual representation in my own Government. I realized that in order to secure 50% of what I believed, I had to sacrifice the other 50%. I think this has happened to most Americans and they are desperate for a solution to an apparently insoluble problem.
This cognitive dissonance has germinated into Donald Trump and Bernie Sanders, the only two candidates that are not of the pre-approved, insider, vetted and sanitized corpo-political class. Bernie is appealing to those that lean slightly left and were disenfranchised with Obama (and do not entirely understand the failures of socialist Keynesian economics, and therefore do not see the dangers of it), while Trump appeals to those who lean slightly right and simply can’t accept a socialist candidate. Both of them are disrupters to the establishment - and this is 100% of their appeal to most of their supporters (for reasons I outlined above).
However, I would argue that neither Sanders nor Trump supporters are 100% on-board with either of their political platforms - but at a time in America where desperation has set in, an almost panicked level of realization at what, and who, the Government really is, a vast number of people have in fact managed to agree on ONE thing - that anyone that is being supported by the entrenched political establishment on either side cannot be trusted.
People have decided they would rather support an honest man that they only half agree with rather than support a liar that they totally agree with, after all, what is the real value of a liar’s promise to you?
Now many of us who have abandoned both parties, and find ourselves in the Libertarian camp, are not looking to take leaps of faith such as your post suggests. You claim support for individualism, but disavow Ayn Rand, but that’s because you are still clinging to the system by the few threads of faith in it that you have left.
The system that you know of has been completely compromised. The Supreme Court no longer rules based on constitutionality, but on the ever shifting whims of activism and populism. Congress has been bought and is thoroughly corrupted by the banks and corporations. The Presidency is just a figure head for this unscrupulous system that engages in foreign policy designed to financially support the corporations through a constant and global war footing and protects those corporations hard assets by maintaining a massive military infrastructure. Government servers have been hacked, emails acquired by nefarious agencies around the globe - who is to say that some or many of the decisions being made at the highest levels of government by the most powerful people have less to do with the best interests of the People and the country, and more to do with acquiescence to threats of blackmail and extortion by foreign governments or agents that have acquired highly inflammatory, damning or outright personally embarrassing and family destroying information from email servers and hacked databases?
Not to be forgotten, the Fourth Estate manages the message by disseminating lies, propaganda, slander and “investigative” journalism that is careful to avoid the approved individuals in their muckraking and journalistic extortion, while also censoring any form of dissent or objective data that is “off message.” Meanwhile, The Fed, nothing more than a room full of the heads of all the major banks, its operations entirely secret and withheld from the American people manages the very value of American people’s money, our income, our livelihoods. It loans money to the politicians to spend on social programs that secures votes for those politicians, and in return The Fed is guaranteed repayment through the Government’s collateral…its citizens. We are bonded hamsters turning a financial wheel that produces taxable income to repay the debts our politicians take out in our name that they spend on the groups and programs that make as many people dependent on government as possible, so to secure their re-elections, and we allow it to happen. In fact, encourage it.
No vote for Bernie or Trump is going to change any of this.
We have to return to a foundation based on ethics and philosophy. If it’s wrong for toddlers to steal from each other, then it’s wrong for adults to steal from each other. If it’s wrong for toddlers to initiate violence against each other, then it’s wrong for adults to initiate violence against each other. A return to individualism simply means allowing everyone to do whatever they want, as long as it does not hurt anyone else. A return to the rule of law, not the rule of man. A return to the sanctity of private property. A return to personal accountability. A return to personal charity.
If we accepted the consequences of our own actions, and held others to accept the consequences of theirs, the Government we would need would be quite insignificant indeed, and cheaply funded, and there is a foundation for such an ethical philosophy, and it is not a “morally fraudulent pseudo-philosophy.” The solution to the collapse of our Government is the educating of the population in ethics and Aristotelian philosophy. In admitting that what we teach our children is nothing but lies since we fail to practice what we preach as hypocritical adults. That somehow we have accepted two forms of ethics, one that teaches what is absolutely moral and ethically right, and one that teaches that what is absolutely moral and ethically right simply depends on <insert infinite random plethora of variables here>. Stealing is wrong, versus stealing is wrong <except in all these cases which you may or may not agree with.>
Perhaps you have simply abandoned this arduous and time-consuming task for the more expedient solution of choosing from the two stinking piles placed before you and holding your nose for the lesser of two evils, themselves the lesser of a dozen evils, hoping that if we can just get that “one right guy” in office, it’ll be better. If we can just elect the right Captain for this sinking ship.
We’ll revisit this and see how you feel about that, and Aristotle and Ayn Rand, in 2018.