Is Ted Cruz The Guy? (& more) Today at 12 p.m. PT (3 p.m. ET)

Showcasing their tremendous powers of evasion, the Senate has voted 79-19 for cloture on the continuing resolution (CR). As I type this, the Senate is voting to remove the language in the House CR that defunded Obamacare. So today’s show will unfortunately not be a victory celebration, although ultimate victory is still possible, depending on what the House does in the coming days (and, possibly, weeks).

What I would like to do today is celebrate the fact that we have a politician in the U.S. Senate who is willing to stand up against socialized medicine, in a principled way. And the bonus: he read several passages from Ayn Rand’s work in the process of doing so.

See Program Notes, below, for all the stories and clips we plan to showcase/discuss.

Join in on the discussion live, either by phone or in the chatroom!

The show can be accessed here.

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Program Notes

Tom Cruise: “I’m the guy!”

Senate votes, ends debate on continuing resolution defunding Obamacare

Cruz’s statement on today’s cloture vote

Ted Cruz recommending and reading from Atlas Shrugged on the Senate Floor HT: Krastio Atanassov on Twitter

Later in the morning, Cruz reading from both The Fountainhead and Atlas Shrugged HT Robert Nasir

Podhoretz: Who else does Ted Cruz’s triumph help?

Rand Paul: Why must the American people suffer when even so many Democrats don’t want Obamacare? HT: Rob Abiera

Daniel Henninger: Let Obamacare Collapse

Common Core: A Scheme to Rewrite Education

Glenn Beck: Did Bill Gates admit the real purpose of Common Core?

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20 Comments

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20 responses to “Is Ted Cruz The Guy? (& more) Today at 12 p.m. PT (3 p.m. ET)

  1. Craig

    Senator Mike Lee: “The American people will always have the final word”

  2. I was happy to be able to listen to your show live last night (it ended at midnight in this part of the world). I am very pleased with what Ted Cruz did, and I’m especially pleased that he read from “Fountainhead” and “Atlas Shrugged.” I would like to see him remain principled in both words and actions, and for others to genuinely follow his example. I fear that many, if not most of those 52% who oppose Obamacare are not basing their position on any principled or moral stand. I think one of your callers was trying to make the same point. I’m glad they oppose it at all because that’s better than the alternative. I just don’t think that will translate into 52% of Americans advocating for individual rights and abolishing government schools, entitlement programs etc.
    Would you agree?
    What do you think we (objectivists and non-Objectivists who are rational for the most part) can and should do to help persuade people to activate their minds so that the USA stands a chance at being a society that respects, champions, and exalts the principles that the Founding Fathers recognized and that Ayn Rand perfected; the individual’s inalienable right to life, liberty, property, and the pursuit of happiness?
    I think what you are doing is awesome, and in fact inspired me to start my blog! But how do we get through to those people who wouldn’t even read or listen to us anyway? ….even in face to face conversation – I’m running into brick walls everywhere.

    • Craig

      I find it strange that Objectivists (exactly like libertarians) believe that the only way they can live with any freedom is by begging others to let them.

      • Who’s begging, Craig? From what I can tell, the choices are:
        1) Persuade others to think and act rationally to achieve a life-serving goal
        2) Leave and search for a free society elsewhere
        3) Engage in another bloody revolution
        4) Abandon moral principles, do nothing, ignore the anti-life erosion of individual rights, and ride the liberal statist wave the grave
        5) Abandon moral principles, and embrace collectivism, socialism, Marxism, communism, fascism, egalitarianism, etc.

        Numbers four and five are non-options for me, and of the remaining three, I choose persuasion.

        • *Revision*
          4) . . . ride the liberal statist wave *to* the grave

        • Craig

          Persuasion is basically begging. You are conceding that your ability to live the free life appropriate to a human being is entirely dependent on other people agreeing to let you. And you devote yourself to seeking their permission.

          As to other alternatives, I think Ayn Rand gave the answer when she elaborated on the “sanction of the victim.” It is the producers who have ultimate control and they who give the looters the means to enslave themselves. Seeking permission to live from other people is the principle means by which producers give their sanction.

          Personally, I have chosen to leave the country. Life is too short to spend it as a beggar.

          • I think you’re taking considerable connotative liberty by equating begging with persuading.

            I intend to live among other individuals, and I intend to live completely free to think and act in accordance with my own self-interests. For that to be possible, my individual rights must not be violated. In the event that another individual chooses to enact physical force which would infringe my rights or if an honest dispute must be settled, a proper government belonging to the citizens would be required to protect my rights and to objectively settle such disputes.

            If that society doesn’t exist then I’ll work toward creating it in order to achieve my values.

            Did you discover a country with such freedom, Or have you conceded that a moral society is unachievable and thereby willfully forfeited your freedom?

  3. Craig

    Jonathan,

    “Did you discover a country with such freedom, Or have you conceded that a moral society is unachievable and thereby willfully forfeited your freedom?”

    You will not find any country with the kind of freedom we would both like, of course. However, there are many with a lot more freedom than exists in the US today or will ever exist in the US within my lifetime. Hopefully, you are young enough so that you will have a chance to see better times and I hope that you do.

    • Craig is making a valuable point here: there is no duty to continue to fight for the survival (or revival) of the United States if you think that your values, given the total context, can be best furthered by leaving and withdrawing your efforts. Isn’t this what many of the founders did? The fact that the United States was once the best and most free, most moral nation, does not mean it will ever be again, unfortunately. The difficulty, then, is in making the judgment. Is there another place on earth that is not only more free now, but has the prospect for continued, long-term freedom? Is there another country with a government based, to a significant degree, on the principle of individual rights? What is the sense of life of the people living in that country? Etc.

      Moreover, if you decide to stay here and engage in the fight, you have to make sure that you engage in the fight only to the extent that doing so furthers your values.

      • Tim Peck

        Thanks, Amy. I’ve been looking for that country for some time now, A lot of places have very strict immigration barriers and there is no perfect place, so you have to weigh the pros and cons of each. I’ve wanted to move to New Zealand for several years now but they already have socialized medicine and they require that you be in perfect health to move there (no wonder if everyone is paying for you). And you have to be rich, basically.

        My conclusion is to keep looking, understand the immigration process for the best prospects. Get you passport updated, have your research in place and be ready to go at any time. It’s not easy or cheap. It’s better to be ready well in advance rather than wait until you have to scramble at the last minute and face newly imposed impediments to leaving a bankrupt nation.

        I don’t put it passed them to revoke all current passports and make you sign up for a new one, that is, after you’ve passed their worthiness exams based on your NSA profile.

      • Craig

        “Is there another place on earth that is not only more free now, but has the prospect for continued, long-term freedom?”

        More freedom is possible. But I don’t think future prospects are good anywhere. Nor are good future prospects a realistic criterion. One ought to aim for the best possible prospects, not for perfection.

        “Is there another country with a government based, to a significant degree, on the principle of individual rights?”

        At the present time, not really. However, the US government has no such basis anymore either. And there are many (imperfect) countries in the world that, in practice, respect individual rights to a much greater extent than the US does now.

        Historically, most of the governments of Latin America were originally designed on the basis of the same principles enunciated by the US founders, often without some of the contradictions that marred the US Constitution.

        The most notable case is the Argentine constitution of 1863 which, on the basis of the work of Juan Bautista Alberdi (the “James Madison” of Argentina), is superior in almost all respects to the US Constitution and was responsible for Argentina becoming one of the richest, most advanced, countries in the world in the 50 years after its adoption. Unfortunately, Alberdi’s copious works have never been translated into English!

        However, in Latin America (for various reasons) the founding principles were corrupted much faster than in the US and there has been much greater political instability. Argentina is a basket case that illustrates this fact. Nevertheless, there is still a cultural remnant of the principles of individual rights ideas.

        “What is the sense of life of the people living in that country?”

        In many other countries it is better than that of Americans, who have been proletarianized, indoctrinated by government schools, and are largely committed to fascism. For example, in Latin America the majority of people are self-employed, education is (largely) private and bitter experience has taught people that government control of society is their enemy.

  4. Thank you, Craig. I don’t consider myself too old, although 40 isn’t young by most standards.
    I will consider moving out of the country if it gets to the point where I believe that to be the best option. For now I’ll stay and fight for what’s right.

    • Craig

      Jonathan,

      “For now I’ll stay and fight for what’s right.”

      If you enjoy doing that for its own sake, more power to you. You will improve my world. Thanks.

      However, don’t do it out of a sense of duty. And it would be a mistake to expect such efforts to be instrumental; that is, that they could possibly be repaid with sufficient social change to serve some other life end. On the other hand, as a side effect, they could lead to valuable personal contacts that would be useful for your life ends.

      “I will consider moving out of the country if it gets to the point where I believe that to be the best option.”

      Bear in mind that by that point the borders will probably be closed and you will no longer have the option.

      • Thank you both, Craig and Amy. This is all good advise.
        You have given me much to consider. The decision to leave at this point would definitely be a difficult one. Obviously, the worse that things get in the U.S. the easier that decision will become. I have traveled the world extensively, – more than most – and I have seen a lot of what is out there. The option of relocating is not out of the question.

        Honestly, I hadn’t even considered the borders being closed, but I know no reason to think that couldn’t happen.

        My choice to continue engaging in the fight is purely selfish and by no means out of a sense of duty.

        I don’t necessarily believe that the U.S. is past the point of no return. However, I am keenly aware that the odds of attaining the goal of a moral society are stacked against those of us that desire that. If I thought it was a lost cause I would not finish out my military career. I would do my best to persuade my wife and those whom I value to accompany me and act on a plan to pursue my happiness elsewhere.

        My efforts are unlikely to result in achieving the moral, individual rights respecting, egoist, capitalist society in my lifetime. However, I believe that a key short term goal to further the possibility of that achievement is to dislodge the statists’ influence over the minds of the citizens; loosen their grip on education at all levels. I see an interim goal like that as being worthy and achievable, and I, for one, would value the increase of rational thinkers that would result from it.

        Additionally, the act of virtuously fighting for the good, the just, and the moral is all part of my pursuit of happiness. It is not some issued task, some duty, or some hole of assigned responsibility that I must begrudgingly dig myself out of in disgust in order to resume my pursuit. As long as my efforts are productive I will earn pride as a spiritual reward and fuel to continue being productive.

        If the proper society already existed somewhere, of course I would go there and be happily productive. So long as it does not exist, I’ll be happily productive while fighting to achieve it.

        Thank you for engaging me in this discussion. I’ve enjoyed it.

  5. Michael Pizolato

    I will live my life in whatever place and in whatever manner best serves my values. Right now, given my total context, that’s in the U.S. in a “virtual Galt’s Gulch” I have created for myself. “The world” takes as little of me as I can manage to give up to its extortion, and I pursue my values in a way that maximizes that minimization, so to speak. I produce my values in such a way that the barest minimum is vulnerable to confiscation.

    I take some political action, but in the form of demands. I never comply with the violation of my rights, letting the evil show itself for what it is.

    I’m not loyal to my country, I’m loyal to my life and the principles by which it can thrive. My country should recognize and respect me and those principles, and I require that it does before it gets my support.

    In other words, I’m on strike.

  6. Ed Mazlish

    This is an interesting discussion that I’m glad I found. I thank Craig for having the courage to say what he has said. I would like to add couple of points.

    The full context of a “persuasion/change the culture” strategy needs to take into account the fact that Objectivists are not the only ones trying to change the culture. The Left is at war with American culture, and by means of Common Core and immigration policies, the Left intends to make and import, respectively, tens of millions of statist robots who will be impervious to any persuasion efforts we might make.

    Common Core is not simply just another facet of government run schools – it is the final endgame which will propagandize the Left’s view as truth to all schoolchildren, including those in private schools and any homeschoolers who intend to take standardized tests (such as those administered by the College Board). The children who become adults based on this curriculum will not be reachable – not any more reachable than the barbarian jihadists who blow themselves up.

    As if creating citizens at home indoctrinated with statism wasn’t enough, the Left also seeks to import statists from abroad to further ensure that their totalitarianism gets the sanction of a public vote.

    In that context, with the Left creating and importing tens of millions of statists at a time, how can our efforts to persuade at a rate of thousands or even tens of thousands at a time be meaningful? We are in the process of being overrun – and our side doesn’t know it, doesn’t acknowledge it and is is not fighting the Left where it matters.

    If you have ever handed a copy of Atlas Shrugged/The Fountainhead to someone who simply could not understand it – that is what is in store for the adult population we will have in the 2030s, 2040s and beyond.

    In addition to suggesting that we fight the Left on Common Core and immigration with the same fervor that we fight the Left on Obamacare, I have one other suggestion/observation. Persuasion and Departure are not the only possible solutions. Ayn Rand offered another possibility: separation. And I am not just talking about a Galt’s Gulch, though I don’t rule that out. But there is also the possibility of living off the grid. And, much as I do not like even contemplating this, we also have to think about whether maintaining the territorial integrity of the US as is helps our cause. Does it really help us to be in a union with the people of Detroit? With the people of California? I think it is at least worth considering the possibility that union is not in our interest, and that a peaceful separation would be preferable to letting our rights rot away.

    It might be easier to fight the social conservatives if the Red States were to dis-unite with the Blue States and we did not have to worry about an Obama becoming president if we opposed a Santorum. In the case of the Blue States as a separate entity, I don’t see a lot of hope at persuasion, but I do think it is worth considering whether the ideas of Ayn Rand might get a better hearing from them if we were not grouped with the social conservatives.

    For anyone interested, I had a good discussion of some of these issues on my Facebook wall. The link is here:

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  8. Ed, I think you raise some interesting points regarding the “indoctrinated” and “imported” statist “robots.” I agree that they will be impervious to persuasion through reason.

    There’s no need to wait until the 2030s, I already see that with people of all ages; hence, my remark in my first comment to this post, “I’m running into brick walls everywhere.”

    You make the case that, through Common Core and immigration policies, we are being overrun and outnumbered in terms of the rational thinkers vs. irrational and non-thinkers. What I have learned about Common Core is alarming, although I admit I don’t know as much about it as I probably should. I’d say that we are definitely outnumbered, and it will continue to get a lot worse if we allow it to.

    You present the option of peaceful separation via severing the red states from the blue states. It is intriguing, and the idea of simply not having to deal with the leftists ideas and intrusions any more is appealing. However, I fail to see how achieving that outcome will be any less difficult than fighting the influence that the leftists/statists have on people’s minds through public education and other forms of indoctrination.

    Even if peaceful separation were achieved, then I think we could expect to be heavily involved in wars on our own soil for years to come. Not necessarily war against the “blues,” but war against ambitious power lusters and those who will seize the opportunity to attack this new and smaller country while we are at our most vulnerable. This could lead to us receiving military assistance from the “United Socialist States of America.” They would save us from the other bad guys, become heroes, and then we would be fighting to keep their socialist ideas from infecting our recently emancipated society.

    If we’re going to go through that, why not engage in another revolution or a civil war and attempt to retain all the U.S. territory? I’m not advocating that, but I don’t think it would be any worse than what a separation could result in.

    I’d rather follow Craig’s lead and relocate than to go through that.

    From reading your post and your rational discussion about this on your Facebook page, I can see you’ve put some thought into this, so you might be able to convince me with reason.

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