<< ARI Watch

Contra Trump

Written during the 2016 presidential campaign.

Count on Harry Binswanger to blurt out what Yaron Brook only insinuates:  In the coming presidential race Trump vs. Hillary:  “I will either not vote, or vote for Hillary.”

Thus Mr. Binswanger begins his article “Trump is a New Level of Bad” dated June 6, 2016.  He will work to defeat Trump and elect Hillary, and wants you to do the same.

He admits that Hillary is “despicable” – his word – but mentions no particulars. Given his opposition to restrictions on immigration doubtless he approves of Hillary’s plan, if and when president, to grant a mass amnesty and allow an immigration surge – a Third World immigration surge – so there must be something else about her that he finds despicable. But whatever her despicablenesses they pale against the prospect of Trump – whose immigration plan is the opposite of Hillary’s – becoming president.

Mr. Binswanger softens “despicable” by saying Hillary is no worse “than Obama ... or than many previous presidents.”  That ought to cheer up an Ayn Rand Institute acolyte on election day as he enters the polling booth and pulls the lever for Hillary.

... What’s an acolyte?

A follower, Froggy, peppered with irrationality and servility.

... Why don’t you just say mindless follower so a person can unders—

Look, just pretend I typed mindless follower, OK?  Now where was I?

... Cheerful Objectivists everywhere are pulling on Hillary.

That’s not quite what I said.  Anyway, Mr. Binswanger doesn’t spend much time on Hillary, his focus is Trump. Mr. Binswanger really hates Trump. Anybody is better than him. Trump isn’t just despicable, he  “brings to the presidential race a new kind of bad.”

Trump, continues Mr. Binswanger, showed himself to be a spiteful adolescent bully by calling Cruz (I would have said that liar Cruz)  “Lyin’ Ted.”  Though Mr. Binswanger doesn’t mention it, apparently Trump is also a spiteful adolescent bully for calling Hillary (I would say, that crook Hillary)  “Crooked Hillary.”  Now isn’t that mean of Trump?  Doesn’t that make you think “new kind of bad” every time he says it?  I’m being sarcastic.

That’s not all. According to Mr. Binswanger, Trump believes “every social problem is due to ... Mexicans, Chinese, women, etc.”  The et cetera might give Mr. Binswanger some wiggle room but not enough to make a fact out of fantasy. Set aside women. Immigration causes some social problems, some terrible ones in fact, but no one, certainly not Trump, says immigration causes all social problems. [1]  Mr. Brinswanger indulges in the same fantasy as Yaron Brook: replacing all with some.

As for women, Mr. Binswanger wins a million dollars if he can cite Trump saying “Women cause social problems.”

Like Mr. Brook, Mr. Binswanger compares Donald Trump to Adolf Hitler, calling him “a Führer figure” to the American public – the stupid and gullible American public, though he leaves stupid and gullible to your imagination. Mr. Binswanger goes on to claim that Trump “asks us to substitute for ideas” his claim to “shrewdness,” “conniving, and strength.”

Mr. Binswanger then abandons Adolf Hitler and, pretending to be at a loss for words, substitutes another man.  “Trump wants to turn America into [ellipsis in original] ... what?  Argentina under Peron?”

To be sure, after Hillary America will eventually turn into a combination of Mexico, Asia and Africa, but that’s fine with Binswanger, who – to repeat – has long advocated open borders. [2]

Mr. Binswanger objects to Trump’s campaign slogan “Make America Great Again,”  saying that Trump doesn’t understand the greatness he would restore:

“[Trump] has no standard, no political ideology, no principles, no consistency – not even over the course of an hour. He brandishes a new level of pragmatism: not merely opposition to principles, but unawareness of there being such a thing as principles. ... Trump doesn’t even know about such things as right and wrong.”
Now that’s bad. Maybe not a new kind of bad, there are the darker corners of the psychopathic ward, but you have to admit pretty awful.

... He’s bad, bad, Leroy Brown. The baddest man in the whole damn town. Badder than ol—

OK Froggy, that’s enough.  Mr. Binswanger isn’t done yet. To adapt a line from Rand’s introduction to The Night of January 16th,  Trump’s candidacy has been like an explosion throwing up a storm of dust and muck – a storm of peculiarly virulent denunciations:
“[Trump has] no intellectual framework, no moral framework, no abstract understanding of alternative courses of action, Trump lurches about at random. Since random actions produce destruction ..., a Trump presidency could only wreak havoc on this country. ... Trump is The Chaos Candidate.”
... AUGH !  The Chaos Candidate !

— echoing an epithet the neocon Jeb Bush threw against Trump during the Republican debates.  Beat it Froggy.

Now the strange thing about all this is that I have not omitted the particulars. He doesn’t even try to back up his slurs; he gives no facts, no examples. It would be rather difficult. How did a deranged psychopath, first in New York City, then the U.S., then the world, lurching about at random, lying and cheating right and left, create beautiful buildings and earn a handsome profit doing it? [3]

Mr. Binswanger concludes as he began, saying Hillary would make a much better president than Trump. No psychopath she apparently, knowing right from wrong as she does, principled and steadfast as she is. In what follows “strongman” means fascist dictator, think Mussolini (emphasis Mr. Binswanger’s, bolded in the original so you wouldn’t miss it):

“Trump as president could damage America much more than Hillary ever could. It’s not only the practical disasters he can visit upon us, a Trump victory would carry and amplify a lethal philosophic message:  Don’t think, just trust in a strongman.

“Adherents of a philosophy upholding rationality as the essence of moral virtue [that is, adherents of Objectivism like Mr. Binswanger] can do nothing but shudder at the prospect.”

Far from rational, Mr. Binswanger’s performance in this article is an extended exercise in rationaloism.  He imagines a phantom villain, projects it onto Trump, and argues logically from there. The argument might sound good, but the premise behind it is Mr. Binswanger’s perfervid daydream, completely detached from reality.

... Badder than old King Ko-n-g, and meaner than a junkyard dog.

Froggy, you slay me.

continued >>

1  See  Fear and Loathing of Donald Trump  on this website.

2  See  Open Borders and Individual Rights  on this website.

3  For an apolitical review of Trump’s New York City building career warts and all, see
“The Trump Card”  by Robert Masello
Town & Country  August 3, 2015