<< ARI Watch

Fear and Loathing of Donald Trump
– and those who support him –


This was written in 2016 during the presidential campaign. It remains timely because the Ayn Rand Institute continues to trash Trump using the same arguments addressed here.

Introduction  · The New Enemy  · BlogTalk 1  ·  BlogTalk 2  ·  Podcast 1  ·  BlogTalk 3  ·  Podcast 2  ·  Conclusion

Introduction

Donald Trump is a real estate developer. He master-manages the design, construction and management of office buildings, hotels and residential buildings at the high-end of the market. He has been extraordinarily successful, starting with a few million dollars inherited as a young man and turning it into several billion. [1]

How did he do it?  If the organized Objectivists at the Ayn Rand Institute – call them OrgOists – can be believed, he used the pragmatic approach, pragmatic in the philosophical sense of the word. He unthinkingly purchased a plot of land, chose a random architect, random general contractors, random equipment manufacturers, random managers, and when the building fell down he scrapped it and started over again. And again, until eventually the building stood up, at least for a while – until “it worked.”

Yes, it’s ridiculous. The equivalent of The Three Stooges didn’t build New York City’s Trump Tower. The OrgOists refuse to see the focus and dedication it took Trump to build, time and again, “on time, under budget, top quality” to quote one admirer. The OrgOists sneer “Trump is a pragmatist.” You should be so pragmatic. [1a]

Some of OrgOists’ followers argue as follows:  “So what if Trump is now worth ten billion dollars. If he had simply invested his inheritance in the Standard & Poor 500, sat back and done nothing, the money would have grown automatically to more than that.”  I don’t believe it [1 again]  but more to the point: Who the hell do they think does the growing? Compound interest only appears to be automatic. If there are no producers there is nothing for investors to invest in and no interest to compound. Trump chose to be a producer. Good for him turning millions into billions, not “so what.”

When Trump holds a rally at an aircraft hanger his supporters cheer when his personal 757 glides down for a landing. Contrary to what Yaron Brook has said on occasion (he’s not consistent on the subject) [2]  Americans – excepting intellectuals and leftists – love the rich who earned their money. From “A Nation’s Unity” Part III, The Ayn Rand Letter dated November 6, 1972:


“The American people, including the poorest, have never regarded themselves as humble mendicants waiting to be helped. Nor have they ever resented the rich and the successful; to most Americans, the successful are not objects of envy and hatred, but of inspiration. An American worker, properly, identifies with his boss ... rather than with a welfare recipient.”
And: [3]
“Americans admire achievement; they know what it takes.”

Trump also created and starred in a popular television program called “The Apprentice.” Back in 2004, long before Trump’s presidential aspirations, Harry Binswanger said the show

“... was a weekly demonstration that success is not a matter of ‘the old-boy network’ or ‘exploitation’ or any of the vicious leftist caricatures, but of hard work, planning, courage, and practical wisdom.

“But deeper than that is the show’s sense of life. Wordlessly, it conveys the sense that wealth is good, achievement is good, ambition matters, success is attainable – that enjoying life on this earth is good. It is a concretization of ‘The American Dream.’  [4]

From what I’ve read about “The Apprentice” (I’ve never seen it) Mr. Binswanger is right. But that was then. Now that Trump has come out for restricting immigration, which today means Third World immigration, and has a chance at actually doing something about it, Mr. Binswanger – an immigration enthusiast (yes, it matters) – invokes Ayn Rand’s name to trash the man: [5]

“What the anti-Trump forces (which I count myself among) should be pointing out is that much (all?) of his gains are ill-gotten: governmental loans, special privileges, eminent domain, etc. mark him as, in Ayn Rand’s phrase a money-appropriator not a money-maker.”

Let’s look at this in detail. Mr. Binswanger suggests that all of what Trump gained he stole. Trump is not only The Three Stooges but a combination of John Dillinger and NASA too. Mr. Binswanger lists several avenues of Trump’s allegedly ill-gotten wealth:

1. government loans

2. special privileges

3. eminent domain

4. etc.

About the third, eminent domain. Trump lost money trying to use eminent domain, twice: once in the U.S. and once in Scotland. He tried but lost in court both times. Financially they were losses. (Of course he shouldn’t have tried but that’s not the issue here.)

Mr. Binswanger’s second avenue, special privileges, refers to  (A) being allowed to bypass local regulations that shouldn’t have been in force in the first place,  (B) getting abatements of taxes that shouldn’t have been levied anyway. [6]

Trump donated to politicians to, in effect, bribe them so he could do what he would have been free to do in a capitalist society. You could as well trash the fictional Taggart Transcontinental Railroad considering its fictional history.

Now that Trump is financially independent he is exposing the bribery in order to end it, like no one before. From the unlikely quarter of the “plutocrats” he has come in like a wrecking ball, cracking open the Republican Party and revealing its collusion with the Democratic against the middle class.

As for the first avenue of ill-gotten wealth, government loans, Mr. Binswanger provides no reference. All one can find is Mainstream Media commentators calling tax deferrals “loans.”

Mr. Binswanger’s fourth avenue – “etc.” – is just rhetorical propaganda. He has no cetera to add.

In conclusion, Trump may not be an Objectivist like Mr. Binswanger, but he earned most – as in almost all – of his wealth. [7]

The Ayn Rand Institute runs a blog called “Voices for Reason.” The entry for October 15, 2015 is titled “Donald Trump and the Anatomy of Cronyism” by Steve Simpson. Mr. Simpson retails the same claims as Mr. Binswanger. In particular, oblivious to fact Mr. Simpson repeatedly says that Trump used eminent domain to enrich himself. Again, it’s too bad Trump tried, but in the event he failed.

ARI’s interest in eminent domain begins and ends with Trump, there is absolutely nothing from them on the subject before his candidacy or in reference to any other person. Where were they when the Keystone XL pipeline, which involved massive use of (or the threat of using) eminent domain, was being built?  In the very same “Voices for Reason” blog, the entry dated May 13, 2013 praises the Keystone pipeline without qualification. [8]  Eminent domain was not so important to ARI, then.

From the beginning of the presidential race most of the candidates, including Cruz (who later lied about it), approved of eminent domain it’s just that Trump, because of the spotlight placed on every aspect of his career, has had to voice his approval. Trump’s supporters don’t get upset over this, or his positions on other lesser issues, because he distinguishes himself on the paramount issue of our time, the immigration disaster, and on other matters that affect everyone everyday.

Trump’s stand against immigration enthusiasm, give-away globalism and the neocons’ endless war is the real reason the people at ARI hate Trump. That hatred makes them cast about ferreting out flaws, straining to see evil. They pour over his every utterance and bend over backwards to find the worst interpretation of which they can conceive. “Trump is a fascist,” “Trump might gun down people on Fifth Avenue,” etc.

Trump couldn’t have master-managed the building of New York City and Chicago skyscrapers [9]  were he the dishonest lout ARI makes him out to be. His honesty and intelligence in that endeavor carries over to his presidential run. Though far from ideal, Trump is more honest and intelligent than any politician we’ve seen in many a year. He doesn’t deserve to be trashed because of ill-considered braggadocio.

OrgOists at ARI insinuate that Trump is the second coming of Hitler, but to my knowledge they haven’t gone as far as some other Jewish groups. At his rallies Trump sometimes whimsically asks the audience to raise their hands and pledge that on election day whatever the weather they will show up and vote. A video shows Trump smiling with bent elbow, holding up his forearm, and most of the people in the audience raising their hands as if in a classroom. It might all seem a little silly, but in the calculus of politics supporters who stay at home on election day count as zero supporters. The pledge stunt helps get them to show up at the polls.

Innocent enough you say, but then you might not be into Jewish culture. Consider this from “Stop it now, Donald Trump!” by Joanne Palmer, editor of the New Jersey Jewish Standard (associated with The Times of Israel), our exterior quote marks omitted:

[Trump] has begun to ask his audiences to give a stiff-armed salute. The gesture is a pledge to Mr. Trump. He is quoted as saying, at a North Carolina rally: “Raise your right hand. ‘I do solemnly swear that I – no matter how I feel, no matter what the conditions, if there’s hurricanes or whatever – will vote, on or before the 12th, for Donald J. Trump for president.’ 

On its face, that is odd. But when you look at – when you see videos or still shots of this salute – it is chilling.

It is a Nazi salute.

Abraham Foxman, who survived the Holocaust as a small child and retired last summer as the longtime head of the Anti-Defamation League, finds the gesture chilling.
... AUGH !  Hitler in the flesh, right on my TV screen !  Look at them:  Sieg Heil !  Sieg Heil !  Sieg—

Calm down Froggy.  What is chilling – and comic – is that there are these dumb, neurotic Jews running around.  Do they really expect people to believe them?  Not since the Barry Goldwater campaign of 1964 has there been such smearing of a candidate. [10]

After the Republican Committee peremptorily cancelled the Colorado primary election and gave all the delegates to Cruz, Trump wrote in a Wall Street Journal op-ed dated April 14, 2016 (our exterior quote marks omitted):

On Saturday, April 9, Colorado had an “election” without voters. Delegates were chosen on behalf of a presidential nominee, yet the people of Colorado were not able to cast their ballots to say which nominee they preferred.

A planned vote had been canceled. And one million Republicans in Colorado were sidelined.

In recent days, something all too predictable has happened: Politicians furiously defended the system. “These are the rules,” we were told over and over again. If the “rules” can be used to block Coloradans from voting on whether they want better trade deals, or stronger borders, or an end to special-interest vote-buying in Congress – well, that’s just the system and we should embrace it.
...
Responsible leaders should be shocked by the idea that party officials can simply cancel elections in America if they don’t like what the voters may decide.

The only antidote to decades of ruinous rule by a small handful of elites is a bold infusion of popular will. On every major issue affecting this country, the people are right and the governing elite are wrong. The elites are wrong on taxes, on the size of government, on trade, on immigration, on foreign policy.

Why should we trust the people who have made every wrong decision to substitute their will for America’s ... in this presidential election? [11]
... AUGH Triumph of the Will !  Nazis in our midst !  If Trump becomes president we’re all gonna die !

Froggy, you’ve been listening to way too much ARI material.

What did the OrgOists at the so-called Ayn Rand Institute make of Cruz’s disenfranchising Colorado voters? And for that matter of the RNC shenanigans in Maine, Louisiana and Arizona?

[This space intentionally left blank.]

A similar mental blank-out afflicts OrgOists regarding freedom of speech. They’re all for it when it comes to cartoons of Muhammad, but when thugs disrupt the rallies of a certain presidential candidate – a violent mob in Chicago even caused a rally to be cancelled –

[This space intentionally left blank.]

A major disruption of the political process was worth commenting on, much more so than some of the other events they write about, yet there was nothing.

In the presidential race of 2012 Mitt Romney chose Paul Ryan for his running mate, that is, Ryan would have been vice president had Romney been elected president. Journalists soon discovered that Ryan had once been an admirer of Rand, and Ryan quickly said he had since reconsidered and now rejects her philosophy.

Donald Trump admires Rand and is proud to say so. Kirsten Powers of USA Today interviewed him April 7, 2016 and her account was published April 12 with the title “Donald Trump’s ‘Kinder, Gentler’ Version.”  She says that during the interview “Trump described himself as an Ayn Rand fan.” He expressed his admiration for the novel The Fountainhead  by saying that it (now quoting Trump) “relates to business, beauty, life and inner emotions. That book relates to ... everything.” (Apparently the ellipsis indicates a pause rather than an omission.) Not the most profound synopsis we’ve ever heard but not too bad for an off-the-cuff statement in the unsophisticated words of no more than three syllables Trump is known for.

So far OrgOists have ignored Trump’s endorsement, but some of their fellow travelers, such as Robert Tracinski (formerly of ARI’s inner circle), have commented on it. They argue as follows (paraphrasing):  “Roark didn’t care what people thought of him, Trump cares very much what people – the American public – think of him, therefore Trump is like Keating, not Roark.”  I am not making this up. They might as well trash Ayn Rand, who spent her life trying to persuade people to her way of thinking. In both cases, caring what certain people think about you comes with the job. It doesn’t mean you’re a weathervane.

Trump didn’t increase his money a thousand-fold by following the herd. He exhibited extraordinary independence in business as he now does in politics. Trump in fact doesn’t care what the donor lobby, the media, political commentators, self-styled intellectuals think of him. He speaks his mind regardless. The Mainstream Media – liberal / neocon dominated – would not be talking about our immigration disaster today were it not for Trump. By largely funding his own campaign he stays independent of the Republican machine and of any donor or lobbyist group money and consequent backroom deals.

As we shall see, the OrgOists say no, Trump is not independent, he depends on the voters – as if that were news and bad news at that.

The old-fashioned phrase “perish the thought” comes to mind as I write the following. Trump is a brave man. Holding the truly patriotic positions he does, in the face of the dark forces of opposition arrayed against him, he runs a very real risk of an assassination attempt. This becomes especially true with all the “Trump is a fascist, Trump is Hitler” rhetoric being slung around – and OrgOists are doing their share of the slinging.

I don’t want to make too much of Trump’s endorsement of The Fountainhead  but at least it shows he has some backbone. Trump must know that in the popular mind Ayn Rand is practically synonymous with capitalism, which is why Ryan thought he had to distance himself from her. Despite some inconsistencies, at least on an implicit level Trump understands the moral meaning of capitalism, and this is why he is proud of his wealth.

And it is why OrgOists are desperate to disparage that wealth.

For what it’s worth Trump’s daughter Ivanka, also in real estate development, is a fan of Atlas Shrugged.  George Gurley interviewed her for Marie Claire magazine (January 29, 2007):  “On her shelves are a half-dozen books written by her father, the same number about her father, finance and real-estate textbooks, and a well-thumbed copy of Ayn Rand’s Atlas Shrugged.”  Unfortunately he didn’t pursue the subject.  On April 28, 2010 when someone tweeted to Ivanka “You remind me of Dagny Taggart from Atlas Shrugged.” she tweeted back “That’s a great compliment. Thanks!”

The New Enemy

Donald Trump did not transform the American people and lead them astray, as some of his detractors claim, the American people found a spokesman in Donald Trump. He is the candidate who is sincerely expressing their concerns: global giveaways, endless war, government corruption, and especially national sovereignty and immigration. Above all, he appeals to their “sense of life,” to use Rand’s phrase, which I assume the reader is familiar with. The globalists and Cultural Leftists had seemed invincible. Trump showed how contemptibly small they really are.

Consequently Trump has become incredibly popular with Americans, and feared and loathed by what I’ll call “the Establishment.”  There has been nothing like it in my lifetime.  Rand once wrote: [12]


“If America is to be saved from destruction – specifically, from dictatorship – she will be saved by her sense of life.”
And
“Can this country achieve a peaceful rebirth in the foreseeable future? By all precedents, it is not likely. But America is an unprecedented phenomenon. In the past, American perseverance became, on occasion, too long-bearing a patience. But when Americans turned, they turned.”

She then refers to turning against the Welfare State. Yet even before she wrote this the leftists had found a far more insidious method to destroy America (and Britain and Europe):  demographic replacement.  Today, almost fifty years later, we see that effort coming to fruition.  (See  Immigration Enthusiasts  on this website.)

Rand saw statism as the most important issue of her day. Since then our situation has deteriorated in a way I don’t think even she could have imagined. Mass immigration is slowly undermining America beyond mere statism. Americans aren’t just being pushed around, they’re being pushed into oblivion.

Americans never voted for their destruction, it was forced on them from above. They cannot just turn away from it, they must turn against the elites who imposed mass immigration on them. It is the immigration enthusiasts whom Americans must fight, and that is exactly what they’re doing.

White demise is the issue of our day. It’s not just that immigration must be stopped before, or simultaneously with, the welfare state or you can forget about capitalism, it’s that the historic American people are the primary value, then we can talk about capitalism.

... White demise?  Historic Americans?  Why you dirty racist !  Racist, racist, RACIST,  racist racist racist ra—  GASP!

Froggy, speak to me!  Get up you little faker!  Well, it seems Froggy has passed out from an access of white liberal angst, which even this amphibious sport seems to have internalized.

We can recover from a communist dictatorship – as the Pilgrim Colony did after its first year – we will never recover from dropping through the trapdoor of being swamped and replaced, becoming what Obama approvingly calls “a hodgepodge.” [13]  We must support Trump because his position on immigration is a big step in the right direction. The valid criticisms that can be made against him simply do not matter compared with this.

Yet in the world of Yaron Brook’s Ayn Rand Institute anyone who supports Trump is helping pave the way to a Christian theocracy.  Read on !

Blog Talk Radio 1

We now consider in detail what Yaron Brook has to say about Donald Trump.

Mr. Brook titled his BlogTalkRadio show of July 20, 2015 “Is America Ready for Socialism.”  From the part about Trump:

“He has crazy views on many issues. Particularly on immigration, on illegal immigrants, I think his views are nutty. ... His stuff on trade is nutty. He’s not a free-trader. Indeed Donald Trump is not a capitalist. He doesn’t believe in freedom, he doesn’t believe in capitalism.  Donald Trump is a statist. ... He’s somebody who’s made his wealth by using eminent domain. He’s made his wealth often by playing the legal system to his advantage in ways that are borderline immoral if maybe illegal. He is a bombastic, crude human being who should not be president of the United States.”
... Mark?

Glad to see you’ve recovered, Froggy.  What is it?

... Is Trump really going to throw bombs at us?

Bombast is speech meant to sound impressive but isn’t sincere or meaningful. Bombastic means pompous.  After trashing Trump Mr. Brook says of Americans:
“But it’s exactly that bombastic nature, it’s exactly that crudeness ... that I think people are enjoying.”
And “finding it refreshing” – apparently Americans want a clown.  Then he changes tack:
“... the American people, many of the American people, are xenophobic, hate immigrants and ... really hate free trade.”
Americans don’t fear Third World immigrants, they just don’t want them here, and they’re beginning to hate those who got them in.  As for trade, what they hate are NAFTA, GATT and TPP, which erode national sovereignty and are anything but free trade with free countries.

Trade policy has been a contentious subject throughout America’s history. Mr. Brook puffs up the issue out of all proportion to its importance. As we shall see, his argument is (paraphrasing):  Trump opposes entirely free trade, therefore Trump opposes freedom. [14]

“He’s entertaining, but at the end of the day he’s gonna hurt the Republican Party ... because he’s a populist who just sounds like an idiot.”
Mr. Brook later says that what will make the Republican nomination interesting is the question of:
“... individualism versus populism;  capitalism, free markets versus populism.  And populism by its very nature is collectivistic, populism by its very nature is appealing to the emotion of the largest group out there. Populism by its nature is an appeal to collective values.”
Mr. Brook equivocates between “populist” in the sense of appealing to people’s venality – like Hughy Long in the 1930s with his  Share Our Wealth movement  – and “popular” in the sense of people liking someone. Ayn Rand was popular, therefore she and her admirers are collectivists – it’s a fallacious argument. People like what Trump says, then because Mr. Brook does not he smears him as a populist and the public as mendacious fools.

To repeat, Trump is popular because he addresses Americans’ concerns. Whether he is right or wrong is another question. As argued in my introduction, by and large I think he, and the American public, are right.

At the end of a section about the success of the Left, before making another point about Trump, Mr. Brook says of Bernie Sanders’ popularity among Democrats:

“What we’re seeing today is a real rise in a radical leftist perspective, in the radical leftist ideology, and a resonance with the American people ...”
Mr. Brook does not include in the leftist perspective what is a  sine qua non  of leftism:  unrestricted, egalitarian, immigration.  After saying that the resonance of Sanders’ socialism with Democrats is unprecedented – it isn’t – Mr. Brook slides into the subject of Trump, not too logically:
“... and this is why somebody like Trump can be successful, because he’s a populist, because he’s not a capitalist, because he doesn’t believe in freedom, because he doesn’t believe in individualism—”
We interrupt.  Mr. Brook projects his own fairytale onto Trump reminiscent of his slur against Ron Paul during the last Republican nomination:  “There’s something about Ron Paul that strikes me, that underneath he’s anti-business and particularly anti-banking, and not just in the crony sense but in the more fundamental sense.” [15]  A complete fantasy. Ron Paul was the most pro-business candidate since Goldwater.

Projecting fairytales onto Trump will become Mr. Brook’s modus operandi.  To quote Encyclopædia Britannica: “Some burglars become so attached to their modus operandi that they burglarize the same places or people again and again.”

Returning to Mr. Brook’s current talk, why is Trump all those bad things:  not a capitalist, doesn’t believe in freedom, doesn’t believe in individualism?

“... because he plays to the anti-trade, anti-immigration fears that are so prevalent among Americans. He plays into the anti-Wall Street, anti-big corporation—”
At this point Mr. Brook suddenly adopts a new tone of voice, mocking, nasty and even more abrasively muscular than usual:
“Oh he made it by himself. He’s rich but he made it by himself. And he stands up to the powers that be. He’s an outsider. He’s not one of those corporate guys. He’s not one of those kinda old wealth guys.  He made it himself.”
Mr. Brook immediately drops the mocking tone (recall Obama’s “You didn’t build that.”):
“Ah he made it himself by playing the system. But, and this is why I don’t think he can win, this is why ultimately Americans will reject him. [Sighs with exasperation.] But it’s scary out there.”

Yes, the prospect of an immigration patriot, even a halfway one, becoming president would scare the pants off a Cultural Marxist. [16]

Blog Talk Radio 2

During the last Republican nomination Yaron Brook said, “I just hope Ron Paul goes away.” [15 again]  He got his wish.  Doubtless he hopes Donald Trump would go away but knows it doesn’t look good. Mr. Brook called his BlogTalkRadio show of February 13, 2016  “Donald Trump – What’s to Like?”  Mr. Brook begins with a disclaimer:

“... anything I say here pro Trump, against Trump, is not a reflection of my political views. [Laughs.] Have to do that, sorry. You know the Ayn Rand Institute is a 501c3 corporation and as such the IRS prohibits us from taking ... explicitly political positions.”
Anyone who donates to the Ayn Rand Institute helps finance a smear campaign against Donald Trump, and helps finance pro immigration enthusiast propaganda generally. For example, in 2013 they supported the Rubio-Schumer amnesty / immigration surge bill.

Mr. Brook divides the show into two halves, the positive things about Trump (they only seem positive) and the negative.

He begins by asking:  What is it about Trump that appeals most to the American public?

“I think it’s ... that he’s not a politician, that he says whatever comes to his mind ... He’s not trying to be PC. He’s not trying to play people. I mean, I think he is  trying to play people, but in a different sense. People don’t get that he’s trying to play with them. ... People don’t get the sense that he’s trying to manipulate some groups or curry favor with certain political constituencies. Now he’s doing that, he’s doing that, but he doesn’t give the sense that he is.”
In each apple of Mr. Brook’s praise there is a worm.

During this someone “chats” that Trump is a masterful speaker.  Mr. Brook replies:

“He’s an awful speaker. ... He says absolutely nothing – over and over and over again.”
Apparently a sum of zeroes made Mr. Brook and legions of other establishment types go off their feed.
“... you get a sense of sincerity, you get a sense [that] Donald Trump is actually saying what Donald Trump actually thinks. ... his speeches are complete and utter ramblings, and he plays the crowd ... he knows how to play the crowd.”
...
“... off the cuff, he says stupid stuff often ... But he says it, and people respect the fact that he says it. ... people don’t care, people just don’t care. Because what they value is the fact that he speaks his mind.”
Mr. Brook strains to avoid admitting that what  Trump says, not just the manner in which he says it, is what people value. If Trump were to say, in a forthright, plainspoken manner, that he would try to get Congress to confiscate your savings account and add it to the Social Security fund, you can bet people would despise him. Trump’s manner is the frosting on the cake of his meaning – a cake whose existence Mr. Brook denies. The frosting is attractive but inessential.

True, Trump has said some stupid things on occasion, especially in interviews when he had to answer out of the blue questions from belligerent newsmen. As Mr. Brook correctly points out: I don’t care. They are inconsequential stupid things uttered once in the air rather than repeated or graven in a considered document. It’s too bad but not a deal-breaker. To change the metaphor, Trump’s supporters are capable of separating the wheat from the chaff, whereas OrgOists grasp at the chaff.  Later Mr. Brook says:

“So Trump doesn’t play games, well again he plays games ... they’re not the typical games. He calls it like it is, at least like he sees it. It’s not actually like it is, but like he sees it.”
Apple and worm.  Now consider this bit of projection, for Mr. Brook here describes himself without being aware of it.  Mr. Brook says the public is sick of
“... the intellectuals of this country sneering at the people, telling them that they’re worthless, telling them that they don’t know what they want.”
He then tells us what he thinks of the public:
“One of the things that really excites people about Trump ... is the fact that he’s not ... pandering to – I mean he’s pandering but he’s not pandering to interest groups, to pressure groups. ... He has the money ... he doesn’t need to pander to all kinds of groups that want particular things ... it’s not pandering to the pressure groups, it’s pandering to ... the ultimate pressure group which is the people, particularly simpler people, who rally to his cause because he panders to them.”

The voters are no better than a pressure group, and those who support Trump are a pack of simpletons.  Got it.  Later Mr. Brook says:
“One of his virtues, and again it’s a very mixed virtue because none of Donald Trump’s virtues are ... actually real, they are all double-sided. But one of his virtues is that he does not accept altruism ... [in] American foreign policy.”
Mr. Brook goes on to say that Trump has no coherent foreign policy but at least he wants to pull the U.S. out of NATO because we get nothing in return for defending Japan, Germany, Estonia etc.
“... he’s got this real spirit of pro-American foreign policy that is not gonna put up with altruism ... Now ... if he ever wins, I don’t think any of this holds, I don’t think he would do any of this. ... because there’s no principle here ... Because once he has to execute he’s gonna get advisors, he’s gonna get people who give him advice pro or con and he’s not gonna be able to live up to any of it. Is Donald Trump really going to pull the United States out of NATO?  Based on what principle?”
And says the principle is “Trumps feelings.”  The principle of course is national self-interest and Trump knows it, says it explicitly. Mr. Brook pretends not to understand, hoping we won’t understand.

Trump the businessman has been phenomenally successful at surrounding himself with knowledgeable, competent men. Trump the politician has been doing well at this too, for example getting Senator Jeff Sessions – who has consistently opposed immigration – for chairman of his National Security Advisory Committee. He also hired Sessions’ immigration aide Eric Miller.

It must be said that after becoming the presumptive Republican nominee he disappointed many supporters by at first choosing for campaign advisor Paul Manafort, a political prostitute, and for his running mate Michael Pence, an establishment type. Trump soon demoted Manafort and made Stephen Bannon, of Breitbart News, his campaign CEO and Kellyanne Conway his campaign manager. Later Trump again disappointed supporters by choosing James Woolsey, the corrupt former head of the CIA, as a campaign advisor for national defense (he was gone by January).

For what it’s worth Trump has been endorsed by many fine businessmen, including Andrew Beal, a multi-billionaire worth even more than Trump and founder of Beal Bank. He is an interesting man. [17]  Then there is Peter Thiel, another self-made billionaire and a Trump delegate at the Republican convention.  Another is Bernie Marcus, co-founder of Home Depot.

Mr. Brook continues maligning Trump:

“He will never, never, live up to the things that he’s advocating ... He will never do the things that he is proposing. He’s not capable of doing that because he has no principles. It’s not that he understands that this is anti-American altruism. This is purely emotional. And emotional people don’t get stuff done. Not in politics ... You will be shut down.

“... what Donald Trump wants is to be liked, and at the end of the day he is a deal-maker. He is a pragmatist. He is a philosophical, unequivocal, pragmatist. And as a consequence he will fold as president, he will fold. He will not get anything done.”
More harping on pragmatism, which now goes beyond Trump. He is the peak in a mountain range:
“Most businessmen are pragmatists.  Donald Trump is the ultimate in being a pragmatist.”
...
“He doesn’t confuse people with principles, he doesn’t confuse people with details, he has no real policies. I went to his website to try to figure out what does Donald Trump actually stands for, and— nothing. I mean there’s no real policies there.”
You can be the judge. [18]  Mr. Brook again begins to praise Trump, this time for saying about global warming (quoting one of Trump’s speeches) “It’s a hoax ... I want clean air, I want clean water ... and we can do that, but we don’t have to destroy our business.”  It could have come right out of Rand’s The Anti-Industrial Revolution. But that isn’t good enough. Mr. Brook asks: “Does he have any proposals [about] this? ... what’s the principle behind it? – No.”  Apparently Mr. Brook insists on a philosophical lecture breaking down global warming into epistemology and metaphysics for the public.
“He has no real sense of American self-interest ... but he has a sense of American sacrifice and he’s not willing to do it, at least at the superficial, obvious perceptual level ...”
Trump is getting what you might call “the Objectivist treatment.”  Deep down under the concrete Trump is an altruist.
“And ... [Mr. Brook’s voice becomes sad and weary] at the perceptual level that’s where most people are. ... That’s the tragedy of the world we live in.”
...
“There’s one other aspect of Trump’s candidacy which is in one respect good, in other respects not so good ... what it reflects about the American people. He’s unapologetic about his wealth. ... That’s good that there are still Americans who respond positively to that. Now, you know, he doesn’t explain how he made the money ...”
...
“If you look at Donald Trump buildings, if you visit his hotels, [ask] people who live in his condos, he builds a great product, and people can see it, because the buildings are very high. ... he wanted to build the tallest building in New York City, in Manhattan years and years ago. He’s ambitious. And people respond positively to that. He wants to be great. He says he wants America to be great.  All superficial—”
Not profound like Yaron Brook.  He continues, tossing the damp rag “pretty” on his adjectives:
“... but, uh, the building he built in Chicago is a pretty beautiful building and the hotel inside is pretty magnificent. It was supposed to be the tallest building in Chicago, it isn’t but it was supposed to be. That was the original intent but I don’t think he was approved for a tall building like that. I guess he couldn’t bribe himself into getting the city government to approve that one.”

That concludes, says Mr. Brook, the positive half of the show.  Now for the negative half.

“... Donald Trump does not understand the difference between political power and economic power. He doesn’t see any difference between making a deal as a businessman with another businessman, or ... with a customer ... all voluntary deals ... and between what the government does ... deals mean voluntary transactions ... negotiating ... win-win relationships.”
He says that government means force, on the other hand free trade means you lower your own tariffs to zero, then the country you are trading with will do likewise, “it doesn’t mean a deal.” [19]
“Donald Trump cannot think in principles. ... Principles don’t exist for him. He is not just a regular pragmatist, he is a philosophical pragmatist. This is why he never talks about the Constitution. He never talks about the Constitution.
Trump of course has talked about the Second and Fourteenth Amendments many times. [19a]

Just because Trump doesn’t wear his principles on his sleeve and instead communicates in concretes doesn’t mean he is unprincipled. In fact it is the “freedom”-spouting politician who we should be wary of.
... he believes ... that government should be allowed to do anything ... as long as Donald Trump thinks it is ... in the public interest. ... In this sense there’s no difference between him and people like Bernie Sanders.”
Trump himself sees a difference. In a Florida speech (October 24, 2015) he derided Sanders as a “socialist slash communist.”  Mr. Brook next says that Sanders and Trump “both believe in unlimited government.” It’s beginning to sound like the Objectivist rank and file will be told to vote Democrat in November.  Mr. Brook continues:
“What makes Donald Trump objectively unbelievably dangerous is not the specific issues that you agree or disagree with, it’s that there is no principle. Donald Trump does not want government to be smaller ...
For the reality see his campaign website, listen to his speeches. I include in the promotion of smaller government his position on immigration. Mr. Brook continues, saying that the reason – we repeat the false claim – Trump doesn’t want smaller or limited government is that:
... he doesn’t believe in principles. ... he might be ... compared to Bernie Sanders more of a free market guy, but much more important than his particular positions on any issues is his antagonism to limited government qua limited government, his antagonism to the Constitution and to the idea, the idea, of principles.”
... Is that how a duck with a cold talks?

What on earth are you talking about Froggy?

... Qua, qua, I’m a sick little duck, qua, qua.

Good grief.  “Qua” is Latin for “as” and here means “in the capacity of.”  Government qua government means government as government, government in the capacity of government.

... What the hell other capacity would it be in?

Limited government qua limited government means limited government just by itself without the trimmings.

... Great, now the duck’s a turkey.  Are you making fun of me?

Froggy, Mr. Brook is an intellectual huckster trying to sound like Aristotle, just let it pass.  Mr. Brook continues smearing Trump and the Americans who support him:
“Donald Trump is maybe the scariest political candidate I have ever seen.  Because he has combined this ... complete lack of principle, with this amazing populist appeal. ... In this sense he is much worse ideologically than Hillary [Clinton] or indeed Bernie [Sanders]. ... Donald Trump presents himself as a pro-market, pro-American, pro greatness of America candidate ... and yet he could do more to undercut all those things than any other candidate possible. ... because in the name of American greatness, in the name of free markets ... he is advocating for non-principle on principle, right?”
We are being set up for the main event:  Hold your nose and vote Democrat in November because Trump is apocalyptically bad.

I suspect that in Mr. Brook’s private mind either Bernie or Hillary is preferable to Trump because they won’t rock the boat. Both are immigration enthusiasts and Hillary at least is a solid establishment type.

Skipping ahead Mr. Brook is still projecting fairytales onto Trump:

“He’s anti the Constitution ... he doesn’t even mention the Constitution, ’cuz he can’t... ’cuz he knows that he’s against it. The Constitution would limit him. He is a real authoritarian. ... Authoritarians make deals. It’s about ... using your power.  It’s about I’ve got big missiles and you don’t, so you better cut me a good trade deal. ”
...
“... Trump combines certain virtues, this appeal to the common man, strength, being positive, right on certain issues, with an anti-principle, anti-intellectual, anti-ideas mentality. Complete pragmatist, complete emotion driven, and ... a strong authoritarian instinct. Donald Trump will solve this problem. Donald Trump will figure this out. Donald Trump will – fill in the blank. And on so many issues he’s wrong.”
Apparently Trump should be saying “I have no idea how to solve this problem, I have no idea how to solve that problem.”
“His whole appeal is really scary in this sense. He has structured his appeal in the same way every fascist has structured it in human history.”
Mussolini,  Hitler  ... Trump.  Got it.

Later Mr. Brook says, “By the way I didn’t say Donald Trump was a fascist, I said Donald Trump was using fascist techniques.” (not quoted below in its place).  Later still he calls Trump a fascist flat out, quoted below. In another talk (reviewed in the “Peikoff Podcast 2” section below, but not quoted there) he says “Donald Trump couldn’t get away with it [crowning himself dictator] ... primarily because he doesn’t have an ideology.”  So take your pick. Trump is a fascist at heart but cannot be a fascist in action. Or something.

Returning to where we left off, Mr. Brook tries to demoralize those he despises, a technique right out of the Jewish cultural playbook: [20]

“He’s structured his appeal – and this is his authoritarian instinct, this is why he is so successful – by blaming the Other, the Foreigner, the Different, for every problem we have in the United States.”
On first listen and considering what he says next, I thought Mr. Brook is referring to immigrants.  Mr. Brook starts with the fact (the truth of which he denies elsewhere) that Third World immigrants commit violent crime at a much higher rate than whites, and turns it into:  Third World immigrants commit all violent crime.  Trump never said this.  Then Mr. Brook slides from the problem of violent crime to every problem in the United States.  In the world according to Brook, Trump said immigrants are responsible for all of America’s problems.

Besides immigrants, however, Mr. Brook may be including Chinese bureaucrats in China. In that case it’s a double lie. Consider this plank from Trump’s platform (on his campaign website under “U.S.-China Trade Reform”):
“Lower the corporate tax rate to 15% to unleash American ingenuity here at home and make us more globally competitive. This tax cut puts our rate ... 20 points below our current burdensome rate that pushes companies and jobs offshore.”
Mr. Brook continues:
“So think about it. He started off his campaign by blaming illegal immigrants for the crime and for the bad economy in this country. Neither statement is true.”
Neither statement is true, but then Trump made neither statement.  About the economy, what he did say, putting it in my own words:  (1) a massive influx of unskilled laborers, which includes most Third World immigrants – drives down the wages of existing unskilled laborers, (2) a massive influx of welfare and hospital moochers – and Third World immigrants are such at a much higher rate than whites (Mr. Brook denies this elsewhere) – drives up taxes and /or inflation.

Mr. Brook then points out that  “the United States has problems that are unrelated ... to immigration.”  Of course, and Trump never says otherwise. Mr. Brook goes on to list some problems the U.S. has and concludes:

“... lack of freedom. That’s what’s killing America, lack of freedom. ... There are a lot of problems in the United States, they all relate to lack of freedom.

“... [restricting immigration] wouldn’t change anything in America. That wouldn’t make America a better place to live. It wouldn’t make America a freer place to live. It wouldn’t make America less regulated.”
Actually it would, on all counts. [16 again]  Then Mr. Brook repeats the  All-for-Some  fallacy:  “... to place all America’s problems on that [i.e. immigration] is ludicrous.”  What is ludicrous is Mr. Brook claiming that Trump does this.
“... he’s using hatred of the Other as one of the rallying calls, and this is scary, and it’s why his appeal and his success scares me so much. Because the fact that this is working in America today, the fact that we can scapegoat our problems.”
Set aside Third World immigration’s effect on the economy and our safety. Open borders irrespective of that effect is a huge problem. It is slowly dissolving our way of life. When the goat and those who brought him are guilty, pointing it out is not scapegoating.  Mr. Brook continues fantasizing about Trump:
“He never mentions the idea of freedom and what freedom actually means, because he doesn’t know what freedom means ... He’s a deal maker, and if he has a gun to use in a deal he’s gonna use the gun. ... I would be very scared right now ... because of his popularity. Even if he loses I’d be very scared because what his popularity says about Americans. ...

“What Americans are showing is a shallowness, an ability to be deceived, an ability to be manipulated, that is quite striking, quite striking.”
Americans are gullible, compliant and shallow.  Got it.

It’s true Trump doesn’t spout fine words like “freedom” and “liberty” – and for that I say thank you.  In the mouths of politicians these words became bromides long ago. Every politician, every tyrant, communists – hucksters like Yaron Brook – spout “freedom,” “individualism,” “liberty.” [21]  So Americans want to know what a politician will actually do. The specific planks of Trump’s platform are what matter to them. And though Trump doesn’t utter fancy words like “freedom,” they are implicit in much of what he says.

He says he is proud to be successful and rich, which is a moral statement. His campaign slogan “Make America Great Again!” is a moral statement. His not wanting Americans sacrificed on the alter of NATO and the neocons is a moral statement. His support for “right to work” laws, lower taxes (contrary to Mr. Brook), and opposition to federal control of education are all steps toward more freedom. Even though he doesn’t tie it up in ribbons of fancy words he is far more pro-capitalism, more pro-individualism, more for freedom and liberty than any other candidate.

“... to look at Trump objectively you have to recognize [the] anti-intellectualism, anti-ideas, anti-economics, anti-freedom views that he has. That’s an objective assessment. ... Even the good things that he says, the way he says them lack any kind of principle. He is appealing to what has become the dominant trait of the American voter, which is emotionalism.”
Right out of the baloney grinder.  It’s natural for Trump supporters to feel strongly about major issues that concern them. They aren’t thinking with their emotions, their emotions are a consequence of what they think. Again, Trump hasn’t swayed them to his position, his position is their position.

Mr. Brook continues:

“That’s the dominant threat in our culture. And that is, that is, unbelievably scary, unbelievably scary.”

He says there is a lot to like about Trump’s manner, and that “once in a while he says something that’s right.” But Mr. Brook always finds a worm. Note in what follows how he confuses confidence with arrogance:

“Donald Trump projects for most people a sense of self-esteem ... he’s confidant, arrogant, he doesn’t let people walk all over him. But I really do think that this is a reflection actually of a negative self-esteem.”
Even Donald Trump loathes Donald Trump!
“He has swagger, but it’s the wrong kind ... what do [people with real self-esteem] do when they’re criticized? They laugh it off. They fight back ... intellectually, honestly. What does Donald Trump do? ... he lashes out. ... He insults. ... people who insult, like he insulted Megyn Kelly, like he’s insulted journalists who’ve asked him questions he didn’t like, like he insults audience members who heckle him or challenge him. That’s not self-esteem.”
Mr. Brook goes on to say that he himself gets heckled and gets questions he doesn’t like,
“... and I’m Israeli and I’m supposed to heckle back, and I don’t do it. ... You can stand up for yourself, attack back, without insulting ... You can be passionate without being an emotionalist. Take me for an example. His self-esteem is shallow. His self-esteem is just a facade. He’s weak. Donald Trump is weak. Again, Donald Trump is weak. ... People who lash back like that I don’t respect, I don’t respect.”
I’m reminded of the breakdown of Captain Queeg at his court martial in the The Caine Mutiny.
“The most dominant thing about Donald Trump is his total, fundamental, pragmatism, his lack of any principles. And coming out of that is authoritarianism because pragmatism leads to authoritarianism.”
After saying he would abuse executive orders, [22]  Mr. Brook utters two words to sum up Donald Trump:
“Authoritarian fascist.”
Peikoff Podcast 1

Leonard Peikoff frequently lets Mr. Brook host his podcast which, says its website, “applies Ayn Rand’s revolutionary philosophy to real-world questions.”  Listeners send in questions, Mr. Peikoff or Mr. Brook answers them. On February 15, 2016 Mr. Brook took this question:

“Does Donald Trump’s popularity signify how dumbed-down the American population has become?”
He replies:
“Yeah, I think so.”
...
“Donald Trump ... wants cut better deals. This is an anti-conceptual mentality that the American people are buying into because I think that they are anti-conceptual now, they are emotional, and unfortunately they’ve lost the vision of principle.”
— said by a man who pretends not to understand the principle of national sovereignty, except in the case of Israel.

Mr. Brook repeats his Donald Trump refrain:

“He runs his business as a pragmatist. He runs his political campaign as a pragmatist.”
and repeats the lie that Trump got rich by using eminent domain and manipulating government. But Trump wasted his time being a crook if we can believe Mr. Brook, who repeats Marco Rubio’s lie that Trump inherited a lot of money and didn’t grow it “that much”:

“He is a crony. He is the exemplar of the worst kind of villain in Atlas Shrugged:  the guy who manipulates, who uses government. He is arrogant in a superficial, empty sense. ... he inherited a lot of money and really hasn’t grown the wealth that much, he hasn’t created that much wealth. He’s not Howard Roark, he’s not Hank Reardon ... To compare Trump to any one of Ayn Rand’s heroes is ridiculous.

“So I think Trump is empty, he doesn’t strike me as ... from the policies he’s advocating, particularly smart. ...

“He’s just a populist, he’s trying to appeal to as many people as possible by appealing to their emotions. So I think one reason some Americans are liking him is because they are dumbed-down.”

Blog Talk Radio 3

Yaron Brook titled his BlogTalkRadio show of March 5, 2016  “What Can We Learn from the Primaries?”

When he gets to Trump, Mr. Brook says that one reason the “Republican elites” and the RNC hate him is that he has unmasked them for the enemy of Americans that they are. But in the two hundred words or so repeating this generality in various linguistic forms the glib Mr. Brook gives not one specific, not one RNC lie, not one betrayal, no details at all.

For example, he doesn’t – and would never – denounce the Republican elites for having betrayed Americans again and again about border security and colluding with Democrats on amnesty in the name of “immigration reform.”

Later he laments that:

“... many of the people in the Tea Party, in a sense the worst in the Tea Party, are going for Donald Trump.”
Only the dregs of the Tea Party support Trump.  Got it.

Then Mr. Brook takes a call from a young man, who begins by saying that he “wants to come out in defense of Trump a little bit.” Considering the eagerness in his voice, that “a little bit” was probably intended to appease the host. Then he points out that as soon as politicians get attacked for saying something, they back down. But Trump, by refusing to back down, despite “everybody saying that this is going to be his demise,”


[Caller:]  ... it showed people ... we can fight for our ideas and it’s not going to be the end of our careers.

A little later, still about Trump,

[Caller:]  I get the impression that he loves America.  He’s an American phenomenon.  Compared to Hillary and Obama – I don’t know which one of the two hates America more, it’s hard to tell – at least Trump is the opposite of that.  No matter his ideas might be wrong, he might be muddled, he might— [over-talking as Mr. Brook interrupts]

[YB:]  “I don’t know if that’s true. I don’t know if I agree with that. I don’t get a sense that he loves America. ...”

Etc., more of the usual. At one point the caller tries to interrupt the cataract of words but is talked over. Mr. Brook finally winds down, saying Trump “has no clue ... what America really stands for” ... “you have to know something in order to love it ... .”  The caller replies, perhaps trying to placate Mr. Brook with the same diminutive qualification he began his call with,

[Caller:]  I think that he knows it a little bit on the sub-conscious level without being an intellectual about it, but it’s diametrically opposed to—

He starts to say something about Clinton but Mr. Brook vehemently interrupts, talking so fast you can hardly make out what he is saying:

[YB:]  Yeah but I think that’s what he does [over-talking] he loves some things, but he doesn’t love America, he loves the system that leaves him alone to do deals. ...

Mr. Brook goes on to say that people who get in his way he’ll want the government to take out.  At that point the young man caves in:  “I can’t argue with that.” and Mr. Brook ends the call.

Another caller asks what the possibilities are for a viable third party candidate. (Left unsaid is that this would help the Democrat win.) Mr. Brook says that if the election came to Clinton versus Trump, Michael Bloomberg, the mayor of New York City, would be a better option than either: “He’s a proven politician. He did what looks like a decent job in New York, and he’s got some real backing at the center of the political map.” When the caller says Bloomberg might try to outlaw 16 ounce sodas, Mr. Brook is quick to reply:

“He probably wouldn’t eliminate free speech in America, which is I fear what Donald Trump would do.” [23]

Then Mr. Brook takes a written question, about Trump’s position on immigration. His lengthy answer is so bad, so riddled with fallacy, that it’s a dish better served alone. It will be the subject of a separate article on ARI Watch.

Peikoff Podcast 2

In the Peikoff podcast of April 18, 2016 Mr. Brook takes another question about Donald Trump. To understand the question you need to know the alpha-numeric terminology of Leonard Peikoff’s “DIM Hypothesis” which classifies men according to cognitive type. We leave a description of the five types to a footnote. [24]

The question is:  “How does [Trump] fit?  He’s not an M2, he’s not a D2, what is he?”

... A number 1 ?  [starts singing] New York, New York—

Uh, no Froggy.  Before answering, Mr. Brook points out that the DIM Hypothesis predicts that

“... within 40 years we’re likely to fall under an authoritarian rule of an M2 ... someone who integrates around a false idea, and ... that false idea [will] be religion ... if we ever have a dictatorship in the United States it will be a religious dictatorship.”
Mr. Brook somewhat misrepresents the conclusion of the DIM Hypothesis. Mr. Peikoff is very specific. The religion is Christianity, specifically Fundamentalist Christianity, that is, Evangelicalism. The time limit is two generations, and it’s next to a sure thing.  From Mr. Peikoff’s book The D.I.M Hypothesis (published 2013):

“... the takeover of America by [M2s in the form of Christian fanatics] ... is so highly probable as to border on certainty ... Given America’s present condition and the historical factors, it is almost impossible to overestimate the likelihood of its occurrence.”

Forget the Left, it’s the Evangelicals we have to worry about.  I am not making this up. [25]

Mr. Brook then asks,  “How does Donald Trump fit into that prediction?”  and answers:

“... he’s not an M2 (he’s not a religious authoritarian), so in my view Donald Trump is a D ... Donald Trump is not a D2 ... I think he’s just a D1 ... But he’s an authoritarian.

“So I think he’s part of this transition to an M2. ... If he got elected ... he will pave the way for somebody who is an M2, ...”
Voilà !  Trump leads to the lowest circle of DIM Hypothesis hell.  A President Trump paves the way for a Christian theocracy.

No OrgOist talk about Trump would be complete without trashing the public:


“... what the Trump candidacy really shows is the willingness of the American people to accept an authoritarian figure ... to be pandered to ... to be seduced by emotion ...”

Etc.  In what follows, if Mr. Brook adheres to the DIM Hypothesis then by “fascist” he means an ambitious Evangelical with a theocratic bent:

“... you can imagine some potential fascist ... who has a clear idea of what he wants, studying Donald Trump and seeing what works and what doesn’t, and 20, 30 years from now we will see it in action. ...

“... he is showing that the American people are ready for it. The thing about Donald Trump that is most scary is not Donald Trump ... it’s that people love him.”

“Fear and Loathing of the American People”  could be the subtitle of this review.  That concludes our quoting of Yaron Brook.

... What a relief.  It feels so good when it stops.

Beat it Froggy.

Conclusion

We’ve given Yaron Brook enough rope to hang himself several times over.  He makes five wishful and not too consistent claims:  (1) Trump has no principles,  (2) Trump is a fascist,  (3) Trump has no positions,  (4) Trump will fail to implement any of his positions,  (5) Americans who support Trump are nitwits and fools.

We are well aware of Trump’s faults but for the most part – like 98% or whatever – Mr. Brook smears rather than honestly criticizes. He is so over the top – for Trump principles don’t exist, he doesn’t know what freedom means, he can’t mention the Constitution because he’s anti-Constitution, etc. – that it’s clear Mr. Brook is motivated by something other than concern for the truth.

He slings at Trump every epithet known to Objectivism.  Trump is unprincipled, pragmatic, anti-conceptual, emotion driven, percept bound, anti-capitalist, anti-freedom, anti-individualist, statist, fascist, his self-esteem is so low it’s negative,  he’s every Ayn Rand villain rolled into one.

... Mark?

What is it now Froggy?

... You forgot “authoritarian.”

That too.  There is also “irrational,” which Mr. Brook used in the Peikoff podcast of May 10, 2015, not reviewed here. [26]  As for “totalitarian,” doubtless he’s keeping that in reserve.

Unique for Trump, Mr. Brook erects a severe standard:  no matter how many positions a politician gets correct, if he isn’t philosophical about them they don’t count. [27]  You might think that the executive director of the Ayn Rand Institute has no common sense.  Rather, he expects you  to have no common sense.

Mr. Brook criticizes Hillary Clinton – the presumptive Democratic nominee – for a number of valid reasons, though naturally not for her support of open borders, NAFTA, redefining marriage, and other Neocon and Cultural Leftist causes. But the emotional level of that criticism is far lower than what he lavishes on Trump, and the time he spends on it far less. The prospect of a President Trump scares him to death, he never (or if I missed it, very rarely) says “scary” in reference to a President Hillary.

And that is precisely the prospect we face today:  President Hillary,  the creature who thinks Nineteen-Eighty-Four  is an instruction manual.

Yet the OrgOists – uttering “freedom” and “principle” and all those fine words – trash and smear and malign beyond recognition the only Republican who is capable of beating Hillary. They call him  the fascist !  They will never be able to walk away from all the mud they have slung, and won’t want to. When the choice comes to Trump vs. Hillary the OrgOists will opt for Hillary.

Trump overcame the corruption within the RNC by winning so many votes and delegates that he could not be swept aside.  When Trump becomes president we can write fini  to the neoconservatives as a political force.  Mr. Brook’s most telling slur is against the people making this possible, Trump’s supporters.  Nitwits and fools are they?  He should hope,  if he expects his radio show and podcast speeches to sway them.

Rand often referred to the breach between the intellectuals and the American people, and Yaron Brook is an illustration  par excellence.  The members of the Ayn Rand Institute are not Ayn Rand’s “New Intellectuals,” they are Cultural Leftist retreads masquerading as Objectivists.  In another manifestation they are Neocons.

They promoted Bush in 2000, the Iraq War in 2003 and smeared Ron Paul in 2012. [28]  That they smear – not just legitimately criticize but smear – Donald Trump now, shows once again that in the marketplace of ideas the Ayn Rand Institute has nothing to sell.



1  How much money Trump started with is in dispute. Trump says about one million. Marco Rubio once claimed, without any knowledge whatever, 100 million then 200, and that bogus 200 is used by those who say Trump would have done better financially if he had just invested the money.  See
“Did Donald Trump inherit $100 million?”
by Amy Sherman, PolitiFact.com, March 7, 2016
www.politifact.com/florida/article/2016/mar/07/did-donald-trump-inherit-100-million
The evidence indicates that he inherited at most 40 million and likely less.

Also in dispute is how much he is worth now. Estimates range from 4.5 to 10 billion dollars. Considering that most of it is invested, doubtless the amount depends on how it is counted; also it fluctuates. Anyway, by any measure he’s rich.

His book The Art of the Deal (1987) opens with these lines:  “I don’t do it for the money. I’ve got enough, much more than I’ll ever need. I do it to do it.”

1a  Grant Jones addressed Trump’s alleged pragmatism in his review of Trump’s book Crippled America: How to Make America Great Again (2015):

“Trump mentions many times his ‘common sense’ approach to problem solving and [that] finding the right people are keys to his business success. ... Critics [say] that Trump’s lack of [an explicit political philosophy of liberty and the foundation such a politics requires] makes him a ‘pragmatist’.  This is nonsense. He understands that facts are real, must be faced and can’t be evaded indefinitely.  He is clearly not a philosophical subjectivist who believes reality is constructed out of Silly Putty.”

2  See Mr. Brook’s talk  “Anti-Capitalism and Anti-Semitism”  reviewed on this website.

3  “Don’t Let It Go” The Ayn Rand Letter (1971) reprinted in Philosophy: Who Needs It.

4  “Donald Trump and The Apprentice”  Capitalism Magazine  April 20, 2004.

5  Part of a comment to the blog “The Future of Capitalism” run by Ira Stoll, dated March 1, 2016.

6  The situation is similar, and more proactive, to that with the personal income tax. Quoting Judge Learned Hand (U. S. Court of Appeals) in his opinion of a case in 1935:

“Anyone may arrange his affairs so that his taxes shall be as low as possible; he is not bound to choose that pattern which best pays the treasury. There is not even a patriotic duty to increase one’s taxes. ... the Courts have said that there is nothing sinister in so arranging affairs as to keep taxes as low as possible. Everyone does it, rich and poor alike and all do right, for nobody owes any public duty to pay more than the law demands.”

The leaders of the Ayn Rand Institute themselves found financial advantage in setting up ARI as a 501c3 corporation. Is Yaron Brook – his year’s compensation from 2011 to 2014 ranged from a low of  $ 310,195  to  a high of  $ 472,610 – “playing the legal system to his advantage?”

7  I posted that reply March 9, 2016, slightly edited and without identifying myself as from ARI Watch. Mr. Binswanger responded March 21:  “Mark ... attempts to smash down my letter’s points. Unfortunately for me, he succeeds.”

8  On his BlogTalkRadio show of February 13, 2016 Yaron Brook claimed that “Almost all of the deals to bring the [Keystone] pipeline through have been cut with private owners without using eminent domain.”  Reputable news sources say otherwise, but even if true it is disingenuous. The eminent domain law was in place. The private owners knew TransCanada and ConocoPhillips could and would use it against them. There is no question this influenced their decision to sell and the selling price.

9  Some Trump built and /or managed property in New York City:
www.amny.com/real-estate/donald-trump-property-in-new-york-city-1.10670338

In Chicago:
www.google.com/search?q=trump+chicago+images

The Trump Organization:
www.trump.com

10  Amy Peikoff repeated this Nazi salute smear on her BlogTalkRadio show of March 11, 2016,  which she titled “Give Me Liberty or Give Me Trump” as if Trump were death:  “... they’re raising their hand in a way that actually looks like it’s out of Nazi Germany. [Sighs deeply.]”

Here is some of Lyndon Johnson’s TV propaganda against Barry Goldwater in 1964 (the titles given here are descriptive but except for the last are not in the original film):

Eastern Seaboard
www.youtube.com/watch?v=9-VPzUazQVY

Daisy Girl
www.youtube.com/watch?v=dDTBnsqxZ3k
The voiceover near the end (not the countdown midway) is from one of Johnson’s speeches.  From the YouTube comments:  “Need to bring this back to use against Trump.”

“Confessions of a Republican”
www.youtube.com/watch?v=LiG0AE8zdTU
Of course the man is an actor, talking the way Democrats wanted Republicans to think.  From the YouTube comments:  “Dust it off and air it – perfect.”

See also footnote 23
.

Returning to 2016, on April 27 in Washington D.C. Trump gave a speech on foreign policy. A few standout lines:

  • “Many Americans must wonder why our politicians seem more interested in defending the borders of foreign countries than in defending their own.”

  • “No country has ever prospered that failed to put its own interests first. Both our friends and our enemies put their countries above ours and we, while being fair to them, must start doing the same. We will no longer surrender this country, or its people, to the false song of globalism.”

  • “I am skeptical of international unions that tie us up and bring America down. And under my administration, we will never enter America into any agreement that reduces our ability to control our own affairs.”

  • And near the beginning:

  • “My foreign policy will always put the interests of the American people, and American security, above all else. That will be the foundation of every decision that I will make. America First will be the major and overriding theme of my administration.”

  • Next day, April 28, the ADL issued a press release objecting to the phrase “America First.”  The ADL referred to:

    “... its anti-Semitic use in the months before Pearl Harbor by a group of prominent Americans seeking to keep the nation out of World War II.”

    The ADL cited what didn’t exist. The phrase “America First” – used in 1941 by hundreds of thousands of people who agreed with the America First Committee – wasn’t anti-semitic, unless “anti-semitic” means anything the ADL doesn’t like. All “America First” meant was what it said, the interests of Americans should not be sacrificed to others, especially Europe.

    Trump used “America First” in the same sense it had been used 75 years ago, though he probably didn’t have the historical connection in mind. (Like every politician and unlike Rand, he approves of U.S. entry into WWII.)

    In any case, does it matter what “America First” meant three generations ago? Suppose it had been a sly way of advocating communism, fascism or flat earthism.  We can never again express the concept of national self interest in the pithy words that do it best?  This is Jewish culture in action. Either the ADL people are neurotic or they think you are stupid.

    After trashing Charles Lindburgh, whose involvement in the America First Committee is chronicled on Wikipedia,
    en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Charles_Lindbergh#America_First_involvement
    the ADL concludes their press release about “America First”:

    “In a letter to Mr. Trump, ADL urged him to refrain from using the slogan in the future.”

    Calling Israel “our great friend ... in the Middle East” a third of the way through the speech didn’t help Trump.  He must never ask the audience to raise their hands and never, never say “America First.”

    Trump’s foreign policy speech was sponsored by the Center for the National Interest, which for some reason chose Bush’s Afghanistan ambassador to introduce it. Skipping over that career parasite’s remarks, here is Trump starting at 6:38:
    www.youtube.com/watch?v=XW8RqLN3Qao&t=6m38s

    11  “Let Me Ask America a Question”
    www.wsj.com/articles/let-me-ask-america-a-question-1460675882

    12  “Don’t Let It Go” The Ayn Rand Letter (1971) reprinted in Philosophy: Who Needs It.

    13  “Obama ‘Hopeful’ Immigration Will Drown Conservatism”
    by Neil Munro, Daily Caller, February 9, 2015
    www.amren.com/news/2015/02/obama-hopeful-immigration-will-drown-conservatism

    14  On a theoretical note, better to finance a small government with tariffs than with an income or sales tax. And there is something to be said for keeping domestic manufacturing alive in case it’s ever needed, e.g. for defense.

    15  See  Yaron Brook vs. Ron Paul  on this website.

    16  See  Immigration Enthusiasts  on this website.

    17  Andrew Beal supports Trump even though they were once on opposite sides of a financial dispute. He is one of Trump’s economic advisors. Besides being a former real estate developer and now a financier he is also an amateur mathematician famous for the Beal Conjecture in Number Theory.

    The Wikipedia article on Andrew Beal
    en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Andrew_Beal

    The Beal Conjecture
    www.bealconjecture.com

    18  Trump’s positions from his campaign website:
    www.donaldjtrump.com/policies

    19  Mr. Brook spends much time criticizing Trump’s position on trade with the People’s Republic of China. Considering that the universe existed before 1985 the following is absurd: “Our economy would collapse without the cheap products we buy from China.” What is true is that a cessation would have to come about gradually. But the tariff Trump once suggested in an interview is not mentioned on his campaign website. The website does criticize China’s heavy tariff on U.S. goods and among other planks is (paraphrasing):  Decrease the U.S. corporate tax rate; one good effect would be to encourage manufacturers to remain in the U.S.

    19a  Later Trump said at a rally (West Palm Beach, Florida, 13 October 2016):

    “This election is about [here begins a list] ... appointing a Supreme Court justice – it could be four or five – who will defend and protect our Constitution.”

    This is not in Hillary Clinton’s universe.

    Yaron Brook only pretends to care about the Constitution. During the Republican nomination of 2012 no one supported that document more than Ron Paul yet Mr. Brook trashed the man up and down as “anti-business.”

    20  “Authoritarian” is a major epithet among Cultural Leftists.  Read about the Frankfurt School’s book The Authoritarian Personality, sponsored by the Department of Scientific Research of the American Jewish Committee, at its Wikipedia entry:
    en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Authoritarian_Personality
    See also Kevin McDonald’s analysis in The Culture of Critique:
    www.kevinmacdonald.net/chap5.pdf

    21  See  Is It Happening Here?  and  How to Kill an Idea  on this website.

    22  Even as Mr. Brook approves of Obama’s abuse.  See  Yaron Brook on Executive Amnesty  on this website.

    23  Elsewhere (e.g. his BlogTalkRadio show “There’s Nothing More Important Today than Free Speech” March 8, 2016) Mr. Brook takes Trump to task for saying he wants to make it easier to sue news organizations for libel, calling it a threat to free speech. Yet Rand might well have approved of a properly formulated change in libel law.

    In 1964 a magazine called Fact polled members of the American Psychological Association about what, as psychiatrists, they thought of Barry Goldwater, who was running for president against Lyndon Johnson. An issue of Fact called “The Unconscious of a Conservative: A Special Issue On the Mind of Barry Goldwater” (playing on the title of Goldwater’s 1960 book The Conscience of a Conservative) described the poll results. On its front cover:  “Fact: 1,189 Psychiatrists Say Goldwater Is Psychologically Unfit To Be President ! 

    The labels the psychiatrists placed on Goldwater were variously positive and negative. (At least one psychiatrist said that it was impossible to say anything from a distance.) The negative responses included the labels narcissistic, obsessive, emotionally unstable, mentally unbalanced, paranoid, schizophrenic, and grossly psychotic.

    One psychiatrist opined: “I believe Goldwater has the same pathological make-up as Hitler, Castro, Stalin ...”  Another sounded like – you know who: “He frightens the hell out of me.”  This one too: “Barry Goldwater is a sick man who is to be pitied and feared.”  And another: “He is impulsive, suggesting that he has poor control over his feelings and that he acts on angry impulses.”

    Goldwater, not as keen on free speech as Mr. Brook – I’m being sarcastic – sued the magazine, its publisher and its managing editor for libel. Though in the U.S. it is very difficult to win a libel suit, perhaps too difficult, Goldwater eventually prevailed. When the smoke cleared he was awarded $75,000 in damages, which in today’s money amounts to well over half a million dollars.

    A few years later Rand wrote about the affair in “The Psychology of ‘Psychologizing’ ” (The Objectivist March 1971 and reprinted in The Voice of Reason):

    “Psychologizing is not confined to amateurs acting in private. Some professional psychologist have set the example in public. As an instance of the Inquisitor type of psychologizing, there was the group of psychiatrists who libeled Senator Barry Goldwater, permitting themselves the outrageous impertinence of diagnosing a man they had never met. (Parenthetically, Senator Goldwater exhibited a magnificent moral courage in challenging them and subjecting himself to their filthy malice in the ordeal of a trial, which he won. The Supreme Court, properly, upheld the verdict. [Goldwater v. Ginzburg et al.] )” 

    Getting back to Trump, the U.S. president cannot change the libel law or any other law by himself, he can only offer his opinion and argue for a change. The rest is up to the various states, Congress, and /or the Supreme Court. Mr. Brook seems to think little of the Constitution, which carries some weight even today.

    24  According to Mr. Peikoff’s “DIM Hypothesis” a man can approach a subject in three ways:  by considering only concrete cases one by one, which remain dis-integrated (that is, not integrated);  or he can approach the subject conceptually, so that cases are integrated into a valid system;  or by positing an integrated system divorced from reality, a mis-integrated system.

    Mr. Peikoff uses a letter to symbolize each of these methods:  D, I, M   Disintegrated (pragmatic), Integrated (conceptual), Misintegrated (mystical).  D  is bad,  I  is good,  M  is abysmal.

    According to Mr. Peikoff, when it comes to culture and politics in the long run it is the system builders, whether their system is valid or not, who are more attractive to the public than the concrete-bound.  Politically either an I or an M man will defeat a D man.

    Mr. Peikoff recognizes grades of the bad cases D and M. The most consistent – meaning unalloyed with the good I – he calls D2 and M2. They are the extreme D and M. The less consistent – to some degree alloyed with I – he calls D1 and M1.

    25  More about Evangelicals at  Presidential Elections – 1984 to 2000  on this website, under year 2000.

    26  That earlier podcast is more of the same, only “softer” perhaps because at the time Mr. Brook, like all other intellectuals, thought – I’m reading between the lines here – Trump would never win the nomination.

    27  ARI didn’t use this absurdly high standard in their assessment of any previous presidential candidate. For example, throwing 501c3 to the winds, in 2000 they explicitly endorsed Bush and he was no more philosophical than a turnip.  See  Disappeared from ARI  on this website.

    For what it’s worth, from Leonard Peikoff’s The D.I.M Hypothesis:  “To reach and direct the minds of the general public in any era, philosophy has to take the form of concretes.”

    28  See respectively,

    Presidential Elections – 1984 to 2000

    Relentless Propaganda

    Yaron Brook vs. Ron Paul
    on this website.