<< ARI Watch

Vote for Hillary

This was written during the 2016 presidential campaign.

Jonathan Hoenig manages an investment fund and occasionally talks about financial and political matters on Fox News. He is a regular speaker at Ayn Rand Institute events:

  • Objectivist Summer Conference – OCON 2013.
  • Student conference of October 2014.
  • Student conference of November 2015. [1]
  • Objectivist Summer Conference – OCON 2016
  • Being a fellow traveler of ARI it’s no surprise Mr. Hoenig hates Donald Trump. In the coming presidential election Mr. Hoenig will vote for Hillary, and he tells us why – or rather pretends to tell us why – in his article “Why Hillary Has My Vote.” [2]

    You might expect him to answer such questions as:  Why help pack the Supreme Court with supreme leftists?  Why flood the country with documented Democrats?  Why tax and regulate us into poverty and ruin?  Why—

    ... Why take away my Glock !

    I’m sure you don’t own a Glock, Froggy.

    ... I might want to get one some day.  A little one.

    But Mr. Hoenig doesn’t trouble addressing such concrete details. Instead he argues from three premises to reach his conclusion.

    Premise number one

    “... the only thing that can save the country is capitalism.”
    It’s a reversal of cart and horse because capitalism is an end result of saving the country. He should be concerned about getting there. Given two candidates for president, which would take the larger step toward capitalism, or the smaller step away from it? Which candidate is the most capitalist or the least socialist?

    Mr. Hoenig cannot sincerely answer the question because to him capitalism is “Wall Street” (Goldman Sachs etc) and “global free trade” (TPP etc).  Criticize them and you are anti-capitalist.

    Premise number two  (suppose Hillary becomes president)

    “... when Hillary’s policies fail, as they will, her socialist ideas will rightfully be denounced.”
    Denounced by whom?  Typical intellectuals never attribute the failure of a socialist program to socialism.  (“If only ...” etc.)  Yet another raft of failures won’t change their minds.

    A deeper reason explains socialism’s persistence. President Hillary’s policies will in fact succeed, succeed by Leftist standards. The Left’s goal is not your prosperity, it’s your being cut down and leveled to a common low. Leftists are driven purely to destroy. This was one of Ayn Rand’s most perceptive insights and she wrote about it extensively.

    In any case a higher GNP is of far less concern than bright and happy things. Who cares how high the GNP goes if in the process you become surrounded by Asians, Africans, and Amerindians.

    Premise number three  (suppose Trump becomes president)

    “... when Trump’s policies fail, as they will, American capitalism will unquestionably get blamed.”
    Mr. Hoenig doesn’t say how ending birthright citizenship would fail us, how enforcing immigration law would fail us, or how supporting the Second Amendment would, how lowering the corporate tax rate would, indeed his article is as lacking in detail about Trump as it is about Hillary.

    Conclusion
    “This is why I’m supporting Clinton:  Long term, the damage levied by Donald Trump to capitalism in America will be immeasurably worse than that wrought by Hillary Clinton.” [3]
    Mr. Hoenig’s sophistical argument got him where he wanted to go:  Vote for Hillary to defeat Trump.

    His one-two-three argument is absurd – not just incorrect, absurd – and if Mr. Hoenig can successfully manage an investment fund for several years he’s intelligent enough to know it. The reason he gives for supporting Hillary must be pretense, hiding another reason unsuitable for mixed company.

    ARI uses the same technique. They start with a goal – invade Iraq, support Israel, defeat Trump, whatever – and invent sophistries, complete with Objectivist jargon, to fool you into helping them reach that goal. They want you to think as they pretend to think, knowing that their real reason for seeking the goal would not appeal to you. Their argument is a charade masking an ulterior motive. And if they deceive themselves into believing their own sophistries that makes the fraud all the more convincing.

    On May 7, 2016, right after Trump became the presumptive Republican nominee, Mr. Hoenig participated in a Fox News panel hosted by Eric Bolling. At one point in the discussion Mr. Hoenig criticized Trump’s campaign, misrepresenting it, after which came the following exchange.

    Eric Bolling:  Jon, you’re talking about a campaign, I’m talking about the next four or eight years of a presidency. We will have at least one and maybe up to three Supreme Court justices that are going to be appointed by a president. Would you rather have Hillary Clinton do that or Donald Trump?

    Jonathan Hoenig:  I would rather have Hillary Clinton do that because Hillary Clinton doesn’t put herself out, as you said, as a businessman, as a capitalist. Donald Trump does ... We can’t afford Donald Trump to represent capitalism ...
    But we can afford Hillary Clinton to represent socialism – and force it on us while president of the United States.

    Again, Mr. Hoenig’s argument is insincere. He might be smart enough not to believe his own argument but in estimating his audience he’s dumb enough to think they’ll fall for it.

    Returning to our review of Mr. Hoenig’s article, so far he hasn’t called Trump a fascist or said Trump leads to fascism. That slur being de rigueur for an anti-Trump article Mr. Hoenig next says that should Trump become president, after his failure and consequently

    “... with capitalism completely discredited,  the path is very short to  dictatorial rule. 
    In the original, “dictatorial rule” links to a black-and-white photo of Adolf Hitler, grim and stoic, flanked by saluting—

    ... I know !  Trump supporters !

    Well Froggy, the photo shows how ARI people see Trump supporters. [4]



    1  Advertisements for the second student conference say it was organized by STRIVE (Students for Reason, Individualism, Value pursuit, and Enterprise) which is a branch of ARI.  Besides organizing conferences STRIVE publishes the campus newspaper The Undercurrent  and sponsors Objectivist campus clubs.

    2  Mr. Hoenig’s article appeared on his website CapitalistPig  May 3, 2016.

    We describe what some of ARI’s other admirers think of Trump versus Hillary in  Leonard Peikoff on Donald Trump.

    3  Note that word “immeasurably.”  These ARI characters make a mockery of Ayn Rand’s writing style by sprinkling the words immeasurably, profound, crucial, context, and so forth on their articles whether they belong there or not. It so ruins the words I never use them myself except in a crucial and immeasurably profound context.

    4  Above the photo you read  “The Cause of Hitler’s Germany.”  The webpage on which the photo appears advertises Leonard Peikoff’s less than historically accurate book of that title (published 2014) consisting of the chapters of The Ominous Parallels (published 1982) dealing with Germany.