I’ll start with Biden, because the conclusion is easier, the argument is shorter, and the path is clearer.
There is no ethical argument for voting for Joe Biden, or the Democrats, in the 2020 election. None. Zip.
It’s really as simple as that. He is obviously sliding down the road to dementia: nominating him is the most irresponsible and cynical act by a major political party since the same party nominated Franklin Delano Roosevelt for a fourth term while knowing that he was desperately ill and unlikely to survive two years, much less four. Like today’s Democrats, they didn’t even take care to make certain that they had a Vice President who was up to the job. Indeed, there was no reason to believe that Harry Truman, a career political hack from the Missouri machine, had the character or skills to be President even with the most generous assessment of his record. But at least he wasn’t chosen purely because he had the right skin shade and primary sex characteristics. Yes, the democrats and the nation lucked out with Truman, who was one of the cases in Presidential history where a man has risen to the challenge, surpassing all expectations and past levels of performance. Depending on that to happen again is madness.
Even if he were not too old and cognitively damaged to be President, Joe Biden’s abandonment of so many of his previously held—well, supposedly—principles to maintain the support of the far, anti-American Left would be disqualifying. He should be disqualified because he is a serial sexual harasser running under the cloud of an accusation or workplace sexual assault. After all, his party, and his Vice President, declared such a record intolerable not very long ago. The emerging facts about his evident corruption in dealings with his son’s business interests should be disqualifying.
Biden has also trafficked in Big Lies to oppose the President, especially the despicable and absurd dual false hood that Trump is both responsible for the pandemic results in the U.S and for the collapse of the economy.
Yet even if Joe Biden was not just the Biden of a decade ago, but Super Joe, a candidate who combined the public speaking skills of Ronald Reagan, the trustworthy character of Jimmy Carter, and the extensive executive experience of George H.W. Bush, he would have no case to be elected in 2020. This is because a victory by Biden will validate the damnable, divisive and destructive tactics with which his party and its allies, the resistance and the news media, set out to divide the nation, rip apart its morale and psyche, and weaken its institutions and values, all in a furious attempt to regain power. In this ugly and unforgivable quest, Biden’s party has adopted totalitarian methods while supporting violence, racism, censorship, intimidation and indoctrination as legitimate tools of politics.. Unless he and the Democrats lose—and maybe even if they do—the strength and vitality of the United States of America will be damaged beyond repair. If this four year-long siege on democracy is seen as succeeding, the Republicans can be counted on to adopt a similar strategy.
I could list all of the frightening positions Biden’s party, or large segments of it, support, beginning with virtually open borders, speech censorship, confiscatory tax schemes, economy-crippling measures to combat climate change, reparations for slavery and allowing universities to function as ideological indoctrination centers. There are so many, most of which the party hopes to gloss over by making this election solely about hate, and incredibly, hatred of the elected leader of the country.
There is no case for electing Joe Biden President that is consistent with a responsible regard for the future of the United States of America’s continuing existence as the bulwark of individual rights and liberties it was conceived to be.
The case for President Trump is more complicated.
That’s on the way in Part 2.
23 thoughts on “The Ethics Arguments For Voting For President Trump And Joe Biden, Part I”
Jack wrote, “There is no case for voting for Joe Biden, or the Democrats, in the 2020 election. None. Zip.”
But, but, but; I’m being told something else elsewhere…
Yup; nothing else matters but to Vote Trump Out.
The first sentence of my reply was…
It’s really sad what’s happened to the true old “Liberals”.
Admitting the flaws in one’s chosen champions is a good step forward. What does he say about Trump’s track record? Can he admit any triumphs there? I’m pretty sure there have been at least one or two.
Extradimensional Cephalopod wrote, “What does he say about Trump’s track record? Can he admit any triumphs there? I’m pretty sure there have been at least one or two.”
From what I can tell, he is completely oblivious to any Trump accomplishments.
I’ll admit, despite all of that, Biden would have my vote if he made Andrew Yang an integral part of his cabinet. As far as I can find, though, he hasn’t, because he can’t. The Democrats can’t give Yang a position of any real power or influence, or he’ll make it impossible for them to manipulate people and heal the damage that they’re doing (which is why he’d earn my vote). As it stands, I’m probably going to end up writing in Yang unless I hear a good argument to vote for Trump (and not just to vote against the Democrats).
Ambiguous syntax correction: Yang would make it impossible for Democrats to manipulate people, by healing the damage they’re doing.
Universal income is such a terrible idea it is signature significance. Yang is a smart guy, but he’s out of his depth.
I’d appreciate it if you backed up that statement. When you say that it’s a terrible idea, just how much money are you thinking of people getting per month, and what’s the downside you have in mind? I can think of a few objections you might be raising, but I’d like to be sure what your actual concerns are before I address them.
1. It’s a terrible idea to give people money for just existing. This is the essence of what destroys individual initiative in socialist and communist cultures. I work hard, take risks, make my own money (or not.) I give money via taxes to support the government in doing what only governments should and can do: infrastructure, police, basic services, national defense. I also support safety nets programs for those who are in financial trouble. I do not and should not have to work to give money to strangers.
2. The US can’t afford it. It is already in dangerous, red zone, debt territory. Eventually, this piper must be paid. As with reparations, free college, etc, these give-away programs are wrong in principle even if we had the money for it. It is wrong in practical terms because it is reckless and irresponsible.
I view universal basic income (UBI) as an investment, rather than charity, but in order to reap the benefits we will indeed have to prompt people to do more with what they have. That’s where people like me come in.
Here’s my best argument in favor of UBI in three sentences:
1. Technology is supposed to make human effort less necessary.
2. Our economic system is based on the idea that if you can’t establish you are “necessary,” you don’t eat.
3. Do you see where this is going?
Here is what I expect to happen as a result of universal basic income:
As a result of increased demand, prices will increase for a bit. However, the increased prices will incentivize suppliers to increase supply, as more people can profit from providing essential goods and services. The net result is that prices stay roughly the same, but more people can afford things they need and more people are gainfully employed supplying those things.
People’s increased income may result in some wages decreasing, as people are willing to work for less because their income is supplemented. However, when people have a stable income they are more comfortable with moving to a different job, and the resulting increased mobility of labor will mean that many employers will have to offer more competitive wages and better working conditions. People will also be able to take time to increase their skills. Also, the increasing number of people who are able to afford things will create more jobs.
A universal basic income as proposed by Andrew Yang would only be $1,000 per month per adult, which would require most people to have a job anyway, especially if they wanted any sort of luxury. It would also require a person to waive other forms of government financial support, so it’s not going to increase any deficit.
Some large groups of people will band together and pool their universal basic income in order to avoid having to get a job. However, that means that they will have to get along with and trust each other, which means only people with a healthy sense of community will be able to pull that off. Combined with the other initiatives that we will be promoting, such groups should be strongly encouraged to spend a significant amount of time doing constructive things for their communities which are difficult to monetize.
Like I said earlier, I believe that UBI is insufficient but necessary. It makes all the other necessary changes more possible. It gives people more power and freedom to build up themselves and their communities, if we can help them apply it to constructive purposes. In the meantime, I can spread the ideas they’ll need to be constructive. Eventually, though, I suspect there won’t be a path forward without UBI, because the total supply of human effort (in all its variations) will exceed demand.
I encourage you to read some of the many thoughtful and robust articles people have written regarding the case for universal basic income. If you have any objections that haven’t already been addressed, please do let me know. I’m only advocating for UBI because I think it’s actually a good idea, and if it causes any serious problems I want to figure out whether it can be feasibly salvaged or whether we need to take a different approach to investing in society.
How does that sound?
You think Universal Basic Income is a good policy?
On its own? Probably not. Combined with everything else that Andrew Yang has declared as his goals and methods? Yes. I see it as insufficient but necessary.
I think Universal Basic Income is, if not a prerequisite, then at least a major supporting policy for fostering lasting improvement in human society. It allows people to do meaningful things without so much fear or stress, as long as they are also provided with the skills, opportunities, and encouragement to do so. Everything else we ask people to do for the good of society becomes easier when they aren’t afraid they’ll go broke. People are afraid to have principles when those principles will cost them their livelihoods.
“It is difficult to get a man to understand something, when his salary depends upon his not understanding it!” –Upton Sinclair
The less people’s income depends on their willful ignorance, the more people will feel empowered to act on ethical principles. Whether they know what those principles are is another necessary factor in moving humanity forward.
Does that make sense?
No. Not only that, it has been a proven failure already, and like so many utopian programs, it ignores basic human nature.
Apart from what some others have said, I think the problem with Universal Basic Income is that it does not seem to take into account how the income itself will affect the market.
One of the big criticisms of a raise in the minimum wage is that, while people are getting paid more, the costs of production get raised as a result.
The same thing is likely to happen with Universal Basic Income. If you simply increase the number of dollars chasing around the same number of goods, the price for those goods will rise and the value of that income will be diminished.
And those NOT receiving the stipend will be taxed twice; once to pay the recipients, and again by the higher costs in the market.
That may happen temporarily, but I don’t think that’s the long-term effect. See my reply to Jack above for what I think will happen as a result of UBI.
“We have to overwhelmingly elect Biden (errr, Harris) to avert Trump’s attempted coup if the election is not absolutely decisive! We’re having to make plans for the resistance! ” (An imaginary quote, distilled from the article noted below.)
A fever-dream piece from one of The New Yorker’s stable of asparagus-water, yoga pants, uber-woke but terrified, New York white women tells us why and how (if you can stomach it):
The “anti-coup” would, of course, be non-violent (you know, just like all the recent leftist “protests”).
That could pose something of a problem, addressed in an interesting section of the article:
“Last, Lakey clicked to a slide that said, “What about Violence?” This topic had been hovering over the proceedings. Zunes, the political scientist, had said in a recent interview, “The thing that scares me the most is, unlike all these other countries I’ve studied, this country has millions of people who have guns—and not just guns but semi-automatic weapons—that are loyal Trump supporters, and whom he can call out to suppress such a nonviolent uprising.” Several attendees had expressed concerns in the chat about groups like the Proud Boys and right-wing militias, writing things like “ I have never been in a demonstration where some people are likely to have automatic weapons.”
“We’ve GOT to do something about that damned Second Amendment keeping us from ultimate power.” (Another imaginary quote)
A non-violent uprising?
Yes, one in which some of its potential “non-violent” participants are now worried that their opposition is better equipped to “resist” than they are.
UBI is the equivalent of permanent childhood. My ancestors, the pilgrims, figured out the hard way that to each according to his needs ends poorly.
My search engine game isn’t what it used to be. For the life of me I can’t find my comment from years ago where I listed 3-5 basic characteristics good presidents should have. And it’s frustrating me to no end.
Other key considerations –
1) The Democrats plan on cheating hand over fist. They already told on themselves with the massive vote harvesting schemes combined with the pre-emptive accusations of GOP voter manipulations. Always remember – if the Left is accusing the Right of doing something, they are already doing it themselves or are planning on doing it.
2) The Democrats plan fully on empowering and encouraging the more active members of their base to engage in outright violence and insurrection at the possibility of a Trump victory.