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Leonard Peikoff on Donald Trump

Written during the 2016 presidential campaign, updated after Trump’s victory.

From Mr. Peikoff’s podcast of June 20, 2016 – a few months before the 2016 election (emphasis his, my external quote marks omitted): [1]

With regard to Trump, ... I just bought, and wear, a great T-shirt [short anticipating laugh] which says in bold letters
Now it’s not necessarily doomed, but if you have to make a pronouncement, rather that than “Everything is Great.”

So I enjoy wearing that. Trouble is, “everybody sucks” is a little too broad, until you get to 2016 you don’t realize it’s a political context, it sounds like misanthropy. But in any event it’ll give you the idea that I am not voting for Mr. Trump. And you can ask Yaron why, I don’t discuss politics.
The lofty Mr. Peikoff doesn’t discuss politics. About three years earlier, after putting up an ineffectual fight he deferred to Yaron Brook on open immigration. [2]  Now, after no fight at all, he defers to him on a watershed presidential election. Though Mr. Peikoff may not hate everyone, he agrees with Mr. Brook that at least half of voting Americans are gullible, compliant and shallow. [3]

Since Hillary Clinton would have become president if Trump hadn’t garnered enough votes to defeat her, apparently Mr. Peikoff hates Trump and his supporters so much that he’d rather have seen Hillary president than Trump. In Mr. Peikoff’s estimation Americans would be better off with one of the most corrupt politicians in U.S. history.  Somehow Trump will be even worse.  For the next four to eight years, instead of hearing “President Donald Trump” he wanted to hear “President Hillary Clinton.”

Since Mr. Peikoff claims to think long range, he must think America would be better for decades to come after an extreme Leftist appoints two or three Supreme Court justices and countless lesser federal court justices – better than Trump appointing them.

If Mr. Peikoff thinks long range, he must think America would be better for evermore after Hillary granted amnesty to all illegal aliens, as she promised to do during her first hundred days in office, at the same time ending enforcement of immigration law – better than if Trump restricts immigration, ends birthright citizenship and deports illegal aliens.

Since Mr. Peikoff thinks long range, he must think that one way to assure freedom from tyranny is to gut the Second Amendment, as Hillary promised to do – more assured than if Trump supports the Second Amendment.

Granted Trump will not make the ideal president, but Mr. Peikoff’s worse-than-Hillary position is ridiculous. In these times Trump will make a good president, and more to the point, on every issue better – orders of magnitude better – than Hillary.  Name an issue – taxes, regulation, trade, foreign policy, gun control, court appointments, defense, national sovereignty, immigration – Trump is better. [4]

You needn’t like Trump to prefer him over Crooked Hillary. Even if someone thinks Trump will be a disaster, surely he must realize that Trump would be less of a disaster than that creature.

Misters Brook and Peikoff will have none of this. They call Trump an authoritarian, a fascist, and talk ominously of “history” – a veiled reference to Hitler – which is absurd. They promoted Hillary over this alleged authoritarian, implying that Hillary is less authoritarian, if at all, than Trump – a lie piled atop absurdity.


As you might expect, people who like the Ayn Rand Institute hate Trump as much as Misters Brook and Peikoff do. The following statements are from blogs and discussion groups sympathetic to ARI, each made before the election by a different individual:

“Hillary is a better choice than Trump.”

“... if the polls look close in my state, between Trump and Hillary, I will vote for Hillary.”

[In an article where Hillary – that shipwreck – is never mentioned:]  “A President Trump would be a disaster.”
Another ARI aficionado approvingly quoted a Washington Post editorial by neocon Robert Kagan:
“... Americans can’t simply rely on the system to save them from the possibility of a fascist president [by this is meant Trump, not Hillary]. And they certainly can’t count on the Republicans who produced this threat in the first place. They will have to shoulder that responsibility themselves, in the voting booth.”
Then following this cue he later asked:  Are we to rely on checks and balances
“... to stop our version of Mussolini?  Count me out.”
In other words, the checks and balances won’t check Trump, shoulder your responsibility and vote Hillary – somehow the checks and balances will work with her.  You wouldn’t want a version of Mussolini for president now would you?

I know, it doesn’t make much sense. I just report this stuff.


Trump made immigration the signature issue of his campaign and this may be the foremost reason Misters Brook and Peikoff hate him. To them having real borders is fascist. Wanting to preserve ones culture and way of life is fascist. Wanting to avoid getting swamped by the Third World is fascist. They would have you believe America was fascist until the Silly Sixties when our slow motion immigration disaster began;  that during the 18th, 19th and pre-WWII 20th century, America was a kind of Third Reich, the generally happy background of old pre-war movies notwithstanding.

Immigration is as important an issue in Europe and the UK as it is here. The European Union is a large part of the problem.  On June 23, 2016 the UK held a historic referendum, called Brexit, to leave the EU. After a record-breaking voter turnout it passed, which means the UK will eventually return to the sovereign, self-governing nation it once was – the Westphalian nation state which Mr. Brook abhors (outside of Israel). In particular the British once again will be able to determine who may enter their country. [5]

On the day of the Brexit referendum Mr. Brook tweeted this about Nigel Farage, then leader of the UK Independence Party (UKIP):

“Farage just said the Brexit election was about immigration.  If that is true, will not make UK better, but worse.  Nationalism on rise.”
Brexit was about national sovereignty, one important aspect of which is strict immigration control.  If this is nationalism may we all be nationalists.

Trump commented on the Brexit outcome the next day.  He tweeted:

“Many people are equating BREXIT, and what is going on in Great Britain, with what is happening in the U.S.  People want their country back!”

In a prepared statement he said the British

“... have declared their independence from the European Union and have voted to reassert control over their own politics, borders, and economy.”
and spoke of his candidacy in the U.S.:
“Come November, the American people will have the chance to re-declare their independence. Americans will have a chance to vote for trade, immigration and foreign policies that put our citizens first. ... They will have the chance to reject today’s rule by the global elite ...”
In NeoObjectivist-speak this is called “blaming the Other” and is supposed to be bad.  Hillary opposed Brexit.  She likes the Other,  a lot.

1  An extraneous “you know” has been silently omitted.

2  See  Leonard Peikoff on Yaron Brook and Immigration  on this website.

3  See the statements of Mr. Brook quoted in  Fear and Loathing of Donald Trump  on this website.

Just as the polls underestimated Trump’s support during the Republican nomination when it came to actual votes, the polls for the presidential race were skewed the same way.

4  Mr. Brook tells us (BlogTalkRadio, June 18, 2016 “Terrorism? Elections? It’s Philosophy Stupid!”) that using a list of issues to compare candidates indicates a concrete bound, unprincipled mentality. He has a point, but when the tally of a sufficiently large number of issues overwhelmingly favors one candidate, “concrete bound” and “unprincipled” begin to look like “anchored in reality.”

5  With the dolorous result of past indiscriminant immigration in front of them today, hopefully the British will force their government to do a better job in future.

Brexit passed resoundingly, approaching 60% pro in the England beyond London. Were it not for Wales, and rural and industrial England, Brexit would have been defeated.

Considering the whole of the UK, Brexit passed decidedly but not by a landslide. Some people were taken in by the multi-culti propaganda and economic fear-mongering of the globalists. Then there was the vote of the immigrants Britain had suffered from its Third World colonies after WW II, then later from the EU – immigrants purposely inflicted on Britain by her elites, who wanted to “rub the Right’s nose in diversity and render their arguments out of date” as one former official revealed.  Britain might be getting out of the EU in the nick of time.