So how much influence does Peikoff still exert over ARI? Probably very little. Consider Yaron Brook's view of Objectivists who "apologize" (i.e., support) Trump:
Those of you who are apologists for Donald Trump, please never use the word "Objectivist" to associate it [Objectivism] with yourself. Because you cannot be Objectivists, you are not Objectivists, if you apologize for this guy.And you are not doing anybody a favor by selling-out, selling-out the fundamental ideas that we believe in. For the sake of what? Popularity, for the sake of defeating the left?You are sell-outs, you are the fifth-column within Objectivism.
But the Trumpists are a disaster. If they win, and they come to dominate all of the Republican Party and all of its candidates, this country is finished, this country is finished.
Given Brooks uncompromisingly extreme stance against Trump, what are we to make of Peikoff's $297 donation to the Trump campaign? Is Peikoff a "sell-out" and fifth-columnist within Objectivism? How are we ever going to square this particular circle?
Several years ago, when Peikoff was still doing a podcast, he came out in favor of closing the borders. Brooks quickly stepped in to put a stop to this. On Peikoff's next podcast, we hear Brooks explaining why closing the borders is a bad thing to do and Peikoff rather sheepishly admitted he had been led astray by conservative talk radio.
Flash forward to the last year or so. Peikoff is now in permanent retirement. For health reasons, he can no longer make public appearances. What is he doing with his time? When he feels up to it, he's supposedly writing short stories. What does he do when he's not writing stories? Could he be listening to conservative talk radio? Peikoff has been a fan of Rush Limbaugh at least since the nineties. Is it possible that in his retirement Peikoff is listening more to conservative talk radio hosts (and not just Rush, who recently passed away) than he is to Yaron Brook and other ARI figures? Or has he simply become a fan of Trump on his own unbiased judgment, irrespective of influences? Whatever the case, his $297 donation to the Trump campaign strongly suggests that he does not agree with the folks who have taken over the institute he founded way back in the eighties. It also strongly suggests that Peikoff's influence over ARI has come to an end. I don't know whether Brooks knows (or if knows, whether he cares) that Peikoff has a soft spot for Trump. Whatever the case, it clearly doesn't matter. Peikoff is no longer relevant in the world of Objectivism. It's Yaron Brooks and his people who control the institute and who are the big players in that space. They decide what Ayn Rand would have thought if she were still alive.