“There are two novels that can change a bookish 14-year-old’s life: The Lord of the Rings and Atlas Shrugged. One is a childish fantasy that often engenders a lifelong obsession with its unbelievable heroes, leading to an emotionally stunted, socially crippled adulthood, unable to deal with the real world. The other, of course, involves orcs.” – John Rogers
According to Republican VP nominee and extreme conservative Paul Ryan, “You can’t find another thinker or writer who did a better job of describing and laying out the moral case for capitalism than Ayn Rand.” Of course you can’t, rich white dude, because few popular authors are that blatantly and publicly selfish.
Rand, while promoting the wealthy one percent as the true downtrodden, was also a staunchly pro-choice atheist. While Ryan and his associates are exceedingly Christian and pro-life—Ryan is in fact a “personhood” supporter—according to Rand life begins at birth, and before that we’re all just flesh balls. Did Ryan forget this aspect of Rand’s ideals, or is he ignoring it because it doesn’t fit his Bible-thumping, woman-hating, manly man plans? Members of the GOP, Ryan and his programmable robot running mate included, do the same thing with the Bible, picking and choosing and choosing and picking and shoving all that inconvenient “love thy neighbor” hooey under the rug along with, you know, reason and logic. Remember when they opposed the Violence Against Women Act because it included Native Americans, immigrants, and same-sex couples? Shh… it’s OK, those aren’t really people.
As Ryan himself said in 2005, “the reason I got involved in public service, by and large, if I had to credit one thinker, one person, it would be Ayn Rand. And the fight we are in here, make no mistake about it, is a fight of individualism versus collectivism.” I love being rich, and I want to stay rich forever and you blood-sucking poors can’t have any of it! Now wash my windshield.
Ryan, who “grew up on Ayn Rand,” is now calling his popularized devotion to the author an “urban legend,” which, ego notwithstanding, it’s not—his speech was recorded. He’s claiming instead that his Roman Catholic faith is his true inspiration, which is fascinating since the Catholic Church recently criticized his proposed budget cuts outright for “not following the gospel of Jesus Christ.” Ouch. But just as Rand fought against social programs, Ryan continues to promote his comically tragic budget plan, which includes cutting lower and middle class programs without imposing any new taxes on the wealthy. He does know we can hear him when he talks, right? But don’t worry, rich white folks! When he’s assured that low-income families—Rand’s “looters” and “moochers”—can no longer support themselves, Ryan and his posse will retreat to their moon colony where they’ll build a utopian free-market economy in which Sarah Palin robots perform all those low-wage jobs that Ryan certainly won’t be doing to keep this great nation ticking.
By Genevieve Weber