More Republican hypocrisy as controversial émigré philosopher and writer Ayn Rand and her fictional character John Galt join the GOP presidential ticket via Paul Ryan but yet these same people attacked President Obama for his alleged association with Bill Ayer and Rev. Jeremiah Wright. Ayn Rand has had a profound impact on Paul Ryan, so much so that her book is required reading for his staff. More do as I say and not as I do from the Republicans. Mitt Romney brags about Paul Ryan’s Roman Catholic faith, but um, didn’t he realize that his sidekick is an acolyte of an atheist? Romney described Ryan as “a faithful Catholic” who “believes in the dignity and worth of every life.” Um, really? Ayn Rand’s words beg to differ. Ayn Rand’s objectivism belief and her extreme Libertarian views that “negative freedom” is the only type of liberty to be pursued ought to be brought front and center, since she also wanted to see the government all but destroyed. That’s exactly what Paul Ryan wants to see. Here’s an interesting excerpt on Ayn Rand from the New Yorker:
Although she died thirty years ago, Rand’s influence appears on the rise on the right. As my colleague Ryan Lizza noted in his terrific biographical Profile of Ryan, Rand’s works were an early and important influence on him, shaping his thinking as far back as high school. Later, as a Congressman, Ryan not only tried to get all of the interns in his congressional office to read Rand’s writing, he also gave copies of her novel “Atlas Shrugged” to his staff as Christmas presents, as he told the Weekly Standard in 2003.
Three years ago, as Tim Mak reports today at Politico, Ryan described America’s political challenge as coming straight out of Rand’s work—saying, “what’s unique about what’s happening today in government, in the world, in America, is that it’s as if we’re living in an Ayn Rand novel right now. I think Ayn Rand did the best job of anybody to build a moral case of capitalism, and that morality of capitalism is under assault.”
More recently, however, Ryan distanced himself from Rand, whose atheism is something of a philosophical wedge issue on the right, dividing religious conservatives from free-market libertarians. This year, with his political profile rising, Ryan stressed not only that he had differences with Rand’s atheism—a point he had made as far back as 2003—but went so far as to denounce her whole system of beliefs, describing his early attraction to her writing as little more than a youthful dalliance. He admitted that he had “enjoyed her novels,” but, as Mak notes, he stressed that, “I reject her philosophy. It’s an atheist philosophy. It reduces human interactions down to mere contracts and it is antithetical to my worldview. If somebody is going to try to paste a person’s view on epistemology to me, then give me Thomas Aquinas.”
It’s interesting to note that the Romney-Ryan ticket looks just like the Dole-Kemp ticket, that eventually went nowhere. In fact, the New Yorker reports, Jack Kemp adored Ayn Rand. It’s no surprise that his protege, Paul Ryan, does too. Seems to me this “faithful Catholic” is full of sh*t more than anything. How do you follow someone whose religion you disagree with so vehemently? Then-candidate Barack Obama almost lost the nomination because of his association with Jeremiah Wright. Paul Ryan, who has kicked one of the cardinal rules of the Roman Catholic Church to take care of the poor, to the curb and now he followers an avowed atheist? I am amazed at how the Republican Party has sunk to a hodge-podge of mismatched alliances that has ultra-rich like the Koch brothers trying to buy the election of Mitt Romney before our very eyes, along with a radical group of Tea Partiers and the right wing evangelicals jockeying for the top spot. Mitt Romney and Paul Ryan want the safety net of the poor and middle class eviscerated. Remember, Mitt Romney said he wasn’t “worried about the poor.” Yeah, Paul Ryan’s budget shows that loud and clear.