Paul Ryan’s Worship of Ayn Rand

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“…”Compassion is never wasted. It has the power to give us hope,” and it brings us into the presence of God’s goodness and mercy…”  Dr. Joel C. Hunter

The Pink Flamingo thinks that people who follow someone like Ayn Rand are immature and creepy.  Their ‘fandom’ of a person, philosophy, cult, etc. displays a distinct lack of emotional maturity.  If you don’t know when to draw the line when dealing with something, and when to literally close the book, there’s a very serious deficit of character.  It’s about growing up, and becoming an adult.  Sure, we are all influenced by things, but there is such a thing as wisdom and judgement.

Somewhere I read that the average teenager goes through a phase where they are either fans of Rand of Tolkin. If you continue to admire Tolkin, you are basically considered little more than a sci fi fan who lives in the basement of your parent’s home.    The Pink Flamingo likes to joke that “everything I know in life I learned from Star Trek“.  It’s a joke.  I don’t go around quoting the Prime Directive, or handing out copies of transcripts of the original series scripts.

A person grows up and moves on with their lives.  I don’t mind admitting that, when I was a kid, I read every Nancy Drew book I could get my hands on.  It set up a life-long love of mysteries.  One of my great ambitions in life is to create a workable murder mystery series.  I want to write a Sherlock Holmes mystery.  Yes, I must have at least fifty mysteries downloaded on my Kindle.  I pass copies of good mysteries on to friends.  But – I don’t pattern my  life around it.

“...In the early years of Rand’s cult following in the 1960s, observers were surprised that so many scientists, engineers, doctors, dentists, tax specialists, and business executives were crowding into lecture halls to hear a novelist. “They loved her vision of a technologically advancing, logical world,” said Rand’s friend, the late Joan Kennedy Taylor, a writer. “But this was the first time many of them had dealt with ideas. They thought that Ayn Rand had invented laissez-faire capitalism.” Few followers of Rand ever go on to read Dickens or to question the idea that government support of education, transportation, health care, farming, or aid to the poor is a form of authorized “looting” and “mooching,” as Atlas Shrugged depicts it….”

There’s something to this paragraph that rings true.  I’ve noticed that the current “breed” of libertarian style conservative and “Republican” has a tendency to have read Rand, and not much else, save for select books by recommended conservative writers.  There is an alarming general ignorance of history, the understanding of history – unless it comes from approved sources.  Science doesn’t even exist.  Theology is increasingly limited to reformed Calvinism.  Music and the arts are from select sources – oh, wait, we don’t need the arts, unless they are self supporting. We don’t need museums.

According to Rand, we don’t need Christ.

This is my problem with Rand, and her supporters.  Her hatred of Christ was so great, I truly do not see how anyone can follow Rand and follow Christ.  It is impossible.

For ages, The Pink Flamingo has been warning my readers about Ayn Rand, Paul Ryan’s immature and childish devotion of her, and how lethal she is for the GOP. I’ve discussed the fact that she hated Christ.  She was a drug addict.  She created a cult around her psychopathic tendencies.  She molded her hallmark character,  John Galt, from a man who murdered a little girl, then taunted her father over it.

Naked Capitalism

Paul Begala wrote:

“...Ryan’s budget is the fiscal embodiment of the deeply evil, wholeheartedly selfish so-called philosophy of Ayn Rand. In fact, Ryan has described Rand as “the reason I got involved in public service,” and reportedly makes staffers read her works….”

There is something rankly immature about an adult who professes an adoration of someone’s philosophical books enough to pattern their lives after it. It’s not rational.  It’s lacking in stability.  Sure, when you see a sci fi geek who goes around dressed like Mr. Spock or Princess Leia and they are over twenty-two or so, you realize they are a Trekkie type mentality.

(It is at this point The Pink Flamingo confesses to being a life-long Trekkie, BUT – I don’t dress up, read the books, get everyone around me to read the books, and go around telling everyone that my life revolves around The Great Bird of the Galaxy.)

You can enjoy something, admire someone’s work, and not get creepy about it. I can’t think of any individual’s philosophy of life I base my life on, other than Christ. Even then, I never went around telling my employees to read the Bible.

Paul Ryan has devoted his adult life to the admiration of Ayn Randwhen called down about it, he was rather like a Randian Judus.  He denied her.  Then, he lied about being a devotee of hers.  He also lied about this:

“...Representative Paul Ryan, also of Wisconsin, requires staffers to read Atlas Shrugged, describes Obama’s economic policies as “something right out of an Ayn Rand novel,” and calls Rand “the reason I got involved in public service.”…”

Before it’s deleted…

The Pink Flamingo does not make it a habit of fully copying a page, but this is important.  Several months ago, when Paul Ryan was called to task by the Catholic bishops, he lied, saying he did not support or follow Ayn Rand.  From what I know about sites that are contrary to the image Mitt Romney wishes the world to see, things like this get scrubbed. The Pink Flamingo wanted to get screen shots of it before this happened, proving that Ryan has lied about his Randian tendencies.

The Atlas Society

And…

Atlas Society

“...There’s something deeply unsettling about living in a country where millions of people go frothing batshit angry at the suggestion that maybe health care coverage should be extended to the tens of millions of Americans who don’t have it; or when they froth at the mouth in ecstasy at the thought of privatizing and slashing bedrock social programs like Social Security or Medicare. It might not be as hard to stomach if other Western countries also had a large, vocal chunk of their population who thought like this, but the US is seemingly the only place where right-wing elites can openly share their distaste for the working poor. Where do they find their philosophical justification for this kind of attitude?

It turns out, you can trace much of this thinking back to Ayn Rand, a popular cult-philosopher who plays Charlie to the American right-wing’s Manson Family. Read on and you’ll see why.

One reason why most countries don’t find the time to embrace her thinking is that Ayn Rand is a textbook sociopath. Literally a sociopath: Ayn Rand, in her notebooks, worshiped a notorious serial murderer-dismemberer, and used this killer as an early model for the type of “ideal man” that Rand promoted in her more famous books — ideas which were later picked up on and put into play by major right-wing figures of the past half decade, including the key architects of America’s most recent economic catastrophe — former Fed Chair Alan Greenspan and SEC Commissioner Chris Cox — along with other notable right-wing Republicans such as Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas, Rush Limbaugh, Rep. Paul Ryan, and South Carolina Gov. Mark Sanford.

The loudest of all the Republicans, right-wing attack-dog pundits and the Teabagger mobs fighting to kill health care reform and eviscerate “entitlement programs” increasingly hold up Ayn Rand as their guru. Sales of her books have soared in the past couple of years; one poll ranked “Atlas Shrugged” as the second most influential book of the 20th century, after The Bible….”

Daily Beast

Let’s be honest here.  The Pink Flamingo finds Ayn Rand’s life to be vile and despicable.  She literally embodied a life-style and a philosophy that inspired the Book of Satan. That alone should give anyone who remotely claims to be a Christian pause.

Only from Randians do you get the following mindless dribble.

“...As a fictional character, John Galt isn’t burdened with forming a plan of action to address the realities that define the non-fiction world we live in (as a creation of Rand’s imagination, he also wasn’t burdened with the realities of 1957).  Speculating on his views is nothing more than a Rorschach of our own conflicted and ambivalent, economic views.  Would John Galt be more disturbed by the plethora of governmental regulations, or the government’s bailout of too-big-to fail institutions?  Would he have greater disdain for the “Occupy Wall Streetmovement, or the “moochers” who “earned” huge bonuses shortly after their banks were bailed out?  I also suspect that, for both different and similar reasons, he would have very little respect for the realities and stark compromises within both US political parties.  

It’s too bad that the set of solutions to today’s highly complex and intertwined economic challenges aren’t quite as binary as those of the fictional characters we create.  So “Who is John Galt?”  That’s a question for each of us to answer as we so choose….”

The Paul Ryan tax plan is exactly what is being done in Greece.

“...It might seem impossible to fund the government when the super-rich pay no taxes. That is accurate. Ryan would actually raise taxes on the bottom 30 percent of earners, according to the nonpartisan Tax Policy Center, but that hardly fills the revenue hole he would create. The solution? All but eliminate all government outside of Social Security and defense — a point my colleague Derek Thompson has made in incredible chart form….”

In Greece, the wealthy were given large tax cuts. The income base for the government completely crashed. Money going into the government has almost dried up. They were forced, by Angela Merkel, to impose such draconian measures. She took Alan Greenspan’s advice. He is a disciple of Ayn Rand and her economic theory. So is Paul Ryan.

The Atlantic

In Greece, when the tax base was shot, because of raising taxes on the middle class, while lowering those on the wealthy – to create jobs, the country went into a crises. Merkel, using Greenspan’s model, forced Greece to impose even more draconian budget cuts. Social services were slashed. People who had government job lost their jobs. This is exactly what the Ryan/Romney/Koch/Greenspan/Rand model demands we do in this country. They are so STUPID they cannot even reason through the causes in effect of what is destroying Greece.

Fortunately, the American people are much smarter and wiser than this little Randian Cabal. According to the most recent Pew study on the economy, the American People – We the Little People, are far smarter than Ryan/Romney/Koch/Greenspan/Rand. The Randian actions of people like Paul Ryan are killing the GOP.

“…Both parties lost ground in public esteem, but the Republicans suffered the biggest setbacks. Americans associated the Republicans with extreme positions while viewing the Democrats as the party of compromise, which is what the public wanted lawmakers to do as the prospect loomed of a federal government default. Opinion of the Republican leadership nose-dived over that summer. At the end of July, 42% of Americans saw Republicans in Congress less favorably after the weeks of debt negotiations, (44% said their opinions were unchanged and 11 percent said their opinion was more favorable). More generally, the Republican Party’s favorable rating sank to 34% in August 2011 compared to 42% in February, unfavorable views of the GOP rose from 51% to 59%. Democrats continued to get mixed marks, with 43% seeing them favorably and 50% unfavorably (compared to 48% favorable and 45% unfavorable in February).

The high level of disappointment and frustration reflected by this public reaction poses a serious conundrum for those in Washington wrestling with the debt and deficit issue – they are dealing with a public that is demanding solution to a problem which it has declared to be a major priority, but at the same time Americans are resistant, or divided at best, on the sacrifices that would be required to achieve a solution….”

TPM

Regular readers of The Pink Flamingo are well aware that, after a year and a half of soul searching and prayer, I am having an increasingly difficult time dealing with the fact that conservatives, under the influence of Ayn Rand, don’t give a damn about the teachings of Christ.

I am well aware that there is a separation of Church and State. I am aware that, because of that separation, one is not required to be charitable nor look after one’s fellow citizens. I do find it ironic, in dealing with a political party and group of individuals who claim to be increasingly more religious and holier than though, that the abandonment of these values is disconcerting.

“…“What’s unique about what’s happening today in government, in the world, in America, is it’s as if we’re living in an Ayn Rand novel right now,” said Ryan. “I think Ayn Rand did the best job of anybody to build the moral case for capitalism. And that morality of capitalism is under assault. And we are going to replace it with a crony capitalism, collectivist, government-run system which is creeping its way into government,” said Ryan, “and so if Ayn Rand were here today, I think she would do a great job in showing us just how wrong what government is doing is. Not the quantitative analysis, not the numbers, but the morality of what is wrong with what government is doing today.”

Ryan, who chairs the powerful House Budget Committee, attends St. John Vianney Catholic Church in Janesville, Wisconsin and is the architect of the controversial “Path to Prosperity” budget. After the budget’s release, the cuts to Medicare and other entitlement programs prompted Catholic officials to criticize Ryan’s budget as not in keeping with Catholic faith, intimating that Ryan’s devotion to Ayn Rand motivated the cuts in programs for the poor.

And pounce they did.

Father Thomas J. Reese, a priest at Georgetown University was heavily critical of Ryan in an interview with the Huffington Post. “I am afraid that Chairman Ryan’s budget reflects the values of his favorite philosopher Ayn Rand rather than the gospel of Jesus Christ,” Reese said. “Survival of the fittest may be okay for Social Darwinists but not for followers of the gospel of compassion and love.” President Obama has joined the chorus of critics, also calling Ryan’s budget “thinly veiled social Darwinism.”

Ninety faculty members at the predominantly Catholic Georgetown University went on to accuse Ryan’s budget of violating Catholic social teaching.

Ryan has disagreed with the assessment of these characterizations, telling National Review “Liberals have accused me of not being a good Catholic,” Ryan said. “It’s important to try and elevate the tone of this dialogue to a more civil tone — discussing how we exercise prudential judgment as lay people in the Catholic Church in public life. I’m delighted to have the conversation.”

The letter sent by Georgetown faculty to Ryan quoted the U.S. Conference of Bishops saying “a just framework for future budgets cannot rely on disproportionate cuts in essential services to poor persons.” The bishops later remarked that the “the House-passed budget resolution fails to meet these moral criteria.”

The letter went on to say: “[Y]our budget appears to reflect the values of your favorite philosopher, Ayn Rand, rather than the Gospel of Jesus Christ. Her call to selfishness and her antagonism toward religion are antithetical to the Gospel values of compassion and love.” The letter also rebuked Ryan for defending his budget by appealing to Catholic social teaching.

Drawing on the Catholic principle of subsidiarity, which encourages poverty relief to stay local and dependent upon civil society and less so on government intervention, Ryan believes in relieving poverty, but in ways that don’t merely address the symptom, but the actual problem itself….”

Dennis Prager’s op ed in IBD shows us exactly what the problem is in the GOP:

“…The Republican vice-presidential candidate, Congressman Paul Ryan, is the Democrats’ political version of the Anti-Christ.

He believes in self-reliance; the left believes in reliance on the state. His moral values are shaped by religion (Catholicism); the left is frightened by religious Christian politicians (and athletes, and members of the armed forces, and talk-show hosts, and, for that matter, clergy).

He believes in individualism; the left believes in collectivism. He believes in small government and powerful citizens; the left believes in large government and dependent citizens…”

Rand is a losing proposition.  Her economic policies are what has managed to get us into this economic mess.  Her corporate supporters believe that there are no rules.  You just do what you want to do, and damn everyone else.  Political Randians like the Koch Brothers, tea parties, Club for Growth, Americans for Prosperity, and their associates believe in rules only for those who oppose them.

Ayn Rand is a disaster for this nation.  The Pink Flamingo rather feels like this is like Wyatt Earp and his Vendetta Ride, only without the violence and gunplay.  The followers of Rand need to be taken out and purged from the GOP.  If not, we will have a party only of losers, opportunists, and pimps who owe their souls to the highest bidder.

As far as I’m concerned, there should be no mercy in the GOP when it comes to removing anyone who has a taint of Rand, I don’t care who they are.  They don’t belong in the Republican Party.  People need to stand for something.  I can’t take much more of this idiocy that makes a mockery of honor, factual accuracy, and decency toward one’s fellow human.

It’s like this… if they don’t dump that little red sash  their copies of Atlas Shrugged ,that proves them to be a follower of Rand, anyone in the GOP who supporters her, should be purged from the Republican Party.  If not, it’s all over.

If this includes current office holders and those who are on the current ticket, so be it.

The worst part of Randians is they have a very limited view of reality.  Only theirs is acceptable.  Only their opinions count.  Only they are acceptable.  The rest of us are to be ground under their feet. Unfortunately, by modeling their lives and politics after Rand, they end up adopting her attitude of intolerance, rudeness, cruelty and disavowal of anything Christian.

You cannot follow Rand and Christ.

P. S. Wyatt Earp was a Republican.

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