The new idol of the evangelical right is Paul Ryan, Mitt Romney’s star Vice Presidential candidate. I must admit I am a bit concerned. I never thought that Mitt Romney was as smart as many think his income/wealth indicates. That said, I never thought he was dumb enough to hire a staff as incompetent as they seem with all his miscues. Miscues on the foreign trip, miscues on messaging, political ads that are so untruthful that they are simply not believed by the masses show a level of incompetence I find bewildering.
The biggest blunder in my opinion however is Paul Ryan. Yes he is extremely conservative. However he has so much baggage it is hard to see him not bringing the ticket down. By selecting Ryan we have a Mormon and a Catholic on the ticket. I am a humanist. Religion means nothing to me. However many in the base are staunch Evangelicals. When they get over their brain freeze hate for Obama and simply hate Obama they will likely just stay home as they view both religions as some sort of heresy.
Second he wants to kill Single Payer Medicare into one that will eventually cost the elderly thousands of dollars. As such, the elderly will come out to vote for President Obama. Third he wants to reinstitute bankers back into student loans and cut education subsidies. Students will stay home or vote for Obama in droves. Fourth he has supported several anti-women bills which will lose them the vast majority of women.
I could go on and on but as an Ayn Rand devotee he likely loses many Southern Baptists that will likely stay home. Again, could Romney be this incompetent or is he just sticking it to the Right for hating on him for so long.
Is Paul Ryan for or against Ayn Rand?
By Gary Weiss, Special to CNN updated 1:17 PM EDT, Tue August 14, 2012
Editor’s note: Gary Weiss’s most recent book is "Ayn Rand Nation: The Hidden Struggle for America’s Soul," published by St. Martin’s Press. Follow him on Twitter @gary_weiss.
(CNN) — People don’t generally care what politicians read. But Rep. Paul Ryan is different. His fascination with the Russian-born novelist Ayn Rand could spell trouble for the GOP’s new vice-presidential candidate. It could put him at odds with the Christian right and the Roman Catholic Church.
It all depends how much you believe that he is in the thrall of Ayn Rand.
Rand (1905-1982) is controversial because of the extremism of her views. In researching my recent book, I found that Rand’s influence on the Republican Party, which dates back as far as her endorsement of Wendell Willkie in 1940, has been sharply growing, largely due to her vise-like hold on the imagination of the tea party and people like Ryan.
Rand was the author of two best-selling novels, "The Fountainhead" and "Atlas Shrugged." These books, along with her other novels and essays, set forth an ideology which she called objectivism. Her books have sold in the millions and appeal to people ranging from Silicon Valley entrepreneurs to the rock band Rush. (Rush’s lyricist and drummer, Neil Peart, only this year renounced his interest in Rand, three decades after writing the songs her work inspired.)
College students notoriously go through an "Ayn Rand phase" because her books emphasize self-reliance and breaking away from one’s parents. For most people, it’s a kind of literary infatuation. But for a few, Rand becomes a lifelong passion.
What made her books controversial is not violence or sex, though both "Fountainhead" and "Atlas" have their share of bodice-ripping, but an extremist vision of America that celebrated greed and selfishness, rejected altruism as "evil" and opposed the fundamental tenets of Judeo-Christian morality. (She was also a militant atheist who favored abortion.)
Paul Ryan says that he read her books as a youth but was not influenced by her. In April, he gave an interview to National Review in which he repudiated Rand entirely. In the interview, he called reports of his adherence to Rand’s views an "urban legend" and said that he was more deeply influenced by his Roman Catholic faith and by Thomas Aquinas.
But that’s not the way he was talking in 2005, when he gave a speech to the Atlas Society, a group dedicated to promoting Rand’s beliefs.
In that speech, Ryan said, "I grew up reading Ayn Rand and it taught me quite a bit about who I am and what my value systems are and what my beliefs are. It’s inspired me so much that it’s required reading in my office for all my interns and my staff."
He went on to say that "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."