Shortly after Rep. Paul Ryan, R-Wis., was picked as Mitt Romney’s running mate, it came out that Ryan was a big fan of Rage Against the Machine. While it’s not unusual for people around 40 to be fans of the rap metal group, Ryan’s love of the band was considered somewhat odd, given that Rage is loudly and openly leftist in their political leanings.
This is the band that featured Leonard Peltier in the video for their seminal hit “Freedom,” the band that has been avowedly pro-choice, the band that headlined a show opposite the 2008 Republican National Convention, in which they came on stage dressed as prisoners at Guantanamo Bay. They supported Occupy Wall Street and Mexico’s leftist EZLN rebels. To say that they have a somewhat different view of the world than the “pro-life as you get,” Medicare-slashing Ryan is an understatement.
Tom Morello, guitarist for the band, made that a flat statement on Thursday, penning an op-ed for Rolling Stone in which he said, “Paul Ryan’s love of Rage Against the Machine is amusing, because he is the embodiment of the machine that our music has been raging against for two decades.”
Morello went further, adding, “Charles Manson loved the Beatles but didn’t understand them. Governor Chris Christie loves Bruce Springsteen but doesn’t understand him. And Paul Ryan is clueless about his favorite band, Rage Against the Machine.”
Morello went on to say that while Ryan clearly didn’t get the band, he did understand rage:
Don’t mistake me, I clearly see that Ryan has a whole lotta “rage” in him: A rage against women, a rage against immigrants, a rage against workers, a rage against gays, a rage against the poor, a rage against the environment. Basically the only thing he’s not raging against is the privileged elite he’s groveling in front of for campaign contributions.
Morello closed by saying that he hoped that Ryan was “a mole,” but that he wasn’t betting on it.
Paul Ryan has been featured in attack ads that show him throwing old people off cliffs. But being compared to evil people like Charles Manson, or Chris Christie? That’s got to sting.
Image Credit: Scott Penner