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Top 5 Reasons GOP Intellectuals Are Know-Nothings

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2. Once a Disciple, Always a Disciple

Sure, Ryan has disavowed his allegiance to Russian emigré writer Ayn Rand after she’d been the equivalent of his guru since he read her in high school, to the point that he reportedly wanted all the interns in his congressional office to read her and gave his staff Atlas Shrugged for Christmas presents. In a 2005 speech to the Objectivist Society, Ryan said that Rand had inspired him to enter public service.

Then, in an April National Review interview, Ryan dismissed his being a Rand acolyte as an “urban legend:”

“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…Don’t give me Ayn Rand.”

Many have pointed out that Ryan disowning his interest in Rand was “politically essential.” ”As a Mormon, the last thing Romney needs is to alienate the Christian Right further by putting an acolyte of an atheist on the ticket,” says The New Yorker.

But as Jennifer Burns, an assistant professor of history at Stanford University, explains, Ryan’s interpretation of Rand’s ideas suggests he should have read her writings a little more carefully. It’s not hard to see how Rand’s “advocacy of unfettered capitalism and her celebration of the individual,” would appeal to Ryan, as would her “black-and-white-worldview” of “‘producers’ who create wealth and ‘moochers’ who feed off them.” However,

While Rand, an atheist, did enjoy a good Christmas celebration for its cheerful commercialism, she would have scoffed at the idea of public service. And though Mr. Ryan’s advocacy of steep cuts in government spending would have pleased her, she would have vehemently opposed his social conservatism and hawkish foreign policy. She would have denounced Mr. Ryan as she denounced Ronald Reagan, for trying “to take us back to the Middle Ages, via the unconstitutional union of religion and politics.”

According to Rand, abortion was “a moral right which should be left to the sole discretion of the woman involved.”

Ryan’s views on this matter are not only contrary to Rand’s, but downright medieval.


Photo by Elvert Barnes via Flickr.

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8:02AM PDT on Sep 20, 2012

Something to think about.

The Greatest Speech Ever - Charlie Chaplin !

9:58AM PDT on Sep 17, 2012

Ryan is a slimeball. A worthless POS who had everything handed to him. Just like Romney. Re-elect Obama. If you hate Obama just don't vote for these idiots.

2:01PM PDT on Sep 10, 2012

Agree with Don H.

5:22AM PDT on Sep 10, 2012

Mark B, I completely agree with you about publicly financed elections. That is the only possible way we can regain our representative democracy.

But I have to take issue you with you when you say, "Democrats want to do away with the Second Amendment".

The NRA TELLS you the Democrats was to do away with the Second Amendment. But it is not true. I'm a gun owner. There are millions of gun owning Democrats. We do not want to do away with the Second Amendment.

Advocating a ban on assault style weapons hardly equates wanting to ban the Second Amendment. I know you have heard time and again from the NRA that this is a "slippery slope" but that doesn't make it true.

When the NRA says, "Clinton wants to take your guns away." or "Obama wants to take your guns away." they are manipulating the thinking of millions of otherwise reasonable Americans. Look how guns and ammunition sales exploded after Obama was elected. Who did that serve? That's right, the gun and ammo manufacturers. It was an easy ploy and the gun makers made out like bandits.

9:22PM PDT on Sep 9, 2012

How to Read Political Racial Code

9:19PM PDT on Sep 9, 2012

Mark that just won't cut it. I am considered liberal, and I am white and I don't think for a minute that I am discriminating against myself. I'd rethink that mindspeak you just wrote a bit. It sounds like you are trying to convince undecided whites to vote against the current president. We have already read stories about this approach from people and that they will try to use it to create further confusion. Sorry. not buying it.

8:57PM PDT on Sep 9, 2012

We will keep having to choose from the 'lesser of two evils' as long as the electoral process is privatized. If 'We, the People', choose to finance the electoral process, we can eliminate the prostitute Supreme Court's decision of Citizens United. Who ever pays for the elections controls who gets elected, and controls them after the elections.

Democrats want to do away with the Second Amendment, and Republicans want to do away with the Middle Class. The Liberals discriminate against me because I am White, the Republicans discriminate against me because I am disabled. Who can I vote for? Both offend me.

We must nationalize the electoral process to regain populist control of our body politic and our own lives. We must forbid private financing, (donations), of elections and only allow public funding and public control of the entire process before we can have real Statesmen and Stateswomen to vote for.

1:00PM PDT on Sep 8, 2012

Just for a moment . Work with me here folks.
Nightmare scenario. Romney (liar in chief) elected. Steven King horror moment. Romney gets sick. Ryan ,the ignoramous. PRESIDENT! God help us all. Hardly a experienced ,level headed substitute!!.(replacing a totally clueless store front dummy)
No foreign policy .(voted FOR Iraq War,that is it!) No respect for women. (barefoot and pregnancy for all)
One question. he supports personhood.(would have denied Romney grandchildren as IVF,would be illegal) Have Huckabee explain that to the the chief.!

2:21PM PDT on Sep 7, 2012

I think that the GOP is a product of their own dumbing down our educational system. The GOP has been short changing education for decades. These guys seem to believe the religious stupidstitions that many religions preach, like the earth is only 6000 years old, women got man into trouble because of that apple, etc. They believe the voodoo economics that trickle down works. They have lots of money. See! It worked. Look at all that money these corporations keep giving me. See! It's working. They have the money and it's tricking down to me.

1:59PM PDT on Sep 7, 2012

Isn't "GOP Intellectuals" an oxymoron?

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