Tag Archives: Republican Party (United States)

Radical RAND: The Truth About GOP Hero Ayn Rand -a repost,a republican idol?


socialsecurityposter1I have to say, I do not usually read articles from Maureen Dowd, nor do subscribe to most of her comments but this one about ayn rand grabbed my attention …and is still relevant as 2018 begins

by Maureen Dowd

… Indeed, the most remarkable thing about Ayn Rand’s reach on the right is how unremarked-upon it most often is.

Ayn Rand — Russian empire, founder of the mid-century Objectivist movement, putative philosopher, writer of the novels The Fountainhead and Atlas Shrugged, and the inspiration for a small but intensely devoted band of acolytes — has been enjoying a resurgence of late on the American right. The cultural capstone to this resurgence arrived last week with the release of a filmed adaptation of the first third of Atlas Shrugged, independently financed by a wealthy devotee of Rand’s work and pitched explicitly at the Tea Party demographic. FreedomWorks, one of the central organizations in that movement, rolled out a massive campaign to encourage audience attendance and to push the film into as many theaters as possible. The 2011 CPAC conference held the world premiere of Atlas Shrugged’s trailer, and the conservative think tank The Heritage Foundation hosted an advanced screening of the film. This marketing tactic is understandable. The opening line of Atlas Shrugged — “Who is John Galt?” — has appeared again and again on signs at Tea Party protests across the nation. The Tea Party builds the theme of “Going Galt” into its rhetoric — a reference to the strike of industry titans organized by the hero of the novel. Glenn Beck praises Atlas Shrugged regularly on his various shows, and even held a panel dedicated to asking if Rand’s fiction is finally becoming reality. The Economist reported several sharp spikes in sales of Atlas Shrugged since 2007. And according to the Ayn Rand Institute, sales of the novel hit an all-time annual record that year, then reached a new record in 2008, with possibly another peak in 2009. By all accounts, Ayn Rand is now one of the central intellectual and cultural inspirations for the base of the Republican Party.

RAND’S INFLUENCE ON GOP:

“For over half a century,” says Jennifer Burns, a recent biographer of the novelist, “Rand has been the ultimate gateway drug to life on the right.” And with good reason. Besides her prominence in the Tea Party’s intellectual and cultural lexicon, some of the Republican Party’s leading lights have cited Rand by name as an inspiration. Rep. Paul Ryan (R-WI) said she was the reason he entered public service. Sen. Ron Johnson (R-WI) called Atlas Shrugged “his foundational book.” Sen. Rand Paul (R-KY) is an avowed fan and quotes extensively from Rand’s novels at Congressional hearings. His father Rep. Ron Paul (R-TX) told listeners that readers ate up Rand’s Alas Shrugged because “it was telling the truth,” and even conservative Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas references her work as influence in his autobiography — and apparently has his law clerks watch the film adaptation of The Fountainhead. The phenomenon holds amidst the right-wing media as well: Rush Limbaugh called her “brilliant,” Glenn Beck’s panel on Rand featured the president of the Ayn Rand Institute Yaroom Brook, and Andrew Napolitano enthusiastically recounted a story in which his college-age self introduces his mother to Rand’s The Virtue of Selfishness. John Stossel and Sean Hannity have name-dropped her as well. Going further back, Alan Greenspan — former chairman of the Federal Reserve and a fierce advocate of free-market ideology — is an acolyte of Rand’s thinking and knew her personally, and Rand was also dubbed the unofficial “novelist laureate” of the Reagan Administration by Maureen Dowd. Indeed, the most remarkable thing about Ayn Rand’s reach on the right is how unremarked-upon it most often is.

RAND’S PHILOSOPHY:

The philosophy, such as it was, which Rand laid out in her novels and essays was a frightful concoction of hyper-egotism, power-worship and anarcho-capitalism. She opposed all forms of welfare, unemployment insurance, support for the poor and middle-class, regulation of industry and government provision for roads or other infrastructure. She also insisted that law enforcement, defense and the courts were the only appropriate arenas for government, and that all taxation should be purely voluntary. Her view of economics starkly divided the world into a contest between “moochers” and “producers,” with the small group making up the latter generally composed of the spectacularly wealthy, the successful, and the titans of industry. The “moochers” were more or less everyone else, leading TNR’s Jonathan Chait to describe Rand’s thinking as a kind of inverted Marxism. Marx considered wealth creation to result solely from the labor of the masses, and viewed the owners of capital and the economic elite to be parasites feeding off that labor. Rand simply reversed that value judgment, applying the role of “parasite” to everyday working people instead. On the level of personal behavior, the heroes in Rand’s novels commit borderline rape, blow up buildings, and dynamite oil fields — actions which Rand portrays as admirable and virtuous fulfillments of the characters’ personal will and desires. Her early diaries gush with admiration for William Hickman, a serial killer who raped and murdered a young girl. Hickman showed no understanding of “the necessity, meaning or importance of other people,” a trait Rand apparently found quite admirable. For good measure, Rand dismissed the feminist movement as “false” and “phony,” denigrated both Arabs and Native Americans as “savages” (going so far as to say the latter had no rights and that Europeans were right to take North American lands by force) and expressed horror that taxpayer money was being spent on government programs aimed at educating “subnormal children” and helping the handicapped. Needless to say, when Rand told Mike Wallace in 1953 that altruism was evil, that selfishness is a virtue, and that anyone who succumbs to weakness or frailty is unworthy of love, she meant it.

PAUL RYAN’S AYN RAND BUDGET:

Given that Rep. Paul Ryan (R-WI) is the lead architect of the GOP’s 2012 budget plan, his own devotion to the ideas of Atlas Shrugged and its author are worth noting. Conservative columnist Ross Douthat has dismissed the connection as Ryan merely saying some “kind words about Ayn Rand,” which simply isn’t a plausible characterization given what we know: Ryan was a speaker at the Ayn Rand Centenary Conference in 2005, where he described Social Security as a “collectivist system” and cited Rand as his primary inspiration for entering public service. He has at least two videos on his Facebook page in which he heaps praise on the author. “Ayn Rand, more than anyone else, did a fantastic job of explaining the morality of capitalism, the morality of individualism,” he says. All of which reflects a rather more serious devotion than a few mere kind words. So it should come as no surprise that Ryan’s plan comports almost perfectly with Rand’s world view. He guts Medicare, Medicaid, and a whole host of housing, food, and educational support programs, leaving the country’s middle-class and most vulnerable citizens with far less support. Then he uses approximately half of the money freed by those cuts to reduce taxes on the most wealthy Americans. By transforming Medicare into a system of vouchers whose value increases at the rate of inflation, he undoes Medicare’s most humane feature — the shouldering of risk at the social level — and leaves individuals and seniors to shoulder ever greater amounts of risk on their own. But if your intellectual and moral lodestar is a woman who railed against altruism as “evil” and considered the small pockets of highly successful individuals to be morally superior, it’s a perfectly logical plan to put forward.

AlterNet 8/2011

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Austerity V Progressive ~~


Just another rant …

As we move into Campaign2018 voters need to remember the Global Financial Crisis of 2007 ~ 2008, how Republicans are reacting to your financial and personal status, Women’s Rights and Race in the year 2017.  We must remember the Sequester of 2013, $24Billion shutdown and ALL the NO votes against Americans in Congress. The craziness in my opinion is clearly based on conservative insanity and could shove America into another moment of chaos in the long run. if “We the People” do not open your eyes and make your vote count in midterms more than ever before because they matter … Stop ignoring our Midterm elections and fight against conservative redistricting.

I ask you, what has a Republican done for you and yours, what are they thinking and how disturbing is it that past elections have taught them nothing! They continue to vote against bills that could help their own constituents like seniors, Students and the Unemployed just to name a broad group that has to include their own families or someone they know, right.

However, Republicans seem to believe and act as if they have no middle-lower or poor constituents that will feel the pain of all those NO votes …

We may never know all the reasons or facts behind our receding economy and yes; we all have to admit some housing loans were a big mistake. We know that AIG wrapped up some products in questionable paper, put a bow on them, which blew up, and a whole lot of poo was spread through the world. I am no expert, but what part of “the global economy” did the extreme right misunderstand. Republicans have made it a mission almost impossible since they first held Americans hostage and while we still need Banksters and Wall Street to take responsibility for the out of control greed that caused our financial downfall. There is still a sense that those who played with consumer money knew the government would not only pay to get them out of the ditch but the government would be held accountable and not the banks. I am convinced this was on the minds of those willing to make bets against the housing consumer since Freddie and Fannie Mae are governmental programs. Now, in this era of trump we have a whole group of nationalists bowing and or kissing up to the wannabe

Good’ole Abe said…

 “The legitimate object of government, is to do for a community of people, whatever they need to have done, but cannot do, at all, or cannot, so well do, for themselves in their separate, and individual capacities. In all that the people can individually do as well for themselves, government ought not to interfere. The desirable things, which the individuals of a people cannot, do, or cannot well do, for themselves, fall into two classes: those, which have relation to wrongs, and those, which have not. Each of these branches off into an infinite variety of subdivisions. The first that in relation to wrongs embraces all crimes, misdemeanors, and nonperformance of contracts. The other embraces all which, in its nature, and without wrong, requires combined action, as public roads and highways, public schools, charities, pauperism, orphanage, estates of the deceased, and the machinery of government itself. From this it appears that if all men were just, there still would be some, though not so much, need for government.” ~ Abe Lincoln

The fact is; being out of a job, homeless or being on food stamps is a non-partisan reality. Yet, Republicans do not feel this way. In fact, they have yet to move on from the original stimulus bill choosing to make comments though we all saw a great number of Republicans cutting ribbons, telling their constituents they were their champions even stating President did not do his part. Honestly, the idea that Republicans state they need to be more pragmatic is laughable and as these folks continue to riff on who did what when to whom, President Obama genuinely tried to be bipartisan for the last 4yrs, but some of us feel the ultimate plan was to embarrass him … old school politics will continue to be a battle. Putting ones Party first before the People, a practice that began in 2009 has continued into President Obama’s second term with the Party of NO not only misinforming voters but also filibustering our President’s ability to govern.

The American People are hurting. yet Boehner and his group of carpet baggers seem to agree to vote for bills privately decide to vote no to anything beforehand and continue to say no to legislation which shows just what kind of person he and his party are.

It made me sad and angry given what is going on! knowing that someone could be so cynical but it shows how Republicans see politics as a game and we Americans are the pawns

While the whole thing seems amusing, I would laugh but it hurts

 ~ Nativegrl77 2013 repost

How … A Bill Becomes a Law


How a Bill Becomes a Law

When performing legislative research, it is important to understand the legislative process. The numerous steps that result in a bill becoming a law are described in this 24th edition of “How Our Laws Are Made.”

the original

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The GOP theme song in 2013


Dear MoveOn member,

Thanks to House Speaker John Boehner and his Republican caucus, the “Do-Nothing Congress” was so awful this year that I decided it deserved its own theme song.

Check it out:

I had fun putting together this video—which also calls out some uplifting wins MoveOn members and other progressives were able to achieve this year despite the “Do-Nothing Congress.” I hope you’ll take just a minute to watch and, if you enjoy it, pass it on.

Thanks for all you do—and all the best in 2014.

Robert Reich