With Mitt Romney’s selection of Paul Ryan as his running mate, we can expect some discussion of Ayn Rand. Her message that social programs are merely ways to siphon away the wealth produced by the productive members of society to benefit ‘moochers’ and ‘looters’ has gained traction in the current Republican party and Paul Ryan, darling of the Tea Party, was an outspoken and unabashed admirer of Rand as the source of his ideas and philosophy.
Rand’s philosophy on how society should function is almost completely orthogonal to my own. But you have to admit that when it came to her belief in the importance of following reason to its logical conclusion, she was remarkably clear and outspoken. In this set of clips of her being interviewed by Phil Donahue and Tom Snyder, she lays out with clarity the case for atheism
But Republicans who worship her for her praise of selfishness as a good thing cannot stomach her atheism and as Jane Mayer writes for the New Yorker, having an acolyte of an atheist on a ticket headed by a Mormon might be a little too much for some Christians. Ryan is now trying to rewrite history, distancing himself from her and saying that he is inspired by Thomas Aquinas instead.
It will be interesting to see if he is pressed on this issue and how he tries to wriggle out of it.