Ayn Rand, Paul Ryan and the issue of morality

aynrand_AF

In a more fact-based world, the centrality of Ayn Rand to Paul Ryan’s perspective on the world would be undeniable. She is, so to speak, the fountainhead from which much of his political thought flows. But rather than take my word for it, listen to Ryan himself, just three short years ago, laying it out explicitly in back-to-back videos prepared by his congressional campaign:

For those unable to watch the video, the earnest Ryan says, among other things:

“What’s unique about what’s happening today in government and in the world and America is that it’s as if we are living in an Ayn Rand novel right now. … I think Ayn Rand did more than anybody to build a moral case for capitalism, the morality of individualism, and this to me is what matters most.”

Again, Ryan’s voluntary, unprovoked and clearly heartfelt profession of Randian philosophy came in 2009, just three years ago, and it is just one in a long string of public expressions by Ryan of his loyalty to and faith in Rand’s philosophy.

More recently, of course, Ryan has attempted to pretend that none of that has occurred, proclaiming it “urban legend” that he had been influenced by Rand and claiming to “reject her philosophy.” However, if that’s true, this sudden change of heart has not been accompanied by any matching change in Ryan’s political outlook. It remains today what it was when he was still willing to publicly celebrate Rand’s claim to moral authority.

Why is this relevant? Well, Randian philosophy — “objectivism” they call it — is to my mind soft-headed, romantic claptrap that attempts vainly to masquerade as hard-headed, pragmatic economic theory. Its appeal is emotional, not intellectual. And while for individual persons, particularly young people, Rand’s work may be effective as a “self-help philosophy” and motivational tool, as the basis of a society or economic system it would be profoundly impractical and even cruel.

That shouldn’t be a surprise, of course, given that Rand rejected the existence of society in the first place. In fact, she treated the very notion of social responsibility as a conspiracy by which the weak parasites of the world attempt to seize the products of the strong and virile creators. In the video above, Ryan clearly buys into that world view, arguing that Randian individualism represents “the moral foundation of America.”

On that count, I personally find the witness of Thomas Jefferson more convincing, given that he helped to lay the foundation in question. Even back in Jefferson’s day, “self-interest, or rather self-love, or egoism” was being proposed by some as the basis of morality, but the drafter of the Declaration of Independence was having none of it.

Self-love, Jefferson warned, “is no part of morality. Indeed it is exactly its counterpart. It is the sole antagonist of virtue, leading us constantly by our propensities to self-gratification in violation of our moral duties to others…. Take from man his selfish propensities, and he can have nothing to seduce him from the practice of virtue.”

Ryan’s background also plays into the problem. Like his running mate, he is a child born into relative wealth and privilege. That does not make either Ryan or Mitt Romney evil, wrong, foolish or misguided. To the contrary, their shared background says nothing at all about their personal character or leadership abilities.

It must, however, affect their perspective, just as being born into poverty or struggle affects the perspective of those who experience the world from that end of things.

Knowing that you have been born into that rarified world, with all the advantage that it confers, ought to make you a little humble about lecturing others about lifting themselves up by their bootstraps. It ought to make you a little less arrogant about your own success, and a little more sympathetic toward those to whom raw luck has been a little less kind. It should make you acknowledge, to yourself if no one else, that you stand where you stand in part because of factors over which you have had no control, and to understand that others stand where they stand in part because of factors over which they too have had no control.

However, in Ryan’s political rhetoric and policy pronouncements there is little evidence of the leavening power of humility. The philosophy of Rand has served to inoculate him and others against such dark thoughts, whispering in their ears the reassurance that that their success is testament only to their own merit, and freeing them of any obligation to assist others.

I don’t accept that argument. It is antithetical to human nature and to thousands of years of human history in which the individual has had responsibilities to the group, and the group has had responsibilities to the individual. The genius of the American system in particular has been its ability to create a workable, ethical balance between those competing responsibilities.

The “morality” that Ryan proposes would toss that balance aside, creating a system the likes of which has never been seen, and which would meet no definition of the word “moral” that I, or Jefferson, would accept.

– Jay Bookman

1,118 comments Add your comment

getalife

August 15th, 2012
4:09 pm

Looks like our cons are in full sling poo mode.

It does not work here cons.

You have to back up your poo slinging lies.

Stevie Ray..Clowns to the Left of me Jokers to the Right, here I am...

August 15th, 2012
4:09 pm

TOM,

Not all of us who count Rands books as one of our favorites subscribe to the selfish, objectivism philosophy..Very well written books with well developed characters and unique story lines…too bad you can separate the wheat from the chaff….I’m betting you and Liberal Chick and never even read Fountainhead or Atlas although I sure you will try to convince otherwise..

William Bagwell

August 15th, 2012
4:10 pm

There once was a man named Ryan
Who had love for a woman named Ayn
She was an atheist fool
He was her Catholic tool
About all this he wishes we’d stop pryin’

Butch Cassidy (I)

August 15th, 2012
4:10 pm

Steve Atl – “Sorry…he is a 1%’er.”

No one said he wasn’t.

PJ

August 15th, 2012
4:11 pm

godless heathen @3:44 pm

“You forgot chaining up the black people and killing all the wimminfolks.”

How can one forget something they never brought up, but since you mentioned it why don’t you go into the details.

Obambarrassment

August 15th, 2012
4:12 pm

Bro,

The major disconnect in society today is Barack Obama.

Remember his inauguration speech: “let this be the time that the oceans receded…” and all kinds of other delusional messianic blather.

josef

August 15th, 2012
4:12 pm

I had to read Rand when I was a youngun under orders from Granddaddy and Uncle Ralph the Leprechaun of the Hedge School. The reason Granddaddy made it a part of his curriculum for me was to teach me just what happens when folks lack a moral compass. For Uncle Ralph it was, “package sh*t and sell it mass market…just use some big words and contorted syntax and folks’ll think you know what you’re yammering about, even if you don’t.” They were right. When I got to high school where Rand was the rage, I saw what they meant.

********

Did somebody say Helen Thomas? I’ve already been put into moderation once this week, no point in poking the Bruin further. :-)

getalife

August 15th, 2012
4:12 pm

If you want to read fiction just go to drudgeys.

Tom

August 15th, 2012
4:12 pm

Thanks, Stevie Ray: Rand’s “very well written books.” Oh thank you, we all needed a good laugh.

Obambarrassment

August 15th, 2012
4:12 pm

Common Sense,

Well said, and I’m glad you made that point.

pogo

August 15th, 2012
4:13 pm

Methinks Jay and the rest of you libs are terrified of Ryan. You shlould be.

And Obama’s blathering idiot Biden is the gift that just keeps on giving to us cons. Jay attacks Ryan about what he thinks he believes but yet ignores an obvious imbecile that is already the vice president. So what Jay is saying is that Americans should support the senile court jester instead of
Ryan who he says is too, uh, what Jay? Jay what you should be asking yourself is what kind of presidential candidate would ever have picked Joseph Biden as his running mate. That does not display good judgement at all.

saywhat?

August 15th, 2012
4:13 pm

“Common Sense” seems to be under the delusion that we are the Borg.

Aquagirl

August 15th, 2012
4:14 pm

Individualism is something the collective finds threatening.

Individualists aren’t threatening. People who style themselves individualists and soak up Ayn Rand while collecting taxpayer benefits….yes, those people are threatening. Because they’re @$$hats.

Stevie Ray..Clowns to the Left of me Jokers to the Right, here I am...

August 15th, 2012
4:14 pm

BRO,

Great read on your last entry…I can’t disagree with your premise to be certain…but there is much those who are unfortunately now permanently camped out on the safety net can do to improve the odds…one is break out of the mindset of having kids without stable and caring parents who have time to get involved in kids schooling et al…unfortunately these kids are the most succeptible of falling thru the cracks. Whites and Blacks appear to be stuck in the same…”tradition” they see that as normal same as they experienced..

josef

August 15th, 2012
4:14 pm

STEVIE RAY

“I’m atheist as well but don’t judge others who aren’t….I do know that Christians do strongly feel they are superior and in a position to judge and otherwise try to evangelize others into their cult…”

And you don’t see the contradiction in what you just posted? “…don’t judge…I do know etc,” Silly Boy…

zeke

August 15th, 2012
4:15 pm

steve atl, he did not cut medicare 700 billion over 10 years to beneficiaries, he redistributed it to ACA wherein it was assumed that medical costs were to be saved from efficiencies and hopefully getting away from fee for service where some doctors and hospitals love to churn their patients. believe me at my age i could tell you stories. yes i will concede they were perhaps optimistic.
if you read entire artlicle you will find folly in your bs talking point.

http://host.madison.com/ct/news/opinion/column/ezra-klein-the-gop-ticket-s-big-medicare-myth/article_d90a0af2-e641-11e1-82b9-0019bb2963f4.html

Obambarrassment

August 15th, 2012
4:15 pm

When getalife lives in the cesspool of rhetoric (ie., Jay Bookman’s blog), everything begins to smell like some manifestation of….

well…

I’ll let him keep the vulgarities.

Joe Hussein Mama

August 15th, 2012
4:15 pm

M. Calvinist — “A fool saith to his heart, there is no God.”

How terrible for you.

Kamchak ~ Thug from the Steppes

August 15th, 2012
4:15 pm

getalife

August 15th, 2012
4:15 pm

Obambarrassment ,

You are embarrassing yourself.

Stevie Ray..Clowns to the Left of me Jokers to the Right, here I am...

August 15th, 2012
4:17 pm

TOM,

I guess you didn’t read them or practiced contempt prior to investigation which I’d guess is your MO….you probably developed your distain for same because your liberal pals would frown on you is you took time to open your mind and leave politics out of it…

I feel sorry for those who go so far as to limit their faculties to whatever they are sheepishly told..

Common Sense

August 15th, 2012
4:17 pm

Definition: Selfishness: Concerned chiefly or only with oneself.

So what is more selfish than saying someone else needs to pay more taxes than you do? Or someone else needs to provide you an education or food stamps or free health care?

The Democratic Party is the shining example of selfishness wrapped in a cloak that says “I am doing this for you, not for me”. Yet that is the ultimate lie.

What in the world could be more selfish than not paying for your own costs?

The difference between what Rand espouses and what the democrats espouse is that Rand believes you work for it, the democrats believe you take it with brute force.

Steve Atl

August 15th, 2012
4:17 pm

$700 Billion to Obamacare…there ya go.

Riddle me this…Paul.

Why has unemployment been at 8.0+ percent for 4 years? Try not to blame Bush and focus on Obama’s policies?

Is it healthy for our country to have $16 trillion in debt? Once again…please focus on the guy who said he would cut the debt in half.

What the heck happened in Egypt? Muslim Brotherhood is running the show.

Is it ok with you for Obama to take $1 million dollars from Bill Maher who regularly calls women the C-Word on TV?

Do you subscribe to the philosophy that “You did not build that” after spending 5-10 years of 60+ hour work weeks and an unmeasureable amount of blood sweat and tears in their business.

Now you owe me 4…good luck with that.

Goldie

August 15th, 2012
4:18 pm

Wasn’t it ole Abe Lincoln that taught us all about having a “government of the Corporations, by the Corporations and for the Corporations”? Looks like the Cons have really bought into that philosophy these days! :)

retired early

August 15th, 2012
4:19 pm

Stevie Ray

Do you ever wonder what those German guards were thinking when they are told to gas thousands of people. Some people just “follow orders”…while others “question” those orders.
People who only study that which reinforces their opinions, lack the insight to see the total picture.
When I chose a leader, I go for the one who will…”Question Orders”.
I am always leery of single minded folks, like you know who.

Obambarrassment

August 15th, 2012
4:19 pm

Aquagirl,

You’re babbling too.

Is the whole Bookman-liberal side running like lemmings off a cliff of looney rhetoric?

Oooh! Look, it’s Ayn Rand wearing a dollar sign! Let’s spew some vulgarities to attack conservatives!

Great job Mr. Bookman. I always thought MLK was right. The content of character does matter.

Thanks for providing sport that reveals it.

Brosephus™

August 15th, 2012
4:19 pm

Jay

Had not noticed that, but that is funny. I haven’t read any of her books, and I don’t know much about her other than what I hear people say. If all is true, I guess the idea of self reliance could be extended to include getting your own social security checks from the mailbox and cashing them yourself.

————————–

It might surprise you, but I do agree with one iota of what you say. There is economic stratification that has accelerated under Obama.

Obambarrassment

I seriously doubt that you really agree with me. The economic stratification has been going on for 30-40 years. If you think this much could be done in 3-4 years, you’re probably also one of those who think our economy could be repaired in the same amount of time. The only reason that the stratification is even noteworthy now is that it was accelerated because of the economic collapse. Had we not gone through such a serious downturn, many people would still be ignorant to what’s really going on with our economy.

Jefferson

August 15th, 2012
4:19 pm

This guy is a young wanna be, get back on Romney. He has nothing but questions about his claim to fame. What would you do with the off shore accounts if elected ? Seem American ? Taxes, what is hidden ? Harry say he knows and it pissed him off so there is fire in that smoke. He has a wealth of issues, most makes him unattractive.

In the end he is a wannabe, to enrich his buddies.

Remember there wasn’t a spending problem in the US til the GOP started cutting revenue.

Peter G. Fitzpatrick

August 15th, 2012
4:19 pm

Thanks Jay, your clear analysis of Ayn Rand has finally put my romantic notions aside. I have always struggled between individual rights and societal obligations and understand better now that they are not meant to be reconciled…rather they are forces in dynamic balance or tension.

Steve Atl

August 15th, 2012
4:19 pm

Paul…can you not find your liberal talking points? Did you lend them to Soledad?

When will I get answers to my 4 questions?

They BOTH suck

August 15th, 2012
4:20 pm

joseph

I hear you on Helen Thomas, however I do not hear to many (many not any) left leaning politicians touting the virtues and teachings as compared to the right and Meth Head Ayn.

Steve Atl

August 15th, 2012
4:21 pm

Joe Biden…what a hoot…

Can seem to figure which of the 57 states he is in?

Now that right there is funny.

Goldie

August 15th, 2012
4:21 pm

I used to think that Ole Mitt only lied out of one side of his mouth, but he’s going with full-mouth lying these days… makes one’s head spin if you try to listen to what’s coming out of his mouth!

:)

Madmax

August 15th, 2012
4:21 pm

The genius of the American system in particular has been its ability to create a workable, ethical balance between those competing responsibilities.

The “morality” that Ryan proposes would toss that balance aside, creating a system the likes of which has never been seen, and which would meet no definition of the word “moral” that I, or Jefferson, would accept.

I think the issue is that the “balance” between the individual and the group and vice versa has already been broken and your summary is over the top hysteria. Ryan is not proposing to break something that is there, it is already gone. We are now in a world where the majority do not pay for their share of the services they demand (spare me the what about SS, sales tax, etc argument please). We continue to shift the burden to the “priviledged” with the hope that they will solve our problem. The math doesn’t work. We spend too much and we haven’t addressed the issue. Ryan’s proposals are the only, (to quote Pres. Obama), “grown up” solutions we have seen. His are easy to critique because he has put them down. I wish our President would do the same. He has had close to 4 years to address the problem and has yet to do any serious cost cutting. As you pointed out in your other column, his savings in Medicare are used to fund another program so they don’t count. We’re still spending the $768 billion so he’s done nothing for deficit reduction despite his rhetoric.

zeke

August 15th, 2012
4:22 pm

steve atl, ryan wants to totally eliminate abortion. he sponsored the ill fated personhood bill at national level. it lost in miss by 42-58. he also supported that dumb thing in va that mcdonnell lost his chance for vp on. ryan so quick to promote life, but eager to cut saftey net for many youngsters and parents who need it in this day and time.

find it odd that within ryan’s name is ayn r ……

Stevie Ray..Clowns to the Left of me Jokers to the Right, here I am...

August 15th, 2012
4:22 pm

Josef,

No contradiction…just simple facts that most evangelical christians subscribe…they don’t mean anything by recruiting and spreading the word to others…but in the process, they do judge….in fact, much of the bible judges those non-believers…

I could care less about what others believe….if it works for them so be it…I’m also ok with abortion and gay marriage both which are taboo according to the religious right…

Welcome to the Occupation

August 15th, 2012
4:23 pm

Probably the best putdown of Ayn Rand I ever heard was from none other than Allan Bloom who referred to her novels as “hardly literature” w/ a “sub-Nietzschean assertiveness [that] excites somewhat eccentric youngsters to a new way of life”.

pogo

August 15th, 2012
4:23 pm

Millions of rounds of ammunition being purchased by various innocuous government agencies who should not be purchasing them. Why? And before you lib ostriches blow this off as some right wing conspiracy theory go the the government agencies websites and look for the requisition bid sheets. These huge ammunition orders are currently out for bid by agencies such as Social Security and the National Weather Service. Why would these agencies need high powered ammunition? I mean 00 buckshot? That stuff is only used for killing deer at close range or killing lots of people at close range. Looks like the government is preparing for large scale civil unrest. Why?

TaxPayer

August 15th, 2012
4:23 pm

A moral person to Paul Ryan is a person willing to throw mama under the bus if she fails to meet his expectations.

Tom

August 15th, 2012
4:23 pm

Well, Stevie Ray, it’s clear why you consider Rand’s abysmal literary efforts “well written,” given that you obviously do not grasp the connotation of even such a simple word as “sheepish.” I’d say you’re the Ideal Reader of the works of Ayn Rand.

Lucifer

August 15th, 2012
4:24 pm

Well done Jay. Well done … Bravo!!

Richard

August 15th, 2012
4:24 pm

This is not meant to be a political statement…but…

For all the Boston Legal fans out there, am I the only one that thinks Paul Ryan looks EXACTLY like Jeffrey Coho?

Steve Atl

August 15th, 2012
4:25 pm

Paul is single handedly taking down Google, HuffPo, and MSNBC looking for talking points.

That would explain the slow response I am getting.

Stevie Ray..Clowns to the Left of me Jokers to the Right, here I am...

August 15th, 2012
4:25 pm

RETIRED,

I agree with questioning authority and have scars to prove it…I don’t agree with the Hitleresque labeling which only serves to sensationalize and get attention…kinda like what that Biden dope did yesterday or what the “birthers” continue to attempt to pull off…It’s all BS.

Joe Hussein Mama

August 15th, 2012
4:25 pm

Obam — “You’re babbling too. Is the whole Bookman-liberal side running like lemmings off a cliff of looney rhetoric?”

Said the guy whose bloghandle is “looney rhetoric” from the get-go. :roll:

Obambarrassment

August 15th, 2012
4:25 pm

Bro,

On the contrary, no country in the world has been more mobile economically than the US. This is revealed via so many sources that it ought to be patently obvious, including the undeniable truth that people are leaving banana republics (and socialist paradises in droves (where they supposedly don’t have your blessed “stratifcation”) to come here).

You’ve admittted that you know nothing of Rand. I concede that’s true.

Now you show you know very little of economics–pretending (I can only assume) that economic stratification ended with Ronald Reagan.

On the contrary, there has been no better place in the world for someone of low means to do well than the USA, and it has been true until recently–until Obama, the welfare and food stamp president.

But go ahead, grant him another 4 years. You’ll still have someone else to blame.

After 4 years, :Reagan had lowered unemployment from the stagflation Carter era significantly.

Obama? Not so much

getalife

August 15th, 2012
4:25 pm

It is easy to lose your moral compass and fight for the billionaires that do not need any help but is a challenge to fight for all the American people.

Having a moral compass and fighting for all the American people is the right thing to do if you are religious.

Paul

August 15th, 2012
4:26 pm

Steve Atl

“$700 Billion to Obamacare…there ya go.

Riddle me this…Paul.”

Steve, you’ve been here long enough to know when you’re diverting, don’t you? Avoiding a question directed at one of your posts about Medicare by asking a question about unemployment and Muslim Brotherhood?

You wrote that Obama cut $700 billion from Medicare. Just a statement. I asked if the money was gone from the budget, reprogrammed, or what? Were payments to beneficiaries cut? How did Obama’s action compare to Ryan’s?

zeke even gave you a way out at 4:15 so you could put your statement in context.

But if you’re just about tossing stuff out and have nothing of a larger context to put it in, that’s fine.

Just so we know what you’re about today.

Keep Up the Good Fight!

August 15th, 2012
4:26 pm

Is it ok with you for Obama to take $1 million dollars from Bill Maher who regularly calls women the C-Word on TV?

to be clear, Maher is on cable not over the air television. And using certain words to do comedy is completely appropriate, ask Rush about his comedic use of “slut” and “feminazi” and remember that Rush speaks at Republican events. But hey. you can still think Maher an ahole and take his money. Or does a candidate have to agree with 100% of everything a donor may say or believe. :roll:

zeke

August 15th, 2012
4:26 pm

at least joe biden gaffes and all come from the heart……ryan despite his upper income upbringing and marrying a gal who inherited some money….you would think he would have a little compasion and ability to compromise, but he was responsible for blocking grand bargain along with ship for brains cantor.

Goldie

August 15th, 2012
4:27 pm

“We continue to shift the burden to the “priviledged” with the hope that they will solve our problem. The math doesn’t work.”

madmax @ 4:21 — and what problems will be “solved” by giving more tax cuts again to our wealthiest citizens as your guys propose? How well has that “math” worked in creating jobs so far?

Thanks for sharing! :)

Brosephus™

August 15th, 2012
4:27 pm

Normally I try not to engage such jackassery, but for today only, I’ll go there….

Remember his inauguration speech: “let this be the time that the oceans receded…” and all kinds of other delusional messianic blather.

Obviously you don’t. As a matter of fact, I’ll give you $100 dollars if you can even find the phrase “let this be the time that the oceans receded” in Obama’s inauguration speech. Jay has my contact information, and most here know where I work. I won’t be hard to find so you can collect IF you can do just that. As a matter of fact, I’ll even spot you a link to get started.

http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/28751183/ns/politics-inauguration/t/time-has-come-reaffirm-our-enduring-spirit/

If you can’t deal in reality, then you can’t deal with me. Unless you can find that phrase to collect your money, there’s no need to engage me any further.

Steve Atl

August 15th, 2012
4:28 pm

Paul…just answer the questions.

josef

August 15th, 2012
4:28 pm

IMAM

Not sucking up, far from it, but good column…

BROSEPHUS
Good read you posted…

STEVIE RAY
I didn’t really expect you to see that…otherwise you would never have said it…

BOTH

I’ll say this, when she made that comment it was really interesting to see who came hopping to the hateful witch’s defense and how…I learned a lot about some of our regulars at that time…

Keep Up the Good Fight!

August 15th, 2012
4:30 pm

Steve Atl

August 15th, 2012
4:31 pm

Bropheus…what a dufus…”you no longer need to engage me”…

You are on blog for a Liberal Rag…

“You no longer need to engage me” …you gonna trademark that?

Stevie Ray..Clowns to the Left of me Jokers to the Right, here I am...

August 15th, 2012
4:31 pm

TOM,

Stop being a silly, narrowminded dupe of the Left…no different from the dupes to the right. I enjoy Rand (repeat…not her selfish philosphy). Nietche, King, Bertrand Russell, Jung, Jay Bookman, the Washington Post, George Will, Glenn Greenwald, Krauthammer, and others representing both sides of the spectrum…if you follow like a blind sheep to either side..you are subscribing totally to the half truths of whichever side you claim to trust…

Moderate Lin

August 15th, 2012
4:31 pm

More recently, of course, Ryan has attempted to pretend that none of that has occurred, proclaiming it “urban legend” that he had been influenced by Rand and claiming to “reject her philosoph

This statemment is completely false. The link quoates Ryan completely out of context. The link below shows he stated more than that and it was only a day ago.

This what Pual Ryan said:

Brit Hume, FOX News: What is your view of Ayn Rand? Are you an Ayn Rand disciple? 

Rep. Paul Ryan: No. I really enjoyed her novels, Atlas Shrugged in particular. It triggered my interest in economics. That’s where I got into studying economics. That’s why I wanted to study the whole field of economics.

I later in life learned about what her philosophy was, it’s called Objectivism. It’s something that I completely disagree with. It’s an atheistic philosophy. But I think what she’s done is she’s showed — she came from communism.

The article link to by Jay states:
“I reject her philosophy,” Ryan says firmly. “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,” who believed that man needs divine help in the pursuit of knowledge. “Don’t give me Ayn Rand,” he says.

This shows that the link Jay has reference is taking Ryan completely out of context insinuating that he rejects Rand completely now which is not the case at all. He rejects objectivism but accept arguments for capitalism, anti-cronyism and collectism.

I find the insinuation that he rejects Rand completely to be completely false. The reason I knew this was false was because I just saw this interview a couple a days ago so I knew the premise was false.

Now my next thought is who would argue for crony capitalism. Would I assume that someone who rejects Rand is for it. Absolutely not.

Apparently, Brian Doherty an objectivist does not believe Ryan is an objectivist and Ryan has stated he does believe he is an objectivist.

http://reason.com/blog/2012/08/14/ask-an-objectivist-say-no-to-paul-ryan

http://www.realclearpolitics.com/video/2012/08/14/paul_ryan_rejects_ayn_rands_objectivism_philosophy.html

Towncrier

August 15th, 2012
4:31 pm

“…and it is just one in a long string of public expressions by Ryan of his loyalty to and faith in Rand’s philosophy.”

Have you evidence for this claim? Just curious – you don’t have to prove it to me; I just don’t have time to research it now.

“On that count, I personally find the witness of Thomas Jefferson more convincing, given that he helped to lay the foundation in question.”

Is his position that judicial review (among many things by now) is unconstitutional convincing to you as well?

“Self-love, Jefferson warned, “is no part of morality. Indeed it is exactly its counterpart. It is the sole antagonist of virtue, leading us constantly by our propensities to self-gratification in violation of our moral duties to others…. Take from man his selfish propensities, and he can have nothing to seduce him from the practice of virtue.”

One must love himself in a healthy, proper way in order to truly love his neighbor as himself. But I am not sure Jefferson would have understood that since he took it upon himself to bowdlerize and publish a greatly edited New Testament. But I would agree that selfishness can not be a grounds for morality and that Rand is an odd one to cite in support of moral positions. I have never thought well of her philosophy.

“Like his running mate, he is a child born into relative wealth and privilege. That does not make either Ryan or Mitt Romney evil, wrong, foolish or misguided. To the contrary, their shared background says nothing at all about their personal character or leadership abilities.”

Thanks for that concession. Many liberals these days seem to equate personal wealth in a political candidate with being self-serving and not interested in the plight of the common person (forgetting that Kerry, LBJ and RFK were themselves quite wealthy).

Kamchak ~ Thug from the Steppes

August 15th, 2012
4:32 pm

Is it ok with you for Obama to take $1 million dollars from Bill Maher who regularly calls women the C-Word on TV?

Once again, and especially for those in the cheap seats — BILL MAHER IS A FAUX POPULIST ASSHAT DOUCHEBAG ALWAYS ON THE LOOKOUT FOR A RUNNING MOB TO JUMP IN FRONT OF AND SAY, “WAIT! WHERE ARE YOU GOING? I WANT TO LEAD YOU!

Am I happy that Obama took his money?

No, and I didn’t have any say in the matter either.

Brosephus™

August 15th, 2012
4:32 pm

Stevie Ray

It’s all about perceptions. Your opinion is based on your perceptions. The person living that life might just consider themselves lucky if they celebrate their 30th birthday, regardless of their living conditions. It’s easy for you and I to say things such as what you said. I don’t agree with your opinion at all. However, I’ve been in that part of our society. I know how some of them perceive things around them. It’s far easier to say what can be done as opposed to us doing what needs to be done.

That’s where I think we go wrong. Throwing money won’t fix things by itself. There has to be just as much of a collective effort to help those who don’t think they can do it. Listen to the way most poor people are treated. Do you honestly think that you could have a positive self image or any semblance of self-esteem if your fellow citizens referred to you as a leech or things even worse than that?

Stevie Ray..Clowns to the Left of me Jokers to the Right, here I am...

August 15th, 2012
4:32 pm

Josef,

See what exactly?

Oscar

August 15th, 2012
4:32 pm

What strikes me most about Romney and Ryan is that they are both very arrogant people.

Joe Hussein Mama

August 15th, 2012
4:33 pm

Steve — “Paul is single handedly taking down Google, HuffPo, and MSNBC looking for talking points. That would explain the slow response I am getting.”

It’s also possible that he’s busy with other things or that he might have gone home for the day.

Don’t read so much into people’s silence, n00b. People do have lives outside of the blogs on which they post.

Paul

August 15th, 2012
4:33 pm

Steve 4:28

As I said, if you haven’t the capability to discuss the meanings behind the points you post, that’s fine. .

getalife

August 15th, 2012
4:35 pm

Keep,

Figures.

drugey is fiction like this issue.

Steve Atl

August 15th, 2012
4:36 pm

Paul…I will take your silence as conceding the 4 points….go 5 tents over…there is a guy named Adam (in a pink tent) that will help you respond.

Please hurry up…I don’t have all day.

Unless you can find Adam and answer in the next 15 minutes…”You shouldn’t engage me any further”…hold on…must sip my tea…that’s right…”You musn’t engage me any further”

retired early

August 15th, 2012
4:36 pm

Stevie

I kind of put “religious” people in that broad group of “followers”…who don’t think for themselves.
By the time they go thru their parents “religious indoctrination”, critical thinking is gone.
It is a pity an atheist can’t run the country for a change…but that will not happen for a few hundred years.

TM

August 15th, 2012
4:37 pm

Why has unemployment been at 8.0+ percent for 4 years? Try not to blame Bush and focus on Obama’s policies?
-Because the unregulated Banking industry screwed up by giving away loans and despite giving them a zillion dollar bailout no one is expanding on home building which drove the low unemployment numbers for years

Is it healthy for our country to have $16 trillion in debt? Once again…please focus on the guy who said he would cut the debt in half.
No its not but should we have refused to bailed out the banks? Do we cut all government programs for the poor and rich? Yes Medicare and social security is a program for the rich/ Who do you want to throw under the bus?

What the heck happened in Egypt? Muslim Brotherhood is running the show. I
You have a problem with the people’s choice? You may not like it but you don’t live there and it was a free election.

Is it ok with you for Obama to take $1 million dollars from Bill Maher who regularly calls women the C-Word on TV?
What is great about this Country is if you don’t like something about a person you can elect not to vote for him.

Do you subscribe to the philosophy that “You did not build that” after spending 5-10 years of 60+ hour work weeks and an unmeasureable amount of blood sweat and tears in their business.
No unless he got his start though a loan with the SBA

Keep Up the Good Fight!

August 15th, 2012
4:38 pm

getalife, absolutely…. but some conned sure do love these conspiracy theories.

Joe Hussein Mama

August 15th, 2012
4:38 pm

Steve — “Paul…I will take your silence as conceding the 4 points”

How do *questions* constitute points?

Stevie Ray..Clowns to the Left of me Jokers to the Right, here I am...

August 15th, 2012
4:38 pm

BRO,

I agree that our governments sole strategy with those in need is throwing money at them. Clearly doesn’t work to be certain. Every single plan is either financially bankrupt and or perpetuates the the status quo of that particular group. Sadly, those who rely on government should rise up and realize it is in fact, these enablers that keep expectations low.

I can’t relate to being called a sponge but I do know we are all, for the most part, victims mostly of ourselves and those who raised us……It’s hard to have positive ambitions if family dynamics never change to favor same..

Paul

August 15th, 2012
4:38 pm

Steve

Did you even read my 4:33?

Brosephus™

August 15th, 2012
4:39 pm

Bropheus…what a dufus…”you no longer need to engage me”…

You are on blog for a Liberal Rag…

“You no longer need to engage me” …you gonna trademark that?

I’ll offer you the same challenge… I’ll call it the “End the Jackassery Challenge”. Since you like that phrase, you have the same $100 challenge. Find the phrase, and the money is yours. Otherwise, don’t engage me.

Towncrier

August 15th, 2012
4:39 pm

“This shows that the link Jay has reference is taking Ryan completely out of context insinuating that he rejects Rand completely now which is not the case at all. ”

Well, I think Jay is claiming that Ryan has undergone a recent change of heart. And in light of your informed response to his column, I think it is a claim he should now prove (perhaps in a separate column).

getalife

August 15th, 2012
4:39 pm

A bushie chocked on cnn like ryan on fox.

The question was when does the robme budget plan( there is not one) will balance the budget.

The campaign is a joke.

Madmax

August 15th, 2012
4:40 pm

Goldie – probably more than will be solved with Obama’s plan if he ever comes up with one. How’s his plan working out. Actually, that did work out pretty well under Reagan but those were different times. I don’t agree with everything “my guys” propose and I do say let all the temporary tax cuts for everyone expire as that will generate the most revenue. It still won’t solve the deficit problem. That’s why I’m for my guys. Hopefully, we will make progress against the deficit. It’s better than just sitting in the office saying it’s not my fault, i inherited this. He asked for the job but the job has proved him not up for the task and in my opinion he needs to be replaced with someone who is willing to tackle the issue.

josef

August 15th, 2012
4:40 pm

STEVIE

The contradiction between stating that you don’t judge and then proceeding to pass judgment…

Paul

August 15th, 2012
4:40 pm

Joe Hussein Mama

They don’t – but given he’s covered making points and asking questions and diverting from explaining the meaning of those points and questions, I think it fine to just let it go.

JamVet

August 15th, 2012
4:41 pm

To compare the brilliant Thomas Jefferson – in spite of his many shortcomings – with that repulsive and crazyass fiction writer is not something anyone with an IQ of 80 would even consider.

One is a hero, not just to this nation, but the entire world, while the other is a tawdry, drug addled clown worshiped by semi-literates in a dysfunctional political party…

The philosophy is basically childish, if not downright idiotic, and Ryan is living proof…

Madmax

August 15th, 2012
4:43 pm

Oscar

August 15th, 2012
4:32 pm
– Wow! and Obama isn’t?

Stevie Ray..Clowns to the Left of me Jokers to the Right, here I am...

August 15th, 2012
4:44 pm

RETIRED,

I’m atheist and the right wing religious on the GOP side scare me similar to those on the left who like to give free stuff away..anecdotally, my prognosis is that the first candidate to offer the “middle class” a $1500 rebate ala Bush will win without a sweat…

I reckon us Humanists will never be able to compete with the hoardes of (tax exempt) cash the religious folks provide to keep church and state inseparable…

The easy solution to all that ailes us is the eliminate private money from politics with constitutional amendment…too bad no courage in DC

getalife

August 15th, 2012
4:44 pm

The dems should run both ryan on fox and ed the bushie chocking on the robme budget.

Worse than palin.

pogo

August 15th, 2012
4:45 pm

So Jay would prefer a president that is born poor. Using Jay’s logic, a person born to poverty would be twisted by his/her hatred of all those that had what he did not as a child Jay and wouldn’t he as an adult try to set them right? That hatred would most certainly make him lean towards socialism and communism wouldn’t it? Just to right all those social wrongs.That is exactly the logic Jay is trying to apply to Romney and Ryan. Of course, in a way Jay is right. Just look at Obama and his longtime hatred of the American system. I mean Obama attended Wrights “The Church of Hating the White Man and America” for 20 years. You don’t sit and listen to that drivel from a maniac for that long if you don’t believe it to your core. And if you read about Obama’s childhood, his parents beliefs and his social and political affiliations in his latter years, he definitely believes it. That is the big problem. You liberals aren’t even willing to read about Obama’s early years in the fear you may find out you don’t like him very much.

Stevie Ray..Clowns to the Left of me Jokers to the Right, here I am...

August 15th, 2012
4:46 pm

Josef,

Can you enlighten me on where exactly I judged anyone in particular?

Brosephus™

August 15th, 2012
4:46 pm

I can’t relate to being called a sponge but I do know we are all, for the most part, victims mostly of ourselves and those who raised us……It’s hard to have positive ambitions if family dynamics never change to favor same..

I agree with you, and I’ll add one more thing… We’re also victims of our environment. Have you ever noticed the change in kids when they are removed from a bad situation and placed in a much better environment? They tend to do better. We, as a country, failed each other by creating the very environments that we loathe today.

Drug infested neighborhoods? Our fault. The reason I say that is because we’ve spent billions and billions of dollars trying to fight a “war” on drugs. The only people winning that war is the people importing/manufacturing the drugs and the companies selling the equipment to fight them. The easiest way to rid ourselves of drugs is to use “free market” principles. To kill a product, you have to kill the demand. If we had spent much more time and effort at getting people off drugs and keeping them from becoming dependent on them, there would be no market for the importation/manufacturing of them here.

We would probably stand a much better chance of getting rid of most of our issues if we actually stopped to look at how we could curb the negative behavior to curtail the demand for what we are trying to rid ourselves of. Wanna rid ourselves of welfare dependents? Create employment opportunities here instead of shipping them to Timbuktu.

JamVet

August 15th, 2012
4:47 pm

Flip Romney/Flop Rand 2012

Stevie Ray..Clowns to the Left of me Jokers to the Right, here I am...

August 15th, 2012
4:48 pm

BRO,

We both know that when the name calling commences, the debate is conceded by the name caller…I know others opinions of me are not my business…of course I’m preaching to the choir..

Moderate Lin

August 15th, 2012
4:49 pm

Brosephus™
August 15th, 2012
4:46 pm

I can’t relate to being called a sponge but I do know we are all, for the most part, victims mostly of ourselves and those who raised us……It’s hard to have positive ambitions if family dynamics never change to favor same..

Have you ever noticed the change in kids when they are removed from a bad situation and placed in a much better environment? They tend to do better.
+++++
You get the firm grasp of the obvious award.

TaxPayer

August 15th, 2012
4:49 pm

Why has unemployment been at 8.0+ percent for 4 years? Try not to blame Bush and focus on Obama’s policies?

I wonder if it had something to do with that Great Recession thingie that happened on Bush’s watch.

Scooter

August 15th, 2012
4:49 pm

So is the real compassion to realize entitlement systems need reform if they are to remain solvent for future generations, then demagogue reform proposals while offering none of your own? Furthermore, is it real compassion to have a super majority and the Presidency, then use that power to create another entitlement rather than reform the insolvent ones you realize exist? What a crock!

Politically provided compassion is a bankrupt philosophy because it will inevitably be perverted through turnover of elected officials. But hey, who is history to judge when Jay Bookman can write it away?

josef

August 15th, 2012
4:50 pm

STEVIE

Judging an individual and judging a class…frankly, I’ll opt for the former over the latter…

Aquagirl

August 15th, 2012
4:50 pm

We’re also victims of our environment.

Spittle-flecked screams from middle class white guys in 3…2…1…

Paul

August 15th, 2012
4:50 pm

“So Jay would prefer a president that is born poor. Using Jay’s logic, a person born to poverty would be twisted by his/her hatred”

It’s about empathy and understanding, pogo.

Keep Up the Good Fight!

August 15th, 2012
4:51 pm

Brosephus, can I get the $100 if I can cite a mislabeled you tube clip {Obama speedch oceans receding] from Obama’s June 4, 2008 speech (upon winning the Dem primaries) where Obama says “if we are willing to work for it, and fight for it and believe in it, then I am absolutely certain that generations from now we will be able to look back and tell our children that this wass the moment when we begain to provide care for the sick…. and this is the moment when the rise of the oceans began to slow and our planet began to heal.” http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=u2pZSvq9bto ;)

Liberal Chicks are UGLY

August 15th, 2012
4:51 pm

Liberals don’t like having morality shoved down their throats, they want to shove their immorality down everybody elses throat and call it moral.
They like to change the names of morally repugnant things to sound pretty.

Paul

August 15th, 2012
4:52 pm

Aquagirl

Not if one changes it to read ‘Some of us are beneficiaries of our environment.”

Stevie Ray..Clowns to the Left of me Jokers to the Right, here I am...

August 15th, 2012
4:52 pm

BRO,

As a recovering addict, I concur with the idea of prevention which seems to be taken more seriously by schools….I don’t think you can curb demand without curbing supply. Simply legalizing weed would and limiting it legality would take profit motive out…the harder stuff is much more complicated in my view….some of us simply can’t imbibe like normal people…it is a disease and it is genetic to a large degree….I do think schools do a good job but without parental support….bar the doors Katy.

Brosephus™

August 15th, 2012
4:53 pm

Stevie Ray

Yeah, the name calling is a dead giveaway, but as mild-mannered as I try to be, I’m getting quite sick of it. I have no problem with people expressing opinions. Just don’t come to me with garbage and expect me to take it as gospel truth without some definitive proof. If you’re gonna use sarcasm and/or hyperbole without acknowledgment, I’ll take it as you being serious, and I’m gonna start calling people on it. At some point, we all have to quit acting ignorant and begin to actually listen to each other. If not, by 2020, I think we’re going to see something far worse than we’ve ever seen in our entire history.

Finn McCool (The System isn't Broken; It's Fixed)

August 15th, 2012
4:53 pm

Men of good fortune
often cause empires to fall
While men of poor beginnings
often can’t do anything at all

The rich son waits for his father to die
the poor just drink and cry
And me, I just don’t care at all

Men of good fortune
very often can’t do a thing
While men of poor beginnings
often can do anything

At heart they try to act like a man
handle things the best way they can
They have no rich, daddy to fall back on

Men of good fortune
often cause empires to fall
While men of poor beginnings
often can’t do anything at all

It takes money to make money they say
look at the Fords, but didn’t they start that way
Anyway, it makes no difference to me

Men of good fortune
often wish that they could die
While men of poor beginnings
want what they have and to get it they’ll die

All those great things that life has to give
they wanna have money and live
But me, I just don’t care at all

~ Lou Reed