Professor Leiter comments on Paul Ryan’s selection. I am in total agreement. Ayn Rand’s selfish ideas of a cold, icy, mean, heartless society are horrifying. Her teachings are the exact opposite of the teachings of Jesus.
Romney Chooses Randroid Paul Ryan as VP Candidate…
…the horror, the horror. In some ways, this is even worse than McCain’s choice of the narcissistic moron Sarah Palin in 2008. First, Ryan has a clear ideology, and it’s a mixture of the vicious and the insane. Second, Ryan does not seem to be as inept and self-destructive as Palin, so he may really be the future even if Romney loses this year. In other words, the Republican Party is now officially the party committed to destroying Medicare and destroying Social Security. Unless they are crushed in the election, this battle is going to continue for a generation or more.
Consider, in perspective, what’s happened: an ideology (partly inspired by Rand–remember dopey Alan Greenspan?) of deregulation and unbridled capitalism brought the world to the brink of economic collapse in 2008. Four years later, the Republican Party has now openly embraced a full-throated Randian ideology. This country has learned nothing. If Obama does not rise to this occasion, and launch a full-throttled attack on this ideology, he will go down in history as the most craven coward in American politics.
Meanwhile, the decision of the Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy to host a puff piece on Ayn Rand that gives no sense of the overwhelmingly critical and dismissive reception of her work by the vast majority of philosophers worldwide now begins to look inexcusable.
UPDATE: It’s a good sign that the Obama campaign already has a fairly strong attack up.
ANOTHER: This should make Randroid heads explode.
AND ANOTHER: Roger Albin writes:
Rand’s selection as VP candidate is probably a sign of weakness. The most likely explanation is that the Romney campaign is worried about turnout of hard right Republican voters. Given the Obama campaign’s lead in electoral college votes, Romney has to do very well in swing states and he has no chance in many of those states without a good Republican turnout. Picking Ryan is probably aimed at placating the hard right and carries with it the considerable risk of conceding a significant fraction of so-called independent voters to Obama. In one respect, Ryan is a curious choice. Ryan is a nominal Catholic (being a commited Randite and a commited Catholic is incompatible, something the hierarchy will never point out) and while the Evangelical prejudice against Catholics has moderated considerably in the last couple of decades, many continue to be very suspicious of Mormons. Its unlikely the Evangelicals will have the same enthusiasm for a Mormon-Catholic ticket as one involving a Protestant.
Of course, Ryan’s prominence is yet another sign of the complete intellectual and moral bankruptcy of the Republican Party.
See also this analysis, which takes a similar view.
ONE MORE: For your amusement (or despair), here’s how things look when you fall through the looking glass.
STILL MORE: From Nate Silver, echoing, in effect, Albin and the Salon piece linked, above.