According to leftists and the mainstream media, the fact that Paul Ryan (Mitt Romney’s selection for vice president) has praised Ayn Rand’s Atlas Shrugged and drawn inspiration from her works means that he embraces her philosophy. In fact, Ryan rejects Rand’s philosophy of Objectivism in both word and deed.
Here’s one example of the leftist “logic”: Because Ryan has praised Rand, saying her views contributed to his values and beliefs, and because he has credited Rand with motivating him to enter politics, Ian Reifowitz, a writer for the Daily Kos, concludes that Ryan must therefore embrace Rand’s philosophy. Reifowitz even calls Ryan a “bald-faced liar” for saying he rejects Rand’s philosophy.
But Reifowitz’s claims—and similar claims by others—are ridiculous. The mere fact that a person agrees with some views of an author or draws inspiration from an author’s books hardly means the person embraces the author’s philosophy (can you say non sequitur?). Anyone who has ever read literature (I assume Reifowitz has) understands this to be the case. I could name dozens of authors who have inspired me but with whom I have serious philosophical disagreements, and I suspect you could too.
Millions of people have read and were inspired by Ayn Rand’s books. Are they all advocates of her philosophy? Would that they were! Many of them stand diametrically opposed to her ideas. For instance, Hillary Clinton—Obama’s Secretary of State—says she was inspired by Rand’s ideas. Does Clinton advocate Rand’s philosophy? Likewise, Democratic Congressman Jared Polis praised Atlas Shrugged as a “great book.” Is Polis a “Randian”? There are countless similar instances of people who express appreciation for Rand’s ideas but who clearly do not embrace her philosophy.
Where is Reifowitz and company’s exposé of the leftist politicians who are actually “Objectivists”? As Rand would say, “Blank out.”
Ryan Rejects Rand
Ryan both says he rejects Rand’s philosophy and demonstrates this in practice. . . .