Ayn’t You Glad?

A brief comment on this morning’s (er, last night’s) events: I’d really like to thank Mitt Romney for selecting a politician who identifies with a religious minority to run alongside him in November. Objectivists have been heartlessly maligned by our industrio-capitalist society ever since the Messiah Ayn Rand left us mortals with only Peter (Alan Greenspan) and Paul (Leonard Peikoff) to propagate her legacy.

Actually, GOP VP-nominee (that’s painfully catchy) Paul Ryan does in fact belong to a minority religious affiliation, albeit one that isn’t without pretty significant influence and trust in today’s America: like Newt Gingrich and Rick Santorum before him, he’s Roman Catholic. He actually represents an interesting alternative to Newt and Rick, though, as his speeches are far more often peppered with reverence for the Atlas Shrugged author and how she inspires his “fiscal responisibility” platform than they are with appeals to Pope Benedict or condemnations of abortion.

Nevertheless, Ryan is rated a 0% both by NARAL on women’s reproductive rights and by the Human Rights Campaign on LGBT advocacy.

Almost certain he tried to sell me insurance once.

Again, naturally, this is an election year where the economy is the issue de force. Which makes Romney’s selection, a fellow whose faithful devotion to his fiscal philosophy even led him to require his staffers to read Rand’s holy magnum opus, even more unsettling for those of us who support socioeconomic equality and class restructuring. Oddly, the only time Ryan falls back on his Catholic faith is when challenged as a Randroid, where essentially he dismisses the notion that his economic philosophy is centered in cold, hard isolationism (painted with the bright colors of “responsibility”) and holds that he derives his values from Thomas Aquinas.

Fair enough. Although, Aquinas asked that we “beware of the person of one book.” And, of course, that we worship capital-R Reason, and the individual will is the path to salvation, and that a just price is dependent on the costs of production and not the collective needs of society. Perhaps our “future VP” is just afraid of aligning himself with the “A”-word?

Keep pedaling, James Taggart. Er, I mean, Bruce Wayne. Er, I mean, Paul.

Walker Bristol grew up in southeastern North Carolina, in a town somewhat known for being the principal filming location of Dawson’s Creek (his parents, and reality, insist that his brother Dawson was born and named prior to the show’s pilot). He escaped to Boston when he was 17, and now serves Italian food and studies religion and linguistics at Tufts University. He wrestled in high school, but now mostly ballroom dances and jams on the piano with the rest of the Tufts Freethought Society. For the first decade of his life, Walker believed “incorrectly” that he was living in the Star Wars universe. Having never been to space, he remains agnostic on that question.


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