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Friday, September 30, 2016

Under Fire From Catholics, Paul Ryan Ditches Rand For Aquinas

Under Fire From Catholics, Paul Ryan Ditches Rand For Aquinas

Rep. Paul Ryan became a conservative hero for promoting policies based on the philosophies of “Atlas Shrugged” novelist Ayn Rand, such as a devotion to laissez-faire capitalism and the belief that selfishness is a virtue. According to an interview with National Review‘s Robert Costa, however, Ryan’s love affair with Rand is over.

In the interview, Ryan claims that he actually opposes Rand’s Objectivist worldview.

“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 represents a startling about-face for Ryan. As Think Progress‘ Scott Keyes points out, Ryan has said in the past that “I give out ‘Atlas Shrugged’ as Christmas presents, and I make all my interns read it.” Furthermore, Ryan has claimed that

“The reason I got involved in public service, by and large, and if I had to credit one thinker, one person, it would be Ayn Rand.”

Now Ryan rejects her “atheist philosophy,” instead preferring the teachings of Catholic philosopher Thomas Aquinas. One possible reason for the switch? Ryan has been under fire from Catholics who oppose his extreme budget. The United States Conference of Catholic Bishops recently wrote a letter insisting that Ryan’s “cuts are unjustified and wrong,” and urging Congress to “reject any efforts to reduce funds or restructure programs in ways that harm struggling families and people living in poverty.”

Similarly, almost 90 faculty members at Georgetown University — a Jesuit school — recently signed a letter to Ryan which says that

“We would be remiss in our duty to you and our students if we did not challenge your continuing misuse of Catholic teaching to defend a budget plan that decimates food programs for struggling families, radically weakens protections for the elderly and sick, and gives more tax breaks to the wealthiest few.”

Perhaps if Jews were protesting his budget, Ryan would’ve claimed to be an acolyte of Hillel the Elder.

Maintaining a strong relationship with Catholics is important for Ryan, who is widely viewed as a potential running mate for Republican presidential nominee Mitt Romney. Although Ryan didn’t directly address the possibility of joining Romney’s ticket in the Costa interview, he did reiterate that he hopes to play a “Kemp-like” role in the campaign (in a reference to 1996 candidate Bob Dole’s right wing running mate, Jack Kemp.)

Considering that the Dole-Kemp ticket was blown out in a landslide defeat, it appears that Ryan has finally come up with a plan that will make Democrats happy.

  • hubydoll166

    Paul Ryan better do a good sell out job on the american people before he gets the boot or he may just need the help that he so easily cuts off to people by stealing from the poor to feed the rich more.

  • hubydoll166

    Paul Ryan better do a good sell out job on the american people before he gets the boot or he may just need the help that he so easily cuts off to people by stealing from the poor to feed the rich more.

  • hubydoll166

    Paul Ryan better do a good sell out job on the american people before he gets the boot or he may just need the help that he so easily cuts off to people by stealing from the poor to feed the rich more.

  • hubydoll166

    Paul Ryan better do a good sell out job on the american people before he gets the boot or he may just need the help that he so easily cuts off to people by stealing from the poor to feed the rich more.

  • hubydoll166

    Paul Ryan better do a good sell out job on the american people before he gets the boot or he may just need the help that he so easily cuts off to people by stealing from the poor to feed the rich more.

  • hubydoll166

    Paul Ryan better do a good sell out job on the american people before he gets the boot or he may just need the help that he so easily cuts off to people by stealing from the poor to feed the rich more.

  • hubydoll166

    Paul Ryan better do a good sell out job on the american people before he gets the boot or he may just need the help that he so easily cuts off to people by stealing from the poor to feed the rich more.

  • Doerpfeld

    Does anyone – outside of those already blinded to the reality lurking behind this “conservative” facade – actually believe that this disingenuous, plutocratic s.o.b. has suddenly developed a conscience in regards to those left on the fringes of his “brave new world”? I credit the Jesuits with more intelligence than that and sincerely hope that they will be able to see past Ryan’s stop-action-photographic persona to the puppet master behind it.

  • Doerpfeld

    Does anyone – outside of those already blinded to the reality lurking behind this “conservative” facade – actually believe that this disingenuous, plutocratic s.o.b. has suddenly developed a conscience in regards to those left on the fringes of his “brave new world”? I credit the Jesuits with more intelligence than that and sincerely hope that they will be able to see past Ryan’s stop-action-photographic persona to the puppet master behind it.

  • Doerpfeld

    Does anyone – outside of those already blinded to the reality lurking behind this “conservative” facade – actually believe that this disingenuous, plutocratic s.o.b. has suddenly developed a conscience in regards to those left on the fringes of his “brave new world”? I credit the Jesuits with more intelligence than that and sincerely hope that they will be able to see past Ryan’s stop-action-photographic persona to the puppet master behind it.

  • Doerpfeld

    Does anyone – outside of those already blinded to the reality lurking behind this “conservative” facade – actually believe that this disingenuous, plutocratic s.o.b. has suddenly developed a conscience in regards to those left on the fringes of his “brave new world”? I credit the Jesuits with more intelligence than that and sincerely hope that they will be able to see past Ryan’s stop-action-photographic persona to the puppet master behind it.

  • Doerpfeld

    Does anyone – outside of those already blinded to the reality lurking behind this “conservative” facade – actually believe that this disingenuous, plutocratic s.o.b. has suddenly developed a conscience in regards to those left on the fringes of his “brave new world”? I credit the Jesuits with more intelligence than that and sincerely hope that they will be able to see past Ryan’s stop-action-photographic persona to the puppet master behind it.

  • Doerpfeld

    Does anyone – outside of those already blinded to the reality lurking behind this “conservative” facade – actually believe that this disingenuous, plutocratic s.o.b. has suddenly developed a conscience in regards to those left on the fringes of his “brave new world”? I credit the Jesuits with more intelligence than that and sincerely hope that they will be able to see past Ryan’s stop-action-photographic persona to the puppet master behind it.

  • Doerpfeld

    Does anyone – outside of those already blinded to the reality lurking behind this “conservative” facade – actually believe that this disingenuous, plutocratic s.o.b. has suddenly developed a conscience in regards to those left on the fringes of his “brave new world”? I credit the Jesuits with more intelligence than that and sincerely hope that they will be able to see past Ryan’s stop-action-photographic persona to the puppet master behind it.

  • truther4u

    Ryan is just another rich, young punk ultra-conservative, who is trying to change his stripes.
    He is a bright guy; so any attempt to flip-flop on his views is is just a Ruse. He is who he is; and, he believes what he previously espoused.

    In a bind now; he is attempting to manipulate public opinion, to soften criticism of both himself, and the Republican Party.

    Skunks may try to change their colors, but they never can get rid of that stench.

    doktor

  • truther4u

    Ryan is just another rich, young punk ultra-conservative, who is trying to change his stripes.
    He is a bright guy; so any attempt to flip-flop on his views is is just a Ruse. He is who he is; and, he believes what he previously espoused.

    In a bind now; he is attempting to manipulate public opinion, to soften criticism of both himself, and the Republican Party.

    Skunks may try to change their colors, but they never can get rid of that stench.

    doktor

  • truther4u

    Ryan is just another rich, young punk ultra-conservative, who is trying to change his stripes.
    He is a bright guy; so any attempt to flip-flop on his views is is just a Ruse. He is who he is; and, he believes what he previously espoused.

    In a bind now; he is attempting to manipulate public opinion, to soften criticism of both himself, and the Republican Party.

    Skunks may try to change their colors, but they never can get rid of that stench.

    doktor

  • truther4u

    Ryan is just another rich, young punk ultra-conservative, who is trying to change his stripes.
    He is a bright guy; so any attempt to flip-flop on his views is is just a Ruse. He is who he is; and, he believes what he previously espoused.

    In a bind now; he is attempting to manipulate public opinion, to soften criticism of both himself, and the Republican Party.

    Skunks may try to change their colors, but they never can get rid of that stench.

    doktor

  • truther4u

    Ryan is just another rich, young punk ultra-conservative, who is trying to change his stripes.
    He is a bright guy; so any attempt to flip-flop on his views is is just a Ruse. He is who he is; and, he believes what he previously espoused.

    In a bind now; he is attempting to manipulate public opinion, to soften criticism of both himself, and the Republican Party.

    Skunks may try to change their colors, but they never can get rid of that stench.

    doktor

  • truther4u

    Ryan is just another rich, young punk ultra-conservative, who is trying to change his stripes.
    He is a bright guy; so any attempt to flip-flop on his views is is just a Ruse. He is who he is; and, he believes what he previously espoused.

    In a bind now; he is attempting to manipulate public opinion, to soften criticism of both himself, and the Republican Party.

    Skunks may try to change their colors, but they never can get rid of that stench.

    doktor

  • truther4u

    Ryan is just another rich, young punk ultra-conservative, who is trying to change his stripes.
    He is a bright guy; so any attempt to flip-flop on his views is is just a Ruse. He is who he is; and, he believes what he previously espoused.

    In a bind now; he is attempting to manipulate public opinion, to soften criticism of both himself, and the Republican Party.

    Skunks may try to change their colors, but they never can get rid of that stench.

    doktor

  • Ryan credits Rand ..( ‘ selfishness is a virtue “) Yep Thats how the GOP works I gotm ine Hell with you middle class stuggling families. kids, old sick, disabled. And the GOP calls l themselves Christians ? US has lived 30 yrs under Reaganomics Bush 1&2 GOP s wealth favoring policies, very con judges, unfunded corp cuts, huge debt, long mismanaged wars based on lies & war profits greed, deregulation. Bush even kept war debt ‘ off budget ‘ aka hidden . 3 + yrs ago US was on brink on a long deep global depression, stuck in 2 long long wars Now we are starting to come out of that
    Slow but sure US auto industry was saved + its 1 mil related jobs Last 2 yrs jobs are being created Yes much More to go . Bin laden and 20 top AL qauda are dead
    Bush gave up on that long ago.

  • Another flip flopper who just says what is beneficial to them. These politicians disgust me.

  • Perhaps Paul Ryan learned the art of flip-flopping from Mitt Romney. When or when will we be rid of this charlatan?

  • joyscarbo

    Paul Ryan got scolded by the bishops and jesuit teachers. Shame on you, Paul Ryan, for wanting to take from the elderly, weak and poor and giving to the rich. I think you’d be the perfect running mate for Mitty. Just makes it much easier to whooooop the wingnut, repubes in the fall.

  • jwozniak

    So does he still make new hires in office slog through Rand’s novels as a condition of their employment? I’m Catholic. This guy is a weasel.

    • metrognome3830

      Yes, but he is a Catholic weasel. The stupid little punk actually believes that putting on his “Catholic” disguise, he can win the Catholic vote. Unfortunately, he will win some of them.

  • William Deutschlander

    A RYAN / ROMNEY Republican Ticket, that is enough to scare the bejabbers out of any rational, intelligent human being.
    Who would be able to create the winning fabrication (LIE ON STEROIDS), they are both MASTERS OF DECEIT!

    • viewfromtheleftcoast

      …..and because of all of the above….that ticket would not win over the critical independents in the middle…….most of them would be the targets of their “austerity” for some politics…

  • nomaster

    Aspiring politicians always try to clean up their tracks after they stroll into the way of their misguided ventures. Now that he sees his despair he wants to retract and back away from what he spoke. What is said is that people tend to forget about a mans true words spoken before. Hopefully the voter will realize and send Ryan walking.

  • gendotte

    Well, no shit Sherlock. Just like his lover Willard, he changes with the wind. Maybe he should read Adam Smith next.

  • I can’t believe people from Wisconsin keep electing this right wing teabagger.

  • viewfromtheleftcoast

    WOW, such an amazing conversion……do you think the other 2 “Young Guns” will follow suit?…..

  • viewfromtheleftcoast

    Where is the conservative point of view this morning? ahem…..it bit difficult to defend (the you must read Ann Ryan if you work for me) Mr. Ryan

  • This GERIATRIC PRODIGY has MISSED the once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to FORGE the conservative coalition by making reference to AYN ROMNEY or even AYN COULTER; instead, he chooses as his ideological icon some SYPHILITIC MONK FROM THE MIDDLE AGES.

  • Is this s joke, I like Ayn Rand but now I like Thomas Aquinas? You go from an athiest to a pillar of faith, now that’s what I call a flip-flop big time. I hope people don’t believe his BS, because people like him just say what people want to hear and act in the opposite direction. These people who claim to be christian and take from the poor to give to the rich make me SICK!!!!!!

  • omicronomicron

    i can’t begin to describe how nauseating it is to continuously read how the tea party freaks and the rest of the fanatical repub/right wing have supposedly ’embraced’ ayn rand, or more specifically, what they believe rand represented. it’s equally absurd how so many people on the other side immediately slam rand and repudiate her ideas, usually parroting back a rejection of ideas such as selfishness as a virtue, all without having read or truly grasped her philosophy.

    i am an objectivist (her philosophy for those who don’t know) and i am also a liberal. for the rational thinker, those are not mutually exclusive. the simple reality is that rand advocated concepts that elevated individual achievement and rights above the undue influence of despotic governments, such as the one from which she fled.

    further, objectivism embraces these ideas with the goal of elevating ALL of society, including those without the ability to generate great wealth or productivity.

    in NO way did she advocate the view (prevalent among repubs/right wing) that says basically everyone who didn’t ‘make it’ can go and burn. no way.

    nor did she reject the idea of charity or helping others less fortunate. she framed that in the sense that giving to others and helping did not have to equal diminishing one’s own resources (physical or psychological) but rather that assisting the less fortunate also benefited one’s own self-regard.

    again, all of her ideas centered on fulfilling one’s own potential, and were designed with the ultimate goal of enriching society as a whole, including giving back.

    in fact, as a real world example, i can imagine rand being disgusted that apple would pursue endless profits at the expense of people who could be put to work here, thereby supporting the society in which it exists, while actually embracing what amounts to indentured servitude of chinese workers.

    remember, throughout her novels, her goal was PRODUCTION within the society of which the individuals were a part. the idea that a company like apple is actually supporting a regime such as it exists in china would have sickened her.

    furthermore, nowhere in her books did she embark on any kind of rejection of taxation the way that the right wing has promoted.

    above all, rand believed in rationality in all aspects of life. that means that she did NOT advocate for a society where everyone except a few fortunate individuals would be left to wallow without a fair shot. just the opposite, she wanted everyone to be able to succeed, not to have the deck stacked against any segment of society.

    lastly, it must not be forgotten that her writings and philosophy were primarily an attack on the very nature of truly totalitarian regimes.

    • de_lited

      Finally someone else who actually read Rand and understands it. Very, very well spoken. Though I wonder that none have commented on the bigotry. Do Atheists not have the rights of others? Are we not allowed to think as we must? At least religious folk have the luxury to chose thier belief. I do not. I believe in what I see in the world about me and have never been able to convince myself of patent lies.

  • Hmmmm,,,,you think he suddenly “rejected” Rand’s philosophy out of conviction or out of political survival?

  • What part of “selfishness is a virtue” is American or Christian? Our country was founded on the words “We the people”,not “We the lucky few who are rich”.

  • metrognome3830

    Apparently Ryan never read Ayn Rand’s books himself, or at least, never understood what he was reading. OR, he did read and understand what Rand’s message was. Which would indicate that he is now doing the Romney Flip-Flop and pandering to a more influential group to garner their votes. Which tells us exactly what Ryan is. A hack politician just like all the rest.

  • rayy

    Maybe he should go read some Emerson (Self-reliance) and not put so much credence in dead philosophers.

  • gunste24

    Suitable running mate for flip-flop Romney. Ryan will change basic principles to match the occasion and the number of voters who will then applaud and believe him. The trouble with much of the GOP base seems to be that they do not understand their beliefs and they may fail to think for themselves. Slogans and propaganda bits are the basis for their policies.
    Will Ryan learn from what happened in Iceland and with austerity in Europe?
    Damn the torpedoes, full speed ahead.

  • howa4x

    Republicans are a strange group. When they are riding high as in the 2010 take over of the house they ride rough on women, gays, Latinos, and of course poor people. They continue their assualt on the enviornment in the name of creating jobs. Seems the Koch bros, can’t stand to spend any of their billions on enviornmental protection.
    So now Ryan whos is a devotee of Ayn Rand is on the run from her. He is now trying to reinvent the Catholic teachings by saying St. Thomas would have been for his budget that gives to the wealthiest and takes from the poor. Too bad for him the Priests and Nuns are telling the world that Ryan dosen’t know what he is talking about. Maybe this might go viral and other denominations will also denounce him as being anti religious. Everybody really needs to ask themselves if Jesus was alive today would he be for this budget? Being for the wealthy interests, taking from the poor? If the answer is yes you’re a Republican, and if you answer no you’re something more humanistic

  • Paul Ryan: He been flip flopping like a fish! Him and Mitt has no interest in helping the poor. The citizens of this great country will be crazy to put them two scum bags in Office to run this country. Paul and Mitt will send us back to the stone age or at least try too. This country is slowly coming together like President Barack Obama said. Continue supporting him to get him reelected for another term. He did state that he will need the help from all the citizens don’t let them let us turn on each other. All the Negative adds (to blind fold us so we can’t see what they are trying to do), it’s the trickery & tricks to put them in Office. The citizens will regret putting them in Office. Don’t vote for anyone who refuse to help the POOR; and the rights for women to chose. I think President Barack Obama has done a great job with what he had to work with. So, let us all continue working together and put this country back whare it was before. “We can do it Vice President Joe Biden & the Clintons who continue giving him all the support he needs”. “God Bless America”.

  • Yappy2

    Paul Ryan received Social Security at the age of 16 after his father passed away. He used some ofthat money to pay for his college education but now he wants to do away with Social Security. Seems like he is saying I got mine and to heck with the rest with you.

  • Magginkat

    Just another phony, two-faced, lying hypocrite. He’s quoted Ayn Rand for ages and probably didn’t know until recently that she was a hard core atheist. He would still be quoting her if
    the Catholic Church had not jumped his silly arse for his attack on poor people. I don’t expect any real change from this phony Christian.

  • Paul Ryan, along with all of the other hateful ones, still don’t get it. Wrong is wrong! They have been so busy trying to destroy the president for the last three years (which has been wrong) that they don’t realize they’re destroying the Republican party. When you’re wrong from the start and continue to be wrong, you’re going to be wrong in the end. No matter how many lies are told and how many truths are twisted, one thing is for certain, ultimately, right is going to win!

  • Let’s see. First he was in favor of Ayn Rand and her philosophy and now he isn’t. Isn’t that what we call a Flip-Flop?

  • Perfect….two flip floppers on the same ticket. Ryan once again proves that they are already selling their souls to get elected. He’s another Romney wanna-be. There will be no guilt as they and their Congressional (millioniare/lawyer) cronies continue to pillage the middle and poorer class’s to enrich the one percenters afterward…..and shame on the educational system that keeps the electorate so illiterate that we keep reelecting them, defying our own best interests.

  • pbr90

    Phony Baloney.