More Evil Than Trump

Yes, There Are Forces in America Even More Evil

I have friends who think that all that needs to happen for the good times to come again is for President Squid Lips to be ignominiously defeated and face a lifetime of legal actions arising from his grotesque corruption. But there are worse things to fear.

Most particularly, the people who support Trump are still around. These are the Ayn Rand followers, the ignoramuses of Flyover Country, the rich who want government to make them more rich, the racist haters, the sociopathic gun-lovers, and Confederates who refuse to recognize the surrender at Appomattox. Worst of all are the billionaires and millionaires, the heads of corporations whose sole political principle is self-aggrandizement. Even if the Trumpster dies in office from Coronavirus or STDs or just plain rotting from the inside just like Herod, the people who put him in office are still around. People like the “My Pillow” guy or the various criminals who occupy seats in the cabinet, the Barrs, the Mnuchins, the DeVoses.

Whatever happens to Trump, the United States is in for a long fight to protect their voting rights and their livelihoods and—in the case of African-Americans—their lives.

Election day is only a few months away. The Current Occupant will resume his red-hat rallies in Tulsa (scene of a 1921 massacre of blacks) on June 19 (or Juneteenth, commemorating the emancipation of slaves in Texas). With luck, his cohorts and co-conspirators will dwindle away between now and November—but don’t count on it!

 

 

An Interview With Ayn Rand

Ideologue for the Irreligious Right

I am, to say the least, no supporter of Ayn Rand. Thirty years after her death, she has has occupied an incongruous position with her rightist and libertarian supporters. On one hand, she was an avowed enemy of religion. On the other, her tenets have been adopted by a political party which has close ties to American Evangelical Christians. It was Jesus Christ in the Gospel of St. Luke (12:33) is quoted as saying, “Sell your possessions and give to charity; make yourselves purses which do not wear out, an unfailing treasure in heaven, where no thief comes near, nor moth destroys.

Contrast that with Ms. Rand, who stated in a famous 1964 Playboy interview with Alvin Toffler:

My views on charity are very simple. I do not consider it a major virtue and, above all, I do not consider it a moral duty. There is nothing wrong in helping other people, if and when they are worthy of the help and you can afford to help them. I regard charity as a marginal issue. What I am fighting is the idea that charity is a moral duty and a primary virtue.

How Paul Ryan, Mitt Romney’s Republican Vice-Presidential candidate, can square his religion (Roman Catholicism) with his adherence to the belief system of Ayn Rand’s so-called Objectivism is a mystery to me. I personally find much of her thinking to be abhorrent, such as her elevating productive work about family and friendship:

If they place such things as friendship and family ties above their own productive work, yes, then they are immoral. Friendship, family life, and human relationships are not primary in a man’s life. A man who places others first, above his own creative work, is an emotional parasite; whereas, if he places his work first, there is no conflict between his work and his enjoyment of human relationships.

So, which is it to be, Mr. Ryan? Shall we adhere to the teachings of Christ or of Alisa Zinov’yevna Rosenbaum, alias Ayn Rand?

The interview with Rand is worth reading in its entirety. Or one could just read one of her long and confused novels such as The Fountainhead (1943) or Atlas Shrugged (1957) to get to the same point after a several hundred turgid pages.