Monday, September 10, 2012

What do Jesus, Rage Against The Machine and Ayn Rand Have In Common? Paul Ryan Doesn't Understand Them.

Paul Ryan Says that Rage Against The Machine is one of his favorite bands.  I wonder if he could accurately describe the message of any given song or album.  When asked about this, he offered a muddled response much like when he couldn’t remember his marathon time, he said that he “likes Rage’s sound but not the lyrics.” These are mistakes only true Rage fans or marathon runners recognize, but one that they cannot miss.  Paul Ryan isn’t a fan or a runner.  He’s a poser.
Last month Rolling Stone Magazine published a scathing article written by Rage Against The Machine band member Tom Morello in which he compares Ryan being a fan of his music to Charles Manson being a fan of the Beatles, or Governor Chris Christie being a fan of Bruce Springsteen – “he doesn’t understand them.”
After marveling at what Ryan’s favorite song must be Morello also brilliantly relates a reason why Ryan might think that he identifies with RATM’s music, “Don’t mistake me, I clearly see that Ryan has a whole lotta “rage “in him; A rage against women, a rage against immigrants, a rage against workers, a rage against gays, a rage against the poor, a rage against the environment.  Basically, the only thing he’s not raging against is the privileged elite he’s groveling in front of for campaign contributions.” Finally, Morello responds to Ryan’s claim that he likes the music but not the lyrics by saying perhaps, “Ryan was moshing when he should have been listening.”
With a response like that from Ryan’s favorite band, I can’t help but wonder what Jesus or Ayn Rand might say if they were to have such a chance to respond to Mr. Ryan. 

What if Paul Ryan were to present the Ryan Budget to Jesus?  Does he really expect that Jesus would be any more approving than Barack Obama has?  Would Jesus look at cuts to Medicaid and feel pride at his disciple Paul Ryan?  I think not.  In fact, Nuns on the Bus spokeswoman Sister Simone Campbell addressed this issue at the Democratic National Convention last week.  She looked us in the cameras, our nation’s digital eyes, and said, “Paul Ryan claims his budget reflects the principles of our shared Catholic faith. But the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops stated that the Ryan budget failed a basic moral test, because it would harm families living in poverty.”
Sister Simone clearly follows the teachings of Jesus and she loves America.  This was clear when she closed by explaining the movement of which she is a part, Nuns on the Bus,” We care for the 100 percent, and that will secure the blessings of liberty for our nation. So join us as we nuns and all of us drive for faith, family and fairness.”  I suspect that were Jesus around to hear her speech, he might applaud with us at her fine words.  He might see his inspiration in her.  He might even recall a Bible verse or two.  Perhaps Matthew 25:40?  I’d suggest that maybe Paul Ryan look that one up and consider it again before he calls Jesus Christ his friend to the faithful of this nation.
What of Ayn Rand?  We all know that she wrote those books arguing against the New Deal and creating a false universe in which poverty and weakness are somehow deserved penance for some prior bad act or heinous lack of motivation.  We also know that in spite of her rhetoric against progressive ideals, she lived her old age out by accepting money from the New Deal program known as Social Security. In truth the real Ayn Rand, not the created fabrication born of her nonfiction novels but the real person, lived a life in which she depended on the government until she died. 
I can’t help but ask.  When Paul Ryan says that he makes non-fiction Ayn Rand novels required reading for all his interns - does he also tell them how the writer spent her old age drawing from Social Security?  When he says he admires her and follows her as a mentor, does that mean the real person or one of her created characters?  Auspiciously left out of his devotion to Rand is her anthem of atheism.  Does Paul love Jesus while simultaneously believing that he doesn’t exist?  Perhaps he is a good fit for the GOP – a party that simultaneously believes that Barack Obama is both a Muslim and a Socialist.   
Paul Ryan says he likes to listen to Rage Against The Machine.  He ignores that he is the machine against which we rage.  Paul Ryan says that he likes Jesus Christ. He ignores the primary teachings of love, charity, forgiveness, and caring for the poor, the hungry, sinful and the destitute which Jesus and his followers bring to our lives.  Paul Ryan says he likes Ayn Rand.  He ignores the reality of her life, the dissonance of her lessons, and the fact that the part of her legacy in which he believes is the part of her legacy that is shelved with other fiction novels like Animal Farm and Lord Of The Flies while the truth of her legacy is in the wise plan known as the New Deal.

As a bloggess, I might post certain quotes from cultural phenomena like a Bible verse, a song lyric, a famous quote, or a movie comeback and often my fans respond with instant recognition.  They feel they have found something to identify and link themselves with me. Having something in common gives them a feeling of friendship even if we’ve never met.
This is nothing new or unique. 
Paul Ryan has figured out the value of having people identify with him like this too.  Therefore, he walks around professing to love Jesus and Ayn Rand and Rage Against The Machine without ever considering what a person who truly adored those people and their ideology might do, say, or think - because he doesn’t care.  He just wants people who like Ayn and Jesus and RATM to like him by association, and give him their vote.  His personal opinion or relationship with these ideas has little to do with his motivation for sharing these preferences with us. He just wants our vote so he can sell us out to his rich friends in December.
Paul Ryan says a lot of things to get us to feel like he understands us, that he cares for us, and that he wants the same things we want. I am worried. If he can’t appreciate his own idols, his own favorite bands and religious leaders, how is he ever going to appreciate us?  If he doesn’t listen to the lyrics of his favorite songs, will he ever listen to us and represent us? 
The fact is, Paul Ryan is just like his boss.  Both have a paper thin constitution that flip flops in the wind of public favor.  Neither has a spine, a firm belief in morality, or any grasp of just how dumb they look when they try to identify with real, hardworking, Americans like us. They can conjure up all the pop culture rhetoric and religious grandiosity that they wish and it won’t mean a thing.  We all know that Paul doesn’t get Rage Against The Machine any more than Mitt Romney understands my husband’s anthem; Kenny Chesney’s “Shift Work.”  These are things that only people with worn hands, tired feet, and pure hearts understand; which explains exactly why the Romney/Ryan ticket struggles in their efforts to manipulate them.

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1 comment:

Bunny said...

Case in point - Paul Ryan used Social Security survivors benefits from his deceased father to help support him through school. So, maybe he really does idolize Ayn Rand.