If Paul Ryan is indeed an "All-American Teenager," perhaps the President can explain to us why.
When asked his opinion of libertarian icon Ayn Rand by Rolling Stone in the publication's newest interview with the POTUS, Obama described her thinking as something best-suited to the intellectual inquiries of a teenager, writesReason's Brian Doherty.
"Ayn Rand is one of those things that a lot of us, when we were 17 or 18 and feeling misunderstood, we'd pick up," explained the President. "Then, as we get older, we realize that a world in which we're only thinking about ourselves and not anybody else...that's a pretty narrow vision."
Doherty takes offense at this summation of Rand, whose book The Virtue of Selfishness, among other works, helped cement her reputation as the philosopher-queen of individualism. "Reducing Rand's message of liberty and achievement to one of narrow individualism shouldn't be a surprise coming from the president," he complains. "There is nothing 'narrow' about Rand's vision except in that it created moral boundaries in which most of Obama's government would be seen as illegitimate."
Via Rolling Stone and Reason.
@mimi57 -- Everyone is insulted by something, do you agree? We insult one another whether we mean to or not, and on sites like this, it is often intentional. Have you never posted a single insulting comment on this site? Be honest! We all do it. Sometimes it's funny, sometimes it isn't.
I like Douglas Adams too but you don't see people forming up a poltical party on the concept of the Hitchhikers Guide to the Galaxy. Most of us can keep fiction from reality. Not all when it comes to Rand though. That said - so long and thanks for all the fish.
@Thunderchicken Don't know but they must have been a very perspective person. All young people are liberals, they believe in the tooth fairy, pie in the sky and fairness in everything going. Then they graduate, get a job, and see just how much of their hard earned money is taken from them to support seemingly perfectly healthy people who........don't work, just stay home and have babies. That's when the light bulb goes off and they start to get more conservative and start to watch what the government takes and what it does with it. Heck, I voted for McGovern in college, I outgrew that stage as I matured and found out that there is only equal opportunity, not a guaranteed equal result. We found that if we worked hard we were rewarded, we also watched as others didn't work so hard and didn't get anywhere. Lesson learned.
@Thunderchicken According to wikiquote.org : "this quote was first uttered by mid-nineteenth century French historian and statesman François Guizot when he observed, Not to be a republican at 20 is proof of want of heart; to be one at 30 is proof of want of head.(N'être pas républicain à vingt ans est preuve d'un manque de cœur ; l'être après trente ans est preuve d'un manque de tête.) This quote has been attributed variously to George Bernard Shaw, Benjamin Disraeli, Otto von Bismarck, and others."
His opinion is the same as millions of college grads who were introduced to Ayn Rand in our impressionable twenties. Oh, we thought, how truly GRAND to be selfish!!! What a noble ideal to turn our noses up at those dreadful poor people!! Why, if they only had our ambition (and financial backing), they would be spoiled drunken college students too!!! Then we graduated, went on with our lives, and found out that being poor is not just the problem of the unambitious. Cars break down, then furnaces, then washing machines, then vet bills, then emergency dental work etc etc and suddenly you're thinking am I going to be foreclosed upon? Yeah, Randians, you'll find out.
LOL - Admit it, you have not read either of her books. You couldn't have made such a comment if you had. They were not about selfishness, they were about government overreach, Fascism, Socialism and Communism. Try to read one and get back to us.
@Tralee You are flailing. Of course I read The Fountainhead, Atlas Shrugged, and The Virtue of Selfishness. At the time I thought they were not only iconic masterpieces but the right thing for America. Chalk it up to the stupidity of youth.
He has to ridicule Ayn Rands books, they are way too close to the reality of Obama for his comfort. I recommend anyone who read this as a college student get it out and re-read it. It is scarily timely.
ok good advice. My copy of rand is on the shelf next to the Wizard of Oz. I must make sure I pick the right one. Or maybe you know of a politlcal party that is built on Dorothy's adventures that the right wing can join next.
@DABurroughs Sigh, I guess one must put down what one does not understand. I don't believe ANY political party is based either on Ayn Rands books or Mr. Baum's books, why do liberals have to make hay out of thin air all the time. This is a non-issue, the real issue that all the MSM are running from is the cover up of the events in Benghazi and why was there a cover up and why were 4 Americans allowed to be killed simply because, at best, this president was just not going to accept blame for anything, not now, not this close to the election. So, yeah, let's all get riled up over a book and the remarkable similarity of that book to what is happening today, after all, it was just 4 dead Americans and Barry had a fund raiser to attend, much too busy to send the extra security requested, over and over again, as a matter of fact let's take out the existing security after all, Al Qaeda is dead and gone, Barry defeated Islamic Terrorism singlehandedly just by being "The One" and no facts were going to get in the way of his stump speech, "Osama is dead and Ol Qaeda is on the run."
@DABurroughs Also, everything I wrote, is based on news, news on the TV, in the papers, on the internet and so on, unfortunately the MSM is not covering it at this time, the election and all you know and any damaging information about Obama is seriously omitted. Now, if you want to find out for yourself, Google Benghizi attack, the e-mails sent within 2 hours of the beginning of the attack, the coverup and insistence that it was not a terrorist attack, the blame for 8 or more days on a very silly YouTube video and that it was just a spontaneous attack complete with bombs and high tech weapons that just sort of got out of hand and lasted for 6 or 7 hours. Really, no need to kill the messenger.
“There are two novels that can change a bookish fourteen-year old’s life: The Lord of the Rings and Atlas Shrugged. One is a childish fantasy that often engenders a lifelong obsession with its unbelievable heroes, leading to an emotionally stunted, socially crippled adulthood, unable to deal with the real world. The other, of course, involves orcs.“
I agree, DARSB, although I didn't actually read Rand's books until I was in my thirties. I guess i waited to long, because I found her writing to be both boring and extremely biased -- ALL of the characters in her books who were not her "heroes" were universally written as extremely stupid. There was little realism in any of her characters, the good or the bad. Fantasy is the right genre.
@Denizen_Kate I read the Rand novels in high school at the same time I was reading de Chardin and spending summers in a Trappist monastery. I recently tried to re-read Atlas, and was immediately reminded of the superlative need Rand had for an editor.
@DARSB - At least you read the book before commenting on it. I am having a tough time believing that any book of Ayn Rands would have survived in the Dunham household. Saw part one of the movie last night and enjoyed it. Would have preferred it set in the 30s.
Trappist Monastery reading de Chardin! Never would have guessed. Did you guys go around singing "Ohmmmmm" (smile).
OH, forgot, perhaps this is just another distraction from the really bad news Obama got today, the women vote, despite all the false and misleading "War on women" rhetoric, is now 47%- 47%. Hmmm, seems women really don't want to be "Julia" after all and getting free birth control is not exactly at the top of their "To Do" list.
I've always wondered why more women don't get turned off by Democrats who seem to think that discussing womens issues should primarily be about birth control and abortion. Makes me think they view women as nothing but sex objects without much capacity to care about issues that affect the country at large (ie economy, taxes, national defense, etc). Its a bad strategy because many women are now the breadwinners in the household and care deeply about the economy.
Read them as an adult, you may find that they have a completely different meaning now that you are all grown up. Same for all the classics, Dickens is particularly different re-read from an adults perspective, just sayin'.
@Dan_Tien Hnnph, funny, I found them more interesting and I found that Dickens was very much different than I had remembered. I guess it's just according to your viewpoint and world experience. Different stokes and all that. My husband and I had a ball re-reading all the classics.
@Tralee Maybe you are right. After having a career, raising a family and travelling the world, I find myself less impressionable and idealistic than I was when I was 16. I admit that I find Bleak House more interesting than A Christmas Carol these days.
Intellectual garbage. What motivates Obama/Romney?. Power, wealth and prestige. They are not interested in fixing the countries problems. And even if they were, it would be political suicide to try. The system needs to be rebooted with a clean operating system.
Ayn Rand wrote books, woo hoo! So did a lot of people. She hated libertarians, she believed in objectivism. Overall she was a selfish person who seemed miserable. Read/listen to her interviews, it is very grounding.