On May 2, 2012, I appeared on “The Big Picture,” a TV show hosted by Thom Hartmann, to discuss the recent controversy surrounding Rep. Paul Ryan’s views on Ayn Rand.
Here’s the video, with my segment from time mark 35:25 through about 42:25.
The problem with debating someone so thoroughly steeped in leftist ideology is you don’t know where to start when refuting their misconceptions and certainly can’t do a thorough job in a short interview. But you do get a good sense of their worldview and what we’re up against.
If you can stomach it, watch the first segments where Hartmann gives the most bizarre descriptions of “libertarianism” and blames the current economic crisis in Europe on “libertarian” austerity measures.
Concerning Rep. Ryan, the Wisconsin Republican has again been criticized for his past expressions of admiration for Ayn Rand’s thought and work. He has responded to critics by emphatically declaring that he is not an Objectivist, though he never claimed to be, and that he rejects her atheism, though he has always been open about his own Catholic beliefs.
Public officials who are friends of freedom shouldn’t be spooked by critics of Rand. They should use Rand’s analyses and arguments where they find them compelling, and should employ Objectivist insights that offer a clear understanding of the world today. And they shouldn’t put up with critics who denounce them for accepting parts of the philosophy with which they might disagree.
Of course, I hope in the long run friends of freedom will come to appreciate the whole Objectivist package!
Edward Hudgins is the former director of advocacy for The Atlas Society, the author of numerous Atlas Society commentaries, and the editor of several books on politics and government policy. He is now research director for the Heartland Institute. He has also worked at the Heritage Foundation, Cato Institute, and Joint Economic Committee of Congress.