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Monday, August 13, 2012

Quick Thoughts on Paul Ryan's Philosophy

Posted by Sarah Mirk on Mon, Aug 13, 2012 at 1:29 PM

I did some serious perusing of Paul Ryan's Wikipedia page this weekend and came to the conclusion that the presumptive Republican Vice Presidential candidate is actually that guy from Rushmore:

The 1988 high school yearbook, “Standing Room Only,” for Joseph A. Craig High School in Janesville, Wis., shows a young Ryan, often clad in an oversized Craig Cougars sweatshirt, posing in photos for the student council, the Latin club, the history club, the letterman's club, the outdoors club and the International Geographic Society. The yearbook also says Ryan ran track his sophomore and senior year, was in the pep club his senior year, and was also in the ushers club and the Model U.N. He was also on the school’s varsity soccer team.
This had to be done.
  • This had to be done.

But unlike Max Fischer, who at least pretends to read classic philosophy, Ryan appears to be all about Catholicism and Objectivism—the teachings of writer Ayn Rand. While he's distanced himself from the atheist Rand in recent years, Jane Mayer at the New Yorker reports that her writing shaped his thinking as far back as his overachieving high school years. He once gave his staff Atlas Shrugged as Christmas presents and spoke at the Atlas Society in 2005. He's not an Objectivist in his value set though, he says, but that Rand's ideas influenced his thinking on economic issues. So he's sort of a spiritual Catholic and economic Objectivist.

What would it mean to elect someone with that thinking to one of the highest offices in the country? I'm thinking we'd see an attack on abortion rights paired with a massive tax cuts and a return to the gold standard.

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