Politics

Does Paul Ryan’s admiration for Ayn Rand make him pro-terrorist? Possibly, warns MSNBC guest

Photo of Jeff Poor
Jeff Poor
Media Reporter

Holy guilt by association, Batman.

If a fictional character in a piece of literature from an author you admire commits some acts that would likely result in a felony conviction, does that mean you’re a proponent of felonious acts? That’s the deductive logic David Cay Johnston, the 2001 winner of the Pulitzer Prize for beat reporting, displayed on MSNBC’s “The ED Show” Monday night.

In a segment about Wisconsin Republican Rep. Paul Ryan’s proposal to reduce the deficit, which includes simplifying the tax code and eliminating deductions to lower overall rates, Johnston called in to question Ryan’s legitimacy, as he’s a fan of Ayn Rand. And according to Johnston, in Rand’s book, “The Fountainhead,” the fictional character Howard Roark blows up a building, and that means people should evaluate the possibility Ryan is a proponent of blowing up buildings.

“You know, Congressman Ryan requires his staff to read Ayn Rand, whose fictional hero, Howard Roark, is a man who blew up a building because it wasn’t built exactly to his specifications as the architect,” Johnston said. “I mean, that’s the kind of society we want where our leaders say, not only are we taking from the sick and poor but we’re going to hold out as a model people who commit felonies like blowing up buildings. We really need to dig into understanding the kind of people who would put forth these ideas.”

Watch:

YouTube Preview Image