File this under things that I didn’t know — but are still utterly unsurprising.
During an interview with Kirsten Powers,
Trump described himself as an Ayn Rand fan. He said of her novel The Fountainhead, “It relates to business (and) beauty (and) life and inner emotions. That book relates to … everything.” He identified with Howard Roark, the novel’s idealistic protagonist who designs skyscrapers and rages against the establishment.
This revelation will likely elicit a collective yawn, but four years ago, Paul Ryan (Paul Ryan!) endured a not insignificant media feeding frenzy involving his past affinity for Rand.
Why does it matter which novelists a congressman enjoys? The insinuation was that Ryan’s worldview about the “makers versus the takers” (which he has since renounced) was consistent with Rand’s portrayal of virtuous producers versus pernicious parasites.
Ryan, who has gone out of his way to make the moral case for free markets, had to get past that attack. But one gets the sense that Donald Trump won’t face the same scrutiny — at least not now.
Trump has never tried to hide his conspicuous consumption. Moreover, in the new world of Trump-sized scandals, there are bigger fish to fry.
Still, if Trump is the nominee, don’t be surprised if this story resurfaces in the general election, not as a standalone, but as one piece of evidence to buttress Hillary Clinton’s class warfare argument.
If nothing else, it’ll help answer the question: “Who is Donald Trump?”