As Romney and the Republicans close in on who they will nominate as their vice presidential candidate, the short list growing shorter still includes the most explosive option and there is a compelling case that can be made, from their point of view, for making him their man. Paul Ryan.
Ryan would strengthen the ticket in important ways. He’s demonstrated a commitment to hard-right values, but not so much socially as in terms of slashing entitlements like Medicare and Social Security and other inconvenient costs that require the rich to pay some taxes. He’s shown the nerve on such matters, the “hard cop” posture, such that he would counterbalance the legendary wishy-washiness at the top of the ticket.
The choice of Ryan would send a super-charge through the Tea Party wing of the party, which is effectively the party by now. While Romney has been focusing his fundraising efforts on those of his upper class brethren, Ryan would be able to empty the pockets of the blue collar Tea Party rabble-rousers that cynical D.C.-based “grasstop” efforts by Dick Armey and his Freedom Works bureaucracy have been hired to inflame.
Yes, Ryan is the most formidable of the shrinking list of options for vice president, coming with really no serious downside for his own party. Unlike Sarah Palin, he is smart, articulate and can think on his feet. He’s young enough for folks to see in him the future of their movement.
There’s only one problem: If chosen, he would very probably be the most dangerous individual in the history of America with a credible chance to come within a heartbeat of the presidency.
Aaron Burr comes a close second. A British agent at a time when the British were far from done with ideas of reconquering the colonies, Burr was a snake who, by the way, shot dead one of the nation’s most valuable Founding Fathers, Alexander Hamilton. There have been plenty of bad vice presidents, and presidents for that matter, but none with the conniving, scurrilous ambition and resolve of Burr.
Saying Ryan is more dangerous than Burr is, therefore, saying a lot.
Ryan is not exactly a British agent. But he is an obsessed follower of a cult leader whose purist ideology, if ever carried out in practice, would end democratic institutions as we know them. That cult leader is Ayn Rand.
Ayn Rand, the record will eventually show, was exemplary of those lesser-light philosophers and writers who benefited from the so-called Congress for Cultural Freedom, a covert CIA operation that ran from 1950 to 1967. Her fanatical anti-communist thoughts were honed into a raging hatred of government bureaucracy and anything, like labor unions, standing in the way of the unbridled individual ego.
Hers was the ultimate “might makes right” credo of corrupted “social Darwinists” that formed the ideological core of 20th century fascism, including Mussolini’s brand in Italy and Hitler’s in Germany. (If you want to make the British connection, then you can consider that elements of British intelligence funded the rise of both those).
Ryan requires that all members of his Congressional staff read the entire corpus of Ayn Rand works, such as Fountainhead and Atlas Shrugged, and watch the film versions of them all, too.
In the 1950s, the CIA and other covert U.S. intelligence operations delved into the dark world of mind control, too. Learning from Chinese efforts at this, they undertook to produce “Manchurian candidates,” and the book (1959) and movie (1962) by that name were warnings against that.
The CIA effort, including its infamous Operation MK-Ultra, focused on the formation of mind-controlling cults, which began springing up in the 1960s following a cookie-cutter formula.
Those recruited into these cults exhibited slavish, obsessive behavior centered on an unnatural passion to espouse the views of their leaders.
While followers of Ayn Rand also took on these cult-like characteristics, they were not separated apart from, but embedded within the corridors of social and political power. Former Fed chair Alan Greenspan was one such, and the global financial meltdown of 2008 could credibly be set at his feet. He’s since confessed his ideological error.
Paul Ryan is a slavish cult follower of Ayn Rand.