Paul Ryan’s “Rage Against the Machine’s” comment Rages Questions of competence

Paul Ryan may not be as bright as the GOP and for that matter democrats are giving him credit for; he once more appears to be trapped by his own words of praise and adoration. Following news that Mitt Romney had chosen Ryan as his running mate for the highest office in the United States, the VP candidate reportedly stated he adored the popular metal band “Rage Against the Machine.”  Specifically, Paul Ryan listed “Rage Against the Machine” as one of his favorite bands, which now has the leftist metal group screaming more than usual.

Last week media pundits uncovered numerous occasions where Ryan had praised Ayn Rand, as one of his mentors. When the media pointed out the fact that Rand was an atheist, he claimed that he read her books as a youth but was not influenced by her. In other words, he read her books, praised her as a mentor but wasn’t influenced by her; how absurd. What probably happened is that Ryan neglected to read the forward in her books else he would have never allowed himself to be on the record praising the atheist author. The whole matter raises questions about his competence and popularized intelligence.

Ryan’s latest controversial statement has “Rage Against the Machine’s” guitarist, Tom Morello, unhinged, so he disdainfully responded to the congressman’s revelation in an op-ed published by Rolling Stone. In it, Morello wrote: “Paul Ryan’s love of Rage Against the Machine is amusing, because he is the embodiment of the machine that our music has been raging against for two decades. Charles Manson loved the Beatles but didn’t understand them. Governor Chris Christie loves Bruce Springsteen but doesn’t understand him. And Paul Ryan is clueless about his favorite band, Rage Against the Machine.

Morello’s response came after Ryan, a 42-year-old Generation Xer, told CNN that he listens to ‘90s era grunge and listed bands like Nirvana and “Rage Against the Machine as” among his favorite bands.

Morello went on to say, “Ryan claims that he likes Rage’s sound, but not the lyrics. Well, I don’t care for Paul Ryan’s sound or his lyrics. He can like whatever bands he wants, but his guiding vision of shifting revenue more radically to the one percent is antithetical to the message of Rage.”

Clearly, Ryan’s comments were not pleasing to the famous guitarist as he wondered what Ryan’s favorite Rage strain is? Is it a one where the reject a genocide of Native Americans? Or the one lambasting American imperialism? Or their cover of “F*** a Police”? Or was it one where they call on a people to seize all means of production? So many glorious choices to jam out to during Young Republican meetings!

Morello seemed quite adamant, not wanting Ryan to mistake his words, pointing out to the ready to clearly see that Ryan has a whole lotta “rage” in him: suggesting that the congressman is opposed to women, immigrants, workers, gays, the poor, and has an aversion to the environment. Basically the only thing he doesn’t have an aversion to or is not raging against “is the privileged elite he’s groveling in front of for campaign contributions.”

After suggesting that Ryan and Mitt Romney have been gripped with “unbridled rage against those who have the least,” Morello compared the would-be VP’s political efforts against others undertaken by fans of the band. “Many activists around the world, including organizers of the global occupy movement, were radicalized by Rage Against the Machine and work tirelessly for a more humane and just planet,” he pointed out. “Perhaps Paul Ryan was moshing when he should have been listening.”

Music and politics is a strange mixture. Clash well remembers David Cameron’s attempts to win over the indie crowd, naming The Smiths as one of his favorite groups. We also recall fondly Johnny Marr’s response, bluntly demanding that the politician stop listening to his music.

Now Republic candidate Paul Ryan seems to have made a similar mistake. And as I said here in this articles opening, Ryan has now been caught playing loose with his words. The man everyone is touting as one of the most intelligent members of the Republican party has early in his candidacy demonstrated just the opposite.

It will be interesting to see if Romney’s running mate has any more contradictory and cognitive dissident view to entertain his democratic opponents. It’s perhaps a good bet that they’ll be listening to his every word, so don’t be surprised if he hits another fuel ball next week.

 

Contributor D. Chandler

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