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Ayn Rand hated Ronald Reagan

Ronald Reagan
Ronald Reagan

Ayn Rand, author and philosopher of Objectivism: outspoken advocate for minimalist government which, Rand believed, would lead to maximum freedom, productivity, and creation of wealth. A role model for many present-day American "libertarian" activists and "conservative" politicians (e.g. Congressman Paul Ryan, Alan Greenspan, Ronald Reagan, Farrah Fawcett, Glenn Beck, Rush Limbaugh, playboy-pornographer Hugh Hefner).

At a Hollywood studio, Rand complained to her supervisors, as well as the executives. She decried the fact that subtle pro-Soviet messages were being snuck into mass entertainment. Rand was surprised again, this time by the apathy of the studio owners. Their motion pictures were profitable, so they didn't want to rock the boat. Their sole priority was making money (capitalist pigs). It made no difference whatsoever if their product was undermining the civic morality of the American people.

In a 1947 tract written for the Motion Picture Alliance for the Preservation of American Ideals (a group she co-founded), Rand implored: The influence of Communists in Hollywood is due, not to their own power, but to the unthinking carelessness of those who profess to oppose them. Red propaganda has been put over in some films produced by innocent men, often by loyal Americans who deplore the spread of Communism throughout the world and wonder why it is spreading. The purpose of the Communists in Hollywood is not the production of political movies openly advocating Communism. Their purpose is to corrupt our moral premises by corrupting non-political movies - by introducing small, casual bits of propaganda into innocent stories - thus making people absorb the basic premises of Collectivism by indirection and implication. Few people would take Communism straight. But a constant stream of hints, lines, touches and suggestions battering the public from the screen will act like the drops of water that split a rock if continued long enough. The rock they are trying to split is Americanism.

Rand insisted there was no proof that cigarettes were dangerous, up until her own diagnosis of lung cancer in the summer of 1974, whereupon she immediately quit her two-pack-a-day habit. The following year, Rand called upon the readers of her newsletter to oppose then-Governor Ronald Reagan's Presidential aspirations:

I (Ayn Rand) urge you, as emphatically as I can, not to support the candidacy of Ronald Reagan. I urge you not to work for or advocate his nomination, and not to vote for him. My reasons are as follows: Mr. Reagan is not a champion of capitalism, but a conservative in the worst sense of that word - i.e., an advocate of a mixed economy with government controls slanted in favor of business rather than labor (which, philosophically, is as untenable a position as one could choose - see Fred Kinnan in Atlas Shrugged, pp. 541-2). This description applies in various degrees to most Republican politicians, but most of them preserve some respect for the rights of the individual. Mr. Reagan does not: Reagan opposes the right to abortion.

And her animus toward Reagan did not soften after he became President, even after he was nearly assassinated in March 1981. Rand reiterated her dismal opinion of the Gipper in her final public speech, in November 1981: What do I think of President Reagan? The best answer to give would be: But I don't think of him - and the more I see, the less I think. I did not vote for Reagan (or for anyone else) and events seem to justify me. The appalling disgrace of Reagan's administration is his connection with the so-called "Moral Majority" and sundry other TV religionists, who are struggling - apparently with his approval - to take us back to the Middle Ages, via the unconstitutional union of religion and politics. The threat to the future of capitalism is the fact that Reagan might fail so badly that he will become another ghost, like Herbert Hoover, to be invoked as an example of capitalism's failure for another 50 years. Observe Reagan's futile attempts to arouse the country by some sort of inspirational appeal. Reagan is right in thinking that the country needs an inspirational element. But Reagan will not find it in the God-Family-Tradition swamp.

Rand similarly hated the Nobel Laureate economist Friedrich August Hayek. In her copy of Hayek's bestseller The Road to Serfdom, Rand wrote the following marginalia: "The man is an ass, with no conception of a free society at all." In 1991, the U.S. President awarded Hayek the Presidential Medal of Freedom, for a "lifetime of looking beyond the horizon". The philosophy of Ayn Rand is slightly better than the propaganda of Kirk Cameron, whose primary sources are Ray Comfort and David Barton (The Jefferson Lies).

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