Trying to psychoanalyze people on the basis of the books they read is always pretty stupid. But the following attempt to do so is even more idiotic than I expected:
Have you ever read Ayn Rand?
What do you think Paul Ryan’s obsession with her work would mean if he were vice president?
Well, you’d have to ask Paul Ryan what that means to him. Ayn Rand is one of those things that a lot of us, when we were 17 or 18 and feeling misunderstood, we’d pick up. Then, as we get older, we realize that a world in which we’re only thinking about ourselves and not thinking about anybody else, in which we’re considering the entire project of developing ourselves as more important than our relationships to other people and making sure that everybody else has opportunity – that that’s a pretty narrow vision. It’s not one that, I think, describes what’s best in America. Unfortunately, it does seem as if sometimes that vision of a “you’re on your own” society has consumed a big chunk of the Republican Party.
I had no idea anybody in their right mind considered “the entire project of developing ourselves” as less important than “relationships to other people.” I understand, of course, that this is said within the context of a political campaign for a very specific reason, but still, the statement bothers me. Choosing relationships over one’s own development, over the core of one’s self sounds hugely problematic in absolutely any context.
This is my candidate speaking, for lack of anybody better, but his philosophy, in this instance, could not be further from mine. Relationships first, self-development later? I can only imagine what kind of relationships a person who has betrayed her or his own development for the sake of having as many people around as possible can end up having.