Wisconsin Senator Ron Johnson Hearts Ayn Rand

Wisconsin Senator Ron Johnson had a bad week, a really bad week. First he was raked over the coals by Hillary Clinton, then raked over the coals by Senator John Kerry. Then the usually media shy U.S. Senator decided to give a lengthy interview to the Atlas Society, a group whose job is to keep the flame of Ayn Rand alive and well.

When the video hit, it was met by howls of derision, including in Politico, Slate, The Nation, and Mother Jones.

One would think politicians would exercise some caution on this subject after Wisconsin Congressman Paul Ryan's passion for Rand bought him a boatload of trouble with Catholics and the Christian Right in 2012. Apparently not.

Johnson tells the chirpy interviewer from the Atlas Society that our freedoms are under assault, particularly by the 2010 health care reform bill. The program, which will give some 20 million Americans access to health care and prevent folks from being kicked off their private insurance when they get sick, is "the greatest assault on freedom in our lifetime," opines Johnson who was a CEO of a Wisconsin business before becoming Senator in 2010.

And Americans who want health care coverage?: "We're all suffering collectively from the Stockholm Syndrome. That's where people who have been kidnapped are grateful to their captors when they just show them a little bit of mercy. And collectively, we just don't understand the freedoms we're really losing."

When citing onerous government overreach, Johnson objected to an electrical inspector who came into his business to make sure that the electrical equipment he was using was safe. Still outraged, millionaire Johnson complains "he had the power, the power to prevent us from putting into operation a $2.5 million piece of equipment." Yes Ron, that is what electrical inspectors are supposed to do -- prevent fires by stopping CEOs from wiring their businesses with dangerous substandard equipment.

When asked by the interviewer: "What do you see as the differences between your ideas and the ideas of Ayn Rand?" Johnson replies "I'm not sure there are too many differences." Where to begin? Rand was an atheist, who so supported abortion rights that she refused to support Ronald Reagan in 1980, denouncing him "for taking us back to the Middle Ages" and "the God, family, tradition swamp." She had a disturbing fascination with serial killers because they had freed themselves from societal conventions.

Johnson identifies with Atlas Shrugged character Hank Rearden, the fellow who refused to give up. To the kidnapped and captive masses Johnson sends a message of hope: "I will never give up hope on America and I hope everyone who is watching this will never give up hope."

Cue the Hank Rearden quotes.

Mary Bottari

Mary Bottari is a reporter for the Center for Media and Democracy (CMD). She helped launch CMD's award-winning ALEC Exposed investigation and is a two-time recipient of the Sidney Prize for public interest journalism from the Sidney Hillman Foundation.


I guess Paul Ryan didn't care Mz. Rand was an Athiest and antithema of his, so called, Christian Beliefs. But her philosophy permeates their platform, their lack of empathy for the working class, labeling them TAKERS and wanting a Welfare State. That only a few are destined to rule and the rest of us are not even worthy of love. Their plan now is not to change their philosophy, just how they veil it or just not address it. You will never change these true elitists or their entitlement, arrogant attitude.