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.


Sen. Johnson is concerned about "attacks on our freedoms," is he? So why isn't he demanding an answer from certain of his fellow Senate colleagues who are involved in creating yet another amnesty for illegal aliens at a time when 20 million Americans can't find full-time employment? Why isn't he railing against our federal government for allowing 7 million illegal aliens to keep their non-farming payroll jobs. Isn't this an attack on the economic freedom of our unemployed? Dave Gorak Executive director Midwest Coalition to Reduce Immigration La Valle, WI

Why do people rail against the total number of workers in a given economy, while claiming to be on the side of economic freedom, doesn't that freedom also extend to the people who voluntarily hire their workers? Yet they always seem to want the government to have the power to decide who the owners/producers/businessmen may hire.

Hi? I doubt that most of you (above) have a clue as to what Ayn Rand's philosophy is all about. It would help the debate if your did. Hearsay doesn't do the job. Jim Wright

Mr. Gorak, if your group is desirous of reducing immigration, I assume it is because you feel immigrants are taking jobs away from Americans. Well, would you be willing to give the fruit-pickers, meat-packers and lawn-mowers a living wage so that Americans might take over those jobs? If it is the high-tech jobs you are worried about, how about focusing on the quality of public education, which isn't producing enough well-trained young people? Barring immigrants from technical professions won't create any more qualified Americans. When businesses don't hire and when they do offer low and stagnant wages, how is this the fault of immigrants? Isn't in their interests to keep wages depressed? The proportion of national income accounted for by earned income has been steadily dropping, while unearned income (most of which has accrued a small fraction of the population) has gone through the roof. Doesn't that suggest something has gone very wrong with the economy that has NOTHING to do with levels of immigration, legal or otherwise? Stop scapegoating poor people and urge financial reform instead.

Rand was the epitome of slavery proponents, though her positions often suggest the opposite. She is used by the lowest of immoral and unethical forces in this country to bring down democracy and real freedom-loving groups. Sig Heil.

So, Ron Johnson is media shy. No wonder. His idiotic appearance at Congressional hearings for Hillary Clinton and John Kerry displayed what a fool is, and how third rate are the minds of far too many politicians. As for his allegiance to Ayn Rand, such lunacy is sophomoric and self-centered to the highest degree and without commonsense.

It is truly embarrassing to have this guy represent the great state of WI. Hopefully he will,by his idiocy,only serve one term.

She also took advantage of our Socialist Medicare when she was able to. She's been shown to be a hypcrite of the highest order. What she wrote and how she lived are not similar.