On Wednesday night’s edition of “The Colbert Report,” host Stephen Colbert talked about the fact that “the Libertarians are having their moment.” Or, at least, given that the show tapes at 7:30 p.m. on weekdays, Colbert said, the Libertarians will be having their moment.
“Great political philosopher” Sen. Rand Paul (R-KY) was set to deliver a tribute to his father, Rep. Ron Paul (R-TX), the erstwhile presidential candidate and longtime party gadfly.
“It’s so sad that Ron Paul isn’t around anymore to speak for himself,” Colbert mock-lamented. “I’m sure he’s in a better place, like…Orlando.”
The real headliner moment for Wednesday, however, was the speech by Rep. Paul Ryan (R-WI), Gov. Mitt Romney (R-MA)’s pick for vice president.
Colbert remarked that the thing that unites the three Pauls is their devotion to “Libertarian philosopher and lost Addams Family cousin Ayn Rand,” author of books like Atlas Shrugged and Anthem.
Colbert did what no one ever seems to do, which is to pull up actual interview footage of Rand, telling an off-camera interlocutor that the “cult of altruism” in which humanity indulges is wrong and that the weak are undeserving of love.
“Sorry, fellas,” he quipped. “She’s taken.”
Ryan has told interviewers on multiple occasions that Ayn Rand is one of his primary inspirations. In 2005 he said that he requires all of the interns who work in his office to read her work, which Colbert said mirrors Rand’s beliefs perfectly, “that you should work for free and think exactly like your boss tells you to.”
In fact, Ryan’s budget, said Colbert, is a work of “Ayn Rand fan fiction,” in that the weak are punished for being weak, the mighty rewarded, and society’s parasites die off because they can’t get health care to treat their parasites.
However, in recent months, Ryan has been trying to put some air between himself and Rand. He liked her novels, sure, but “later in life” he said in an interview with Fox News, he found out more about Rand’s philosophy, Objectivism, which he now says he “completely” disagrees with.
“See? He loved the economic ideas in Atlas Shrugged, but it wasn’t until later that he found out about the book’s subtle anti-religious messages,” Colbert explained. “I mean, who could see the atheism buried in such coded language as ‘that dark, incoherent passion within you, which you take as the voice of God…is nothing more than the corpse of your mind.’?”