The legislative process

Who is Ayn Rand and why does she matter? Robert Reich (2018) argues the political
movement represented by Donald Trump can be seen as rooted in the ideas of Ayn Rand.
1
Many
of the Trump power and the Republican Party of today in leadership; see themselves as followers
of Rand’s ideas (e.g. Rex Tillerson – former Secretary of State, CIA chief Mike Pompeo, a
nominee for Secretary of Labor – Andrew Posner, Republican leader of the House of
Representatives Paul Ryan – who required his staff and all interns to read her, Uber’s former
CEO Travis Kalanick described himself as a Rand follower before he was fired for behavior
rooted in the her ideas to Uber’s code of values, Grover Norquist – who has led the zero
tolerance of taxes revolt in the GOP, and Rand Paul{named after Rand} a libertarian Republican
member of the House and son and former Libertarian-Republican presidential candidate Ron
Paul). They are all attracted to Rand’s heroic ideal of rich industrialist men who make it in the
world with a disdain for any idea of community rules and or a common good driven by pure
egocentrism and selfishness.
In two popular novels: The Fountainhead (1943) and Atlas Shrugged (1957); Rand
argued there is no common good, that selfishness is a highest virtue, and altruism is an evil that
destroys nations. When Rand offered these ideas in the 1950s they seemed quaint if not farfetched.
Reich notes that anyone who had lived through the first half of the 20th century witnessed
first-hand how only our interdependence saw us all through the great depression with
Roosevelt’s “New Deal” social programs and the Second World War together. After the war and
through the 1960s with Johnson’s “Great Society” programs; we used an idea of a “purposive
state” driven by a notion of a common good to harness seeming boundless prosperity; to finance
all sorts of “public goods:” including: schools & universities, electrification, a national highway
system, addressing poverty, and health care for the Aged and poor (Medicare). We rebuilt wartorn Europe, and sought to guarantee civil rights and voting rights for African Americans and
other oppressed minorities, and open doors of opportunity to women. We reached for the stars in
the NASA space programs. It was self-evident that of course there was a common good. We
were living it!