Friday, August 24, 2012

Who is Ayn Rand? Plus: What You Likely Didn't Know About the GOP Nomination Process

Ayn Rand (Image from Wikipedia)
Science fiction author Ayn Rand has been in the news lately since U.S. Rep. Paul Ryan was selected by former Massachusetts governor Mitt Romney as who he would want to be the vice presidential nominee if he is elected as the Republican presidential nominee. (See portion below on the nomination process to explain why I worded this sentence as such.)

Ryan has been criticized for his past affinity of Rand's work. Reports say that Rand was the reason he went into public service and that he even tried to get his interns to read her work. (

So who is Ayn Rand?

Rand was a Russian-Amerian who was born in 1905 and died in 1982. She created Objectivism, a philosophy in which each individual should pursue his/her own happiness, pitting individualism against collectivism. Her philosophy was reflected in novels such as The Fountainhead and Atlas Shrugged as well as her novella Anthem.

Anthem is a dystopian story I enjoyed, although I disagree with some of her philosophies. I blogged about the novella here: She mainly wrote about individuals fighting a society suppressed by government intervention. That also is a libertarian idea, but she disliked libertarians because she claims they copied some of her ideas.

That's Rand in a nutshell. Have you read her stories? If so, what did you think?

What You Likely Didn't Know About the GOP Nomination Process

Now for the explanation of the nominee selection process since so many people are misinformed--including the delegates.

Romney is the presumptive Republican presidential nominee, which means people assume he will be voted as the nominee during the convention Monday through Thursday (Aug. 27-30). Although, he likely will be nominated, delegates at the convention are allowed to vote for whomever they want, even on the first ballot, despite state's binding of delegates. That is because the Republican National Convention (RNC) does not recognize state's binding of delegates, per its rules and legal counsel. The delegates also get to decide who they want to be the vice presidential nominee.

The only other choice than Romney for presidential nominee is U.S. Rep. Ron Paul. Romney and Paul are the only ones to gain the plurality of at least five states, the threshold to be on the nomination ballot and be allowed to have a 15-minute speech at the national convention. (The states were won through the under-reported state conventions. The heavily reported state primaries were effectively straw polls.)

However, the RNC is stripping Paul's state delegates, so he may not be put on the nomination ballot or given time to speak. If you don't believe me, below are my sources:


See the following news videos from Reality Check about the GOP delegate process (starting from most recent report):


  1. Looks like a write in vote for me this year. I need to read some Rand as I have been led to believe that I would enjoy her work.

  2. I read Atlas Shrugged. Interesting book, but it is fiction. Fiction doesn't have to deal with all the messiness of reality.

  3. Budd, there are always third party candidates. Libertarian Party presidential nominee Gary Johnson is going to be on the ballot in all 50 states. Unfortunately, mainstream media doesn't report on third-party candidates often, so he likely won't get the needed exposure to win.

    M Pax, ah, but I like how many great authors use fiction to warn people of how decisions made in reality can affect the future.


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