Once upon a time in 2008, Americans elected Barack Obama and the Republican Party, forced to confront the nothingness inside of itself, dove right into the comforting arms of literary sociopath Ayn Rand. So I – an Obama volunteer – thought reading Atlas Shrugged would be an effective codex to decrypt the collective mind of the Republican Party during the upcoming Obama presidency.
It worked out.
Then, four years later I decided to read it again so I could write about my reaction and how it all mapped onto the 2012 election.
For some personal context, I’m a 27-year old middle class white male who works at a bank in the Boston area and who dabbled in political science at NYU. Having grown up during the Clinton impeachment years and the Bush administration, I’m a pretty reliable Democratic vote. But from reading various conservative apostates like Andrew Sullivan, David Frum, and Bruce Bartlett, I’ve come to temper my progressive politics with some libertarian, small-government skepticism.
However, my appreciation of conservative principles notwithstanding, Ayn Rand is a high-functioning sociopath whose anarcho-capitalist fundamentalism must be beaten out of the GOP by repeated electoral defeat. This blog is a chronicle of just that, translated using the Rosetta stone of 21st-century Republicanism — Atlas Shrugged.
-Taylor Bettinson, 2013