Jill Abramson writes that we are witnessing the final stage of Baby Boomer dominance, which has been defined by the ascendancy of Ayn Rand. Rand's fingerprints are over the Senate health care bill:
It should be called The John Galt Bill after the hero of Ayn Rand’s Atlas Shrugged, the doorstopper of a novel that is akin to the Bible for certain conservative politicians, including House Speaker Paul Ryan, who hands out copies of the book to newly elected Members (The House version of the health care bill is even more Galtian than the Senate’s). It’s the only book I’m aware of that Donald Trump claims to have read.
Keep in mind that at her funeral in New York in 1982, “Ayn Rand’s body lay next to the symbol she had adopted as her own - a six-foot dollar sign,” according to Susan Chira who covered the service for the Times. A few years ago, The Atlas Society, which keeps the Rand flame alive, urged Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell to “unleash our inner John Galt.” They must be celebrating because even they could not have come up with a more hard-hearted piece of legislation.
There are none who are the more Galtian than Donald Trump and his party. And the Galtians are having their revenge:
Since modern American politics is always a revenge cycle, one way to look at the Republican health repeal measures is as payback to Chief Justice John Roberts, who infuriated Republicans in 2012 when he sided with the US Supreme Court’s four liberals to uphold the Affordable Care Act. He finessed his decision by defining the individual mandate as a tax, citing congressional power to levy taxes. Now McConnell & Co are using that same power to repeal them and make the billionaires richer.
And Galtian influence is spreading beyond the shores of the United States:
In the Middle East, Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates bully Qatar into bending to their will, as the Kurds forge on with their independence drive, both selfish moves that don’t even consider how they may destabilize the rest of the region. Pulling out of multi-lateral treaties, like the Paris and Trans-Pacific accords, because Trump says they don’t put US interests first is also supremely selfish, as Ignatius rightly points out.
A significant number of us bought into what Rand called Objectivism. Others of us saw that the term was Orwellian. It was all about subjectivity. The ego was supreme. The term, like the lady herself, was a fraud.
Nonetheless, Mr. Trump is John Galt come to life.
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