Like many, I was baffled to learn that Paul Ryan listed Rage Against the Machine as one of his favorite bands, since even before becoming the vice presidential nominee, he was part of the machine. Now he’s more a part of the machine than ever. Of course, I would wager that Ryan said Rage Against the Machine was one of his favorites just to sound hip. In any case, Rage is one of the most outspoken and liberal bands in America.
Here is part of Harvard-educated Tom Morello’s response to Ryan:
Paul Ryan’s love of Rage Against the Machine is amusing, because he is the embodiment of the machine that our music has been raging against for two decades. Charles Manson loved the Beatles but didn’t understand them. Governor Chris Christie loves Bruce Springsteen but doesn’t understand him. And Paul Ryan is clueless about his favorite band, Rage Against the Machine.
Ryan claims that he likes Rage’s sound, but not the lyrics. Well, I don’t care for Paul Ryan’s sound or his lyrics. He can like whatever bands he wants, but his guiding vision of shifting revenue more radically to the one percent is antithetical to the message of Rage.
I wonder what Ryan’s favorite Rage song is? Is it the one where we condemn the genocide of Native Americans? The one lambasting American imperialism? Our cover of “Fuck the Police”? Or is it the one where we call on the people to seize the means of production? So many excellent choices to jam out to at Young Republican meetings!
Don’t mistake me, I clearly see that Ryan has a whole lotta “rage” in him: A rage against women, a rage against immigrants, a rage against workers, a rage against gays, a rage against the poor, a rage against the environment. Basically the only thing he’s not raging against is the privileged elite he’s groveling in front of for campaign contributions. …
My hope is that maybe Paul Ryan is a mole. Maybe Rage did plant some sensible ideas in this extreme fringe right wing nut job. Maybe if elected, he’ll pardon Leonard Peltier. Maybe he’ll throw U.S. military support behind the Zapatistas. Maybe he’ll fill Guantanamo Bay with the corporate criminals that are funding his campaign – and then torture them with Rage music 24/7. That’s one possibility. But I’m not betting on it.
This video from The Young Turks presents a brief outline of some of the many political issues on which Paul Ryan and Rage Against the Machine have diverged:
And now, since Ryan is so enamored with Rage Against the Machine, surely he loves this gem that speaks truth to power, and well, since Ryan is in a position of power (and potentially immense power in January), it should hit home (Morello is the guy in the black cap owning the Telecaster):
Ah heck, why not one more?