How is elitist Ayn Rand a tea party hero? The contradiction should concern America.
But by clinging to the superficial commonality of hostility to welfare, tea partiers fail to see (or willfully ignore) something critical: Rand espoused an elitist, oligarchic philosophy that is both fundamentally antiAmerican and deeply at odds with the tea party's own “we the people” cause.
At tea party meetings in September, Rand’s name competed in popularity with Jefferson. Some demonstrations even started with a reading from “Atlas Shrugged,” which was coupled with the declaration that this book should be treated as “America’s Second Declaration of Independence.”
But the ironic truth is that, among American authors over the past two centuries, it is impossible to find somebody who has so openly and consistently praised the American elite as Rand has. Rand created magnate protagonists like John Galt and Francisco d’Anconia who ran their industries and societies without paying heed to public opinion. Rand and her heroes hold ordinary people in great contempt. They would surely be appalled to see how the “everyday Americans” at tea party rallies have demanded that they (not the American nobility nor the Ivy League graduates) should have the decisive voice in American politics.