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Rage Against the Machine Fail to Return Paul Ryan’s Love

Last week, a New York Times profile revealed that Paul D. Ryan — a Republican representative of Wisconsin, Presidential Candidate Mitt Romney’s running mate, and the mastermind behind a new conservative budget — counts vehemently liberal hard rockers Rage Against the Machine among his favorite bands. As everyone likely presumed, this didn’t go over too well with members of the band, who had previously made a scene at the 2008 Republican National Convention, where they started a protest march.

Now Rage guitarist Tom Morello is joining other musicians who are decrying the Romney-Ryan campaign, responding to the Representative in an op-ed piece for Rolling Stone. In it, he says Ryan is “clueless” about the group’s music (after comparing Ryan’s love of Rage to Charles Manson’s love of the Beatles, of course). And over the course of the article, he defines Ryan as the “embodiment of the machine that our music has been raging against for two decades,” and suggests, “Perhaps Paul Ryan was moshing when he should have been listening.”

“I wonder what Ryan’s favorite Rage song is,” Morello muses. “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!”

He then goes on to define just what rages he suspects Ryan feels: “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.” He summarizes, “This unbridled rage against those who have the least is a cornerstone of the Romney-Ryan ticket.”

Morello closes the piece with some, albeit sarcastic, hope. “Maybe Rage did plant some sensible ideas in this extreme fringe right wing nut job,” he writes. “Maybe if elected, he’ll pardon [Native American activist] 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.”