Republican vice-presidential candidate Paul Ryan says he likes Rage Against the Machine, but they clearly don’t like him.
Paul Ryan is a conservative Republican who believes in tax breaks for the rich, elimination of social programs and capitalistic RomneyHood that takes from the poor and gives to the rich. Rage Against the Machine (RATM) is the quintessential activist band that believes in overthrow of the greedy social order and empowerment of the people over corporate greed and dirty politics. It is no wonder that when RATM guitarist Tom Morello heard that Ryan bragged about liking the activist band that Morello went off.
Paul Ryan is a self-proclaimed fitness nut who does his P90x workout while listening to artists like Led Zeppelin, Metallica, and Rage. The problem is he obviously doesn’t listen to the lyrics of these groups, especially RATM because they absolutely hate everything that Ryan stands for,
Ryan may have been trying to get some “cool points” with the younger crowd when he recently bragged about his playlist but it now appears that Ryan has started a firestorm of backlash.
Paul Ryan is "the embodiment of the Machine our music rages against" said Morello in a recent and now infamous interview with Rolling Stone.
Congressman 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," Morello said recently.
"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 grovelling in front of for campaign contributions.”
"Many activists around the world, including organizers of the global occupy movement, were radicalized by Rage Against the Machine and work tirelessly for a more humane and just planet. Perhaps Paul Ryan was moshing when he should have been listening."
"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!" Morello wrote in Rolling Stone.
As if this scathing indictment is not bad enough many of the other bands on (and off of) Ryan’s playlist are lining up to voice their negative feelings about Ryan and his policies.
Clearly Ryan needs to listen to the lyrics of the music that he plays and he needs to pay a lot more attention to the mood and sentiment of young people who listen to anti-establishment music. I am a long time RATM fan and have found them to be a great source of inspiration as they speak about the changes that need to be made in the corporate power structure that has created too much war and inequity in the US and abroad.
As a fan I find Ryan trying to use RATM for brownie points personally offensive. I can only imagine how the band must feel and I for one am glad that they spoke out so publicly. Let’s hope that the other bands do the same.
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