Paul Ryan's Rage Against the Machine love is destined to be unrequited

Tom_Morello_Rally_Madison.jpg
Photo by Erik Hess (More shots here.)
Rage Against the Machine's Tom Morello rallies against another Wisconsin Republican, Scott Walker, back in June.
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Brother Ali to join Tom Morello at rally to recall Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker


Deep within a recent New York Times profile we discover that Mitt Romney's running mate Paul Ryan is a Rage Against the Machine fan. While the Wisconsin congressman is certainly entitled to enjoy Zach de la Rocha's fiery flow and Tom Morello's guitar pedal wizardry, they're not going to love him back.

Much like Ronald Reagan unintentionally invoking Bruce Springsteen's tale of an unemployed Vietnam vet, "Born in the U.S.A.," or John McCain trying to use outspoken liberal Jackson Browne's "Running on Empty" campaigning, this is definitely not a harmonious political arrangement. It was only earlier this year that Morello rallied in Madison to recall Wisconsin governor Scott Walker, and four years ago that Rage Against the Machine ripped up the Twin Cities during the Republican National Convention.


Ryan was 22 and a fresh graduate of Miami University and working as a staff economist in the D.C. offices of Wisconsin Senator Bob Kasten during the release of Rage Against the Machine's self-titled debut in November of 1992. He also worked part-time as a fitness trainer, so perhaps he first heard de la Rocha yell "I warm my hands upon the flames of the flag" and "fuck manifest destiny" while doing curls in the gym.



Later, Paul Ryan was writing speeches for conservative non-profit Empower America and for Jack Kemp's 1996 run at the presidency. This was right about the time Rage issued its second album, Evil Empire. Its first single, "Bulls on Parade" remains one of the band's most recognized tunes. So much so, that they performed it a cappella during a protest connected to the Ripple Effect show staged in 2008 during the RNC here in the Twin Cities.

See Also:
RNC: Highlights from Day Two, including the canceled Rage show




And then, right about the time a 30-year-old Ryan was wrapping up his first term as a House rep and gearing up for a successful campaign, Rage dropped their "Testify" single and video. A condemnation of the oft-identical promises made by both Bush and Gore during that time period, the clip is an effective dressing down of the major parties' charades every four years.



And now, here we are as Ryan is freshly linked with Romney's bid to unseat incumbent Barack Obama as U.S. president. As New York Times notes, Ryan is the first Generation X vice-presidential candidate, and "counts Rage Against the Machine, which sings about the greed of oil companies and whose Web site praises the anti-corporate Occupy Wall Street movement, among his favorite bands." Spin finds he also likes a bunch of other bands that his fellow Republicans might find morally repugnant like Led Zeppelin, Grateful Dead, Metallica, Beethoven, and Hank Williams, Jr.

So, to anyone who tries to curb Ryan's music listening, this is him saying "Fuck you, I won't do what you tell me."





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16 comments
cags777
cags777

Interesting article. It reminds me of Governor Chris Christie being a huge fan of Bruce Springsteen and trying to get a meeting with him - only Bruce wouldn't return the favor.

rrsiteman
rrsiteman

Ryan should listen to whoever he wants - especially if Rage Against The Machine is involved. Its impossible not to like them. Thats like saying you dont like Incubus and with songs like "Promises, Promises" ...well thats just impossible http://vevo.ly/QbMpkY take a listen and tell me you arent in love

Dan Engelhart
Dan Engelhart

Mike, yes you can like a band without agreeing with their ideals. It simply makes you really dumb. The pot analogy is awful that makes no sense as well.

Dan Engelhart
Dan Engelhart

Mike, yes you can like a band without agreeing with their ideals. It simply makes you really dumb. The pot analogy is awful that makes no sense as well.

k2yeb
k2yeb topcommenter

Why do people really think politicians are anything but puppets for donors and big business. And that means Romney AND Obama. Change. Ha. Not one man can create change. Change comes from the bottom up. Its going to take the people not the government to create change. 

Joel O'Brien
Joel O'Brien

Maybe they can reunite for a night so Ryan can get in the pit?

Andrew Hine
Andrew Hine

Reminds me of the right-wing Pink Floyd fan who obviously doesn't know any lyrics or themes or Waters philosophy...

Chris Welton
Chris Welton

why would he listen to something that totally mocks him and his pals? i dont believe tom or zac would be happy to hear this

Mike Alexander
Mike Alexander

... really? Pretty sure you can like a band without agreeing with Ideals... I know people that listen to ICP and snoop dog that don't smoke pot. I don't think it's that big of a deal. Musically, they're pretty rad, ideologically, does it matter? I think it's really not a big deal. At all... If this is the biggest story that can be blown in the scandal category about him, then he's doing pretty good.

Yang Dao
Yang Dao

I call bullshit on Ryan's on playlist. His handlers are trying to make him appear "rogue-like".

MicheleBachmann
MicheleBachmann topcommenter

 @k2yeb Dumb idiots have been saying what you just said since the beginning of time.    Obama passed Obamacare which gives healthcare to 40 million people.  You don't really make a bigger change than that dumbo.  Meanwhile Bush destroyed New Orleans via stupidity,  can you please name one city destroyed via Democratic stupidity?   Only an idiot thinks there is no difference in the political parties.  Democrats aren't perfect but they aren't a bunch of crazy idiots like the Republicans.  Michele Bachmann, Bradlee Dean, Alan Quist, and Mike Parry are all Republicans.   There isn't a single Democrat that crazy.   Grow a brain.   Get better informed.   Also, for the record can you please name the one thing you've done to help change the political process?   I'm a lifelong liberal.  In my lifetime the politicians I've worked for have killed Bin Laden, passed universal healthcare, saved General Motors, and are working on giving gay people equal rights.  Can you please name one thing your fuck 'em all stance has accomplished?   Just one loser.

k2yeb
k2yeb topcommenter

 @MicheleBachmann What are you even talking about. I voted for Obama and Clinton. Hell I wish Hillary would run. You really think Obama and Romney would really be THAT much different. They both cater to re-election and big donors. The people that thought Obama would bring change are the same people that thought Bush was 100% the cause of the wars. If that's the case, why 4 years later are we still involved? Have you heard of Congress or the House. They are way more powerful as a whole than the president.  You can hate my comment all you want. I don't want to get involved in your angry bitter way of living. 

k2yeb
k2yeb topcommenter

oh and Rage does Rock. Wish more bands were willing to stand up for what they believe. Unfortunately...people don't seem willing to want to hear their favorite bands are on different sides. 

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