From Common Dreams
A monster who boasted of how he had hacked up a 12-year-old girlhad Ayn Rand's ear, as well as her heart. What happened next was the modern Republican Party.
Ayn Rand's philosophy is a central tenet of today's Republican Party and the moral code proudly cited and followed by high-profile billionaires and the president of the United States.
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There's a direct link between a sociopathic killer in 1927 and the GOP's willingness to embrace a sociopathic president like Trump. That link runs through the work of Ayn Rand.
"It relates to business, beauty, life and inner emotions," he told Powers. "That book relates to ... everything."
Trump probably knew that anything by Rand would be the right answer for Republicans; the party has embraced her for decades, to the point that Paul Ryan required interns to read her books as a condition of employment.
Powers added, "He [Trump] identified with Howard Roark, the novel's idealistic protagonist who designs skyscrapers and rages against the establishment." Roark raged so much in the novel that he blew up a public housing project with dynamite just to get his way.
Rand was quite clear about the characteristics she wrote into her heroes, and in particular Howard Roark. In her Journals, she writes of the theme of the book, "One puts oneself above all and crushes everything in one's way to get the best for oneself. Fine!"
On Howard Roark, she writes that he "has learned long ago, with his first consciousness, two things which dominate his entire attitude toward life: his own superiority and the utter worthlessness of the world. He knows what he wants and what he thinks. He needs no other reasons, standards or considerations. His complete selfishness is as natural to him as breathing."
Roark seems like the kind of man who would brag about grabbing women by the genitals because, "When you're a star, they let you do it." But this was long before Donald Trump was on the scene.
Instead, the man who so inspired Ayn Rand's fictional heroes was a real sociopath named William Edward Hickman, who lived in Los Angeles.
Ten days before Christmas, in 1927, Hickman, a teenager with slicked dark hair and tiny, muted eyes, drove up to Mount Vernon Junior High School in Los Angeles, California, and kidnapped Marion Parker -- the daughter of a wealthy banker in town.
Hickman held the girl ransom, demanding $1,500 from her father -- back then about a year's salary. Supremely confident that he would elude capture, Hickman signed his name on the ransom notes, "The Fox."
After two days, Marion's father agreed to hand over the ransom in exchange for the safety of his daughter. What Perry Parker didn't know is that Hickman never intended to live up to his end of the bargain.