Rage Against The Machine guitarist Tom Morello has penned an op-ed piece for Rolling Stone on Congressman Paul Ryan of Wisconsin, who was tapped last week to run for vice president on the Republican ticket alongside presumptive presidential nominee Mitt Romney. In a New York Times profile, Ryan -- who is known for his far-right positions on both economics and social issues -- claimed that he enjoyed the music of the ultra-leftist rap-rock quartet.
Morello has responded to that, writing, "Paul Ryan's love of Rage Against the Machine is amusing, because he is the embodiment of the machine that our music has been raging against for two decades. Charles Manson loved the Beatles but didn't understand them. Governor Chris Christie loves Bruce Springsteen but doesn't understand him. And Paul Ryan is clueless about his favorite band, Rage Against the Machine."
- He continued, "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. He can like whatever bands he wants, but his guiding vision of shifting revenue more radically to the one percent is antithetical to the message of Rage."
- Morello also wrote, "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 groveling in front of for campaign contributions."
- The guitarist concludes, "My hope is that maybe Paul Ryan is a mole. Maybe Rage did plant some sensible ideas in this extreme fringe right wing nut job . . . That's one possibility. But I'm not betting on it."
- Ryan has not issued any comment or reaction to Morello's piece.
CHECK IT OUT: Read Morello's entire piece at http://tinyurl.com/dy98tuf
WHAT DO YOU THINK??
- Do you agree or disagree with Morello's assessment of Ryan?
- Is it wrong of Morello to bash a fan because of different political views?
- Is it strange to you that Ryan would enjoy the music of a band so politically opposed to him? Or is that just not an issue if he simply enjoys the music?
- Can you enjoy a band's music without caring about their lyrics or message? If you're a Republican or conservative, do you still like Rage? If you're a liberal or Democrat, do you still like Dave Mustaine or Ted Nugent's music?
INTERNET COMMENTS at Rolling Stone -- agree or not?
RATM wrote: "Yeah Morello! I'd give Paul Ryan and anyone like him a smackdown too if they said they liked my music."
Joel Eakins Bucy wrote: "I understand that Tom has his politics but this just makes me lose respect for him. It's like 'What he's a fan of our music??? Let's bash him for it instead just letting it be.' Clearly he's not 'for the people' if you have different views."
Marc Daneker wrote: "Of course, I don't see Rage CD's selling at cost or profits going to feed the children. I respect Tom and what he stands for musically, but he's the 1% too and he doesn't seem to see it. All the celebrities who preach for the poor live high on the hog. There hearts are in the right places but there money's in tax shelters."
Jose Kuervo wrote: "so people cant be successful and stick to the view they had since they were kids if they ever make money and fame? you actually sound like a communist. here u are bitching about socialism but you are giving him a hard time for taking advantage of capitalism? which is it? make up your mind."
Rndy Bnnr wrote: "Morello is acting like a douche. My political views lean to the right, yet I still enjoy RATM's music. I learned a long time ago that I can enjoy good music for its own sake, even if I don't agree with the point of view of the artist."
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