Uniting social conservatives and libertarians under one banner is no easy task. But John Aglialoro, a producer of the film “Atlas Shrugged II,” has found the woman for the job: Ayn Rand, Atlas Shrugged author and literary inspiration for his “Atlas Shrugged” Trilogy. Aglialoro argues that Rand’s objectivist philosophy–which has received more attention since Rand-fan Paul Ryan’s addition to the Republican presidential ticket–can appeal to both groups with its emphasis on small government, individual rights, and capitalism.
One can’t help wonder whether a woman who once stated that religion drives a follower “to become an abject zombie” could ever really be a figurehead for social conservatism. While not socially liberal by today’s standards, Rand argued for government’s equal-treatment of LGBTQ individuals and defended abortion as a “moral right–which should be left to the sole discretion of the woman involved.” While the Bible points to money as the root of all evil, Rand argued that money represented the achievement and productivity of the individual, objectivism’s greatest virtue. Today, many who follow Rand’s philosophy are pro-choice, pro-LGBTQ rights–and atheists.
Even Aglialoro, an objectivist and self-described “liberal when it comes to sexuality and drug laws,” seems to sense this contradiction. In a recent interview, he said that objectivists will “run to engage an alignment with Christianity because we need our country back and we need to be friends and get this done.” Given this enthusiasm, perhaps he is hoping for a marriage of convenience with Rand rather than a love affair. Even so, Aglialoro can take comfort that he is among the many waiting for someone who can rally these two bases. So far, like the characters in his film, Aglialoro and his fellow conservatives are left wondering, “Who is John Galt?”