Last week, Mitt Romney picked Paul Ryan, the Republican architect of Congress’s radical right-wing budget plan, as his running mate. Ryan has previously cited Rage Against the Machine as one of his favorite bands. Rage guitarist Tom Morello responds in this exclusive op-ed.

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.

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.

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!

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.

via Tom Morello: ‘Paul Ryan Is the Embodiment of the Machine Our Music Rages Against’ | Music News | Rolling Stone.

RATM happens to be one of my favorite bands too, both the sound and the lyrics. Here’s one dedicated to Paul Ryan: 


“The Ghost Of Tom Joad”

Man walks along the railroad track

He’s Goin’ some place, there’s no turnin’ back 

The Highway Patrol chopper comin’ up over the ridge

Man sleeps by a campfire under the bridge

The shelter line stretchin’ around the corner

Welcome to the New World Order

Families sleepin’ in their cars out in the Southwest

No job, no home, no peace, no rest, NO REST!

And The highway is alive tonight

Nobody’s foolin’ nobody is to where it goes

I’m sitting down here in the campfire light

Searchin’ for the Ghost of Tom Joad

He pulls his prayer book out of a sleepin’ bag

The preacher lights up a butt and takes a drag

He’s waitin’ for the time when the last shall be first and the first shall be last

In a cardboard box ‘neath the underpass

With a one way ticket to the promised land

With a hole in your belly and a gun in your hand

Lookin’ for a pillow of solid rock

Bathin’ in the cities’ aqueducts

And The highway is alive tonight

Nobody’s foolin’ nobody is to where it goes 

I’m sittin’ down here in the campfire light

With the Ghost of old Tom Joad

Now Tom Said; “Ma, whenever ya see a cop beatin’ a guy

Wherever a hungry new born baby cries

Whereever there’s a fight against the blood and hatred in the air

Look for me ma’ 

I’ll be there

Wherever somebodies stuglin’ for a place to stand

For a decent job or a helpin’ hand

Wherever somebody is strugglin’ to be free

Look in their eyes ma, 

You’ll see me! 

And the highway is alive tonight

nobody’s foolin’ nobody is to where it goes

I’m sittin’ down here in the campfire light

With the Ghost of Tom Joad.

**Written by another revolutionary artist, Bruce Springsteen, inspired by The Grapes of Wrath by John Steinbeck (one of the best authors America ever produced).

4 thoughts on “Tom Morello: ‘Paul Ryan Is the Embodiment of the Machine Our Music Rages Against’ | Music News | Rolling Stone

  1. Well said by someone who is trying to shine a spotlight on what is wrong in America. To me, it shows how misguided the extreme parts of the GOP (and the rest of the GOP for going along with it) are on our problems and their perceived fixes. The “Tom Joad” song is a great example. Many who support these extreme points are in poor rural America. They are being played by the GOP and do not even know it and will vote against their economic interests. Thanks for your efforts to keep shining spotlights.

  2. I was just listening to RATM this morning. Love that group. You could just imagine all the looks and stares I got from people seeing a black man bumping Bulls On Parade, Vietnow, ect out of his car in the deep south state of Alabama. Man, I wish i could have recorded that :@)

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