Tom Morello, the famously outspoken guitarist of Rage Against the Machine and liberal activist, has delivered a particularly venomous smackdown to Mitt Romney’s VP running mate Rep. Paul Ryan.
As it turns out, Ryan is a massive fan of Rage Against the Machine, a particularly voluminous and pointedly left-leaning rap-rock band that formed in Los Angeles in 1991.
In a Op-Ed published in Rolling Stone Thursday, August 16, Morello writes Ryan is the “Embodiment of the machine that our music has been raging against for two decades” and suggests that Ryan was perhaps “moshing when he should have been listening.”
Does Morello believe that Ryan has no rage in him? Absolutely not.
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.
Although Ryan isn’t pumping RATM at campaign rallies and Morello isn’t explicitly saying to the Wisconsin Representative, “Hey you, don’t listen to our music!” the message of Morello’s column is as direct as the lyric “Some of those that work forces, are the same that burn crosses,” which is from the RATM song “Killing in the Name.”
The GOP often seems to find itself at odds with working musicians, surprising very few, even the Republican politicians who love them. (Read this Atlantic article on Christie and his connection to The Boss for more insight.)
Will Ryan remove tunes from his playlists after such a scathing rebuke or will he keep on “moshing?” He has not commented on Morello’s missive yet.