Machine vs. Man: Tom Morello Rages at Paul Ryan

The Rage Against the Machine guitarist has a few choice words for the band's avowed fan, GOP Vice Presidential pick Paul Ryan.

  • Share
  • Read Later
Kevin Winter/Getty Images

Tom Morello of Rage Against the Machine performs at L.A. Rising at the L.A. Memorial Coliseum on July 30, 2011 in Los Angeles, California.

There are a few things we know about Republican vice presidential candidate Paul Ryan. He’s a big Ayn Rand fan. He likes bowhunting. He’s a P90X aficionado. And he loves Rage Against the Machine.

(THAT’S MY TUNE: The nine biggest musician-politician feuds)

However, it seems like that love only goes one way. In an editorial for Rolling Stone published on the magazine’s website Thursday, RATM guitarist Tom Morello  blasted the conservative Congressman as the “embodiment of the machine that our music has been raging against for two decades.” Noting that Ryan has said he likes the band’s sound but not its lyrics, Morello wrote, “I don’t care for Paul Ryan’s sound or his lyrics.”

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 “F— 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!

It’s not the first time a musician has come out against one of his or her more political fans — Bruce Springsteen was unhappy with Ronald Reagan’s use of his cynical anthem ‘Born in the U.S.A.’ during the 1984 election, and just this week alt rockers Silversun Pickups asked Mitt Romney to stop using their song at his campaign events. But rarely has a fracas involved two figures so diametrically opposed as Ryan, author of the House Republicans’ sweeping budget proposals, and Morello, who was an active participant in this spring’s Occupy Wall Street protests.

Can’t we all just get along? And agree that, regardless of political persuasion, Corgi Rae Jepsen is the best thing ever?

MORE: Paul Ryan, TIME’s 2011 Person of the Year Runner-Up

Sort: Newest | Oldest

How on earth does Paul Ryan listen to RATM, and why on earth would he make this public?  Rage is a revolutionary leftist band.  I listened to them as a teenager, and I know better now.  Paul Ryan is 42 years old and an alleged Republican.  What the hell?



Against the Machine was also one of my favorite bands growing up.  They

got me to "wake up" you could say and take an interest in politics.

 There are two sides of what they are about though you could say.

 Justice, fairness and equality, which I believe Democrats and

Republicans can agree with for the most part.  Then there is this

socialist mentality which is probably how they believe these goals can

be achieved.  I grew up believing this and when I attended college, I

continued growing on this concept and graduated with a Finance and

Sociology degree.  The sociology one I can blame on RATM because of my

thirst for truth and reasoning in society.  It wasn't until later on

after working and paying taxes and experiencing more and more that I do

not believe socialism can ever give us these things.  I am with Paul

Ryan even though I don't believe everything his stands for.  But by

growing the size of the government breeds MORE corruption, more

lobbyists vying for that extra tax revenue, more greed which translates

into less equality, less fairness and less Justice.  Less Freedom.  A

smaller government that is more localized and lets states decide whats

best for its citizens, and even smaller down to individual counties is

what is best for the country.  The Federal government is to big,

too bureaucratic and can never be fair.  RATM rages against the

government yet wants the government to be bigger and have more say in

society.  Thats a total contradiction.  I believe the

Federal government should remain small, and abide by the constitution.

 It should regulate and maintain competition between companies so that

no one ever has a chance to get disgustingly rich over others.  The

system we have is too corrupt and protects these monopolies.  Making

the government bigger and more socialist, just gives them more power to

choose their friends and family as the winners in society vs. hard work

and innovation by individuals.  RATM created some great songs but hard

working people created this great country. 

Terry Clifton
Terry Clifton

Who's the elitist now? When did it stop being about the music? I don't care about anyone's politics. If you rock, I'm there!  

John Doe
John Doe

 Music is not only about the sound, it is also about the soul. And cannot say I love certain music if you are against the soul of the music. I guess to you is all about the noise to get drunk and party.

Terry Clifton
Terry Clifton

Wow, another music zealot..Really, actually I get high and then I listen to the noise..Yeah, that's it...

I don't know you but I can bet anything you want that I have been to more festivals, concerts, and seen more bands than you could have ever think of seeing, and I'm only 44.. In fact in the last month, I have taken my 19 year old son to see Kiss and Motley Crue, and just last weekend I caught Mumford and Sons, Dawes, Justin Townes Earl, and a couple of other bands in my home town, which is also the Birthplace of Country Music, not that I'm a big fan Country Music. In 2 days, I'm driving to Asheville to catch Langhorne Slim and Jessica Lea Mayfield. Not a bad month of just listening to noise and partying it up..

If you're idea of listening music is for your political content and having it move you to some ideological realm, great, I'm so glad that's working out for you.. Music isn't defined by you or Tom Morello, so sorry!!! It's for the individual. Classical music has no words, but yet it can move anyone to feel whatever their soul is searching for..You lose..You're welcome!

Luke Jedi-diah Swagwalker
Luke Jedi-diah Swagwalker

That's some nice grandstanding and the other guy had a good point- he just failed badly in his delivery.  Classical music is purely music- there are no words there, no piece of the puzzle missing.  However, if you take a band and listen to them and like their instruments but actively dislike their vocals, that seems extremely convoluted, does it not?  No one is talking about every song stroking their ideological ego here, moreso that it's absolutely stupid to listen to music that you half hate.  There are plenty of sounds out there where you can love the music and tolerate or even like the lyrics- how can you claim to love a band if you actively hate their lyrics and do your best to tune them out?  You're only getting half 0f the sound.

Doug Aamoth
Doug Aamoth

"Ryan's culture is not allowed in our club," added Boy George.


Timothy answered I am taken by surprise that a person able to earn $6781 in a few weeks on the network. did you look this(Click on menu Home)