(Robert Reich’s Blog) — Donald Trump once said he identified with Ayn Rand’s character Howard Roark in “The Fountainhead,” an architect so upset that a housing project he designed didn’t meet specifications he had it dynamited.
Others in Trump’s circle were influenced by Rand. “Atlas Shrugged” was said to be the favorite book of Rex Tillerson, Trump’s secretary of state. Rand also had a major influence on Mike Pompeo, Trump’s CIA chief. Trump’s first nominee for Secretary of Labor, Andrew Puzder, said he spent much of his free time reading Rand.
The Republican leader of the House of Representatives, Paul Ryan, required his staff to read Rand.
Uber’s founder and former CEO, Travis Kalanick, has described himself as a Rand follower. Before he was sacked, he applied many of her ideas to Uber’s code of values, and even used the cover art for Rand’s book “The Fountainhead” as his Twitter avatar.