At the bookstore, I’m always amused that not one of the many people who ask for Ayn Rand’s books seem to have investigated how to pronounce her name. America has just come out of the largest-scale test of Randism since Hoover, with similar results. Hers is the Golden Age comic book of political philosophies: a glimpse into a shiny world without moral grayscales. It’s fun, at a certain age, but most of us grow out of it.
For those who simply can’t stomach complex political philosophies, this is a very frightening time, and its reflected in book sales. “How much is Common Sense?” a customer asked the other day, holding up a copy of Glenn Beck’s book. “It’s right there on the back, sir,” replied my manager.