Following the revelation during last year’s presidential race that Rage Against the Machine was one of Paul Ryan’s favorite bands, many wondered whether the conservative Wisconsin congressman had ever paid attention to the band’s lyrics.
Rage’s former guitarist Tom Morello wrote a stinging assault on the irony of Ryan’s music taste in Rolling Stone last year, pointing out:
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.
But it's possible that at least some of Rage’s lyrics may have had an impact on Ryan.
As Real Clear Politics reports today, Ryan is emerging as a key leader on immigration reform, teaming up with Rep. Luis Gutierrez (D-Il.) of Illinois to help the controversial legislation pass through the House of Representatives, where it will face an uphill battle. This is one issue where Rage and Ryan share at least some common ground.
Fronted by radical Chicano lyricist Zack de la Rocha, Rage Against the Machine often invoked Mexican-American themes and railed against the injustices that immigrants face in the United States.
We can neither confirm nor deny that the Rage Against the Machine lyrics noted above may or may not have inspired Paul Ryan to support immigration reform, allegedly.
Check out the slideshow above to see five Rage Against the Machine lyrics that may have inspired Paul Ryan to back immigration reform.