As to why the right-wing likes Rand, I think it is due to a misapprehension of her words. Rand never clarifies the distinction between “the individual as symbolizing humanity” and “the individual as an instance of humanity”. Or rather, she does clarify it, over and over again, but the point is so basic that it’s easily missed.
To me her philosophy says one, fundamental thing, the reiteration of which has affected me profoundly: You are human, and you have a responsibility only to yourself for your actions and their result: so act, and make yourself and everyone proud of what we can do.
I think this is what God wants also: For us to worship Him as the Creator, which in Rand’s terms means not words, but by using the capacities we’ve been given. It is Human that deserves awe and wonder and admiration. John Wiegley is but one incarnation of Human, and while he may possess different capacities, it is no more or less beautiful should he choose to act than if another does. There can be only one success: our success.
This issue of responsibility is tricky, too. We are responsible FOR everything, but only TO ourselves. Others’ egos want us to be responsible FOR ourselves TO them. In that kind of world, people do not act because they are bound by what others will think of them.
This all reminds me of the man who finished one of the bridges around New York. Was is the Brooklyn bridge? Anyway, he had a vision, and partway through construction he had a terrible accident that left him completely paralyzed. He was forced to use eye-blinks to communicate his intentions to his wife. Well, it took him seventeen years, but using those eye-blinks he completed the bridge.
When I hear that story, I feel proud of myself — meaning, the reality of my creation, rather than just John Wiegley — because the will he had to surmount any barrier is the will that God has given me too, should I choose to apply it. I love to hear stories of human triumph now, and see our acts of greatness; because the very same Spirit has made them all possible, and God has invited you and me to participate in the life of that spirit.
The right-wing believes that the individual somehow can relate to this spirit exclusively, and that others are not worthy of attention. In Rand’s terms, their egos do not deserve attention, but their potential does. Once the idea of exclusivity appears, then follows superiority, then follows the “superman” ideas of Nietzsche and other purist philosophies.
Whereas in fact we are one whole. The creation is one whole: designed for the single purpose of manifesting the glory of the Divine. And of all things, humans can do this best. Why else have the Prophets always been sent to us in the form of human beings?