It is no surprise that several people had deep emotional investments in Objectivism and Ayn Rand, first among them, Rand herself.
I often wonder at her 1959 Mike Wallace interview. That is another reason that I use the 50 year/JFK's America as a yardstick. At one end of that 50 years is Rand in that interview with Mike Wallace, fresh from publishing her opus magnum wave-off. At the other end of that 50 years is America today.
It has been said that Rand is one of the 'most read' and influential authors of the 20th century; that might be true, but not in academia, nor the machinery of state. Everywhere but. And there is a reason for that.
Paul Ryan? The current RealPolitik demands that even he disavow her. See below.
Both academia and our machinery of state are far too influenced by a tiny handful of inbred clubs, the Ivies, out of all proportion to their size. They are tiny, like a handful of large high schools. Easily targeted, easily over-run. And they were, deliberately and with intent, by the Soviets, who understood their choke-point nature. And from those choke-points, mandrels of left wing thinking, were cookie-cuttered out legions of left wing aparatchiks, freshly instructed, to deeply infect out body politic. You don't find a lot of love for Rand in the Ivies except for anecdotal pockets of folks who aren't blowing over in the local wind. You mostly find folks snarling and laughing and making it perfectly clear that any sympathy towards Rand's ideas brands you a mouth breather and Pariah, and young minds, eager to please, sit up and bark back the proper giggles.
And so, Rand is wildly popular ... everywhere else except in the inbred breeding grounds for the machinery of state and even other college academic staff.
50 years from Rand's Wallace interview and wave-off, not exactly a rout, but nearly a rout.