Once upon a time, there was a young woman named Goldilocks. But, even though Goldilocks’s family was in the top 2% of earners in America, Goldilocks still did not like to call herself “wealthy.” Her family was in the “upper-middle class” for sure. And they were definitely “comfortable.”

But they were by no means “wealthy.” What a ghastly word.

Unfortunately, even though Goldilocks was, on the whole, very “comfortable,” she happened to have a major problem. And one night, wracked by grief, she cried out to the heavens:

“Oh no! The election is just the around the corner, and I still don’t know who to vote for… what oh what am I to do?”

Suddenly, out of nowhere, there was a loud, grating howl. Like the sound of Harvey Fierstein singing a high note in a Broadway production of Hairspray. And then, before her very eyes, a ghost appeared in front of young Goldilocks.

“W-who are you?” stammered Goldilocks.

“Why, I’m the dessicated, terrifying ghost of Ayn Rand, you silly goose!” laughed the shriveled, bloodless spirit.

And so she was.

“Well, Anne—”

“Ayn,” corrected the ghost.

“… Does pronunciation matter that much?”

“Why don’t you ask anyone who’s ever read The Fountainhead? I bet they’ll have some pretty strong opinions on how to pronounce my name,” wailed the ghost of Ayn Rand.

“Oh, okay,” murmured Goldilocks. “Well Ayn, I’ve got a pretty tough problem. It’s almost the election, and I still don’t know who to vote for!”

“Now that is a stumper,” shrieked Ayn Rand in that harsh and ragged voice that all ghosts have. “Hmm, have you ever considered voting Democrat?”

“You know, I thought about it. But Democrats are just toooooo soft on economic issues for me!”

“How about voting Republican?”

“Oh no, I couldn’t do that! Republicans are just tooooooo, you know, homophobic.”

“Hmm, well you sure seem to be in one heckuva pickle… Wait! Hold on a tick; I’ve just had the greatest idea!” croaked Ayn Rand in her grating, ghostly howl of a voice.

“What is it, Ayn?”

“Have you ever considered being a libertarian?”

“Oh boy! What’s that?”

“Well, it’s like a Democrat, but with no government regulation. And it’s like a Republican, but, you know, with no government regulation,” explained the esteemed Prometheus-Award-winning ghost-author. “It’s the best of both worlds.

“Libertarianism? Wow! That sounds juuuuust right for an affluent-but-not-wealthy young mind such as myself!” exclaimed Goldilocks.

But then Goldilocks looked troubled again. And a frown crept across her face like an ensemble member of Cats crawling onto the Broadway stage. “Hey, so I’ve got a quick question, Ayn… what about, like, welfare programs? Or, like, what about people who can’t afford to live on less than the minimum wage? What do libertarians think about them?”

“Well Goldilocks, it sounds like those people are just tooooo lazy to succeed in a free market!” replied Ayn.

“Okay, but… like, isn’t it possible for libertarianism to only favor the wealthiest Americans by creating an economic system that allows monopolies to flourish while providing little incentive for environmental or social protections?”

The horrid ghost of Ayn Rand chuckled snarkily. Like an audience member at a Broadway production of Urinetown.

“Ha. It sounds like you have toooooo little faith in the effectiveness of trickle-down economics! Besides Goldilocks, what about social issues? Don’t you think that all prostitution should be unregulated? Or do you hate freedom?”

Goldilocks wondered if the issue was maybe a bit more nuanced than that. And that maybe, maaaybe, even though it was pitched as the quote, unquote “hands-off happy-compromise of political parties,” that didn’t necessarily mean that libertarianism was, you know, actually an effective school of thought.

But she also didn’t hate freedom.

So, with a smile on her face and a spring in her step, Goldilocks thanked Ayn Rand for her time. And for her valuable advice.

And at that, the grotesque and wretched spirit of Ayn Rand screamed one final shriek. And her ghostly form broke apart into a billion tiny particles and flew into the air, spreading itself parasitically into the minds and hearts of Ivy League frat boys all across the Eastern Seaboard.

And come election day, Gary Johnson got juuuuust the right amount of votes to help screw up our stupid electoral college.