I had this conversation with a fellow actor the other day:
ACTOR: I tried out for this play by Ann Rand.
ACTOR: Ayn. I forgot the title.
ME: Night of January 16th.
ACTOR: Yeah, that's it. I decided not to do it. It's got her philosophy in it.
ME: I know all about it. I'm an Objectivist. I subscribe to her philosophy.
ACTOR: Oh. (Pause.) Yeah, well, it seemed like kind of an old-fashioned play, so I decided not to do it.
I never thought there was much philosophy in the play myself, but it bothered this fellow -- until he learned he was talking to someone from whom he would get neither agreement nor sympathy. Then he switched his objection to the play being old-fashioned, which it is (and that's a good thing).
I think a great deal of the antipathy to Rand comes from people who lack the virtue of independence and go along with our cultural leaders because they don't have the spine to do otherwise. Once Objectivism begins to spread, I suspect there will come a moment when the "go along to get along" types become sympathetic as they see that others have paved the way and made it safe. It will be a watershed moment. Right now altruists on the left and right can still scare the weak into line with a sneer and a contemptuous laugh.