In each of the following your friends may have additional questions, so try to be prepared to answer such.
"Ayn Rand’s raped-girl-decides-she-likes-it novel, “The Fountainhead.”"
"Rand’s hero Roark, in fact, “raged” so much in her novel that he blew up a public housing project with dynamite."
It can help in both these cases to provide context from the novel. Also, make the point that the encounter between Roark and Dominique is an unusual encounter between unusual people, not a guide to ordinary relationships.
"Only billionaires should rule the world, Trump has suggested.
And he tried to put it into place, installing a billionaire advocate of destroying public schools in charge of public schools, a coal lobbyist representing billionaires in charge of the EPA, an billionaire-funded oil lobbyist in charge of our public lands, and a billionaire described by Forbes as a “grifter” in charge of the Commerce Department. Trump’s chief of staff said that putting children in cages and billionaire-owned privatized concentration camps (where seven so far have died) would actually be a public good."
No one should rule the world. Such positions should be eliminated, not just filled by someone from a different faction.
"Trump’s chief of staff said that putting children in cages and billionaire-owned privatized concentration camps (where seven so far have died) would actually be a public good."
Neither "illegal" immigrants nor anyone else should be put in cages or concentration camps. Imprisonment should only be for people convicted of serious crimes, which does not include "illegal" immigration, and should be done in a properly thought-out manner, especially if children are involved.
Rand's personal life is not relevant to evaluating her philosophy. If anyone insists on digging into her personal life, we need to sort out actual imperfections from smears.
" Rand believed that a government working to help out working-class “looters,” instead of solely looking out for rich capitalist “producers,” "
The working class are producers, not looters. The looters are politicians who seize people's wealth. Government should not "help" anyone at anyone else's expense. Its sole proper function is to keep physical coercion out of it, leaving everyone free to produce and trade and to enjoy the fruits thereof.
Of course Ayn Rand disagrees with the traditional Judaeo-Christian ethic of self-sacrifice, for reasons which she has explained. It might be helpful to explain about metaethics here, for those people that are willing to listen.
"Ironically, when she was finally beginning to be taken seriously, Ayn Rand became ill with lung cancer and went on Social Security and Medicare to make it through her last days. She died a “looter” in 1982,"
Government takes a lot more from us in direct and indirect taxes and reduced economic efficiency than it ever gives back. Anyone who leads a basically productive life and does not vote or advocate for government handouts is entitled to take whatever government is willing to give back to them. Ayn Rand first explained this in "The Question of Scholarships", written long before she got cancer.
"over a million dead Americans from Covid"
I don't think Ayn Rand would be a vaccine denier or a vaccine skeptic.
Lockdowns kill people too.
"an epidemic of homelessness, and the collapse of this nation’s working class."
This is the result of mixed-economy statism, certainly not of laissez-faire capitalism, which we haven't even approximated for a long time. (Here you may have to persuade people that this is a well-thought=out position, even if they still don't agree.)
"the Republican Great Depression"
(If people want to argue with the following, you may have to research it.) The gold standard provided a natural discipline which prevented monetary and financial matters from getting too far out of balance. The government sabotaged the gold standard and moved further and further away from it, giving more and more control to the Federal Reserve. In the buildup to the Great Depression, the Federal Reserve loosened money and banking up too much, creating a speculative bubble which had to burst sooner or later, creating a massive dislocation. The specific trigger that burst it was a combination of crop failure and financial panic. Then Herbert Hoover intervened in ways that may have been well-intentioned, but made things worse. He propped up wages and prices, pricing people, goods, and services out of the market. He signed the Smoot-Hawley tariff act, which restricted trade when it needed to be opened up, and provoked retaliatory restrictions from other countries. If Hoover had been a do-nothing President as some people say, the Depression would not have lasted as long or been as bad.
"pitting Americans against each other, and literally killing people every day."
It is mixed-economy statism that does this, not laissez-faire capitalism. Mixed-economy statism pits people against each other in pressure-group warfare and impairs the functioning of the economy.
"get billionaires and their money out of politics"
The way to do this is to get away from mixed-economy statism and the resulting pressure-group warfare, and establish laissez-faire capitalism.
(Sorry, I can't get rid of the bolding here.)