Last night I listened to the bulk of Speaker of the House Paul Ryan’s speech at the 2016 Republican National Convention. Today I was able to review it via a transcript at Time. Both times I was struck by just how much effort Ryan put into saying white is black, up is down, and ignorance is strength. After reviewing it again, I really want to know something about Ryan – is he a liar, or does he actually believe the bullshit he was saying last night?
For example, Ryan called President Obama “the most liberal president we have had so far.” What the actual fuck? Obama is the most moderate (center-right) Democratic President since World War II at least.
Ryan also said that Republicans “believe in a free society… where your starting point is not your destiny….” Really? So you’re saying that Trump, who was born with a platinum spoon in his hand (silver is so middle class) had it just as hard as Philando Castile? Or, turning it around, that Philando Castile had just as much chance to become a supposed billionaire as a white son of a real estate magnate who got his start with a measly million dollars? Riiiiight….
But what really took the cake for me was when Ryan said this:
[L]et the other party go on and on with its constant dividing up of people, always playing one group against the other as if group identity were everything. In America, aren’t we all supposed to be and see beyond class, see beyond ethnicity or all these other lines drawn to set us apart and lock us into groups?
Real social progress is always a widening of the circle of concern and protection. It’s respect and empathy overtaking blindness and indifference. It’s understanding that by the true measure we are all neighbors and countrymen, called, each one of us, to know what is right and kind and just and to go and do likewise.
Everyone — everyone — is equal, everyone has a place. No one is written off because there is worth and goodness in every life.
Really? You’re saying this the same week that Roger Ailes, CEO of Fox News, is likely to be forced out for a long history of sexual harassment that included blackballing and ruining the careers of women who wouldn’t sleep with him? The same time that the 15-year old son of Arizona Senator Jeff Flake was caught Tweeting homophobic and racial slurs? The day after Iowa Congressman Steve King asked what “categories of people” and “subgroup of people” contributed more to human progress than “Western civilization” and Christianity? The same day that Brietbart.com contributor and leading misogynist Milo Yiannopoulos was permanently banned from Twitter for comparing comedienne Leslie Jones (one of the stars of the new Ghostbusters remake) to an ape, among other generally horrible things that no real man should even think, never mind speak. Have you not read the platform of your very own party?
And does Ryan really think that everyone has a place, that no-one is written off, if that someone is Mexican or a Muslim? Actually, Ryan probably thinks that their place is somewhere, anywhere south of the US border.
Be careful, Mr. Ryan. If your candidate wins you may find that it’s a small step from writing off Muslims to writing on Muslims.
So I’d really like to know – is Ryan a liar or has he broken one of the rules of politics (or is it public relations?) and has actually come to believe his own bullshit?