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The Tentacle


August 14, 2012

Paul Ryan’s Selection

Roy Meachum

Mitt Romney’s choice for the second spot on the national ticket of Wisconsin Rep. Paul Ryan excited most of the GOP. Mr. Ryan was hailed as uniting all of those who registered Republican.

 

All observers and commentators I’ve read cite the need for the so-called independents that choose neither party to affiliate with. The right-wing Fox News conducted a survey the previous week that showed voters in that category favoring incumbent Democrat Barack Obama by 11 points. A CNN/ORC poll ran on the eve of the selection reflected 52 percent independents unfavorably viewed Mr. Romney; that’s up sharply from the 40 percent that judged the presumptive GOP candidate not-acceptable.

 

The House budget committee chairman plans for serious alterations to Medicare, which angers most senior Americans. Many Latinos and virtually all Black Americans reside comfortably in the Democratic pockets. All by himself, Mr. Romney already inflamed the organized labor segments; choosing the Wisconsin Republican soothes none of them. In other words, Paul Ryan’s selection makes me more sanguine about the future of American “democracy.”

 

Maryland GOP Senate nominee Dan Bongino reprinted on Facebook an article about his party becoming religious, in an evangelist Christian mode. That explains why Mormon Romney had such a rough row to hoe for months in the primaries, particularly in the South. His Church of Latter Day Saints is considered a cult in several quarters. For all their political similarities, Mr. Ryan being a Roman Catholic offers diversity to the slate.

 

My specific worries about this republic were shared by others, including Nobel Prize economist Joseph Stiglitz; they fear, as I do, the concentration of wealth to the wealthiest bodes evil for this form of government. The right-wing argues they’re only following the Constitution. The argument ignores the phrase in the preamble – “promote the General welfare.”

 

At the time of the American Revolution, the new nation was governed by Southern aristocrats, and that’s why this remains a republic, not a true democracy. George Washington, Thomas Jefferson, James Madison and James Monroe didn’t trust the people. Massachusetts’ John Adams joined in their suspicions; after a single term, the planter mentality firmly took over the reins. Andrew Jackson was the first omen that common men and women sought recognition of their role and support of country – before they were welcome to die in wars, but forbidden in high office.

 

Ironically, Abraham Lincoln was the first successful Republican national candidate and over the next decades – with few exceptions until Franklin Delano Roosevelt – the Grand Old Party occupied the Oval Office. The GOP was established during the Civil War that managed to emancipate most slaves while making newly arrived Europeans citizens; their military service was the fundamental criterion.

 

During the Great Depression, Republicans ignoring “the General welfare” transferred Blacks and most workers away from Mr. Lincoln’s party. Ever since GOP ranks have swollen and ebbed with the economy. The ongoing Great Recession makes people rage in their frustrations – praying for the post-World War II boom that first brought electricity and safe water, home and auto ownerships to the many.

 

These are very tough times with many individuals and governments, at all levels forced to tighten budgets. The Republican answer – postulated by the party and particularly Paul Ryan – is to cut spending to the level of income, ignoring the Constitution’s proviso about taking care of the people.

 

After all, in his speech at nearby Gettysburg, the patron GOP saint formulated the formula: “Government of the people, by the people, for the people, shall not perish from the earth.”

 

Abraham Lincoln did not specify the upper class and the most successful; the particular concerns with the new Republican vice president candidate Paul Ryan.

 



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