Ramparts has spent the better part of two years intermittently raving about a wonky, generally unknown congressman from Wisconsin as the next coming of Reagan. Aware of this man’s spot on seriousness about problem solving, his earnest, absolutely natural way with people of all stripes, and his capacity to present the most complex issues in ways that anyone can understand, digest, and commit to participating in the solution have marked him in Ramparts as the leader we have yearned for to restore America to her immense capacities for opportunity, productivity, and moral persuasion. At times it seemed he would be held back by his youthfulness, his “position in line of succession” so fixated upon by the Republican Party over the years, or his desire to stay in the weeds of budget crafting in Congress. It seemed he would resist the calling to avoid placing his young children in the harsh lights of national prominence. Maybe, he just didn’t have it in his “gut”, to give his professional life up to the non-stop demands of a national candidate.
Enough already. Thank you, Mitt Romney. He’s here and he’s every bit the one we have been waiting for.
Paul Ryan wowed the convention and the national audience with a tour de force performance that only enhances his building legend. He has always been articulate, a great communicator in the mold of his idol Reagan, a warrior for the cause- but who knew he could deliver a political speech like that? It certainly wasn’t present in his acceptance speech in Virginia a few weeks ago. There, in front of that large crowd, he was nervous, fidgety, and halting to the task. This speech was on a whole nother level – crisp, confident, interactive, devastating to his opponents without sounding arrogant or mean spirited, and perfectly timed, building to a crescendo that had his audience yelling and gasping for more. Ronald Reagan, when he finally received adulation for his communicating skills was a seasoned older politician reflecting back to a better time. Paul Ryan was more John Fitzgerald Kennedy, full of youthful energy, can-do spirit, and forwardly confident.
The speech was perfectly written, full of lines that resonate as little sun brightened jewels on the beach, though on closer inspection had the painful sting of little jellyfish:
I’m the newcomer to this campaign. So let me share a first impression. I have never seen opponents so silent about their record, and so desperate to keep their power. They have run out of ideas. Their moment came and went. Fear and division is all they’ve got left. With all of their attack ads the president is just throwing away money…and he is pretty experienced at that.
You — you the American people of this country were cut out of the deal. What did taxpayers get out of the Obama stimulus? More debt. That money wasn’t just spent and wasted, it was borrowed, spent and wasted…
But we are four years into this presidency. The issue is not the economy that Barack Obama inherited, not the economy as he envisions, but this economy that we are living. College graduates should not have to live out their 20s in their childhood bedrooms, staring up at fading Obama posters and wondering when they can move out and get going with life.
Paul Ryan took the current Administration to the tool shed for a whuppin’ and never once looked beastly doing it. In Kennedy fashion, he re-acquainted us with the inherent tools each of us has with the rights guaranteed in our founding documents to strive for better, to not accept the maudlin future that has been placed before us.
Now when I was waiting tables, washing dishes, or mowing lawns for money, I never thought of myself as stuck in some station in life. I was on my own path, my own journey, an American journey, where I could think for myself, decide for myself, define happen as for myself. That is what we do in this country. That is the American dream. That’s freedom and I will take it any day over the supervision and sanctimony of the central planners…
We have responsibilities, one to another. We do not each face the world alone. And the greatest of all responsibilities, is that of the strong to protect the weak. The truest measure of any society is how it treats those who cannot defend or care for themselves. Each of these great moral ideas is essential to democratic government, to the rule of law, to life in a humane and decent society. They are the moral creed of our country, as powerful in our time, as on the day of America’s founding. They are self-evident and unchanging, and sometimes, even presidents need reminding, that our rights come from nature and God, and not from government…
The right that makes all the difference now, is the right to choose our own leaders. And you are entitled to the clearest possible choice, because the time for choosing is drawing near. So here is our pledge. We will not duck the tough issues, we will lead. We will not spend the next four years blaming others, we will take responsibility. We will not try to replace our founding principles, we will reapply our founding principles.
Paul Ryan appears to be some Ronald Reagan and some John Kennedy, but in the end he is all Paul Ryan. Mitt Romney has done us all a service by putting this special leader on the national stage at a time when the country is thirsting for people who are the pathfinders to a better future. It speaks very well of Romney. Tonight, we will find out if Romney’s grasp of the task is as developed as his skill in picking the people who can accomplish such difficult tasks before us.