The Democrats and their mainstream media cheering section can huff and puff at Paul Ryan’s convention speech, but they can’t blow his house down. It was built on a solid foundation.
So powerful was the speech that the liberal establishment is reduced to wailing about alleged lies the speech contained — dishonest and easily refuted allegations. Ryan delivered a substantive indictment of the Obama administration’s failed record and a content-rich, realistic plan for putting this nation back on track to economic growth and fiscal recovery, a plan that includes “protecting and strengthening” Medicare, not “raiding” it.
Don’t listen to the naysayers. Ryan began with a humble acceptance of his “calling” and “duty” to help restore America. His message was positive. “I know we can do this,” he said, not dwelling on the malaise in which Obama’s disastrous policies have placed us but offering a specific blueprint to deliver us from this quicksand.
He carried forward this same theme throughout the speech: He said that when he accepted the nomination, he told Mitt Romney, “Let’s get this done”; and in closing the speech, he converted the slogan into a formal offer to the American people, promising that if elected, he and Romney would put America back on a path to fiscal redemption.
Ryan offered a succinct but irrefutable critique of Obama’s economic record: 23 million unemployed or underemployed, 1 in 6 Americans living in poverty and one-half of college graduates unable to find work they’ve studied for or any work at all.
More importantly, he emphasized that Obama has no new ideas to deliver us from this quagmire. Under a second Obama term, nothing would change — Obamanomics being but a ship trying to sail on yesterday’s wind.
Obama’s grandiose stimulus plan, involving “the largest one-time expenditure of the federal government,” not only didn’t work to create jobs but also took us into deeper debt. The money wasn’t “just spent and wasted; it was borrowed, spent and wasted.” Instead of giving us the jobs we needed, he forced Obamacare on us against our will, and he gave us Solyndra and its ilk — replete with corporate welfare, political patronage, cronyism and “make-believe markets.” Indeed.
Obama’s stimulus debacle was a microcosm — albeit a gargantuan one — of the ideas that Obama has advanced and that Romney and Ryan would reject in favor of America’s founding ideals. Ryan was eloquent in articulating the contrast. Under Obama, he said, the government has tried to divide up wealth. Under Romney and Ryan, Americans — not government — would (SET ITAL) create (END ITAL) wealth.
Ryan expanded on the contrast, saying that Obama sees America as a place where everyone is stuck in some class or station in life, victims of circumstances beyond their control, with government there to help them cope with their fate.
The new administration, he assured us, would give us the exact opposite — a land where government is limited (to 20 percent of gross domestic product) and liberty is championed. He weaved in the story of his own family experiences and his mother — his “role model” — to personalize the point. He urged us not to buy Obama’s message and record of despair and to reject the stifling notion that we can’t do any better — ideas wholly inconsistent with Ryan’s personal experiences and the lessons his parents taught him.
Ryan said, in essence, “How dare you tell me and other Americans we have to accept whatever circumstances we find ourselves in and not try to improve our lots in life?” He said, “I was on my own path, my own journey, an American journey where I could think for myself, decide for myself and define happiness for myself.” In other words, in the America in which Ryan grew up and that he and Romney will try to restore, no government and no politician will predefine limits on economic growth and individual liberties — above all, the pursuit of happiness.
Ryan said that the American dream is grounded in freedom, not a planned economy in which equal outcomes are sought in lieu of equal opportunity. He underscored not simply that central planning doesn’t work but that it’s morally inferior, contrary to the claims and “sanctimony” of its leftist proponents.
Ryan promised that they would lead on the tough issues and be men of action — rather than of endless empty rhetoric — and would spend the next four years not blaming others but taking responsibility. They would immediately end the current administration’s practice of replacing our founding principles and begin to reapply those principles.
Obama tells us that Republicans want a smaller America, but as Ryan conclusively demonstrated in his speech, it is Obama who envisions a limited, anemic America with a finite pie, incapable of a robust economic future.
In Romney and Ryan’s America — as in Ronald Reagan’s, Jack Kemp’s and Condoleezza Rice’s — “it doesn’t matter where you came from; it matters where you’re going.”