Dan Gilmore / Mar. 24, 2016

Paul Ryan’s Confident America

It’s rare for a politician to say “I was just wrong.”

It’s rare for a politician — especially one in Washington — to say “I was just wrong.” But that’s what House Speaker Paul Ryan said during a speech yesterday. The speaker described the state of American politics (“It’s easy to get disheartened,” he said) and laid out a vision for what political discourse could become, what it was. We almost don’t have to mention the state of American political discourse, what with politicians comparing genital size during televised debates and appealing not to a better America, but scaring voters into supporting them. Ryan said:

> “Ideas, passionately promoted and put to the test — that’s what politics can be. That’s what our country can be. It can be a confident America, where we have a basic faith in politics and leaders. … In a confident America, we also have a basic faith in one another. We question each other’s ideas — vigorously — but we don’t question each other’s motives. If someone has a bad idea, we don’t think they’re a bad person. We just think they have a bad idea.

Ryan looked back to the time he was a House intern for Congressman Jack Kemp, a former pro football player who had a passion for going into poor neighborhoods and spreading the idea that Liberty and free enterprise lifts all boats. He also had a tax plan.

> "Long before I worked for him, Jack Kemp had a tax plan that he was incredibly passionate about. He wasn’t even on the Ways and Means Committee and Republicans were deep in the minority back then. So the odds of it going anywhere seemed awfully low. But he was like a dog with a bone. He took that plan to any audience he could get in front of. He pushed it so hard that he eventually inspired our party’s nominee for president — Ronald Reagan — to adopt it as his own. And in 1981 the Kemp-Roth bill was signed into law, lowering tax rates, spurring growth, and putting millions of Americans back to work.”

And then there was Ryan’s apology. In the past, the budget wonk used to refer “makers” and “takers,” the latter being the Americans that took government welfare. Yet Ryan now thinks this Ayn Rand influence isn’t necessarily helpful:

> “But as I spent more time listening, and really learning the root causes of poverty, I realized I was wrong. ‘Takers’ wasn’t how to refer to a single mom stuck in a poverty trap, just trying to take care of her family. Most people don’t want to be dependent. And to label a whole group of Americans that way was wrong. I shouldn’t castigate a large group of Americans to make a point.”

By all means, read the whole thing here.

Start a conversation using these share links:

Who We Are

The Patriot Post is a highly acclaimed weekday digest of news analysis, policy and opinion written from the heartland — as opposed to the MSM’s ubiquitous Beltway echo chambers — for grassroots leaders nationwide. More

What We Offer

On the Web

We provide solid conservative perspective on the most important issues, including analysis, opinion columns, headline summaries, memes, cartoons and much more.

Via Email

Choose our full-length Digest or our quick-reading Snapshot for a summary of important news. We also offer Cartoons & Memes on Monday and Alexander’s column on Wednesday.

Our Mission

The Patriot Post is steadfast in our mission to extend the endowment of Liberty to the next generation by advocating for individual rights and responsibilities, supporting the restoration of constitutional limits on government and the judiciary, and promoting free enterprise, national defense and traditional American values. We are a rock-solid conservative touchstone for the expanding ranks of grassroots Americans Patriots from all walks of life. Our mission and operation budgets are not financed by any political or special interest groups, and to protect our editorial integrity, we accept no advertising. We are sustained solely by you. Please support The Patriot Fund today!

★ PUBLIUS ★

“Our cause is noble; it is the cause of mankind!” —George Washington

The Patriot Post is protected speech, as enumerated in the First Amendment and enforced by the Second Amendment of the Constitution of the United States of America, in accordance with the endowed and unalienable Rights of All Mankind.

Copyright © 2021 The Patriot Post. All Rights Reserved.

The Patriot Post does not support Internet Explorer. We recommend installing the latest version of Microsoft Edge, Mozilla Firefox, or Google Chrome.