Tale of Two Fathers Which Art (Not) In Heaven: My Charles Dickens Versus Paul Ryan's Ayn Rand

I've been waiting for years for Paul Ryan to be named on the 2012 GOP Presidential ticket.  I had tiny worries of Santorum or fellow Minnesotans Bachmann and Pawlenty being serious considerations, but have anticipated that Paul Ryan would be the BoyWonder they would pick in the end. 


As a fellow beneficiary of Social Security Survivor Benefits, Paul Ryan's cold, cold hypocrisy has angered me to no end for years.  Is it because he couldn't stand the embarrassment of being on the receiving end of government assistance that he went so far to the other side?  Is it perhaps that he never understood poverty to begin with, coming from a very financially comfortable background? 

In the end... it is clear that he Just Doesn't Get It... he doesn't understand how anyone could NEED the Survivor Benefits to pay for groceries instead of being put in a bank account to accrue interest to help pay for college.  His budget philosophies have definitely been shaped by how he internalized the government assistance he received as a teen.

Part of my fascination with him is that it is clear that we were living parallel universes. Somewhere between me reading Charles Dickens and him reading Ayn Rand, a man who could be a champion for those worse off than himself became a man still full of some kind of self-loathing... some kind of embarrassment... some kind of Pride that keeps him from truly understanding that what he used as investment & pin money is for some a necessity to keep food on the table. 

As someone who attended church religiously before and after my father's death... I am grateful for the secular aspect of taxation to help create safety nets for people regardless of creed, gender, race, etc.  No church and No "christian" ever offered assistance to my mother as a widow.  Single mothers in the 1990s were still viewed as threats to the institution of marriage in our circles... regardless of whether or not that single mother had Procreated-For-Jesus beyond any fundagelical wildest wet dreams... regardless of what the Bible said about helping widows and orphans.  I wouldn't trust 80% of Christian Churches ... or even Christians... to come anywhere near helping us the way Uncle Sam did.  Small communities are too suspicious, too judgmental, too close-minded to be counted on even when their Bible commands them to be counted on.

The Tea Party, Religious Right and many Rand followers live in a fantasy world of social darwinism that turns my stomach.  They figure "I pulled myself up by my bootstraps... why can't you?" They don't understand that so many people don't have bootstraps to begin with... or sometimes even boots.  Their argument that if they didn't have to pay as much in taxes they could support more widows/ophans/poor is total BS. 

So yeah... I've been waiting for Paul Ryan to be picked for the GOP ticket for years.  I didn't know if I wanted to fight this fight... to share this part of my past... but I will not be able to be silent about his hypocrisy.  That's what siblings do for each other... call each other's Bullshit.  Like my long lasting crusade to have Americans take Michele Bachmann seriously until she no longer holds public office... I can no longer hold back and watch Paul Ryan turn his sadness of his father's death into a platform for belittling the poor.

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Comment by Doc Feral on August 12, 2012 at 5:49pm

I think you hit on a point there. Not just with Ryan but also with Romney.  They're both from what could be seen as privileged families. As a result, they have a disconnect with the average U.S. citizen. Romney has shown this disconnection time and time again with his statements. 

Having to sell of some stocks and not 'entertain' in order to go to school, isn't the typical experience for the average person. I highly doubt Romney only subsisted on Ramen for weeks on end like many college students do.. I doubt he had to wonder how his school was getting paid for.. or whether he'd need to either drop a single class or drop them all for a semester or two until he could pay for them. I doubt he even had to work while going to school. 

The same goes for Ryan. I doubt he's had any financial worries his entire life anything close to what the average citizen has.

Comment by Christine Vyrnon on August 13, 2012 at 9:28pm


Yes.... Paul Ryan comes from privilege.  What bothers me most is that he how he has chosen to use and view that privilege/power.  Not all politicians who come from comfy/wealthy families are this small-minded and stubborn about the role of government.  I'm very, very thankful for Minnesota's current governor Mark Dayton in that sense.  The more I think about Paul Ryan's policies, the more I see them as a way of him dealing emotionally with his father's death... and something clicked there between the loss and Ayn Rand and who knows how much else (think he grew up in a private Catholic school)... and I feel kind of sorry for him.  Everyone handles drama/trauma differently... and somehow we are seeing Ryan deal with his drama/trauma in public.  I do to sometimes, but my mouthiness online is not keeping anyone from feeling less stressed out about how to pay the rent in a couple weeks. Dig it? :)

Thanks for the comment!


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