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.