Morning Thanks

Garrison Keillor once said we'd all be better off if we all started the day by giving thanks for just one thing. I'll try.

Monday, August 13, 2012

The Ryan Choice

The Ryan choice is a good one, or so it seems to me.  Whatever mysteries emanate from the persona of Mitt Romney are now forever resolved. His positions on issue will trouble people no more because with Paul Ryan on board, there's no question about the direction of the ship of state. He's going quite right.

It doesn't seem all that long ago when some people I knew were convinced a third party simply had to be created because the two-party system offered little alternative to bland sameness.  Not this time around.  

I don't think anyone really knows what makes Barack Obama tick, whether he's a centrist or plain old progressive; but he's certainly not the demonic Muslim communist the far right claims he is. What we do know, however, is he's not Paul Ryan.  This November, coming to a polling place near you will be a stark choice between two significantly different views of the role of government in the lives of the governed.

Both sides will continue to vilify each other, of course--that's politics. The truth of the matter--or so it seems to me--is that all truth is elliptical; it has two centers, and, frequently, that reality produces paradox:  we need government and we don't need government.  There, both assertions are true; either one of them, standing alone, is nonsense. No one, save Karl Marx, really wants government running our lives, and no one, save the maddest libertarian (not even Ron Paul), really wants the government to roll over and die.  

The key here, as anywhere in life, is balance or moderation, even though moderation is not a word you'll hear often from the floor of either of the upcoming conventions.  A government has to be strong enough to compel justice and loose enough to encourage freedom.

Justice--equality, fairness, regulation--is in some ways the polar opposite of freedom.  Nobody, really, believes in a totally unfettered free market (well, some do, but witness where the banks have taken us in the last five years). Nobody wants to get on an airplane or enter a coal mine where maintenance is unchecked (well, some claim they do, but wouldn't).  On the other hand, everyone hates "red tape."

Paul Ryan believes in strong government, strong enough to deliver a military that can take care of us, and even solve some of the world's problems.  And Barack Obama believes in the free market, even if there are times (as with the auto industry) when government needs to do something to keep doors open and families fed.  

Both liberals and conservatives exist and have their being somewhere with the continuum of liberty, on one hand, and justice on the other, or strong central government on one hand and unfettered markets on the other.  No one is pure (well, I suppose there are, but they're lunatic fringe); both are somewhere in the middle.

Nonetheless, if Ryan is Romney's bottom line, then the choices are clear--even if they're not polar opposites. The choice is between two different (not radical) views of the government's role in our lives.  

My wife has been employed for the last several weeks attempting to understand the storm of insurance billing statements created by three or four fairly significant medical procedures in the life and times of her feckless husband.  Republicans have created a horrifying bogey man out of Obamacare, but even most supply-siders confess that, if it's repealed, something has to be done about, say, pre-existing conditions. Even Paul Ryan would say the government has a role in medical care in this country.  How great?--there's the rub.

Ryan defines the Republican agenda in ways that squishy Mitt just couldn't.  And that's good.

There'll be a choice this November.  And choice is something becoming in a democracy.  


Anonymous said...

Yes we do have 2's another way to look at the nat. debt, soon to be $16T... you come home from work and you find the neighborhood sewage system is backed up. You walk into your house and the crap is slowly rising to the can A.: raise the ceiling, (which to the dems is another simulas package) or B.:Pump out the CRAP! make the choice in Nov.

Anonymous said...


Anonymous said...

Do you mean that Ann Rand and her followers would just "Pump out the CRAP"? That is really stimulating, and that would surely make one rich.

Anonymous said...

I do not like either option. Why should I pay to pump other people's crap? Worse comes to worse, they can dig their own hole

Anonymous said...

I like Paul Ryan's starting point of introducing the "idea" that rights are bestowed on us by our Creator [not the government]: Life, Liberty and the Pursuit of Happiness.

He is prolife [from the moment of conception], promotes liberty as freedom from government, and encourages the pursuit of happiness by wanting all of us to realize our full potential.

These core beliefs moves the conversation and discourse out of the gutter/Chicago Style politics[stimulus and crap] and towards reasonable and honest solutions addressing the horrific problems we face in the USA [unemployment, debt, insurance coverage, jobs etc.

Let the campaign begin.

Anonymous said...

Paul Ryan has cheese, brats, and beer flowing through his veins. He is my kind of Badger.

No wonder Dan Rather thinks he is "toxic".


Anonymous said...

Can't wait to see the debates! Can they keep their lies straight? I agree, we have two very different choices.