Was it just me, or did Paul Ryan get only the most tepid of responses when he took the stage in Cleveland last night?
Here are three flat-wrong, fly-off-the-couch-and-scream lines from his speech
that I had to note:
"Real social progress is always a widening of the circle of concern and protection."
Always a widening? To the outer edges of space? Few sentences more swiftly turn conservatism on its head than this one. From Edmund Burke (and his little platoons
) to Russell Kirk
(give me inequality!), actual conservative thinkers have observed that it's a tightening
—or better, a proper gauging—of the circle that makes for the soundest policy.
A Syrian refugee is not more important than a German train-rider
. The illegal aliens outside the 7-11 are not more important
than my daughters.
Trumpism, of course, says put Americans first. That's better.
"In America, aren’t we all supposed to be and see beyond class, see beyond ethnicity or all these other lines drawn to set us apart and lock us into groups?"
No, Paul, we can't see beyond them because they aren't artificial lines. They're real. Biology and evolution "locked us into groups"—you know, like male and female.
"Everyone — everyone — is equal, everyone has a place."
No, a thousand times, no. Not everyone is equal. Ryan's emphatic pause during the speech led me to believe that he really thinks this.
Point is, Paul Ryan is so badly wrong on the fundamentals that no amount of tax-lowering, gun-protecting or abortion-railing can make up for it. Any politician who thinks "everyone is equal" and that we must perpetually widen our circle of concern will never get it right on welfare, immigration, crime, international relations, you name it.
At least Steve King
And Donald Trump is at least tacking in the right direction.