Paul Ryan and the Return of Normal
Paul Ryan was simply poetic, campaigning over the weekend with his mother, Betty Douglas, among the same senior citizens whom Democrats claim Ryan and his Medicare reform would purge unmercifully via cliff-dropping. It was visual proof that at least some in the largely reliable senior voting block are not falling for the Obama Mediscare deception. Oh, and Paul Ryan really, really likes his mom.
But Ryan's charm and intelligence weren't what most struck me during his address. What struck me was something far more fundamental -- something I haven't felt for so long that it struck me that I haven't felt this way in a very long time. Normal. And that normal was coming from a politician. Can that be normal?
For all my discontent with the Republican establishment -- my reasoned aversion to government in general -- the Romney campaign had me at Ryan. Ryan's energy, youth, messaging, and smarts are our best hope for articulating economic truth and the limits of government to generations of dependents in a nation indebted, overtaxed, and over-ruled. Dare I say Ryan might return us to some normal?
Are we still allowed to evoke normal? Not just any definition of normal, as progressives would have it, but the definition of normal. The definition based in undeniable truth and virtue. It might sound something like we hold these truths to be self-evident. The common man appears to be demanding its return -- Navy SEALs, Chick-fil-A customers, taxpayers, Tea Partiers, Catholics, gun owners, the caterer at an Obama event donning a Romney campaign shirt, the "Crumb and Get It" Cookie Shop who refused Joe Biden's photo-op, and the vendor who refused an EBT card for the same indulgent desserts other customers must purchase with hard-earned cash. The pitchforks are up. The common man cometh. He's seen "forward," and he wants normal back.
Paul Ryan carries the same proverbial pitchfork, even as a Washington insider. There is something primal in Ryan's appeal, even more than his well-honed math skills and his respect for the taxpayers who provide his paycheck and the God who grants natural rights. It almost seems silly to point out, but considering what we've been through, why not just say it? Ryan reeks of normal -- as our Founders intended those we elect to be. He is a good, old-fashioned American son. Remember them? The kind of real men the Ryan family built? He feels like one of us. He is one of us, which means he's smart enough to know we're not stupid.
He is what we recall of our own youth, before progressive insanity began its creep -- family, church, guns, competition, a penny earned, integrity, the independent spirit, common sense, teachers who demanded respect and a media that earned it, the stars and stripes, and Mom's apple pie -- the blessing of good old, ordinary normal, warts and all. It naturally transcends race, class, and gender. It simply demands character, common sense, and some decent role models. And it's everything the left either rails against or attempts to redefine. It's encouraging, considering Ryan's relative youth, that such normal appears to have survived at all, let alone be on the verge of such a dynamic comeback.
By no fault of his own, Barack Obama was denied nearly any stable or virtuous role model in his youth, which is why he must give illusion to his mysterious, if not fabricated, past. It's not as though we damn such souls to a caste system. On the contrary, even the most disadvantaged citizen has the opportunity to overcome the hardship of his past; that can also be the impetus for his success. It is the very essence of America.
But there's simply no denying that some good old-fashioned, virtuous normal is a real leg up -- far more so than any affirmative action, and certainly more than any progressive, socially engineered, or manufactured fairness. The leftist who votes for the guy who believes that success is handed to a lucky few and systematically denied others, only to be rectified by government dependence and wealth redistribution, might take note of the hard work and sacrifice which compelled his own success before it's too late. Old-fashioned normal might not be in fashion, but it looks pretty good next to record joblessness, economic ruin, and staggering government dependence.
Paul Ryan had a father in his life until the age of 16 and was blessed with three older siblings with whom he lived, and a mom -- a good mom. Barack Obama had a father figure of whom he could only dream, having been virtually abandoned at birth, if not before, only to be replaced by a Muslim stepfather, a radicalized grandfather, and a communist mentor. Barack Obama has evoked his own mother throughout his campaigns -- from Stanley Ann's Kansas roots to her inspiration as community organizer and her much abused, and now debunked, fight with her insurance company on her deathbed. It's not that I don't have compassion, considering the cards a young Barack was dealt. It's just that Obama governs -- fundamentally transforms -- according to his radical upbringing, not in spite of it. It's a "normal" we cannot survive.
For decades we've been redefining normal, adjusting standards, bending the curve. The curve is so inclusive -- who's to say what's normal, according to progressives -- that many simply accept the criminal, amoral, oppressive, rampant rot gut of Washington as the new normal. But the preferred normal looks a lot like Paul Ryan -- moral, humble, and competent. I wouldn't care if he were black, white, purple, or striped. No pedestal, no Greek columns -- just old-fashioned normal, please.
The Medicare and entitlement debate will rage on as we face our inevitable economic comeuppance, hopefully with Paul Ryan leading the reform, held to task by those who value a return to normal. Any healthy society must demand such character of its leaders. A free people can take comfort in normal adults at the helm of America once again. And then the real work -- reclaiming the character of this nation -- will begin.