Wednesday, August 15, 2012

Congressman Ryan, the Media, and Me


I'm watching Game Change this morning as TBG recovers from his visit to the dentist. He's napping and I'm rubbing his forehead and Julianne Moore is morphing into an Alaskan governor. It's no wonder that my thoughts have turned to Paul Ryan.

John Stewart was looking for substance last night. The Republicans touted their vice presidential nominee as the intellectual leader of their party. Given that, there ought to have been thoughtful, issues-based, questioning. All he could find were quotes about the Congressman's exercise routine, his father's early death, and how clever he was to sneak out of Janesville and into Boston without the media's knowledge.

Where was the substance? Certainly, when dealing with the man who created a plan for the future of our country, a budget to reorganize our government's priorities, certainly there is more to discuss than his abs. Now, when people might just be paying attention because it's something new, while people are listening to stories they might otherwise avoid, now would be the time to bring policy and insight on the issues of the day to the fore.

An informed populace is, somehow, less frightening to imagine than the mindless mob I picture every night before I go to sleep... the idiot in the lane ahead of me, the cashier who was flummoxed by the math required to include those two pennies I put on top of the bills, the family at the table next to us, each one playing a separate game on a smart phone, exchanging not a word nor a glance. They are permitted... and might even show up... to vote. Now, when even their thoughts might be captured , now would be the time to show how the Ryan budget plan would affect a young family of 5 living on the Congressman's salary of $174,000, forced to maintain two residences because of the job.

Make it real. Make it pertinent. Make it factual. Make it interesting.

Sarah Palin was the mother of a special needs baby and a pregnant teenage daughter and a son in Iraq while she was running for office. They were props in the campaign. Congressman Ryan has an adorable family with no skeletons revealed... thus far. Frankly, I don't care about their families, except as to what it says about the candidates as men. There was a time when Bill Clinton's only redeeming feature, as far as I was concerned, was Chelsea.

PX-90 is not a campaign platform. Why, when the candidate is presented as a man with a mind, why are we subjected to drivel?

A Mormon chose a Catholic to run with him against an African-American and an all-American. There's a lesson to be learned here. It's a moment for pride, a real melting pot taking place in our polity, and I have yet to hear anyone wax eloquent on the topic.

It's a piece of the election story that resonates with me. As a child, I knew I couldn't run for president.... I was poor, I was Jewish, I was female. Today, even the richest candidates spend two hours each and every day making fund raising phone calls. Religious beliefs are less important than Tea Party allegiances, and being female is now a blessing instead of a political curse. Times have changed and I'd like to hear someone say something about it.

Actually, I'd like to hear someone say something about anything other than the potential veep's abs.

4 comments:

  1. I was talking about the campaign the other day with hubby and saying how annoyed I am with the amount of money being spent each month. I give every single month to the Obama campaign and yet it doesn't seem like it's enough. Mittens is bringing in over 100 mil every month and the Obama campaign 76 mil. That's a month! That's a lot of money. It makes me angry too because just think what our country could do with that money.

    I never liked Ryan and when I read his budget proposal last year, I was even more angry. He wants to cut some of our basic programs, but keep funding defense. I think our country needs to get our priorities straight. I will say this, anyone that follows Ayn Rand is not a good person in my book. I don't like her ideology. I've always been a person that believes in giving back to society.

    We shall see if he has any sort of substance, but I don't think we will. I think Mitten picked him because he is so unknown. Less chance for the media to dig up anything on him. ;)

    We have three more months. It's going to be a bumpy ride.


    Megan xxx

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  2. Think of the palaces our schools could be if that money were spent on education...... I share the pain, Megan.
    a/b

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  3. MS, I am glad to hear someone else is regularly giving to Obama. I hear from so many dems who say they are not going to for ideological reasons (Obama didn't go far enough left), but ignoring the consequences if this pair gets into office for social and economic issues, for undoing the whole fabric of our safety net to make some multimillionaires richer. It horrifies me and almost equally7 so for the dems who are sitting back with their purity intact as they let us go down the tube. Good for you

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  4. What I will say about Ryan is this. He doesn't like government programs but he used Social Security death benefits to go to an expensive university out of state. His family was wealthy - owned a construction company whose primary path to wealth was in paving interstate highways(government roads) since 1910. He doesn't like Medicaid - a program used by 85 % of women over 80 who end up in nursing homes after exhausting their resources. He does not follow the social justice teachings of his Church. I am a female senior citizen and a Catholic and I won't be voting for the Romney/Ryan ticket!

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