I find it borderline hilarious that integrity-lacking phonies like Speaker of the House Paul Ryan refuse to endorse Donald Trump for not being a “conservative.”
What is a “conservative”? According to Paul Ryan and others, it’s someone who wants to cut taxes and cut spending. But Paul Ryan gave Obama absolutely everything he wanted in the last budget. He didn’t even put up a fight. Ryan and most of his fellow Republicans would no sooner propose a tax cut, or a spending cut, than they would turn down a campaign donation.
Principles are important. They matter. But the way you show they matter is by actually standing up for them, at least sometimes – or even one time – while you’re in office, particularly when you’re the Speaker of the U.S. House of Representatives.
Remember that the President cannot spend a penny without the authorization of the Congress. Even with a President like Obama, who cares little about the Constitution, there’s not a whole lot he can do if Congress refuses to authorize some, or even any, of his demands. For the last two years, Congress has been totally controlled by Republicans. This is an awful lot of clout, not just political clout but real, Constitutional clout. Yet Ryan would never use it, not in a million years.
None of this is to suggest that Donald Trump is principled. Trump has gone back and forth on everything. He is both for and against socialized medicine (he said he wants to cover everyone); he was originally against the minimum wage, but now might be for it; and he has implied that he might want to raise taxes on the rich, even though the rich are the ones who invest in the private economy, and Trump knows this. We will not know Trump’s principles until or unless he’s in office. Even then, we might not know them, because based on how he has talked throughout this campaign, those principles can change several times in a week, or even the same day.
The fact that Donald Trump has no principles does not mean that the political hacks running the Republican Party, such as Paul Ryan, have any principles, either. The difference is that people like Paul Ryan claim to uphold a set of principles while running for office, and then proceed to violate every single one of them once in office.
Which is worse? Someone like Paul Ryan, who articulates principles, and then violates them, pretending that he never did? Or Donald Trump, who doesn’t claim to have any principles, and who takes wildly opposite stands throughout the day and the week? I will leave it to people who like to fight over such things to debate which is worse. The end result is the same.
Principles are practical. They are the means by which we put ideas into action. No, not all principles are rational, or humane. Collectivism and socialism are not rational and humane. Individualism, liberty and private property are. The problem is that we have plenty of office-seekers ready to uphold collectivism and socialism, or make compromises with them (i.e., let them win). We don’t have a single office-seeker, at present, willing to uphold individualism and liberty.
Yes, Paul Ryan should go. But more importantly, a new second party will have to emerge, a party which upholds private property, the right to keep one’s earnings, the right to protect and defend oneself, and the right to be sovereign over one’s individual self and mind.
Paul Ryan is just another hack trading on the auction block of what was once the U.S. Constitution, a truly noble and powerful document grounded in a set of noble and rational ideas.
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