In Paul Ryan’s world the government is bad, bad, bad when it’s helping the sick, the needy, the poor, the indigent, the desperate, the uneducated, and the un-fucking lucky.
But the big bad Federal Government is the doggone bee’s knees when it’s carpet bombing villages, invading foreign lands, waterboarding prisoners, and otherwise sticking our M-16s in everyone else’s face.
Or at least that’s what I gather from the speech he delivered today criticizing President Barack Obama’s handling of the current chaos in Libya and across the Middle East.
Of course, that makes Ryan no different than pretty much every other Republican, save Ron Paul and Pat Buchanan. If there’s one thing the GOP respects — and I’ve said it before — it’s the boot and the badge.
Anyhow, here’s what Ryan said:
All of us are watching events closely, but we know who America is dealing with in these attacks. They are extremists who operate by violence and intimidation. And the least equivocation or mixed signal only makes them bolder.
Look across that region today, and what do we see? The slaughter of brave dissidents in Syria. Mobs storming American embassies and consulates. Iran four years closer to gaining a nuclear weapon. Israel, our best ally in the region, treated with indifference bordering on contempt by the Obama administration.
Amid all these threats and dangers, what we do not see is steady, consistent American leadership.
In the days ahead, and in the years ahead, American foreign policy needs moral clarity and firmness of purpose. Only by the confident exercise of American influence are evil and violence overcome.
That is how we keep problems abroad from becoming crises. That is what keeps the peace. And that is what we will have in a Romney-Ryan administration…
Under the current President, we are at risk of becoming a poor country, because he looks to government as the great benefactor in every life.
Our opponents even have a new motto. They say, quote, “Government is the only thing that we all belong to.”
I don’t know about you, but I’ve never thought of government as something I belong to. As a matter of fact, on the seven occasions I’ve been sworn in as a Member of Congress, I have never taken an oath to the government.
The oath that all of us take is to support and defend the Constitution of the United States, under which government is limited and the people are sovereign.
In the experience of real life, the most important things we belong to have a very different hold on us. I am a Catholic, not because anyone has ordered me to accept a creed, but because of the grace and truth revealed in my faith — and that’s how we all feel about the faiths we hold.
In the same way, we Americans give ourselves to every kind of good cause. We do so for the simple reason that our hearts and conscience have called us to work that needs doing, to fill a place that sometimes no one else can fill.
It’s like that with our families and communities, too. The whole life of this nation is carried forward every day by the endless unselfish things people do for one another, without even giving it much thought.
In books, they call this civil society. In my own experience, I know it as Janesville, Wisconsin — a place, like ten thousand others, where a lot of good happens without government commanding it, directing it, or claiming credit for it.
That’s how life is supposed to work in a free country. And nothing undermines the essential and honorable work of government more than the abuse of government power.
In the President’s telling, government is a big, benevolent presence — gently guiding our steps at every turn.
And in Ryan’s world, the U.S. government is a heavily armed nosey busy body who thinks it’s his godgiven right to meddle in everybody’s else affairs and give them an ole bitch slap to the face if they have something to say about it. That’ll learn them to keep their fucking mouths shut.
Screw you, Ryan, and your hypocritical view of role of the government.
Unlike Ryan, I believe that American Exceptionalism comes from our ability to cure diseases, to send astronauts into outerspace, to create a worldwide informational network that will one day connect every single person on this planet, not our ability to kick everyone else’s ass.
Our greatness is our determination, our inventiveness, our ability to adapt to any and all challenges and to assimilate and improve upon the best that the world has to offer. Ryan and his fellow GOPers have either forgotten that or else their bloodlust has made them blind to what America actually stands for.