Our nation is approaching a tipping point.
We are at a moment, where if government’s growth is left unchecked and unchallenged, America’s best century will be considered our past century. This is a future in which we will transform our social safety net into a hammock, which lulls able-bodied people into lives of complacency and dependency.
No wonder he has all of his staffers read Atlas Shrugged. He earlier gives a capsule of his, and now in effect the official Republican, view of government:
We believe government’s role is both vital and limited – to defend the nation from attack and provide for the common defense … to secure our borders… to protect innocent life… to uphold our laws and Constitutional rights … to ensure domestic tranquility and equal opportunity … and to help provide a safety net for those who cannot provide for themselves.
We believe that the government has an important role to create the conditions that promote entrepreneurship, upward mobility, and individual responsibility.
We believe, as our founders did, that “the pursuit of happiness” depends upon individual liberty; and individual liberty requires limited government.
The critique of this perspective brings some dangers with it, as no one will want to be viewed as an enemy of “liberty” and “responsibility,” but it will become obligatory if Ryan continues as lead spokesperson on the Republicans’ defining issues. Ryan himself may be vulnerable to political attack – sponsor of a “roadmap” to end Social Security and Medicare as we know them, a history of sacrificing his own principles on key votes. Ryanism itself can eventually be revealed as desperately narrow, the ideological preference of a small minority, utterly inadequate to the times. The advantage of attacking it, or defending against it, is that the Left might in the process re-develop a better sense of what it is actually for.