Analytics and Episode 1 revisit:
I have a podcast, so I get to wish my wife a happy birthday in public. She turns 26 again.
The evolution of Paul Ryan.
Phill: the first time I heard of Paul Ryan was in early 2010.
- Obama goes to a GOP policy retreat and starts fielding questions.
- By the way, Obama was invited…he didn’t just crash the party
- For those who didn’t see it, it was intriguing theater. Obama is in front of the entire republican caucus and is taking questions.
- I was working at a restaurant, so I was either off work that day, or I didn’t have to go in until later. So I watched all that I could.
- One moment that elevated Paul Ryan from middle of the pack rank and file, to bonafide policy wonk is that Obama complimented him.
- Obama to Ryan: “You’ve studied this stuff [budgetary policy], and take it very seriously”
- In this statement, Obama calls Ryan the expert. Before this, I’m not sure you could have picked Paul Ryan out of a line up. 2 years and change later, Paul Ryan is the nominee for VP. 5 years later, Paul Ryan is Speaker of the House, and third in line for the presidency.
- Paul Ryan was an ideologue
- Being VP means that you are the designated attack dog.
- Probably one of the best lines of his VP Debate:
- “The president likes to say he has a plan. He has a speech.”
- Paul Ryan was at one point an Ayn Rand disciple (Ryan Declarations from New York Magazine)
- Who is Ayn Rand
- Ultra libertarian novelist. Her work painted all government as corrupt and evil, and all private sector as benevolent and good. Atlas Shrugged and the Fountainhead are two of her works.
- Rand’s work established the “makers” and “takers” rhetoric. That’ll be important in a moment.
- Once was interviewed voiced her disdain for Reagan.
- What do I think of Reagan. The best answer to give is that I don’t think of him. And the more I see, the less I think. The appalling disgrace of his administration is the connection to the Moral Majority.
- Is a vehement atheist
- Concept that altruism is immoral and selfishness is good.
- The caricature of capitalism of the left is Ayn Rand who see everything (from people, to resources, to governments) as resources to be exploited for individual gain.
- Ryan listed Atlas Shrugged of one of the books that he frequently re-reads.
- Giving it out as Christmas presents, and made all of his interns read it.
- His speeches frequently divided the country into “makers” and “takers”.
- Ryan declared:
- Rand’s thinking is “sorely needed right now”, because we are “living in an Ayn Rand novel.”
- Ayn Rand, more than anyone else, did a fantastic job of explaining the morality of capitalism, the morality of individualism, and this, to me, is what matters most.”
- Declared the Ayn Rand’s philosophies are the reason that he got involved in public service, saying that her philosophy inspires “almost every fight we are inivolved in here on Capitol Hill”
- Paul Ryan now:
- First, he has called foul on his own candidates a couple of different times. Which as Speaker of the House, calling out your own party’s candidates for being inflammatory is not something that happens every cycle. Perhaps it’s recency bias, but I can’t recall it every happening, and couldn’t dig up any research of this happening.
- Called out the violence at the rallies.
- Called for a focus on issues and not on rhetoric
- Perhaps it a nod towards John Boehner falling on the grenade as he walked out the door, but Ryan’s congress has a lot less crazy coming out of it.
- Of course we are coming up on the 6 month anniversary
- Paul Ryan’s about face.
“But in a confident America, we aren’t afraid to disagree with each other. We don’t lock ourselves in an echo chamber, where we take comfort in the dogmas and opinions we already hold. We don’t shut down on people — and we don’t shut people down. If someone has a bad idea, we tell them why our idea is better. We don’t insult them into agreeing with us. We try to persuade them. We test their assumptions. And while we’re at it, we test our own assumptions too.
I’m certainly not going to stand here and tell you I have always met this standard.
There was a time when I would talk about a difference between “makers” and “takers” in our country, referring to people who accepted government benefits. But as I spent more time listening, and really learning the root causes of poverty, I realized I was wrong. “Takers” wasn’t how to refer to a single mom stuck in a poverty trap, just trying to take care of her family. Most people don’t want to be dependent. And to label a whole group of Americans that way was wrong. I shouldn’t castigate a large group of Americans to make a point.
So I stopped thinking about it that way — and talking about it that way. But I didn’t come out and say all this to be politically correct. I was just wrong. And of course, there are still going to be times when I say things I wish I hadn’t. There are still going to be times when I follow the wrong impulse.”
- Early on in this podcast, we lamented the lack of civility in the discourse. You didn’t see this, because…podcast…but when we talk about the tenor of the debate over the last decade…we begin to cry. It’s ugly…I’m not proud.
- When we see a leader try to shift the debate, we want to applaud that person…especially if they have come around to team “facts matter calm voice”.
- Social media has made us into narcissists. Politicians have been world class narcissists. We don’t like to admit we are wrong. Politicians especially don’t like to admit they they are wrong. So that is why this is such a big deal.
- Because of Ryan’s history with Ayn Rand (who I think is an awful human), I’ve not always liked Paul Ryan’s policies and rhetoric.
- This week, Paul began to walk that back saying that he was wrong and that he was sorry.
- Whether we are in leadership positions, strive for leadership, or want nothing to do with leadership, there are lessons that need to be pulled.
- Leaders are not ideologues
- Leaders are no demagogues.
- Leaders look to bring people up
- Leaders hold themselves accountable
- Leaders apologize for their mistakes
- Leaders seek to be honest brokers, deal makers, peace makers, truth sayers, and people who stand in the gap and meet opposition half way.
- We live in a world where the screeching voice gets the airtime. In a place and point where serious issues need serious people to make serious decisions, let’s have more Paul Ryan.
- We’ve said that we need statesman. Democrat, Republican, Whig, Bull Moose, doesn’t matter. Today, we want to point to Paul Ryan and say: This week, you were a statesman, and we applaud you!