I’m beginning to wonder if the choice of Paul Ryan as the Vice-presidential candidate is less about winning this election and more about handing off the baton to the next generation of Republicans. Over the past few days since the choice was made, we have watched the Romney/Ryan ticket morph itself into the Ryan/Romney ticket. Very little time or energy has been put into discussing much of anything about Mitt Romney; except that he looks better with Ryan on stage with him. However, it seems that everyone wants to discuss Ryan and his budget. For many on the right, I think that is exactly how they want it.
From my vantage point, the face of the Republican Party has changed tremendously over the past 4 years. When is the last time you have heard the right talk about 9/11 or national security? It hasn’t happened much at all, especially since President Obama had Bin Laden taken out. Neocon warmongering doesn’t seem to be coming from that side of the political spectrum any longer. That got rather icky anyway, what with people wondering who was going to pay for those wars…oh, and the dead bodies and whatnot.
So, now let us look at the new face of the right and their corporatist leanings. The time has come where they will attempt to tap into many American’s views on hard work and self-reliance to give more unnecessary tax cuts and benefits to the wealthiest amongst us. “You too can make it to the promised land”, we will hear over and over again. And of course, once you make it to the top you will want as many tax breaks as possible so might as well support it now, right? “Hey, I work hard…I’ll be rich any day now and I don’t want the government taking all my newfound riches!!”
Unfortunately, the actual truth is that upward mobility is greatly diminished in this country. In an article in Time Magazine entitled “What Ever Happened to Upward Mobility”, author Rana Foroohar states that “the Pew Charitable Trusts’ Economic Mobility Project has found that if you were born in 1970 in the bottom one-fifth of the socioeconomic spectrum in the U.S., you had only about a 17% chance of making it into the upper two-fifths.” So, the probability is quite high that if you are not already in the 1%, you are not going to get there any time soon.
We’ve already begun to see the new drum beat in Ryan’s acceptance speech with slogans like “It is our duty to save the American dream” and how we need “new leadership to restore prosperity”. Be prepared to hear nothing but “let’s all get rich together” from the right throughout the rest of the campaign. Never mind the fact that a huge majority of the people who vote for the Romney/Ryan ticket in November will never even make it to middle class, let alone the upper class. They just need to tell everyone that they will all be rich if they work hard and play by the rules. Simply convince people of that and they will support you no matter how ridiculous your ideas are.
So, with Paul Ryan and his budget we usher in the newest Republican dogma. It is the era of the “haves and soon to haves” as Marco Rubio said recently. There is no need or desire to talk about Iraq, Afghanistan or spreading democracy around the world as they once did. They will just keep talking about how we must cut taxes to create growth; how much Obama has done to destroy the economy and how the so-called job creators are the only ones that can save us. Sadly, if they convince more Americans of these falsehoods, their trickle down policies are going to become nothing more than a drip.