The Pitch

America stands to benefit from Paul Ryan’s departure

Paul+Ryan+addresses+the+Conservative+Political+Action+Conference+in+2016.+Ryan%27s+tenure+will+expire+in+Novmeber.
Paul Ryan addresses the Conservative Political Action Conference in 2016. Ryan's tenure will expire in Novmeber.

Paul Ryan addresses the Conservative Political Action Conference in 2016. Ryan's tenure will expire in Novmeber.

Paul Ryan addresses the Conservative Political Action Conference in 2016. Ryan's tenure will expire in Novmeber.


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At the end of this congressional term, Paul Ryan will no longer be Speaker of the House. Despite the extensive moaning coming from editorial pages nationwide, Ryan’s resignation is undoubtedly beneficial to the United States as a whole. Despite some signs of discomfort in 2016, Ryan has failed to condemn the varied outrages of the Trump presidency. Far from being the defender or, perhaps, saviour of modern conservatism, Ryan has hastened its decline by embracing a coarse, nativist and populist political movement, encumbered by neither facts nor concerns for such mere details as trillion dollar deficits.

With the announcement of his pending retirement, it became fashionable to mourn the passing of Ryan’s House career as the final nail in the coffin of respectable, moderate conservatism. But this is to confuse eloquence with competence, relative inoffensiveness with moderation, and proper-length ties with respectability. Ryan ascended to the speakership as a compromise amongst the factions of the Republican party, the one man who could placate the much-feared freedom caucus. His stances on economic policy have always been towards the rightward extreme – consisting mainly of a desire to do away with taxation altogether, the consequences be damned.

The main flaw of Ryan’s tenure in the Speaker’s chair is the debasement of the Republican party presided over by him. This is not to say there is a direct line of responsibility between Ryan and the rise of Donald Trump, but Ryan and his associates stood idly by as the GOP turned from a party revolving around a more or less coherent set of ideas to a cult of personality.

Paul Ryan’s America is a land of deep tax cuts for the wealthiest few, where the President operates in a world unmoored from any standards of decency, where the rule of law is conveniently forgotten and the public purse is seen as a personal bank account by Cabinet secretaries. It is a country with no principles, no morals and ever worsening economic inequality. Paul Ryan has been disastrous for America. Collectively, we must say good riddance to the representative from Wisconsin.

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America stands to benefit from Paul Ryan’s departure