Rhymy Ryan-y Valentine Irony
Someone suggested sending a Valentine card to the Wisconsin home of Rep. Paul Ryan, Speaker of the Republican-controlled House, calling on him to pull back the reins on his plans to push for privatization and paring of social programs that benefit the vast majority of people in the country. I am mailing this letter, enclosed in a poetic card that expresses my love for him. He’s a smart guy: I think he’ll divine the irony.
Dear Rep. Ryan,
U.S. Rep. Paul Ryan
As a former Wisconsonite who was a reporter for the Milwaukee Journal (now Journal Sentinel), and has several family members in the Madison area, I implore you to reflect deeply on what would result if your efforts to abolish Obamacare, defund Planned Parenthood, and privatize Medicare, Medicaid, and Social Security came to fruition.
My psychiatrist niece and her internist husband are appalled by what is happening, although my nephew is, I am certain, a fan of yours. He is woefully misguided.
There can be only one reason why you want to remove our social safety nets: an irrational, ideological conviction that government is evil. Have you ever considered how you reached such a mindset? I am almost certain that this obsession, which you share with many Americans and other members of Congress, grew out of your background growing up. Your family held this belief, and so did most of the members of your community, and it is what you feel secure in.
Please understand that I am not advocating government control of our lives. Regulations that serve no useful purpose, bloated bureaucracy that robs the pocketbooks of taxpayers, and freeloading by those who substitute acceptance of responsibility for their lives with government handouts are all impediments to efficient functioning of government. But throwing out the baby with the bath water is not a prudent policy.
You are regarded as something of an intellectual, but your fixation on a negative view of government is emotional, which renders you incapable of deciding rationally how that view affects your constituents and the people of this great country. Removing the safety nets for the vast majority of the nation’s people would inflict great hardship on all, and death on some. You have to know that. And yet you persist in holding, and acting on, this dark, twisted notion that helping your fellow man is bad, and hewing to the ideological concept of every man for himself and survival of the fittest is good. Somehow, you manage to reconcile such an inhumane idea with your Catholic faith. Much of the Christian evangelical community is of the same suasion, a phenomenon that boggles my mind. I simply cannot fathom how so many people who espouse religious faith are able to convince themselves that ideas completely antithetical to any true religion should be embraced as God’s will.
I am not optimistic the message I am trying to convey will sink in, and that you will, in your position of leadership, work toward the betterment of people’s lives instead of ignoring our needs, snugly ensconced in your ideological refuge from reality.
But one has to try. Perhaps the biggest loser if that is the route you choose is yourself, for as you grow older, your conscience surely will bring you sad remorse. If it doesn’t, that will be even sadder.
Boynton Beach, FL 33435