I debated with myself about whether I should post this or not. There are some of you who normally disagree with me that will love this post. There are others who agree with me that will question it. However, I wouldn’t be doing my job if I only responded to incidents that made the people I’m opposed to in the election look bad, while ignoring those that are misleading. There are enough videos of their idiocy.
I’m talking about a video I saw of Paul Ryan supposedly mocking an unemployed constituent at a parade. The man asks Ryan, “So what should I have to work for to get a job? Should I have to work for the same wages as in China? Should I have to work for one dollar an hour?”
Ryan looks at his wife, smiles, then responds “Have a nice day, alright? Would you like some candy?”
At first glance, this seems like another example of the ridiculous and callous nature of Ryan. However, I have a problem with this video. My problem is that Ryan is walking with his family towards the parade. He is even pushing a stroller. I’m sure the argument is that he was there doing politicking. But there is a limit to a person’s politicking at an event with his family. He greets the man and shakes his hand, but politely declines to take the man’s questions. He does this multiple times while the man follows him and persists. At one point he even acknowledges that they have a difference of opinion and requests that it be left to that so that he can attend the event. After continuing to follow Ryan he is eventually brushed off. Now, he could have left off the comment asking if the guy wanted some candy, but I can appreciate the irritation he must have felt about being followed and questioned after multiple attempts to part ways. I imagine that his irritation got the better of him and he made an ill-advised comment. I probably wouldn’t have been quite as nice if I was followed by someone when I was obviously with my family. Of course, I’m not in public office.
We can expect a lot from our public officials. I believe that they should be asked tough questions. If they try to ignore those questions (as Romney and Ryan do quite often), we should persist until they answer or admit that they have no answer. But we owe these people the respect to recognize times when they are trying to live their lives and leave them alone. There is a time and a place for the questions that this man was asking, but a parade with his family is not it. He should not have made a statement out of his irritation, but the man got what was coming to him. If you push someone hard enough, they will eventually push back.
I don’t like people using statements out of context to attack their opponents. The use of this video to condemn Paul Ryan does the same. Worst of all, these kinds of attacks can invalidate the true attacks that show how callous and ridiculous Romney and Ryan are. It’s just another example of the polarization and willingness to attack those who don’t agree with us that are tearing this country apart.