For those of you who are interested in hearing Paul Ryan in his own words prior to his selection as Mitt Romney's running mate, I offer you this extended interview I had with Congressman Ryan in May, 2011 when I was the host of Backbone Radio on 710 KNUS in Aurora/Denver. (I have since moved to 850 KOA.)
It's full of (in my opinion) interesting perspective into who Paul Ryan really is, including our conversation about the importance of the morality of our nation's economic system. How often do you hear a Congressman, talking about the intellectual history of the left, say "I've read Hegel. I've read Weber and Bismarck, and the thinkers of those times..."? How often do you hear a Congressman talk about "Natural Rights"?
In a part of the conversation which is very relevant to today's situation, Ryan explains why he believes "Medi-scare" politics do not have to be successful for the left.
Ryan has been consistent, including through today, despite claims to the otherwise by Democrats, in his promise that Medicare reform will not impact anyone currently in or near retirement.
We went on to an interesting discussion about the morality of Medicare itself. The answer which Paul gives to my question is one which utterly belies Democrat claims that Ryan is a radical who wants to eliminate entitlements and "shred the safety net." Indeed, I wished he had been more anti-Medicare than he was.
I closed the interview by asking him about the betting odds of his being the Republican nominee for president; little did I know he would end up being the nominee for vice-president.
No politician is perfect, but Paul Ryan is the most intelligent and principled Republican VP nominee in my lifetime. I don't know whether his selection will be a political winner, but it can't be all bad to turn this election into a discussion of big issues. For that in particular, Mitt Romney has my appreciation. Upon re-listening to my discussion with Paul Ryan, my confidence in him and his vision was further reinforced. And my interest in this election has moved from almost entirely being about removing Barack Obama to be as much about helping the GOP ticket get elected because I believe that they will do good things for this country.
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