I Didn’t Leave the GOP, the GOP Left Me: Despite ostensibly retiring to “spend more time with his family,” the subtext of Speaker Paul Ryan’s (R-Janesville) retirement suggests a man once deemed the future of the party has been cast aside. The Economist summed it up beautifully in the following paragraph: “Paul Ryan’s Republican Party cast government debt as both worrying and wicked: a betrayal of the next generation of Americans. It backed free trade and praised immigrants for their work ethic. Mr Ryan spent years telling rank-and-file conservatives that their dislike of government welfare was not mean-spirited but kindly. Delegates at the Republican National Convention in 2012 cheered when he accused Democrats of offering ‘a dull, adventureless journey from one entitlement to the next, a government-planned life, a country where everything is free but us.’ Above all, Mr Ryan stood for a credo that America is ‘the only nation founded on an idea, not an identity.’ That idea, he would explain with a catch in his voice, is the notion that the condition of your birth should not determine the outcome of your life.”
The magazine’s words stood in stark contrast to Donald Trump who, as the Republican nominee four years later, would wholeheartedly, and successfully, embrace many of the politics Paul Ryan decried. My, how quickly politics changes….