Ryan: Romney’s Libertarian Trojan Horse May Bolt (News, Switzerland)
Will Paul Ryan be willing to compromise if and when he and Mitt Romney make it to the White House, or is Ryan a modern day Cato the Younger, who will go down in flames to defend an impossible ideal? For Switzerland’s News, Patrik Etschmayer writes that Ryan is likely to undermine the one thing that seems an evident plus for Mitt Romney: a capacity to compromise.
After the Republican vice presidential candidate proved such an embarrassment four years ago, candidate Mitt Romney has steered clear any such candidate this time around. Instead, he chose, superficially speaking, a copy of himself: Paul Ryan, White, male, conservative. But Ryan offers much more.
Because Paul Ryan, a child of the Midwest, who represents the cheese and milk state of Wisconsin in the House of Representatives, is decidedly libertarian – and one of the Ayn Rand variety. It is a political movement primarily represented by Texas Representative and Mitt Romney rival – Ron Paul. Paul is considered the intellectual godfather of the Tea Party movement, and passionately champions the libertarian message that the state should stay out of everything, drugs should be liberalized, military operations abroad should be abolished, and everyone should support themselves with their own work – not welfare.
For many libertarians, Romney is just as much a product of rotten government as the Democrat Obama. It is entirely possible that Romney chose his vice presidential candidate as a consolation prize for Ron Paul, and hopes this will dampen the discord or even make it disappear.
Whether such politics (the practitioners of which happily support many of Paul’s ideas) would lead to a utopia of freedom and happiness or a neo-feudal society, should be left to the political debate. But with Ryan, who has already worked very actively to deconstruct the U.S. health and social systems, Romney has taken aboard a running mate that may more strongly determine the direction of his campaign than he would like, and could badly strain his evident capacity to compromise. After all, the relatively young 42-year-old Ryan has greater political ambitions than the vice presidency. The question is whether his loyalty to a would-be President Romney will be stronger that his fealty toward his hallowed political positions.
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