The Conventional Wisdom Regarding The Selection Of Paul Ryan
The selection of Paul Ryan was initially viewed by pundits as a highly risky one for the Romney campaign. So-called conventional wisdom, such that it is among the media elites, believes that Ryan’s stand on entitlements will drag down the Romney campaign.
When “conventional” precedes “wisdom” in media matters, it usually refers to something based more on faith than intellect. It usually represents a convenient belief that has been perpetuated under the non-logic of “well, everyone knows ….” It needs no defending because “it is so obvious.”
Entitlements have been known as the “third rail” of American politics for years. Going near them, is thought to be career-threatening. Hence, Paul Ryan, who publicly states that entitlements need more than touching, is therefor harmful to the Romney campaign. So goes the shallow logic of the media.
What Has Changed?
For decades Democrat politicians have demagogued mercilessly on entitlements, scaring the poor and elderly with tales of cruel, heartless Republicans wanting to take away their benefits. The demagoguery has been an integral part of every national Democrat campaign since at least the 1970s. Some Dem pols know no other way to campaign. Like generals fighting the last war, these political animals march forward spouting whatever they believe worked in the past. And so, this campaign began with the criticisms of Mr. Ryan.
No one wants to have his benefits reduced or taken away, save a few posturing political props like Warren Buffett. But times have changed and most people recognize that. Prior to this last economic recession, most believed (wrongfully) that resources were virtually unlimited. With these beliefs, any attempts to cut entitlements was seen as unnecessary and could be demagogued as meanness and cruelty. The Democrats utilized this misunderstanding to great advantage.
The economic crisis, which began about five years ago, has opened the eyes of many previously unconcerned citizens. Fear of government bankruptcy