Opinion: Why Pick Paul Ryan?

From the moment Congressman Paul Ryan (R-Wi) was selected as Republican Presidential nominee Mitt Romney’s running mate, he altered the dialogue of this election season. He provides a younger, more energetic, and more conservative attitude to Romney’s campaign. But why was he chosen in the first place? Why not someone else with similar credentials to Mr. Romney? His extensive background in politics no doubt made him an enticing choice, but that surely didn’t set him too far apart from any other candidates. Could it be that he is the new “rising star” of the Republican Party, so to speak, especially in the more radical spheres? Quite possibly. Romney struggled mightily during the early part of primary season before pulling away to receive the candidacy nomination. However, I’m sure he still maintained reservations about appealing to more radical conservatives. If those people don’t like either nominee, they simply don’t have to cast a vote at all, which would end up hurting Romney. That is no longer a worrisome issue for him, however, as Ryan secures their votes.

But that can’t be the only reason Romney would choose Ryan. Perhaps it’s his knowledge and appeal to rural and blue-collar workers. Romney has the experience and knowledge of large corporations, as well as wealthy and upper-middle class citizens, but he can’t relate very well to anyone below that line. Ryan can. As a congressman from a predominantly blue-collar state, he has extensive knowledge regarding what would appeal to those masses and how to sway them into lending him their vote. But is Ryan really the best person to appeal to blue-collar workers? Just recently, he helped block The Farm Bill, which would send aid to the farmers in the Midwest who are struggling from the worst drought in America in over 50 years. One would think that Ryan would pass this bill as fast as he possibly could if he truly had the interest of farmers and other rural workers in mind, seeing as Wisconsin itself is suffering from the drought. One would think that he would encourage more bills of a similar nature to be drawn up so that even more help could be given to those farmers who can barely afford to put a roof over their heads and to feed their children, let alone feed the rest of the country. Instead, he thought only about his own political career and did what was best for him, not for the people. Is that the kind of leadership and resolve that would appeal to the masses? Most certainly not.

Not only does Ryan look unpatriotic by refusing to aid his constituents, but he may also direly hurt his campaign. According to the New York Times, both Iowa and Ohio are shaping up to be important swing states this year. Both would have benefited greatly from The Farm Bill, but instead have to continue their suffering. That will surely resonate with the voters in those states, as well as other rural states throughout the nation, and will most likely cost the Romney-Ryan campaign many votes in the election.  Romney must have thought that Ryan’s target demographic would play well into his own weaknesses, but he must not have realized that that demographic may not have such a high affinity for Mr. Ryan after all.