I have given Speaker of the House Paul Ryan some wiggle room this year for walking the tightrope of being a leader of his party while also trying to be supportive of a failed presidential nominee. One can appreciate the almost painful requirements of what he has had to do up to this point.
But then came the first presidential debate where every American voter who paid attention knew deep in their gut that what was presented to the nation was simply appalling. No one would second guess or condemn any person regardless of their rank in the party to state the obvious.
That being Donald Trump is a most dangerous and messed up presidential nominee.
But Ryan refuses to take the public stand that so many others around the nation did either on Facebook, at the workplace cafeteria, or with the buddy over the backyard fence.
During a CNN interview Ryan stated that “I think this debate, I think people, met their expectations, and I think Hillary gave a very polished, well-rehearsed status quo defense and I think Donald Trump gave a unique Donald Trump response to the status quo.”
There is no way Ryan is describing the same debate that perhaps nearly 80 million citizens viewed. And therein lies one of the problems that so many Americans have with our political process.
Even when it was as clear as the midday sun that Trump was not prepared even to debate his opponent let alone sit in the Oval Office the third most important person in our system of government pretends that a political whitewash will make people think otherwise.
I want to believe that at the heart of every person there exists a set of principles that play into his or her actions in life. So with that in mind it unnerves me to consider what Trump would have to do or say to make the third in line for the White House to express something other than meaningless pablum.
Weaseling out of confronting the truth about Trump does not make Ryan more credible when it comes to the weighty issues of budgets and policy. Instead it makes Ryan resemble just another pitiful political figure who might make for a character in an Allen Drury novel.
I know in sports, from to time, after a most dreadful outcome a coach approaches the media with gut honesty and says something to the effect that ‘we were shellacked’. How is it that when it really matters with our political process the lack of candor and honesty can be so far removed?
I am not asking Ryan to undermine his party, or throw the election away without a fight. Lord knows there are some tough races in his own caucus that requires his attention. But I really would appreciate some candor from a Midwesterner who knows better than to deny the obvious.
Is that too much to ask?