As GOP lose its soul, Ryan tries to salvage his
To the editor:
Donald Trump is apparently having a cathartic effect upon some members of the Republican establishment. Witness Speaker of the House Paul Ryan's recent confession.
If Trump had campaigned within the bounds of acceptable — albeit far-right — limits of the party, Ryan and his cohorts would still be inciting their base, and whipping them into a frenzy of intolerance. It seems, though, that over the past seven years they have done that job all too well. To their surprise, the fire they intentionally lit was not a controlled burn.
But Trump's ascendancy, and departure from human decency, have released Ryan from all pretense. Just last week, Ryan confessed: "There was a time when I would talk about a difference between 'makers' and 'takers' in our country, referring to people who accepted government benefits. But as I spent more time listening, and really learning the root causes of poverty, I realized I was wrong. 'Takers' wasn't how to refer to a single mom stuck in a poverty trap, just trying to take care of her family. Most people don't want to be dependent. I was callous and I oversimplified and castigated people with a broad brush. There is a lot of that happening in America today."
Paul Ryan would never have uttered these words if he risked alienating the Republican base, but the Republican base has gone completely off the rails, and he no longer has any hope of recapturing their loyalty. He is now allowing himself to actually show some compassion, and he is taking this opportunity to salvage at least part of his soul.
Not that his base really cares.
Jeffrey Reel, Sheffield