An Open Letter to Speaker Paul Ryan: It’s time to leave.
by Jeffrey Lord
October 11, 2016, 6:44 pm
Dear Mr. Speaker:
I like you.
We both admired and worked for Jack Kemp at different stages of his career. I agree with much of your Kemp-style agenda. So it gives me no pleasure to say what is now abundantly obvious.
It is time for you to do the honorable thing and resign as Speaker of the House.
Your views on Donald Trump — and for that matter anything else — are between you and your constituents in Wisconsin. But most certainly what you do as Speaker of the House — which is to say as the leader of the Republican Party in the House and a senior leader in the national Republican Party — is to support the Republican presidential nominee elected by the voters. Amazingly you have dragged your feet repeatedly on one of your central responsibilities as a party leader. Now, with your latest statement refusing to defend Donald Trump — the Republican nominee and the elected leader the Republican Party — you have refused outright to perform your job as a senior party leader.
With that in mind, it is time to do the right thing — and the honorable thing: Resign the Speakership immediately.
To my dismay, you have chosen to disregard the long ago wisdom of Ronald Reagan that “a political party is not a fraternal order.” Instead, you have essentially joined forces with those who view the Republican Party as just that: a club. A combination fraternity/sorority and country club whose members — self-selected Congressmen and Senators, wealthy donors, consultants, and lobbyists — see themselves in high school terms as the “in crowd” and all the rest of their fellow Republicans — not to mention conservative Democrats and Independents — not as allies and supporters but as outsiders. Outsiders for whom the “insiders” have a fundamental contempt — a view that is strikingly similar to the view of Americans held by Hillary Clinton and the American Left at large.
Indeed, it is this “fraternal order” psychology that produced first the Reagan Revolution and has now produced Donald Trump. In both instances the base of the party was fed up with Republican elites whose view of America was centered on not principle but their own careers. It is precisely this mindset that — long before Donald Trump appeared on the scene — has given millions of Republican voters the belief that the Republican elites in Washington and elsewhere are, to borrow from Sean Hannity, feckless, weak and interested not in the country but only the preservation of their own careers. As Reagan well knew this kind of belief can be fatal to a political party. […/]