RUSH: Paul Ryan was on the PBS NewsHour, formerly The Newshour with Jim Lehrer. It’s is now The NewsHour with Judy Woodruff. Judy Woodruff, former speaker Paul Ryan, said, “I want to ask you more about the Republican Party. When you were getting into politics, there was this really fierce debate going on in the Republican Party between being inclusive and not being inclusive.” Now, I met Paul Ryan when he was working at Empower America.
Do you all remember Empower America? Empower America was a miniature think tank that had been set up by Bill Bennett and Jack Kemp. And it was largely an economic enterprise, but it was roundabout the time that Bill Bennett’s Book of Virtues was out, so it had plenty of cultural aspects to it. But I don’t remember the theme of Empower America… You know, Steve Forbes was involved in it too.
RUSH: Here’s Ryan’s answer to the question about, “When you got into politics, the Republican Party was debating inclusiveness versus not being inclusive. Has the not-inclusive side won?”
RYAN: Yeah. Aspirational, inclusive politics is not winning the day these days. What I fear is occurring here is we have what I call these “entertainment wings” of our parties, and the entert–
RYAN: (snickers) Yeah, he knows what I’m talking about. So you have the entertainment wings which you can make a lot of money — a person can make a lot of money — on polarization. I don’t see hopeful, inclusive politics. I see people kind of angry running for office. And that, to me, is something that we’re gonna have to hopefully change.
RUSH: Now, do we need to spend time parsing this, breaking this down? Well, there’s another way of characterizing this. The Never Trumper lament is what this really is. Now, we all know who he’s talking about here when he says “the entertainment wing.” He’s including conservative talk radio along with MSNBC on the left, and he’s claiming that all that does is polarize people and does not promote inclusiveness.
What’s inclusiveness? Inclusiveness, in Paul Ryan’s world, means working with Democrats, means crossing the aisle, shaking hands, proving we can cooperate, work for the common good, and that people like me and the entertainment wings are preventing this from happening because we are doing nothing but polarizing people.
Now, this is the view that is espoused by people who do not believe that the left, with their madcap push for socialism, is a threat to anything. Paul Ryan doesn’t think the Democrat Party represents any kind of a crisis. He doesn’t think that this call for socialism, when he listens to Crazy Bernie or listens to Elizabeth Warren or any of these Democrats, he doesn’t hear anything that alarms him.
But when he listens to programs like this, he probably is alarmed. But this whole idea of inclusiveness is another one of these terms here that is meant by itself to actually mean exclusive. If you’re gonna be inclusive, you have to have things in common. And that’s the thing that troubles me most.
What do we have in common? Name one thing that binds us all together today as Americans. Forget the divisions for a second. Just one thing that we all have in common. Where’s the overlap? Take an issue, take the country at large, where is the overlap? The left is now convinced this country is immoral and unjust from its founding. It needs to be transformed, we need to pay reparations.
The left basically sees the United States government as an endless source of money to be given away to their constituents or to be taken by themselves. What do you think reparations is? Reparations is simply a mad dash for money, even on the part of the advocates. They’re not really worried about the fact that we once were a slave state. They don’t really think the country’s still a slave state. They’re just using that for personal enrichment.
But where do we have any overlap on that? Where’s the inclusiveness on reparations? Does inclusiveness mean that we as Republicans, “You know what? You’re right. You do need to be paid whatever you want, even though you were never a slave. Even though you don’t know what slavery is by virtue of personal experience, even though slavery is still happening all over the world, slavery is still rampant in Africa, it’s still rampant in the Middle East, it hasn’t been wiped out very many places, but it has been wiped out in the United States, but still you want to get paid and we’re gonna help.”
Is that what inclusiveness is, is agreeing with these kinds of premises? So we would have an inclusive society if it weren’t for the entertainment wing. And notice the reference to how much money the entertainment wing makes. That is inescapable in the sense of how much that bothers them. It really eats at ’em. Has to.