Paul Ryan will probably win his nomination battle this week. But that doesn’t take away from the fact that his time as a conservative leader is over.
His comments on “alt-conservatism” (he meant the alt-right) last week are the latest sign of his fatal distance from the next generation of conservative activists and half the base of his own party.
Cryin’ Ryan’s full comments can be seen below, quoted approvingly by another conservative who’s relinquished any chance of winning over young people.
This exchange is the most I have ever liked Paul Ryan. pic.twitter.com/7GaDlGvtO0
— Ben Shapiro (@benshapiro) August 5, 2016
First, the obvious: Ryan is so out-of-touch he can’t even get the alt-right’s name correct. Out of touch perhaps isn’t strong enough. Tall-Tale Paul is closer to the town fathers who banned dancing in Footloose. He doubled-down on his opinions in a Washington Post interview, where he at least got the name of the movement correct.
Second, he apes the language of the Left, agreeing that the alt-right are “white supremacists” and a “virulent strain” of “something that isn’t conservatism.” Using the language of the left like this, we can’t be far from Ryan parroting a 90s Hillary Clinton, bleating about the “vast right-wing conspiracy.”
No one should be surprised. Paul Ryan is perhaps the best representative of a class of Republican elites who have utter contempt for what ordinary members of the conservative movement think and believe. Basically, if you care about anything other than free markets and maybe rolling back the state, you aren’t a real conservative in their eyes. (The other membership requirements for this sort of Republican are a mobility scooter and a pacemaker.)
Ryan, a Rand devotee with a well-documented commitment to open borders, is the ultimate expression of this tendency. In the past, free-market Republicans would at least balance their love of free trade and free markets with a conservative stance on immigration and cultural issues.
They might privately agree with liberals at DC dinner parties about the “bigotry” and “ignorance” of their supporters, but there was at least an acknowledgement that their cherished tax cuts depended on the support of voters who were cultural as well as free-market conservatives.
Not Paul Ryan. The Speaker of the House is barely able to conceal his contempt for the base of the Republican party. The fact that a Republican speaker delayed and dragged his feet before endorsing the Republican candidate for President remains one of the most extraordinary acts in recent political memory, diminished only by the fact that so many other outraged Republican elitists were doing so as well.
With his obsession with free markets, free trade, and open borders, it’s little wonder that Ryan is troubled by the “alt-conservatives.” As we’ve explained in-depth here at Breitbart, aside from a tiny constituency the alt-right aren’t white supremacists. They would be better labeled as American supremacists, and count blacks, asians, and yes even hispanics among them. Lyin’ Ryan is again echoing the campaign strategy of Hillary Clinton, who has accused Donald Trump of “playing coy with white supremacists”.
What Paul Ryan doesn’t understand about the alt-right is that they are cultural conservatives, and they’re fed up with the snootiness of politicians like Ryan, who seem to only care about tax cuts and deregulation, principles which have in Ryan’s bumbling hands failed the American worker. Just look at the economy of Ryan’s home district, which Paul Nehlen has helpfully highlighted. But on the bright side, Globalist Paul made sure to bail out Puerto Rico!
Based on my observation, what Paul Ryan cares about more than anything are the standing ovations he receives from crowds of elite donors. For Ryan, the alt-right is a troubling reminder that the 1980s were thirty years ago, and that free-market fundamentalism is increasingly looking like the past, not the future.
It’s also troubling because it reminds him that the public’s appetite for globalism has come to an end.
Ryan is also frightened of the alt-right because he knows they can’t be contained. His primary opponent, Paul Nehlen, shares many of their positions— just read through Nehlen’s 39-tweet barrage for a better idea of what he represents. And he’s likely just the first of a new generation of insurgent candidates with alt-right tendencies.
You thought the Tea Party gave the GOP a headache? Wait until you get a load of the alt-right.
Moreover, the young warriors of Generation Trump are increasingly winning over their parents. Middle-aged people cheering about being “on the Trump train”? The alt-right did that. Now Ryan, and others like him, face a dynamic new conservative insurgency that is at odds with many of the Establishment’s cherished beliefs.
When the Democrats go too far with their race-baiting, gender conspiracy theories and brutish authoritarianism, Republican insiders can no longer claim to be the authentic face of the resistance. You’ll find the resistance at Trump rallies and on Twitter.
Ryan believes that we can flood America with Muslims and somehow see a different result from western Europe. The alt-right correctly views this naïveté with contempt.
The alt-right knows that when attacks happen on American soil following immigration from cultures that hate America and loathe western values, aided and abetted by cucks like Paul and his cohorts, that Ryan will be the first to solemnly call for God’s blessings on Americans, perhaps with a tear in his eye.
It is this type of hypocrisy that the alt-right rejects completely. Globalist Paul says Trump’s Muslim ban isn’t in America’s interests, which he defines through the profits of a slim number of mega-corporations, rather than, I dunno, Americans staying alive and not living in fear of waking up to another Orlando massacre.
I like free markets, by the way. Most of the alt-right does too. Hare-brained schemes from Bernie Sanders types to redistribute income are doomed to failure. But the new American conservatism also appreciates that free markets and GDP growth aren’t the only important things that a government has to protect.
It also has to protect national identity, national culture and liberty— a value that’s unique to western culture, and can only survive if western culture remains, well, western. Ryan, who sees society as a collection of self-interested individuals, simply can’t understand this.
On the other hand, Lyin’ Ryan isn’t as pure as he makes himself out to be. He may trade favorite lines of Rand with the Koch brothers, but if you look at his policies and what he supports, he is closer to the government trying to close down Hank Rearden’s steel mills than to John Galt.
In Ryan’s version of Atlas Shrugged, America got tricked into sending Rearden’s secrets to Malaysia as part of the TPP. Perhaps Ryan needs to realize that free trade is wonderful except when only one side of the equation is free. Many millions of Americans aren’t participating in the workforce and if Paul Ryan has his way, many more will join them in the welfare lines.
I like Rand too. She remains a fearsome foil to the touchy-feely, guilt-ridden politics of the left. But at the same time, I can acknowledge that unbridled worship of the market hasn’t worked for everyone. And I also believe that there’s something more important: our culture.
Leftists like to conflate culture with race, so they can imply that conservatives are all racists for believing that the west is best. But the west is the best, because it cherishes freedom.
And the alt-right, who grew up distrustful of the left, the media, and even their own party, understand this too. That’s why they’re crafting a new ideology, something that incorporates the virtues of freedom, capitalism, and individualism, but isn’t a slave to any one of them.
It’s an ideology that frightens Paul Ryan, and others like him. Because, in the back of their heads, they’re increasingly aware that it represents the future— and that they represent the past.