"At what point then is the approach of danger to be expected? I answer, if it ever reach us, it must spring up amongst us. It cannot come from abroad. If destruction be our lot, we must ourselves be its author and finisher. As a nation of freemen, we must live through all time, or die by suicide."
- Abraham Lincoln, January 27, 1838
Paul Ryan is an exceptionally smart and very capable guy. He is thoughtful and articulate. He will make an excellent vice president. You will not wince inwardly during his debate performances.
However, I am reminded of the above quote. Paul Ryan's budget proposal is strong medicine for a nation with a very serious problem. It is, in my opinion, perhaps the best solution currently being put forward to our nation's fiscal crisis.
However, Ryan's budget is easily demagogued. Democrats have already depicted Paul Ryan pushing an old lady in a wheelchair off a cliff in television ads. They have already depicted Mitt Romney as a murderer (in a blatant lie, no less). Worse is doubtless on its way.
If Americans are not ready to admit we have a fiscal problem, they are not going to be ready for Paul Ryan's solutions. And, like it or not, the Ryan budget is now an integral part of Mitt Romney's platform. If he loses, Ryan's budget loses.
As we say down here in southern Indiana, nobody pees on an electric fence twice. If Mitt Romney, with Paul Ryan on his ticket and Ryan's budget as a part of his campaign, goes down to defeat, nobody will want to propose or undertake solutions to these problems in the future.
In that sense, the citizens of the United States--should they vote for more of Obama over Mitt Romney and Paul Ryan--will be voting for national suicide.
Are the people ready for tough medicine for a serious problem?
We're about to find out.