College graduates should not have to live out their 20s in their childhood bedrooms, staring up at fading Obama posters and wondering when they can move out and get going with life.
I have been a connoisseur of oratory, especially political oratory, since I became old enough to understand that a speech was being given. Last night’s speech by Paul Ryan was truly remarkable. How was it remarkable? Let me count the ways.
1. It is difficult to deliver an attack speech with pleasant good humor, and Ryan did just that, and the good nature in which the indictment of the Obama administration was delivered made it all the more effective.
2. The speech was delivered in a low-key style with Ryan hardly raising his voice. The temptation, when you get in front of a vast live audience, like a convention, full of partisans, is to go “hot” and deliver a full-throated roaring speech. Ryan did not make that mistake. He understood who his real audience was: uncommitted voters watching on television or the internet, and he presented his arguments coolly and non-confrontationally.
3. He allowed his personal affability to shine through. Many politicians find this difficult to do. Rick Santorum, who I supported in the primaries, is a very likable and witty man off the stump. He often found this hard to convey in his speeches. Ryan does this effortlessly.
4. Ryan dealt deftly with the issue of Romney being a Mormon:
Mitt and I also go to different churches. But in any church, the best kind of preaching is done by example. And I’ve been watching that example. The man who will accept your nomination tomorrow is prayerful and faithful and honorable. Not only a defender of marriage, he offers an example of marriage at its best. Not only a fine businessman, he’s a fine man, worthy of leading this optimistic and good-hearted country.
Our different faiths come together in the same moral creed. We believe that in every life there is goodness; for every person, there is hope. Each one of us was made for a reason, bearing the image and likeness of the Lord of Life.
Note the reference to “Lord of Life”. This is not a man who is a sunshine pro-lifer.
5. Ryan got nicely to what this election is truly about on a philosophical level: sometimes, even presidents need reminding, that our rights come from nature and God, not from government.
6. Ryan hammered away at the poor economy and asked a question that Obama simply can’t answer: Without a change in leadership, why would the next four years be any different from the last four years?
Here is the text of the speech: Continue reading