Paul Ryan's Pathetic 'I Have a Truck and Worked at McDonald's' Speech
Only with Mitt Romney as the presidential nominee could you have a ticket in which a guy who was elected to Congress at 28 after working on the Hill for several years was tapped to play the role of the Everyman Who Understands You Commoners. Speaking in Colorado, Ryan emphasized the man part of Everyman, talking about his big truck (emphasis on big), his camping and hiking and cooking on fires. Then there's his history of low-wage work:
"I don't know about you," Ryan told the spirited crowd that filled the high school's gymnasium, "but when I was growing up, you know, when I was flippin' burgers at McDonald's, when I was standing in front of that big Hobart machine washing dishes or waiting tables, I never thought of myself as stuck in some station in life. I thought to myself, I'm the American dream on a path and journey so that I can find happiness however I can find it myself."
That is some optimistic, forward-looking, Grade-A American Dream bullshit right there. Because again, Paul Ryan's stints at service work came between high school and the year or two immediately out of college, and in that year or two immediately out of college, he was already working on the Hill. Stuck? He was on "a path and journey" to be in Congress by the time he was 28 years old! And before he got there, he had a year working in marketing for his family's construction firm.
Paul Ryan may have learned important things from low-wage work. But one thing he definitely didn't learn from low-wage work was what it's like to face a lifetime of low-wage work, what it's like to try to build a life and support a family while working at McDonald's. Ryan was already trying his damnedest to injure the people living those lives by raising their taxes and shredding the safety net. Now he's adding insult to that injury, insulting his audiences and the people struggling to get by—to pay all their bills and raise their kids, with no marketing job or House seat on the horizon—by pretending he knows any of that.