The media and Internets were buzzing the other day about Paul Ryan walking out on a Michigan TV interviewer when the questions about crime went where Ryan didn't want to go.
The interviewer asked about gun problems in the country; Ryan
rephrased it as a crime problem - - back to right-wing and pro-NRA
talking points - - and then went on to talk about life in the inner
city, as he saw it.
Here is the YouTube posting from the TV station.
Also - - here's one mainstream media account, and a parsing of the event by PolitiFact.
I don't think Ryan's snippiness at the interviewer should be the
takeaway from the exchange, though this Veep business certainly has
ballooned his ego.
Rather it's his remark about preventing violent crime in the inner
cities - - "to help teach people good discipline, good character..." The
full context is below:
"But the best thing to help prevent violent crime in the inner cities
is to bring opportunity in the inner cities, is to help people get out
of poverty in the inner cities, is to help teach people good discipline,
good character. That is civil society. That’s what charities and civic
groups and churches do to help one another make sure that they can
realize the value in one another."
Does Ryan make the same remark when he is campaigning in white, rural
America, or suburbia, where there are incidents of school shootings,
violent bullying, drug-and-alcohol violence?
Are there only character and discipline problems in central cities?
I remember a small-town Wisconsin school counselor telling me when I
was writing a series for The Milwaukee Journal on rural drug use that
when she encountered substance among her female students she knew that
there was a good chance that incest would eventually come out as a
Ryan's preachiness undermined a decent message about the value of
charities and civic groups because he pandered for a conservative
audience far from the inner cities, and added nothing but stereotypes
and fear to the campaign.
Cross-posted at The Political Environment.