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August 30, 2012

The Paul Ryan Effect

Zachary Peters

“Change” is a common theme in virtually every campaign, especially in an attempt to unseat an incumbent. The majority of Americans voted for “change” with a glimmer of “hope” in 2008, and it looks like this year the majority will be voting for a different kind of “change.”


With round-the-clock news outlets, it seems like forever ago that Mitt Romney announced Congressman Paul Ryan of Wisconsin as his running mate. Within hours donations, support, and volunteers flooded in to the Romney camp from across the nation. According to CNN, “Romney-Ryan raised over $7 million in three days after the VP announcement.” Shortly after, The Washington Examiner reported that, for the first time, Romney’s favorability among younger voters (age 18-29) skyrocketed above 40%, “according to John Zogby of JZ Analytics.”


Despite these impressive figures and results, the Democrats are still hell-bent on spewing commentary on how Romney lost all chances of winning by picking Representative Ryan. So what is their course of action?


Skip the insightful debate over fundamentally different views and head straight to lies about cutting Medicare. These statements are nothing more than fear mongering tactics in a feeble attempt to stop the recent Romney-Ryan momentum and draw public attention from the Obama Administration’s abysmal record.


In the wake of these liberal lies, Republicans have responded with some rhetoric themselves, re-hashing the president’s 2009 promise to “not cut Medicare” to pay for his health care plan and to lessen the health care effect on the astronomically large deficit.


Remind me, who is the one cutting Medicare? Does $716 billion taken from Medicare by President Obama ring any bells?


I remain firm in my belief that in picking Congressman Ryan there was no better choice. He’s young, bold, nationally recognized, and certainly intelligent. There have even been stories circulating of Paul Ryan staying in on weekend nights in college to study the federal budget while his classmates partied. Not to mention, you didn’t forget about Congressman Ryan going head-to-head with President Obama in 2010 on the budget, did you?


Whether you support Paul Ryan or not, he has produced something Democrats still have not – potential solutions to the impending fiscal crisis (and a good one, at that).


Aside from his own youthfulness, Paul Ryan has been able to energize younger voters with his proposed budget of cutting spending and government waste. Young people recognize that if they remain on the Obama path, they’ll be trying to pay off an impossible debt with over-bearing interest their whole lives, just to leave it to their children to do the same.


Even without Paul Ryan, the Obama camp is struggling to retain the younger generation supporters that they so proudly won with in 2008. With Mitt Romney’s latest polling, I would be worried, too.


The younger voters made the mistake of drinking the Obama Kool-Aid the first time around, believing the unrealistic hopes and dreams promised by Candidate Obama in elegant and moving speeches; but they realize where that vote got them: out of college and without a job with nothing to look forward to except a gloomy future filled with deficit spending.


For the first time in a long time, we have an election that won’t be just Romney vs. Obama or Republican vs. Democrat. There will be a clear choice between two fundamentally different views for the future of our country. With that at stake, all Americans should choose wisely.


While a solid majority of young voters are beginning to realize the reality of their own future, as well as the future of our nation, there is still no explanation, or excuse, for just over half of eligible and registered voters in the 18-29-year-old generation coming out to vote in 2008.


I can only hope that the Romney-Ryan momentum continues to energize America, especially the younger voters. Our futures depend on it.


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