by Martha Susan Morris
With the announcement of Paul Ryan as the Vice Presidential nominee, Mitt Romney elevated his campaign to a level that the populace has been demanding for some time. Gone are the days of empty rhetoric and petty issues being blown out of proportion by the media. Paul Ryan’s addition to the ticket shows that Mitt Romney and the Republican Party are aiming to go beyond merely defining the election as a referendum on Pres. Barack Obama. They are advocating for what they think the American political landscape should look like and articulating a vision that the populace will embrace and encourage, with "solutions that are bold, specific and achievable."
Paul Ryan is young, hip and incredibly "cool;" he is THE rock star of the GOP. Never one to live extravagantly, Ryan sleeps in his office and is rarely “swirling” off the Hill. Rather than partake in after-hours socializing, Ryan meets with other members in the House gym often over the P90x workout that he credits with maintaining his fitness. Furthermore, Ryan’s wife is the matriarch that many look up too; she herself studied and practiced as a tax lawyer long before marrying and beginning a family with Ryan, living on the same block where he was raised as a young boy.
It appears the GOP realized that to procure the woman or minority vote, they would not necessarily need to put a woman or minority on the ticket, but rather someone who actually appeals to women and minorities. As a voter who is both female and youthful, speaking for both, the joy in seeing a ticket that has a vision for the future of the country is overwhelming. Conservatives have been long considered stuck in the past and traditionalists. However, with the addition of Ryan to the ticket, this election not only brings to light the negatives of Obama’s policies, but the opportunities and changes the GOP ticket would bring to the current systems that have been failing this country for years.
The youth vote specifically is incredibly in touch with the burden of debt that we will inherit. There are debt clocks on websites, calculators informing us of what we owe, and the job market itself highlights the difficulties that we may come to face in the near future. The addition of Ryan to the GOP ticket brings the hope that Obama promised in 2008. With Ryan there is a blueprint of a plan that will bring robust change to systems that have seemingly weighed our generation down. We are not merely placing blame on Obama but "taking responsibility" by electing a man with a vision to change and lead our country to account for our actions and, yes, our mistakes.
The value in adding Paul Ryan to the ticket is endless. The party is ignoring cynical identity politics and has realized that Ryan's values and persona are more appealing than his demographic profile.
Furthermore, the enthusiasm for Ryan as Vice President especially in his home state of Wisconsin--a state whose Senate race was considered a toss-up, may slide the votes away from Democrat Tammy Baldwin. Also, the pick puts the traditionally Democratic Wisconsin in play for Romney,
Though Ryan means more than all these things collectively, he excites an already-electrified base, signals a change in the rhetoric, appeals to our generation, and most importantly, proves that those in charge are listening to the American people. We want change and we want answers, and Paul Ryan delivers each. It is time to talk about the deficit and spending, and when it comes down to it, these are the two issues and the only two issues I want to hear about. It is how I will decide to vote in November and how I will choose to canvas in September. Paul Ryan’s vision for our country has quickly defined this race, and not just ignited the enthusiasm of the youth and Tea-Partiers but that of women and Midwesterners as well. And as in politics, in the course of a day, the 2012 race has again been energized and redefined, changing the outcome of this election forever.
Martha Susan Morris serves as Director of Her New View, an organization aimed to elevate women under 40 in the political sphere. Our inaugural event “Lashing Back at the Backlash: How the Media Expoloits Conservative Women” will take place in Tampa, Florida, Aug. 26. Her New View is a branch of Palladian View, a digital magazine for the conservative Republican woman.