In a recent interview with liberal George Stephanopoulos, Paul Ryan was asked the following: “You don’t think [the] Pope would endorse your budget, do you?”
This comes after several comments made by the Pope about income inequality, and capitalism that sparked some fire among conservatives. Ryan, of course, dodged the question, offering that “the Pope doesn’t endorse budgets.”
I used to like Paul Ryan a lot. I believed him to be the epitome of conservatism. Since the loss of the 2012 election, it’s like some creature has slowly invaded his mind, causing him to lose his judgment and understanding of the world around him. It’s as if he’s slowly becoming a liberal. His answer was lacking in many ways. Here’s what he should have said:
“That’s an interesting question. It’s a question that is quite invalid, yet requires answering since you’ve brought it up. Why would you ask me anything about the Pope in terms of politics? Why would you ask me what he thinks? The Pope is a religious leader of a singular organization, the Catholic Church. He is not the leader of all religions, nor is he the premier leader of those outside of the Catholic faith. He certainly has the power to influence political discourse, but that doesn’t make his input any more valid than that of any average American.
“You—a liberal in the mainstream media–would love for me to stumble upon this question like it were a trap. Because that’s exactly what it is. You’ve set up a trap into which you’d love for me to fall. You, and your colleagues have no respect for the beliefs of the Pope. You mock and decry his stance on abortion, you have disdain for his opinion on gay marriage, and you think that the very foundation of his humanity—his faith in Christ—is laughable. Yet when you can use him against me as a weapon, you jump at the opportunity.
“To you, the Pope is simply a means by which you can make me look like a fool. Here’s what I think: I respect the Pope tremendously, and I believe him to be a great man, but his approval is not something I seek when I legislate. When I craft a budget, I don’t quite care if the Pope would approve. The approval I seek is that of the American people. I care about their lives, and their struggles, and all I want to do is help them succeed in the atrocious economy that Barack Obama has created.
“I respect the Pope, but I don’t need his political approval. You don’t respect the Pope at all, yet you use him as a weapon. The Pope may or may not approve of my budget, but I know he wouldn’t approve of your use of him.