Paul Ryan:<br />
Cure Violence with Manners (?!?)

Republican Party for Vice President of the United States

Mitt Romney hailed him as an “intellectual leader,” but the more you listen to Paul Ryan the easier it is to see he navigates intellectualism about as well as a deep-sea diver swims through a wad of spit.

Case in point, the “intellectual leader” of the Republican Party telling FOX News anchors that if he bothered to explain the math behind his controversial tax plan “everyone would start changing the channel.” Worse, the vice presidential nominee recently dipped out of an interview with a local reporter in Flint, Michigan after he dared to ask him follow up questions. Perish the thought that a man of Paul’s purported intellect be challenged to use it.

In Paul Ryan’s discussion with ABC12 reporter Terry Camp, the Wisconsin congressman claimed that violent crime in major cities might go down if those languishing in poverty are taught “good discipline” and “good character.”

When asked if this country has a gun problem, Ryan said in response that the matter is a “crime problem” and alleged: “The best thing to help prevent violent crime in the inner cities is to bring opportunity in the inner cities. Is to help teach people good discipline, good character. That is civil society. That is what charities and civic groups and churches do to help one another make sure that they can realize the value in one another.”

Because there are no churches in inner city neighborhoods, right?

Meanwhile, a study by Chicago police showed that suburban gun shops are a main source of guns used in crimes in the city. Last month, a public high school in suburban Seattle was closed after someone posted an anonymous online threat to kill students with a submachine gun. James Holmes, the man responsible for the horrific theater shooting in Aurora, Colorado, resembles Paul Ryan a lot more than he does me. Holmes was a Ph.D. student in neuroscience, thus he probably had “good discipline,” too, only that clearly didn’t stop him from acting out on his impulses.

But by Paul Ryan’s logic, apparently suburban murderers and their victims are more virtuous than those in the inner city.

It’s all a crock and a pathetic way of glossing over the lack of gun control, systematic racism, growing social inequality, a prison industrial complex, and a lingering avoidance to give the nation’s collective mental health the chat it deserves. What’s the worst part about Ryan’s link between class and violent behavior is that regardless of how asinine a theory it is, it’s not even a new point of view. That thinly-veiled racist sentiment is usually espoused by your garden variety conservative – the older the louder to boot.

As is this other previous Paul Ryan proclamation: "Seventy percent of Americans want the American dream. They believe in the American idea. Only 30 percent want their welfare state. Before too long, we could become a society where the net majority of Americans are takers, not makers."

Shouldn’t this “intellectual leader” offer more clichés from aging racists like Newt Gingrich and dead hypocrites like Ayn Rand? The only thing Ryan got right was the quip, “I don’t even think President Obama’s proposing more gun laws.” He’s not though he should given it’d do more in the way of curbing violence than offering “those poor folks ain’t no good” talking points out of touch politicians such as Paul Ryan love throwing out while bemoaning the “problems of civil society.”

Following his abrupt leave from the interview, Ryan spokesman Brendan Buck explained to BuzzFeed: "The reporter knew he was already well over the allotted time for the interview when he decided to ask a weird question relating gun violence to tax cuts. Ryan responded as anyone would in such a strange situation. When you do nearly 200 interviews in a couple months, eventually you’re going to see a local reporter embarrass himself."

Surprise, surprise, the man who’s supposed to extol the virtues of “personal responsibility” won’t admit fault for showing his ass and prejudices. What an awesome sign of character, Paul. And oh yeah, your intellectual prowess, too.

Michael Arceneaux is a Houston-bred, Howard-educated writer and blogger. You can read more of his work on his site, The Cynical Ones. Follow him on Twitter: @youngsinick