Monday, September 3, 2012

Walter Mitty, Running and Vouchercare

As an actual, real-life, 28 times-marathon runner with eight times under three hours, I am miffed about Paul Ryan’s false claim that he ran a marathon in under three hours. His blatant claim tells me more about Paul Ryan’s lack of character and integrity than any studied nuance of his various political statements.  It also suggests to me that Ryan does, indeed, live in a Walter Mitty-type fantasy world of Ayn Rand’s Atlas Shrugged idealism which worships hard work and rugged individualism as the only means of achieving success.  Presumably, this ideal is the reason his Vouchercare program would require senior citizens to assume total responsibility for choosing and obtaining their own health care from the variety of private insurance carriers competing for the carrion of the senior citizen market like vultures.  Well, Mr. Ryan, let me tell you what it’s really like to train and work hard enough to run a sub-three hour marathon rather than the four-plus hours that the race officials report your real time to be.  One must average a few seconds under seven minutes each mile of the run.  I would like to point out here that it takes a lot of planning, gut-busting training and real effort to reach that goal.  The effort, let’s call it an example of Ayn Rand’s self-determinism (presumably why you make each member of your Congressional staff read the book) has no shortcuts.  Miles and miles of roadwork, interval running on a track, weight training and careful dietary management are all necessary components to achieve a sub-three hour marathon.  In fact, the best equivalent example I can think of how this works is the American worker who for a lifetime quietly and doggedly goes about the daily challenges and pays a fair share of income in taxes and Social Security with the expectation that some blowhard politician claiming to be something he is not will not take it away when retirement times comes.  In that regard I note with alacrity that Ryan and Romney refer to Social Security as an entitlement as though the government is giving the worker something the worker has not spent a lifetime paying for.  In short, Ryan’s hollow claims about the benefits of Vouchercare are as truthful and deceiving as his claims about his marathon time.

Just saying . . . 

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