The U.S. Republican Vice Presidential candidate, Paul Ryan, is often portrayed as a person of little compassion. However, he sees himself as expanding equal rights to new classes of persons. Here is how he responded to my questions on these subjects:
BW: Congressman Ryan, you’ve said that human life is precious to you, so why do you insist that even if a pregnancy endangers the life of a woman, she has no right to end it?
PR: As you say, I care very much about bringing life into the world. Once it’s here, government should have nothing to do with sustaining it, other than killing, arresting and intimidating criminals, terrorists and evildoers at home and abroad. The mother’s life is none of our business.
BW: What if the child has no chance of survival due to severe birth defects?
PR: It’s about the right of every person to be born, not about whether the baby or the mother survives. After birth, we have no more responsibility. We don’t want a welfare state, do we?
BW: And whom do you consider to be a person?
PR: Personhood begins with fertilization or incorporation. A fertilized egg is a human being. In other words, the rights of the egg begin when a woman gets screwed, if it’s the right time of the month. After that, it’s her rights that get screwed. It’s the natural order of things.
BW: You said that personhood also begins with incorporation. What do you mean by that?
PR: Surely you know, Barb, that corporations are people, too. Even the Supreme Court has said so. The creation of a corporation is a blessed event, much like fertilization of an ovum.
BW: What are the rights of corporations, as compared to that of people – or perhaps I should say other people.
PR: Thank you for correcting yourself. There’s good news and bad, Barb. On the one hand, the police at home and the military abroad defend the rights of law-abiding US citizens and corporations, and in fact I would say that most police and military actions are for the sake of corporations. That’s the good news. The bad news is that in spite of the Supreme Court decision allowing corporations to spend as much money as they like on elections, they do not yet have the right to vote like other persons. It’s very sad that they have no voice in electing the candidates that they go to such lengths to choose for us.
BW: Congressman, you’ve said that you oppose welfare, but don’t you support subsidies for farmers and bailouts for corporations? How is that not welfare?
PR: We have to distinguish between welfare and free enterprise. I support free enterprise, which means enabling corporations to do whatever they want. Subsidies and bailouts are important in preserving the free enterprise system.
BW: Then why not offer subsidies and bailouts to the rest of us?
PR: The American citizen is the rock upon which our free enterprise system is built. Citizens are there to support the system, not be supported by it. C’mon, Barb, you get to vote for candidates that corporations only select for you. Isn’t that enough?