Speaker Paul Ryan took a courageous step changing his view on the poor as “takers.” Let’s applaud him before criticizing him for taking a step in the right direction. The leader of the Republican majority in Congress making a statement like this is good for the country.
There some on the other side, good friends of mine that don’t believe him. Does that move us closer or farther from addressing poverty in America? How do we change policy, if we don’t listen to others. Speaker Ryan listened. Shouldn’t we?
Some see a track record of insensitivity from the Republican Party. I cannot argue that.
I do offer that if our heart is hardened, it is difficult, damn near impossible to hear what others are saying. And we cannot be quick to judge or condemn, because like it or not we all have to work together. Quick story….
Franklin Roosevelt was approached by friends from the labor movement with policy recommendations they wanted him to implement. After sharing their wants, the President said “I like it, I want to do it. Now go out there and make me do it!”
As private citizens, it is our job to make our elected officials implement policy that is good for us. Politics is about persuasion, public opinion and likability. Policy is what makes the engine run.
Would you walk up to someone on the street and say come with me? Then expect them to, if they don’t know you?
If you talk to them, paint a picture of a better place on the street you want to take them, and appeal to their heart, there’s a better chance they will. If they see that picture and believe in it, they will invite others. That’s politics.
President Roosevelt knew the men. But politically, he knew it couldn’t be done without political capital. That capital was the support of many people he and those men didn’t know. They had to paint a picture to get others to follow. Today, there are labor laws, new deal programs and other social programs that continue to help the poor because of that political capital made almost a century ago.
Today, we need a New Deal. To get there, we are going to all on both sides of the aisle, open our hearts and like Speaker Ryan courageously did, change our minds. The old way is that, let’s make a new way together.