After much research and deep, deep philosophical thinking on the Republicans' new vice-presidential candidate, I have finally come to a conclusion about the contradiction that is Paul Ryan.
Mitt Romney just chose Megan McArdle to be his running mate.
Let's break this down a bit.
A person who is so ideologically blinkered that s(he) opposes the very policies that enabled his/her success, working feverishly to deny anyone else that assistance and vehemently denying that the assistance is beneficial.
A person who publicly denies allegiance to that ideology while basing his/her entire self-image on that ideology.
A person whose actions are and always have been coolly calculated for personal benefit and self-glorification while claiming to work for the public good.
A career greased by constant brown-nosing, a calculating, emotionally manipulative, and callous view of other people as something that exists only to be used for one's own advancement.
Ryan is a pretend economist, just as McArdle is a pretend journalist. They are both adept at disguising personal benefit and irrational ideology with numbers and charts and simply do not care about the effect of their actions on others when pursing their own course.
But Mitt Romney is a pretend presidential candidate as well; he is pretending to be an authority--a fake leader at prep school who persecutes the vulnerable, a fake cop who can arbitrarily force others to do his will, a fake civic and business leader who guts businesses, a fake patriot who hides income abroad, a fake bishop who demonstrates a hollow ethical core. He does not engage with people because they are the audience, and their role is to pay their entrance fee, show up, and applaud. And Ryan is more of the same, a fake leader, fake businessman, and fake intellect.
We might be entering the Age of Libertarians, in which the DC blogging set finally reaches their inevitable seats of power and commence destroying everything they touch. But they are all emotional need, delicate nerves, and thinly-veiled hysteria, and it should be easy to take them down. Nothing they do can bear close inspection, it is all patter and no substance. Yet they continue to gain power and control over the rest of us.
Future generations will find this utterly inexplicable. They will probably decide that we self-immolated because of something in the water, like the Romans' lead pipes.