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Hold Paul Ryan to His Word

At a recent speech in Lakewood, Colorado, Paul Ryan said the following:

We believe in the promise of this country. We believe in the idea of this country. And we know that this country—which is the greatest country on the face of this earth, by the way—it’s exceptional for a reason. It’s the only country created on an idea. That idea is really clear. . . . The Declaration of Independence is really clear. Our rights, they come from nature and God, not from government. Life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness. And guess what: Government doesn’t regulate happiness, government doesn’t define your happiness, you define it for yourself. That’s how we do it in America.

Although Ryan does not articulate an objective view of rights, to hear any politician on the national scene seriously and respectfully discuss individual rights, especially the right to pursue happiness as one defines it, is welcome indeed.

Ryan does not consistently uphold the principle of rights. It is up to us to encourage him to do so. When Ryan advocates welfare spending, bailouts, abortion bans, immigration restrictions, or drug prohibitions, we can point out that those policies violate individual rights, including your right to define happiness “for yourself.”

Ryan is talking about rights. Integrity requires that he walk his talk. Let’s hold him to his word.

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Ari Armstrong

Ari Armstrong is an assistant editor of The Objective Standard. He blogs at AriArmstrong.com, and he has written for publications including the Denver Post and Complete Colorado. He is the author of Values of Harry Potter: Lessons for Muggles, a book exploring the heroic fight for life-promoting values in the Potter novels.


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