Normalizing Trump: Paul Ryan Would Rather Not Talk About Hostile, Violent Environment Fostered By President-Elect Trump

By: Meredith Kelly

A mere week has passed since the election of Donald Trump and already Speaker Paul Ryan has begun to normalize the unacceptable behavior that has come in Trump’s wake. In one of his first interviews on national TV since the election, Paul Ryan was asked right off the bat about his take on the fear Americans feel in the week after election day.

Jake Tapper: Before we begin talking about legislation and moving forward, I’m just wondering, there are millions of Americans out there, as I’m sure you know, who are frankly terrified about what this America under President Trump will mean for them. Is there anything that you, as Speaker of the House, one of the leaders of the nation, want to say to them?

Paul Ryan: Sure. Um, First of all, I hate it that people feel this way. And, second of all, they should not. I think people should be rest assured. America is a pluralistic, inclusive country. It has, it has been, and it will continue to be…So, I think people should just really put their minds at ease.”

What a luxury it must be to witness the ascent of demagoguery without so much as a lump in one’s throat. Sadly, many in the United States don’t have the same luxury.

“I think people should rest assured.” Really, Paul Ryan?

  • Tell that to the African American students at UPenn harassed with anonymous texts peppered with racial slurs and violent imagery.
  • Tell that to those fearful of the KKK victory parade next month in North Carolina.
  • Tell that to the rector of the Maryland church whose welcome sign was vandalized with “TRUMP NATION WHITES ONLY.”
  • Tell that to the Jewish students at the New School in New York City who had swastikas drawn on their doors.
  • Tell that to the children of Wellsville, NY, who went Thursday morning to play softball only to find “Make America White Again” spray painted into the dugouts wall.
  • Tell that to the Muslim Americans who have witnessed Trump normalize Islamophobia.
  • Tell that to the countless Latino children fearing their families will be torn apart by Trump’s “Deportation Force.”
  • Tell that to the women who wonder if they will be punished for having abortions – or forced to drive to an entirely different state to receive constitutionally mandated healthcare.
  • Tell that to the hard-working Americans who have been cheatedlied to, and swindled by the businessman Donald Trump.

None of this is normal, but Paul Ryan seems to ignore its existence. If these good Americans seem a little on edge, Mr. Speaker, it is because past is prologue. Paul Ryan should worry less about the supposed “misplaced fear” of average Americans in the wake of this bitter election and instead focus more on what he can do to get Donald Trump to actually “unify” this country as he’s claimed he will. Until then, Paul Ryan continues to be a thin-skinned bystander who does a whole lot of “talking” about principles while skimping on the hard work of actually embodying those values.