Paul Ryan, Another Guy Who Never Built A Thing

By ilana mercer

As of May 7, the outgoing neoconservative priestly cast had raised its game. Since Donald Trump has effectively clinched the Republican Party’s nomination, based on his America First platform, they had an ultimatum for him: Stop your nonsense and we’ll take you back.

If Trump quits denouncing George Bush and his Good War, and starts to blame only Barack Obama for Iraq—said commentator-cum-soldier-cum-global crusader Pete Hegseth to an exultant Gretchen Carlson at the Fox News Channel—all would be forgiven. Recall, Trump called Bush a liar and went on to win South Carolina … and Nevada. He continues to denounce the “made by Bush” Iraq war.

But now that Trump has won the nomination, the losing neoconservatives are insisting he get real, renounce the winning plank and perjure himself to The People.

Well, of course. To the losers belong the spoils.

As if on cue, after the deciding Indiana primary, Fox News broadcaster Sean Hannity began beating on breast, begging Trump to hire failed candidates—the kind the country was fleeing. Some of the candidates offered-up by Hannity for his Party healing circle: Governor Bobby Jindal of Louisiana, the man who had scolded former GOP nominee Mitt Romney, in 2012, for his candid and correct “47 percent” comment. (“There are 47 percent of the people who will vote for [president Obama] no matter what … who are with him, who are dependent upon government, who believe that they are victims, who believe the government has a responsibility to care for them.”)

Touted too by Hannity was South Carolina Governor Nikki Haley. This divisive Party favorite had chosen last year to excise a part of Southern history: Haley tore down the battle flag of the Army of Northern Virginia from the State House grounds, even though the Confederate flag had never flown over an official Confederate building, and “was a battle flag intended to honor the great commander Robert E. Lee.”

The most venomous cobra head to rise spitting at Trump has been House Speaker Paul Ryan.

“I’m just not ready to back Mr. Trump,” he noodled to the networks. “The burden of unifying the party” was Trump’s. To get a nod from the Speaker, the “presumptive nominee” would need to “appeal to all Americans in every walk of life, every background, a majority of independents and discerning Democrats.” (Much as Mitt Romney did, right, Mr. Ryan?)

To which the presumptive nominee responded gallantly: “I am not ready to support Speaker Ryan’s agenda. The American people have been treated so badly for so long that it’s about time for politicians to put them first!”

While neoconservatives like Paul Ryan claim—even believe—they are making “the very idea of political conservatism more acceptable to a majority of American voters” (in the words of scholar of conservatism Paul Gottfried, scourge of the neocons), their impetus consists in marketing a bastardized idea of American conservatism. Where they haven’t already converted people to liberal multiculturalism, pluralism and carefully crafted globalism; their election strategy has been to alienate the natural Republican core constituency in favor of courting powerful, well-heeled minorities.

The ousted core constituency has coalesced around Trump.

Speaker Ryan, who voted for the $1.1 trillion 2016 Omnibus Spending Bill, last December, is demanding Trump show him his conservative credentials. This is as though a guy who never built a thing were to mock a man who has built lots of things. This, too, happened; Obama has mocked Trump’s private productive-sector achievements.

With the Republican establishment’s death rattle growing raspier by the day, here’s what observers need to take away from the Ryan contretemps ongoing. Over to Trump:

Paul Ryan said that I inherited something very special, the Republican Party. Wrong, I didn’t inherit it; I won it with millions of voters!

How many Americans voted for Speaker Ryan, who represents a mere congressional district in Wisconsin? To the role of Speaker, moreover, Ryan was elected by the House of Representatives, not by The People. To be precise, only 236 members of a full House chose Ryan as their speaker.

The People have chosen Trump.

Millions of them.

The People’s voice is not God’s voice—no libertarian worth his salt would countenance raw democracy, a dispensation in which majorities overrule the rights of individuals. But in the confrontation between Paul Ryan and Trump, the Force is with The Donald.



ILANA MERCER is a paelolibertarian writer, author of Into The Cannibal’s Pot: Lessons for America From Post-Apartheid South Africa. Her forthcoming book (June 2016): The Trump Revolution: The Donald’s Creative Destruction Deconstructed. She has penned WND’s longest-standing, exclusive, paleolibertarian weekly column, “Return to Reason,” which was begun in Canada, circa 1999. Ilana also contributes to “The Unz Review,” America’s smartest webzine, to the spectacular British Libertarian Alliance (every bit as smart), and to Quarterly Review (the celebrated British journal founded in 1809 by Walter Scott, Robert Southey and George Canning), where she is contributing editor. For years, Ilana’s “Paleolibertarian Column” was a regular feature on Russia Today and in Junge Freiheit, a German weekly of excellence. Ilana’s online homes are & Follow her on Twitter.


  1. Will say one thing for him-remembered singers Paul and Barry Ryan and enjoyed listening to their old songs on YouTube.I believe Trump to be more in touch with the real world than these ivorytower ideologues and compulsive interventionists.

  2. “To get a nod from the Speaker, the “presumptive nominee” would need to “appeal to all Americans in every walk of life, every background, a majority of independents and discerning Democrats.” (Much as Mitt Romney did, right, Mr. Ryan?)”

    Is this man mental? Has he lost all semblance of connection to reality? What he is selling is no longer wanted – in fact, it is everything that is wrong with the Republican party today. A shame, as but a few years ago he had some promise.

  3. [quote]”Obama has mocked Trump’s private productive-sector achievements.”[unquote]

    The thing is, Trump doesn’t really have any “private productive-sector achievements”. He has spent his life shifting paper around using funny money. His latest wheeze is to licence his name on new building projects – casinos, hotels, etc. He’s what you might call a ‘post-modern tycoon’. Whereas the modernist tycoon at least produced things, or funded the production of things, or at least innovated and came up with new products, the post-modern tycoon is a non-producer – and could even be seen as an anti-productive agent, if you think about it.

    Not that I am being dismissive about Trump’s accomplishments, you’ll understand. I am not a billionaire. Donald Trump is, apparently. Thus I adopt the assumption that his value and contributions outweigh my own – but he should be assessed realistically. He likes to boast that he employs lots of people, which is all well and good, but at what cost is this? Could those people and buildings be put to more productive work?

    In this respect, I cannot be the only one who recognises the irony in Trump’s own rhetoric.

    • You certainly can if some good for nothing law professor like Obama, chooses to mock someone far more successful than he will ever be. What has Trump done that is “anti-productive”?

      • Yes, I think you are right that I have been harsh in my assessment. He has acquired, built and improved real estate, which creates employment and adds to the tax base, so it would be wrong to say that his businesses are not productive. I apologise.

        I suppose what prompted these thoughts on my part is the nature of the business sector in which he has made his career. I am slightly sceptical about the idea that success in property development can amount to a ‘productive-sector achievement’. I have worked with and for property developers on the inside and I know what’s involved in it. Essentially it’s about money and, especially, the ability to borrow money. The main skill is the ability to network and do deals.

        On the other hand, Trump has a number of attributes. He demonstrates vision and shrewdness in what he does. I have read ‘The Art of the Deal’ – several times – and I think there must be a case for making it compulsory reading in business schools. I consider it to be one of the pre-eminent business books ever. Trump is an excellent businessman, but his skills are in the sales, project management, deal-making and financial aspects of business. I doubt he has much technical knowledge and doesn’t demonstrate much of it in his books. He’s basically a very talented networker and knows how to build a brand. It’s not a nice observation to make, but I suspect that without money, he would have amounted to little in life, though it would also be fair to say that he has capitalised on his advantages, which is to his credit.

        As for Obama, I don’t know exactly what his titular designation was in academic law, but I am not inclined to dismiss his pre-presidential career out-of-hand. I imagine law teachers and community organisers won’t make much money, but is success just about making money? I suppose it depends on how you look at things. Trump would say it is: I think he once wrote that money is how you keep score in life. Money is central to the Trumpist view of the world, both in success and failure, but that’s not how everybody thinks or need think.

        • I don’t think that’s true. The world is littered with individuals who are born to money but either lose it or do nothing with it. He had been actively involved in running his father’s business long before he inherited a portion of it.

          On Obama, I am simply saying he isn’t in a position to belittle the achievements of entrepreneurs in the (somewhat) free market.

          • I agree with you about that. As I stated above, it’s to his credit that he has used his advantages well.

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