Yesterday, Mitt Romney chose his running mate for the 2012 Presidential Campaign. His choice was Paul Ryan, Congressman from Wisconsin. Ryan has a reputation of being a master policy maker, a fiscal conservative and a warrior in reducing social programs.
Did I mention he is forty-two? Forty-two is just a few years older than me. There all comes a time in our adult lives when we realize that the people running our country are no longer our grandfather or father’s age. Then, like Obama, we think of them as an older brother…a much older brother. In my hypothetical family, Obama is the older brother and I’m the “oops” baby that came along 10 years later. Now with Paul Ryan, the cold hard truth slaps us in the face, Paul Ryan could be our brother and he may be a heart-beat away from the Presidency of the United States. Generation X, let the Prosac® popping begin. Call up your therapist that I know you have on speed-dial, Generation X has some insecurity to start working out.
Paul Ryan seems to be like another well-known figure from our generation. This person also excelled at their career at a very young age. He was known for some out-of-the-box thinking at critical moments. Most Gen Xers know this person, because he came into our living rooms on a weekly basis. Doogie Howser – the boy wonder doctor from our youth reminds me of Paul Ryan. Ah, Doogie who provided us with a typed out moral to our ½ hour sitcom at the end because he knew, like we all do, that Generation X just couldn’t be bothered to draw our own conclusion at the end of our sitcoms. Generation X was too busy getting our after school snack while we waited for one of our double-income earning parents to show up.
Now our generation has Doogie Ryan-fiscal policy genius on the Republican ticket. Comparisons are only natural when someone you could have skated the snowball with at the roller-rink becomes a Vice-President candidate. What have I done? How does Paul Ryan accomplishments measure up to my life?
I recently lived in my mother’s basement due to a status change in my marriage and financial situation. I just moved out and into my own apartment. Paul Ryan may be moving out of his congressional office and into the Vice-Presidential mansion. Check! I recently laid out a fiscally conservative monthly budget that included cutting out the HBO option in my cable package so I would have enough money to meet my monthly bills. Paul Ryan wants to overhaul Medicare making it so that our government would give money to beneficiaries to purchase private health insurance for our elderly. We both know how to make the tough and unpopular decisions. My five year-old is still pissed that I cut HBO. Ryan wants to cut most social programs, except for the Pentagon. I also had to cut frilly extras in my life to balance my own budget. With all of my monthly cuts, I decided to keep my iPhone. Like the Pentagon is critical to national security, my iPhone is critical to my entertainment and social status.
Like most Generation Xers, I will continue this internal dialog of self-critical comparison to Doogie Ryan. If it turns out to be too much for me, I will just do like so many from my generation do, I will use an anti-depressant and squash those feeling of inadequacy. Until then, show us what you can do this election Paul Ryan. This Gen Xer will be looking for a typed out conclusion at the end of the VP debate telling me who won so I can figure out what to think. Just blame my Gen X laziness on Doogie.