Former vice presidential candidate Paul Ryan (R-Wisc.) has been “quietly visiting inner city neighborhoods,” for more than a year. Here’s what he learned: “inner city” men don’t want to work. He elaborated in an armchair radio interview yesterday with mentor and conservative septuagenarian Bill Bennett, saying, “we have got this tailspin of culture in our inner cities in particular of men not working and just generations of men not even thinking about working or learning the value and the culture of work.” He even salutes the “inner city” cultural expertise of another septuagenarian, Charles Murray of “Bell Curve” infamy— thus rounding out 44-year-old Ryan’s homage to all beliefs precious and dear to a dying generation of Americans. Interesting strategy for a party that, according to its 2012 election autopsy, needs to win the next America in order to be relevant.
Below, read excerpts of the radio interview with Bennett, who once christened Ryan, “the man for the moment.” Then check out his recently released 200-page poverty report described by the Times’ editorial board and others as, “polished intellectual cover for his party to mow down as many antipoverty programs as it can see.”
Bill Bennett: A boy has to see a man working doesn’t he?
Paul Ryan: Absolutely.
PR: That’s this tailspin or spiral that we’re looking at in our communities. Your buddy Charles Murray or Bob Putnam over at Harvard, those guys have written books on this. Which is, we have got this tailspin of culture in our inner cities in particular of men not working and just generations of men not even thinking about working or learning the value and the culture of work. And so there is a real culture problem here that has to be dealt with. Everybody’s gotta get involved. This is what we talk about when we talk about civil society. If you’re driving from the suburb to the sports arena downtown by these blighted neighborhoods you can’t just say I’m paying my taxes, government’s gonna fix that. You need to get involved. You need to get involved yourself whether it’s through a good mentoring program or some religious charity, whatever it is to make a difference. And that’s how we resuscitate our culture.
Ryan may also want to add “the suburbs,” to this year’s getting-to-know America, tour.