TAC’s Scott Galupo makes a very interesting observation about Rep. Paul Ryan. “In Ryan’s intellectual bubble, Galupo writes, “there are job creators and entrepreneurs on one side and parasites on the other. There is no account of the vast gray expanse of janitors, waitresses, hotel front-desk clerks, nurses, highway maintenance workers, airport baggage handlers, and taxi drivers. They work hard, but at the end of the day, what can they be said to have ‘built’”?
“Parasites” might be a bit much. But it is an interesting observation — although I don’t think this started with Ryan. I’ve been noticing this trend for a while, and I suspect it comes from Mitt Romney (and also, as a result of the backlash against Obama.)
Regardless, at some point, worshiping entrepreneurs became part of the Republican identity. And this is a potential problem.
Don’t get me wrong: I’m sure it plays very well with businesspeople who donate to political campaigns. They feel under attack (they are under attack), and after all that sacrifice and hard work, it must feel nice to finally hear people tell you that you are awesome.
As Galupo implies, the “we built it,” line surely resonates well with people who have built a small business. But what about everyone else?
While some people might intellectually agree with the premise (it obviously polls well), what kind of emotional resonance could the line — the apparent theme of the convention — hold for the teacher, soldier, police officer, writer, etc. — who didn’t build it?
We should, of course, not demonize entrepreneurs. But Republicans should also be careful of lionizing them to the point that everyone else feels like a second-class citizen. A political party made up solely of business owners wouldn’t make it very far.