Paul Ryan, former Republican Representative from Wisconsin and former Speaker of the House, decided to retire from politics and not seek reelection in 2018. But that does not mean he will not step forward publicly, or step in it, as the case may be.
When Ryan recently decided to extol the virtues of President Donald Trump in an interview with PBS Newshour’s Judy Woodruff, his remarks got more backlash than backing.
“[Trump]’s not taking any crap. I mean, he’s taking on political correctness; he’s taking fights that a lot of people want to see fought.”
“The forgotten man that he speaks to is a person that finally feels like they’re being taken seriously, they’re being paid attention to. And he’s concerned about their issues.”
“That is the guttural core of what I would call the party base right now, the Trump base.”
People had theories on who those forgotten men might be.
Does he mean racists who’d been forgotten because they were hiding?
— Nic Harcourt (@nicharcourt) June 25, 2019
They are “forgotten men” because they keep voting Republican. They get elected and literally forget about them and cater only to the rich.
— janey v. ❄ (@nycjaneyvee) June 24, 2019
So he stands up for *checks notes* Paul Ryan?
— Mark Benson (@WaysideWriter) June 24, 2019
I know SCOTUS said corporations are people Paul, but I would hardly call them forgotten. Especially after your tax bill.
— Sterno (@gmstearns) June 24, 2019
The forgotten racist is more like it.
— annettebpink🌸 (@annettebpink) June 24, 2019
Uh huh. The sociopaths of the nation. An underappreciated segment given Trump’s adoration for them.
— karen munro (@BaileyPittipat) June 24, 2019
No one forgot Putin. Paul is just another sycophant who opted out before his kompromat was dropped to Maggie.
— Batman (@BatmanResist) June 24, 2019
Trump: for every out-of-work coal miner who has periodic negative thoughts about black people going to college
— Amber V (@sodacop) June 24, 2019
Trump stands up for ignorant racists.
— Skeptic (@abqralph) June 24, 2019
Some offered suggestions of people Ryan and Trump might have forgotten to remember.
Does that include Puerto Ricans????
— Lloyd Osten (@LloydOsten) June 24, 2019
Oh really. What about those forgotten children???
— JoAnn Walter (@jbube3) June 24, 2019
He forgot about 2/3’s of the country for crissakes!
— Maggi Brengartner (@MomWoww) June 24, 2019
So that’s why 2018 had record stock buybacks and a decline in business investment – because the tax cuts helped the little guy right? Ryan is a hypocritical loser – always has been.
— Larry S (@LS7789fbb) June 24, 2019
I’m a woman, and I feel pretty forgotten by this administration.
— DresdenRose 🐉🌹📚 (@DresdenRose) June 24, 2019
By “forgotten man” @SpeakerRyan means “white people”
— Zack Hunt (@ZaackHunt) June 24, 2019
Trump’s demographic is literally the one democraphic that is never, ever, ever forgotten in any election ever.
Show me one election where aggrieved white men did not dictate the conversation. https://t.co/m2LU9YLEz6
— Matthew Chapman (@fawfulfan) June 24, 2019
O come gather ’round, you male sufferers of reverse racism and the brain dead women who love them. 🙄
— No Redactions Lisa (@Lisa_Battleaxe) June 24, 2019
mighty whitey, yes
— a bloo (@vlime286) June 24, 2019
How can we ever forget old, rich white men? I think about them and how they are controlling the politics of our country every day.
— Scott Bond (@sbond9033) June 24, 2019
The “forgotten RICH man” …#FixedIt 👍
— DJ Spin (@Turntablez) June 24, 2019
Ah yes, the forgotten men: like the Koch bros, the Mercers, the trumps, the Adelsons, the Mnuchins….
— TheDudeAbides (@DudeAbides2017) June 24, 2019
Oh that’s so true! The rich, white, men in this country have just been so forgotten and abused.
Nothing like all the blacks and Indians who have just reigned in such great wealth and power forever.
Poor little forgotten white men.
What a moron…
— …to uphold and defend… (@TheLookingGass) June 25, 2019
White guys are forgotten….. pic.twitter.com/A5hcBOawSj
— Topper (@TVega29) June 24, 2019
A few questioned if the interview was a joke.
I thought this was from The Onion…seriously, why do you even allow him to be in your paper??!!
— Valzbear (@FeliciaVRodrig1) June 24, 2019
Excuse me?? pic.twitter.com/qEtVxjdydh
— Zaira Delgado (@ZairaDelgado12) June 24, 2019
People also questioned Ryan’s motives for making such statements now that he is retired from politics.
Still looking for that lobbyist gig I see
— Jason (@jsin) June 24, 2019
imagine no longer needing to say this kind of stuff for your job but then saying it anyway https://t.co/cCV6ZC6B26
— Andrew Cunningham (@AndrewWrites) June 24, 2019
must be the altitude Paul…hydrate and you’ll stop saying such stupid shit.
— Joe Lockhart (@joelockhart) June 24, 2019
I’ll take “How New York billionaires con the little man” for $1,000, Alex
— Nate Roberts (@NateU2) June 25, 2019
Defending a con man like Trump makes Paul Ryan a huckster and lackey.
— Michael Zee (@MichaelZee0) June 24, 2019
Says the man who’s net worth climbed from $1.8 million to >$10 million during his time in office all while making ~$200K per year. How did he help the “forgotten man”?
— briguy85 (@baroden) June 24, 2019
And while Ryan failed to elaborate what issues unite Trump and the “forgotten man,” people offered suggestions.
Ignore the misuse of guttural. Focus on what Ryan is saying: That ‘forgotten man’ hears Trump say he supports segregation and a return to Bibles in public schools. Those are their do-or-die issues.
— Randi Doeker (@rbdoeker) June 25, 2019
Watch the full interview with Paul Ryan here.
As for the “forgotten man” rhetoric that Ryan revived, President Richard Nixon used the same line in his presidential campaign. It is not intended to appeal to anyone new, but rather to speak to those core supporters, letting them know they are the real victims.
This idea was absurd when Richard Nixon used it, and it’s just as stale now.
— Turdus Migratorius (@rtravenick) June 24, 2019
But hatred, fear and self-pity are strong motivators. Especially at the ballot box.
“C.K. Justice was born in Midwest America to hard working blue collar workers. After living with racism at his public school and several jobs, he finally found his calling and joined the military in 2008. Currently working as a military instructor in the West, CK enjoys working with soldiers and Marines every day. CK’s goal is to share his knowledge and skills to help make the world a better place for his kids.”
David R. Morse offers Divided We Stand: Racism in America from Jamestown to Trump, available here.
“For many people, the rise of white supremacy is a recent phenomenon, but for those who are deeply familiar with U.S. history, it is not new. Quite the contrary. In this new book, David R. Morse, details how the “whiteness” of America came about and how it has become more prevalent from time to time, beginning with the founding of Jamestown to the current administration of Donald Trump.”