Paul Ryan: If Conservative Cause Depends On Populist Appeal Of One Man Then We're Not Going Anywhere | Video | RealClearPolitics

Paul Ryan: If Conservative Cause Depends On Populist Appeal Of One Man Then We're Not Going Anywhere

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Former House Speaker Paul Ryan joined the fight against Donald Trump on Thursday in remarks during an address at the Ronald Reagan Presidential Library. ​Ryan warned conservatives to "be careful not to get caught up in every little cultural battle," because sometimes "these skirmishes" are "not worth anybody's time."

"Once again, we conservatives find ourselves at a crossroads," Ryan said. "And here's one reality we have to face: If the conservative cause depends on the populist appeal of one personality, or on second-rate imitations, then we're not going anywhere. Voters looking for Republican leaders want to see independence and mettle."

"As the left gets more 'woke,' the rest of America is getting weary. It's exhausting," he said. "And we conservatives have to be careful not to get caught up in every little cultural battle," he will say. "Sometimes these skirmishes are just creations of outrage peddlers, detached from reality and not worth anybody's time. They draw attention away from the far more important case we must make to the American people."


"In 2020, the country wanted a nice guy who would move to the center and depolarize our politics. Instead, we got a nice guy pursuing an agenda more leftist than any president in my lifetime. These policies might have the full approval of his progressive supporters, but they break faith with the middle-of-the-road folks who made the difference for him on Election Day," Ryan said.

From Ryan's speech:

PAUL RYAN: Once again, we conservatives find ourselves at a crossroads. And here’s one reality we have to face. If the conservative cause depends on the populist appeal of one personality, or on second-rate imitations, then we’re not going anywhere. Voters looking for Republican leaders want to see independence and mettle...

We win majorities by directing our loyalty and respect to voters, and by staying faithful to the conservative principles that unite us. This was true even when the person leading our movement was as impressive, polished, and agreeable as they come...

In 2020, the country wanted a nice guy who would move to the center and depolarize our politics. Instead, we got a nice guy pursuing an agenda more leftist than any president in my lifetime. These policies might have the full approval of his progressive supporters, but they break faith with the middle-of-the-road folks who made the difference for him on Election Day.

For conservatives, this painful existence as the opposition can actually be an opportunity. Out of these years can come a healthy, growing, and united conservative movement, a movement that speaks again to the heart of a great nation...

As the left gets more ‘woke,’ the rest of America is getting weary. It’s exhausting. And we conservatives have to be careful not to get caught up in every little cultural battle. Sometimes these skirmishes are just creations of outrage peddlers, detached from reality and not worth anybody’s time. They draw attention away from the far more important case we must make to the American people.

Culture matters, yes, but our party must be defined by more than a tussle over the latest grievance or perceived slight. We must not let them take priority over solutions ­– grounded in principle – to improve people’s lives.
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