Joan Swirsky
Paul "Lincolnesque" Ryan
By Joan Swirsky
August 12, 2012

The other day on the Drudge Report I saw a picture of the actor Daniel Day-Lewis in full Abraham Lincoln mode for his upcoming movie about America's 16th president. The portrait was of a wizened Lincoln, stately but prematurely aged — no doubt from the great toll the Civil War had taken on him and his knowledge of what lay ahead, including the Executive Order he issued on January 1, 1863 — the epic and country-changing Emancipation Proclamation — which freed the slaves in the 10 states that were then in active rebellion. As we know, Lincoln was assassinated in April 1865 and slavery was subsequently made illegal everywhere in the U.S. by the Thirteenth Amendment, which took effect in December of that year.

Not for the first time did the picture of Lincoln remind me of Paul Ryan, the 42-year-old seven-term Congressman from Wisconsin who was just named Mitt Romney's choice for Vice President. Physically there is a striking resemblance, including his height, lankiness, dark hair and the craggy features that are even more reminiscent of Lincoln's than are Day-Lewis's. There is also Ryan's self-effacing modesty, a welcome respite from the rampaging narcissism displayed by Mr. Obama that we've all witnessed over the past four years.

But the resemblances surpass appearance and positive character traits. Like Lincoln, Ryan is a man of formidable intellect and the ability to explain his ideas with both eloquence and exquisite clarity. And like Lincoln, Ryan is utterly undaunted by his critics, who invariably resort to puerile name-calling when faced with the indisputable facts upon which he bases his save-the-American-economy budget plan that was passed by the U.S. Congress.

To be sure, Mr. Romney will get my vote in November and would have no matter who he chose, precisely because Mr. Obama's grand experiment in left-wing governance has failed so thunderously. To be specific, he and his minions have tried:
And that's the short list!

In fact, I will vote for Mr. Romney not only because I believe he is a good and decent man with a wonderful family and a track record of formidable accomplishments, but because, unlike Mr. Obama, he doesn't revile the U.S. Constitution, free-market capitalism, the U.S. Military, and the Judeo-Christian foundation on which our country is based.

Romney is not the rock-ribbed conservative I wish he were, but he is the polar opposite of the nihilistic radical who currently occupies the Oval Office! And Romney's choice of Paul Ryan as VP amply demonstrates that he is very simpatico with conservative principles in one of the areas that count most: Our own and the country's money! In addition, this choice should hearten all those on-the-fence Republicans and Independents (and even sane Democrats) that Romney's future choices will be as wise.

And as tough! This morning, as Fox's Brett Baier played snippets of his past interviews with Congressman Ryan, it was clear where the VP-nominee's backbone was located — squarely in support of our troops and with making sure that the draconian budget cuts they are facing will be restored immediately upon Romney's election. And Ryan was as steely and confident against the politically correct tyrants who contaminate our society and pollute our airwaves when he announced from the podium that America's blessings come not from the behemoth of Big Government but from nature and God.

History will ultimately record whether or not Paul Ryan will rise to Lincoln's heights. But as our country faces perhaps the biggest constitutional, military and moral crises in our lifetimes, I must say that this morning Paul Ryan looked pretty lofty to me!

© Joan Swirsky


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Joan Swirsky

Joan Swirsky ( is a New York-based journalist and author who wrote for the NY Times for over 20 years. She has been writing columns on conservative issues for various internet sites for the past 30 years. She can be reached at


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