House News, Opinion

An Open Letter To Paul Ryan


“Claiming a person can’t do their job because of their race is sort of like the textbook definition of a racist comment.” June 7, 2016

“I am sickened by what I heard today. Women are to be championed and revered, not objectified.” October 7, 2016

“I do not think a Muslim ban is in our country’s interest. I do not think it is reflective of our principles, not just as a party but as a country.” June 14, 2016

Freedom of religion’s a fundamental constitutional principle…It’s a founding principle of this country.” December 8, 2015

I applaud all of these statements. So should you, Mr. Speaker, since they are all statements you made each time Donald Trump said something offensive. I respected you more and more each time you denounced Mr. Trump’s latest comments on the campaign trail last year that were contrary to our American values.

But now I see that I was wrong. I was wrong to respect you and think that you were a compassionate person. It is clearly obvious now that your only objective was to ensure another Democrat did not win the presidency and to prevent your base from getting angry with you. It is clear you wanted to win no matter what.

I do not expect you to care about the comments of a registered Democrat in Connecticut. I do expect you, however, to care about your family and those closest to you, because I believe that all of us- including our soldiers overseas- are in danger thanks to the current administration’s lack of understanding of foreign affairs, strong-arming tactics, and erratic behavior.

I completely understand wanting to get a Republican elected. I would have been content with Governor Kasich, Senator Paul, or any of the other Republican candidates for president that ran in 2016. I would even be happy to have Vice President Pence as president. But I find it extremely difficult to believe that you can look your family in the eyes and tell them that supporting a man who objectifies women, denies facts, and makes vague threats to our allies and enemies alike is the man you feel comfortable with as the most powerful person in the world. That you find him to be an example for your children and children around the country to look up to and admire for his conduct.

I would not be sending this letter to you if any other Republican had won the presidency. I realize as Speaker you have to worry about your members and keeping control, and speaking out against the president of the same party would cause angst amongst your Republican colleagues. To me, the president’s erratic nature and abnormal behavior for a president goes beyond party and simple policy disagreements. I feel strongly that he is a threat to national security (which is something I do believe you and many of your Republican colleagues believe is your party’s strong-suit) because of his policies and comments that I believe will embolden those who wish to do us harm.

I do not claim that Secretary Clinton would have been a good president. I do not question Mr. Trump’s legitimacy to the office. I do, however, question those who condone his behavior and words, which I now know you do since you have completely ignored your previous statements on Mr. Trump’s behavior.

My hope is that in the coming weeks and months, you and some of your colleagues stress the importance the president toning down his rhetoric and focus on jobs and rights for all Americans, not ratings and annoying our allies and focusing solely on the base that sent him to office. At this point, I feel it is a lost cause since no one has the guts to stand up to him and stand by those comments.

I was hopeful that person was going to be you. But as I said….it is apparent that I was wrong.

Rick Funaro


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