Letters to the Editor

Another character from ‘Leave it to Beaver’

Some weeks ago, it became clear to me that Mitt Romney is a clone of Ward Cleaver, the Beaver’s platitude-spewing father on “Leave It to Beaver.” Since then, I’ve been struck that there is another clone. Paul Ryan is Eddie Haskell personified. Eddie was the Beaver’s antagonist who always had something up his sleeve.

In my opinion, what Eddie, err, Paul, has up his sleeve is to take us back to the economic days at the end of the 19th century when robber barons ruled. That may seem harsh, but let’s take a look at the person he credits for leading him to run for public office.

Mr. Ryan cites the author-philosopher Ayn Rand for energizing him. According to the Ayn Rand institute website, her philosophy can be summarized by four points. Reality is absolute objectivity. Reason is the only source of knowledge. Laissez-faire capitalism (no regulation) is the desired economic system. And, get this; The highest purpose of a person’s life is the pursuit of that person’s own self-interest and happiness. Whoa, no wonder she was an atheist.

The budget proposed by Mr. Ryan includes further tax cuts for the very wealthy, slashing programs like Head Start (designed to give poor kids a chance when they get to school), and deregulation.

Now, I don’t think Mr. Ryan is a bad person. I just think, like the adolescent Eddie Haskell, he is mistaken when he thinks that a nation of fairness can be built on glorification of self.

The last chair of the House Budget Committee, the position Ryan holds, to balance the budget was John Spratt of York. I know John pretty well; we are fellow Presbyterians. I once asked him why he entered public service. “The Sermon on the Mount,” he replied. His budget protected the least of these and didn’t turn Medicare into a voucher system.

Think about it, Eddie Haskell, a heartbeat away from being president.

The writer lives in Pawleys Island.