humanism, Politics

Dear Mrs. Ryan:

There were many times my husband and I disagreed. But it was more on the scale of who had to do dishes than cancer patients dying because they can’t pay for chemo.

It must be hard to be married to a politician.

But my understanding is that you love your husband and three children and gave up a career as a corporate lobbyist to be a stay at home mom. I’m glad for you. I wish the thousands of women who are working two jobs to keep food on the table had the same option.

But not everyone has a grandfather who was a millionaire.

Surely some of your neighbors, the Janesville families that your children play with – they aren’t millionaires. A lot of them are working class, right? Near the house where Paul grew up? I bet some of them even live paycheck to paycheck. But not your family

Your family has more money than it could ever need.

Of course the majority of your wealth is inherited. But Paul did get a raise last year, from a paltry $174,000 to $223,500. Given that the median income in 2015 for people in Wisconsin is $55,638, you guys are doing pretty good.  Money doesn’t buy happiness but it does make life a lot easier.

Just think, if Paul hadn’t gotten that entitlement money, you might not have even met.

It’s a sweet side to your romance – a boy from the working class makes good and marries corporate lobbyist whose family is rich. Thank God for Social Security and Pell grants. It fascinates all of us how committed he is to making sure no one else has the chance to better themselves from those same programs. Does it bother you at all?

Or are you a woman who believes she must be submissive to her husband?

I know you used to be an avid supporter of women’s rights. But apparently that stopped.  When did you decide that women don’t have the right to control their own bodies? It’s hard to understand why you would be silent when thousands of Wisconsin women – mostly poor women – lost access to pap smears and STD treatment when Planned Parenthood was attacked.

Is that what a “good” marriage is? The woman stays silent while her husband speaks?

That brings us to what your husband is speaking about now. His proposal for a national healthcare policy is devastating for working families. That’s not just my opinion – it’s the AMA, AARP, hospital associations, nurses, doctors, economists – you name it, they’ve come out against it.

I can’t fathom what people think when they see you in the grocery store. Do you avoid eye contact? When you drive your kids to Catholic school, do you chat with other parents? Maybe you just have a driver take them. If you refuse to see people, you don’t have to think about them. Like your husband does with his constituents.

A 60 year old woman with an income of $15,000 will pay over $8,000 in premiums.

When did you stop caring about anything other than your husband’s ambitions?  The two of you must talk about it – I refuse to believe you don’t. That people with cancer will no longer be able to afford treatment. That people with mental health issues are no longer guaranteed coverage.  That over 10 million people will be kicked off the insurance rolls.

Your husband said his plan to repeal the Affordable Care Act is a mercy.

Everyone else calls it a mercy killing. What do you think, Mrs. Ryan? Do you care about your neighbors? The older folks who sit in the pews at your church? The disabled people with MS or ALS or HIV? That in the midst of an opioid epidemic, there will no longer be coverage for substance abuse treatment?

I guess if you’re married to Paul Ryan you have to find a way not to care about anyone but yourself.

I feel sorry for you. For the values your children are learning. I feel sorry for your community. But sooner or later when you attack people’s families – when you stay silent while lives and livelihoods are jeopardized, they will have no choice but to come for you.

2018. Tell your husband to expect us. It’s a good thing he married money.

Sincerely,

Pat

 

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