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Paul Ryan: Your next VP

When Ronald Reagan ran for president he asked Americans if they were better off than they were four years ago. Americans can answer that question for themselves this time around. The Republican Party poses a much more urgent question this election cycle: How much worse will you be in four years if Barack Obama still resides in the White House?
Believe whatever you want about Mitt Romney, but Paul Ryan is the smartest choice for vice president in nearly 60 years.
Picking Paul Ryan says a lot of things to Americans. Once and for all it says that Mitt Romney ought to be taken seriously. More importantly, it makes this election about the issues rather than the childish narratives of victimology and more government freebies. It defines two starkly different ideological paths for voters.
Choosing Paul Ryan takes Republicans off of defense and turns the issue to the failed policies of the Obama administration. It doesn’t attack Obama; it simply defines him for what he is.
The Obama administration has been on the attack for months trying to create a lineup of imaginary victims. America is at a turning point and cannot afford to have politicians pandering to specific voting blocs at the nation’s expense. The truth is that the tide has lowered for all of us over the past four years, and we need to address why.
Reducing the size of government is the most compassionate way to care for our fellow Americans. Barack Obama’s health care law is thinly-veiled socialism that adds trillions to the deficit and makes $716 billion in cuts to Medicare, and no Democrat in the land is willing to repeal it.
The alternative that Paul Ryan advocates uses the power of the free market to put money back in the hands of our elderly and disabled. Quite frankly, it could afford to be even more conservative. Leftists can attack Republicans on the Medicare issue but they’re simply throwing stones while living in a glass house.
The Paul Ryan budget not only preserves Medicare but also strengthens it. It saves health care for our elderly and disabled by wasting less taxpayer money. The Democrats and their health care law offer about as much compassion and efficiency as your local Department of Motor Vehicles.
As a disclaimer, I should note that Paul Ryan isn’t perfect. He is a product of the Bush administration’s big government boondoggles. Ryan voted for the auto and Troubled Asset Relief Program (TARP) bailouts, No Child Left Behind, Medicare Part D and a slew of other bills that have hurt America.
Even his budget doesn’t make enough cuts and will not balance for another three decades.  Either way, his ideas are a much-needed step in the right direction.
I happened to run into Ryan while visiting Washington D.C. this summer and realized he has exactly what Americans should seek in a vice president. He was friendly, concise, focused and humble. He’s a policy wonk, but that’s exactly what we need from the man who will preside over the Senate and work closely with the president.
He doesn’t have the arrogance of Joe Biden or the doubtfulness of Sarah Palin. He doesn’t have the secrecy Americans perceived Dick Cheney to have. He certainly doesn’t have the delusion of Al Gore. He even knows how to spell potato.
Paul Ryan isn’t out of touch with the American public – just about every other politician in America is.
Ryan will be the next vice president of the United States because he proves to those whom doubt that the Republican Party is serious and has solutions.
Romney didn’t pick some freshman senator like Rubio to secure the Latino vote and win Florida. He didn’t pick Portman to simply tie down Ohio. He chose a running mate whom most closely embodies the philosophy needed to fix our country.
Ryan is a candidate who has ideas and solutions – exactly what the country needs right now. Without them, we have to wonder if we’ll even recognize the America we once knew four years from now.

Alec Jones is a junior accountancy major from Catonsville, Md.