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Paul Ryan's "I Have a Dream" Speech

March 20, 2017

House Speaker Paul Ryan recently told National Review editor Rich Lowry that the House GOP plan to cap Medicaid and send it back to states represents what "we've been dreaming of this since I've been around -- since you and I were drinking at a keg." So, here's a look back at:
Paul Ryan's "I Have a Dream" Speech
Paul Ryan
University of Miami, Ohio, Class of 1992
Delivered to the National Convention of Kappa Kappa Grandma
Washington, DC
May 29, 1990
Brother Lowry,
Thank you so much for the kind introduction. I would also like to thank you and the brothers of Kappa Kappa Grandma for the keg party last night. Nothing says freedom like shot-gunning PBR from a beer bong made here in the USA.
Despite having drained those bad boys, let us not wallow in the valley of despair. I say to you today, my friends, even though we face the difficulties of today and tomorrow, I still have a dream. It is a dream deeply rooted in the American dream.
I have a dream that one day this nation will rise up and live out the true meaning of its creed: "We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal." But not all men are endowed by their Creator with equal capabilities and so are not deserving of equal outcomes.
I have a dream that one day we the People of the United States will form a more perfect union by understanding that the Constitution's admonition to "promote the General Welfare" is only a suggestion while we need secure the Blessings of Liberty only for ourselves (and no one else).
I have a dream that one day on the red hills of Georgia, the sons of former slaves and the sons of former slave owners will be able to sit down together at the table of brotherhood. I have a dream that those Makers will enlighten those Takers that they are turning the safety net into a hammock.
I have a dream that one day in the crumbling factories of Detroit and the empty streets of Cleveland we will end this nightmare, this tailspin of culture, in our inner cities in particular, of men not working and just generations of men not even thinking about working or learning the value and the culture of work, and so there is a real culture problem here that has to be dealt with.
I have a dream that one day even the state of California, a state sweltering with the heat of injustice, sweltering with the heat of oppression, will be transformed into an oasis of freedom and justice. An oasis like Mississippi, where the people are not enslaved by high taxation or Medicaid expansion and so are free to choose not to obtain health care.
I have a dream that we will de-federalize and entitlement, and that rationing will happen today. Insurers will be free to exercise their God-given right to jack up premiums, hike deductibles, narrow physician and hospital networks only when the question is: Who will do it? The government? Or you, your doctor and your family?
I have a dream that one day we will acknowledge that health care is a need, not a right, that block granting it back to the states and capping its growth rate will empower millions of Americans with the freedom to choose not to get it.
I have a dream that our enemies' lips will not drip with words like "interposition" and "nullification," but instead utter--as we do--that ours is an act of mercy.
I have a dream that one day, down in Alabama, little black boys and black girls will be able to join hands with little white boys and white girls as sisters and brothers. I have a dream that my four little children will one day live in a nation where they will not be judged by the color of their skin but by the content of their character. Unless they attend a Trump rally, in which case I will declare "this party does not prey on people's prejudices."
I have a dream today!
This is our hope, and this is the faith that I go back to Janesville with.
With this faith in free markets, we will be able to hew out of the mountain of entitlement a voucher of hope. With this faith, we will be able to transform the jangling discords of our medical, retirement and old-age health care systems into a beautiful symphony of privatization. With this faith, we will be able to work together, to pray together, to struggle together, to go to jail together, to stand up for freedom together, knowing that we will be free one day--excepting the millions justly immiserated and thousands deservedly left to die.
And when this happens, and when we allow freedom ring, when we let it ring from every village and every hamlet, from every state and every city, we will be able to speed up that day when all of God's children, black men and white men, Jews and Gentiles, Protestants and Catholics, will be able to join hands and sing in the words of the old Negro spiritual:

I got ninety nine problems but you ain't one!


Jon Perr
Jon Perr is a technology marketing consultant and product strategist who writes about American politics and public policy.

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