Ryan expanded on the contrast, saying that Obama sees America as a place where everyone is stuck in some class or station in life, victims of circumstances beyond their control, with government there to help them cope with their fate.
The new administration, he assured us, would give us the exact opposite -- a land where government is limited (to 20 percent of gross domestic product) and liberty is championed. He weaved in the story of his own family experiences and his mother -- his "role model" -- to personalize the point. He urged us not to buy Obama's message and record of despair and to reject the stifling notion that we can't do any better -- ideas wholly inconsistent with Ryan's personal experiences and the lessons his parents taught him.
Ryan said, in essence, "How dare you tell me and other Americans we have to accept whatever circumstances we find ourselves in and not try to improve our lots in life?" He said, "I was on my own path, my own journey, an American journey where I could think for myself, decide for myself and define happiness for myself." In other words, in the America in which Ryan grew up and that he and Romney will try to restore, no government and no politician will predefine limits on economic growth and individual liberties -- above all, the pursuit of happiness.
Ryan said that the American dream is grounded in freedom, not a planned economy in which equal outcomes are sought in lieu of equal opportunity. He underscored not simply that central planning doesn't work but that it's morally inferior, contrary to the claims and "sanctimony" of its leftist proponents.
Ryan promised that they would lead on the tough issues and be men of action -- rather than of endless empty rhetoric -- and would spend the next four years not blaming others but taking responsibility. They would immediately end the current administration's practice of replacing our founding principles and begin to reapply those principles.
Obama tells us that Republicans want a smaller America, but as Ryan conclusively demonstrated in his speech, it is Obama who envisions a limited, anemic America with a finite pie, incapable of a robust economic future.
In Romney and Ryan's America -- as in Ronald Reagan's, Jack Kemp's and Condoleezza Rice's -- "it doesn't matter where you came from; it matters where you're going."