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Meet Randy Bryce, The Anti-Paul Ryan

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At the risk of dipping into Susan Sarandon territory, I know many of us see the dimmest of silver linings in the national disaster that is the Trump presidency and concurrent Republican-controlled House and Senate. That is: there are good people running for office who otherwise might never have been inspired or motivated to do so. Upwards of 10,000 women Democrats have expressed interest in entering politics. People feel so ignored, so disenfranchised, and so angry, that they’re stepping up to take down the politicians bent on taking away our rights and our voices.

Leading that parade of awful old white men is Speaker of the House Paul Ryan. Wherever there’s a Republican trying to strip a woman of her reproductive rights or rob an American of health care, you can be sure, Paul Ryan is there. Ryan has been elected to his Wisconsin seat nine times. It’s never even been a particularly close race. But as more and more of the country becomes frustrated (and in many cases, furious) with the Republican party, maybe, just maybe, Paul Ryan’s current term could be his last. And if there’s anyone to oppose him, it’s Randy Bryce, who just announced his candidacy for Congress with one of the best political ads I’ve ever seen.

Bryce is an ironworker in Wisconsin, whose mother was diagnosed with multiple sclerosis. So his fear of having his and family’s insurance repealed is strong, and it’s one shared by many in his blue-collar district, his state, and his country. But it’s not shared by Paul Ryan, and that’s clear. Bryce, then, has a suggestion: he and Paul Ryan should swap jobs. He’ll go try to make sure millions of Americans don’t have their health insurance taken away, and Paul Ryan can come work the iron.

The ad is powerful in its simplicity. He focuses on one issue that means everything to a growing number of Americans. You can see the fear and anger at town hall meetings across the country. People are furious, and Bryce, who’s running on a platform of hope and kindness, is voicing strong opposition to the Republican party’s general lack of interest. Over at Pajiba, they call him a combination of “Trump’s populism with Obama’s hopefulness,” and holy wow is that an election-winning description.

Did I mention his Twitter handle is @IronStache? Yeah, we’re sold.

(image: screengrab)

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Vivian Kane
Vivian Kane (she/her) is the Senior News Editor at The Mary Sue, where she's been writing about politics and entertainment (and all the ways in which the two overlap) since the dark days of late 2016. Born in San Francisco and radicalized in Los Angeles, she now lives in Kansas City, Missouri, where she gets to put her MFA to use covering the local theatre scene. She is the co-owner of The Pitch, Kansas City’s alt news and culture magazine, alongside her husband, Brock Wilbur, with whom she also shares many cats.

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