When Paul Ryan emerged as Mitt Romney’s running mate in 2012, I felt immense pride. Ryan, by all measures, was an extremely successful product of my own alma mater, Miami University. I was proud to see the tradition of successful alumni continue. I was hopeful for our University’s national profile to be further elevated.
As the vicious 2016 election heated up, I was encouraged by Ryan’s role as a voice of sanity. He openly wrestled with the responsibility of supporting Donald Trump. He pushed back on calls for a religious test for entry in the country, calling it “not reflective of America’s fundamental values.”
Now, however, my hope has dwindled. In the past weeks, Paul Ryan has stood idly by, choosing not to challenge President Trump’s executive order banning travel from seven Muslim-majority countries.
The ban is undeniably unconstitutional, with multiple courts already striking it down.
The ban is morally wrong, as the Pope reminds us that it is “hypocrisy to call yourself a Christian and chase away a refugee.”
The ban is devoid of facts, as no Muslim extremist from any of the countries banned has carried out a fatal attack in the U.S. in more than two decades.
The ban makes America less safe, with Republicans John McCain and Lindsey Graham saying, “We fear this executive order will become a self-inflicted wound in the fight against terrorism.”
I’m reminded of Miami’s own code of Love and Honor, which values the “the acceptance of personal responsibility.”
I’m reminded of Martin Luther King’s words, “There comes a time when silence is betrayal.”
That time is now. Mr. Ryan, why won’t you join your own alma mater in denouncing this ban?
Anything less, and not only will you stand on the wrong side of history, but you will also be looked to as a cautionary tale for years to come in classrooms across our campus.
They’ll say, “Paul Ryan, what a shame. What ever happened to his love? What happened to his honor?”