• Gage Skidmore
  • Congressman Paul Ryan at the Conservative Political Action Conference in Washington last year

“Listen to the way we are spoken to already,” Paul Ryan said at the Republican National Convention last night, “as if everyone is stuck in some class or station in life, victims of circumstances beyond our control, with government there to help us cope with our fate. It’s the exact opposite of everything I learned growing up in Wisconsin.

“When I was waiting tables, washing dishes, or mowing lawns for money, I never thought of myself as stuck in some station in life,” Congressman Ryan went on. “I was on my own path, my own journey, an American journey, where I could think for myself, decide for myself, define happiness for myself. That is what we do in this country. That is the American dream.”

That is the American fantasy. In the American reality, geography is largely destiny. If Ryan didn’t feel “stuck in some station in life,” he should consider counting his blessings instead of patting himself on his back.