Paul Ryan’s Constituents Put Him On the Back of a Modern-Day Milk Carton

The House Speaker is nowhere to be found during the congressional recess, and his constituents are super-pissed about it.

Paul Ryan’s Constituents Put Him On the Back of a Modern-Day Milk Carton
[Photo: Flickr user Tony Alter]

It ain’t easy being House Speaker Paul Ryan. The job constantly involves looking the other way, failing to have opinions, and ignoring the stench of off-the-charts hypocrisy, which hits like a thousand elevator-farts. Oh yeah, the job also entails attempting to fulfill the nearly decade-long dream of finally taking away health care from millions, despite how unpopular the idea seems to be getting, and the apparent difficulty of finding a suitable replacement. So all in all, Ryan has a lot to answer for. Not that he’ll be doing that.

This week marks the first congressional recess of the new administration, and representatives around the country are holding town halls to hear out their constituents concerns. Some of these constituents have way more concerns than others, leading some congresspeople to echo the cowardly chorus line about “paid protesters” that’s proven so popular of late. Paul Ryan may never have the opportunity to accuse his phalanx of protesters of being in George Soros’s apparently endless pockets, however, since he is not only declining to host a town hall, he’s not even answering requests for one. His evasive silence his left constituents to take matters into their own hands.

The residents of Janesville, Wisconsin have channeled their concerns about the state of their healthcare and the country in general into faux-concern about the safety of their congressperson, Ryan, who appears to be missing. Some of them have placed a missing-person ad in the Lost and Found section of the Madison Craigslist. Others have gone the extra mile and put up a billboard inquiring about the absentee Ryan’s whereabouts.

While these efforts are not likely going to result in a miraculous Friday night town hall meeting tomorrow, they will indeed have an impact. The ads show that people are starting to think like marketers and use the power of social media to amplify their message. In years past, the story would have been only about Ryan, and a minor one at that. Now, those townspeople are savvily grabbing hold of the narrative and showing the heightened degree of their demand. The story of how Ryan is ignoring them cannot, itself, be ignored.

[via The Week]

About the author

Joe Berkowitz is a writer and staff editor at Fast Company. He has also written for The Awl, Rolling Stone, McSweeney's, and Salon.

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