Paul Ryan: Mentors and my mom. My dad’s buddies taught me how to hunt and taught me a lot of things, and my mom.
Bill Bennett: Hunting is not working, is it?
Paul Ryan: No, but you can learn a lot of lessons there. By the way, you can teach your kids character in the woods. A lot of good life lessons are learned in a tree stand, Bill.
Bill Bennett: The fatherless problem is a big one. This has something to do with people’s attitudes. I asked my guys, and you know my boys, what do you remember me saying most often. And they of course gave me a bad time and said lately it is: “What’s that? What’d you just say?” It’s pretty funny but they say: “Do your job, do your job.”
Paul Ryan: I remember more my mom was: “Suck it up, deal with it, and tough.” Those are the things I remember saying to me a lot.
Bill Bennett: But I mean, a boy has to see a man working, doesn’t he?
Paul Ryan: Absolutely. That’s the tailspin or spiral that we’re looking at in our communities. You know your buddies Charles Murray or Bob Putnam over at Harvard, those guys have written books on this, which is we have got this tailspin of culture in our inner cities in particular of men not working and just generations of men not even thinking about working or learning the value and the culture of work so there’s a cultural problem that has to be dealt with. Everyone has got to get involved. So this is what we talk about when we talk about civil society, if you’re driving from the suburbs to the sports arena downtown by these blighted neighborhoods, you can’t just say: I’m paying my taxes and government is going to fix that. You need to get involved. You need to get involved yourself – whether through a good mentor program or some religious charity, whatever it is to make a difference. And that’s how we help resuscitate our culture.