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Ryan’s display disrespected Oval Office

U.S. Rep. Tim Ryan walked out during the State of the Union address Tuesday in what we would describe as a childish act of showmanship.

This was not a moment of frustration that led our Valley’s congressman to feel a need to get away. If that were the case, then why not just walk away, calm down and be done?

Instead, Ryan, D-Howland, was barely out the door when he began his social media rant, proclaiming his exodus for all the world to see.

“I just walked out of the #State of the Union. I’ve had enough. It’s like watching professional wrestling. It’s all fake,” Ryan tweeted almost immediately — 9:57 p.m. Tuesday, to be exact.

The next morning, he appeared in the national media to defend his reasoning, insisting he had attempted to “sneak out” quietly, but instead sent the tweet as an explanation only after the media discovered he had left and began questioning him.

Later Wednesday, Ryan’s campaign began attempting to capitalize on the antic in an attempt to solicit election funds.

Ryan’s congressional campaign sent emails with “Walked Out” as the subject line seeking to generate donations by highlighting his decision to leave the speech.

“I walked out of the State of the Union address last night,” the email stated. “Taking a stand like this has its risks, but it’s worth it. We need to stand up for our values. Donald Trump’s theatrics and lies may make for good politics for him, but they are bad for our country. My district in Ohio is one of the country’s most competitive. Donald Trump and his allies will be pouring funds in to try to defeat me, especially after (Tuesday). Will you stand with me by chipping in?”

As of Saturday, Ryan’s initial post has been retweeted 25,400 times. It has received a mixed bag of social media reactions.

One Twitter response summed up an item that Ryan missed by his premature exit: “Congratulations. You just walked out on a military spouse and her children. And you missed the opportunity to salute the return of her husband. Well played.”

Another said this: “I wish I could just walk out of my job when something I don’t like happens.”

Further, what message did Ryan’s actions send to his invited State of the Union guest, Steve Burns? Burns, CEO of Lordstown Motors Corp., is one of the Mahoning Valley’s newest businessmen. LMC, of course, is taking over the complex that formerly housed the General Motors plant in Lordstown, where he intends to manufacture electric-vehicle pickup trucks. Burns’ company has pledged millions of dollars in new local investment and hundreds of jobs to start.

How impressive Ryan’s display must have been to this businessman hoping to work with Mahoning Valley elected officials and economic development leaders to boost the local economy!

On national media the next day, Ryan called Trump a “divider.”

Yes, this president has been known to publicly hurl undignified insults at those who do not share his opinions.

“The country wants to heal. The country wants to come together, and he’s just dividing,” Ryan said in media reports Wednesday. “We are tired of the division.”

So, where does it all end? Certainly, Ryan’s antics don’t serve to heal.

Ryan may not hold high regard for Donald Trump; however, as an elected member of Congress, he should have remembered that he represents all constituents of our Mahoning Valley — both liberal and conservative. Ryan should have demonstrated more self-control and respect at least for the Oval Office itself.

Instead, Ryan’s public display Tuesday night painted both the Democratic Party and our Mahoning Valley in a poor light.

editorial@tribtoday.com

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