As Winter Storm Jonas made its way across the northeastern United States in late January, Speaker of the House Paul Ryan (R-Wisconsin) made news with his awkward-yet-delightful livestream of the resulting snowfall in Washington, D.C. This event begged two very important questions — was the song looped over the video a house version of Marvin Gaye’s “Sexual Healing,” and was it part of Ryan’s gym mix? Neither was answered, but the dutiful politician provided the internet with yet another question worth asking on Friday — why does he love the film Braveheart so much?
In an email blast titled “Braveheart Was Right,” which was also posted to the official website of the Speaker’s office, Ryan’s Digital Communications Director Caleb Smith invoked the almighty power of William Wallace (Mel Gibson) to “unite the clans.” No, seriously, that is precisely what Ryan said during his address at a conservative conference on Feb. 3. And to make the message even clearer, Smith — with Ryan’s approval, of course — emailed everyone on the listserv to remind them about the Speaker’s insistence that…
“…the agenda will be a bottom-up, organic effort, driven by the people’s representatives and their committees. Building a movement — particularly one based on such an inclusive approach — takes time, but as Braveheart reminds us, it’s all worth it in the fight for ‘freeeeedooooooooom.'”
Both the email and the post also included a chest-pumping, we’re-all-in-this-together GIF from a pivotal scene in the movie.