It was beginning to look like an election about nothing, but with the selection of Wisconsin’s Paul Ryan as his running mate, Mitt Romney has made sure that this election will finally be about something.

And that something is our long term health care debt.  Everyone knows that we absolutely need to do something about it, and that the solution will be difficult and involve costs (both real and political) that will hurt–and hurt bad.  Ryan is one of the few that has been explicit about a plan for addressing this problem.  He will be hammered for his plan to slash Medicare, but perhaps his most important role will be to press Democrats to come up with their own plan for addressing our long term health care debt. It will be good for the country to have an open, honest discussion about these very serious issues–especially because so few have the political courage to do so.

As we all know very well around here, Ryan is an explicit and passionate Catholic–and many of us have wondered whether he accepts the Church’s teaching about our duties to the poor.  Does he really understand and accept Catholic Social Teaching?  Does he agree that universal health care coverage should be the goal?  The US Bishops have hammered him on his proposed budget and larger economic plan and, in a very interesting development, they now have a very complex relationship with the GOP presidential ticket.

Whatever we can say about his views, it is good for the country that we will now have this debate.  It is finally an election about something.  And something very, very important.