To insist that most poor people are people of color or are hispanic might or might not be considered racist. That is open to dispute. That it is literally ignorant is not. That Mike might not have the facts at his fingertips is understandable; Mike is a trusting guy. For a Ph.D. taking responsibility for a policy statement in a Presidential campaign shows exactly the sort of untrustworthy information and leadership one might expect from Dr. Gingrich. His statements are inflammatory and offer exploitive solutions at the expense of the defenseless and powerless among us. For those that admire this sort of behavior, he is the perfect candidate, and I suggest that they campaign for him loudly in exactly the tone they use here in front of all their independent friends, using exactly the same arguments they offer here, with no modification at all.
I believe that such statements may work very well within conservative circles to work up the feelings of other conservatives
The radical right is trying to figure out how to deal with nominating a candidate for the Republican nomination. That much is the business of the Republican party and its various constituent pieces. My own affiliation is Democratic, and as far as I’m concerned this is all to the good for the chances my own party has in the election. The debate that Dr. Gingrich is offering for public consumption is one that I hope gets wide publicity. The belief that Dr. Gingrich seems to have that the American public wants to steal the protections of childhood from the children of the poor is one that I believe is one that absolutely should be tested in the cauldron of an election. The suggestion that the children of the poor should have their childhoods stolen from them while the children of the rich should be encouraged to have safe and protected childhoods is one that I believe would cause the sentiments of everybody who has every read Charles Dickens to indulge in a spontaneous fit of projectile vomiting. Many Americans other than Dr. Gingrich and his friends have a fairly solid history of cherishing the notion of childhood as a special time and place. If it is not one in fact, many of us believe it should be one, and strive to help make it so. We regard this as an ethical, moral and often a religious obligation. To have Republicans take a position against such a set of traditional American values is not in the least surprising for those of us who have listened to the varieties of positions advocated by the radical right over the past hundred years, during which time the right has fought tooth and nail against — among other things — child labor laws. For Dr. Gingrich, this latest provocation to decency is more of the same.
While few people would defend the wonders of the foster-care system, for example, very few indeed would go so far as to advocate bringing back a system of orphanages to replace it. Sign Dr. Gingrich up among them.
To have such a position as the death of the child labor laws advocated so publicly, however, seems to me to be a bit new. To have it advocated in front of Independent voters whose notions about the actual goals of the Republicans may have been swayed by some of the phony election year republican propaganda about constitutionality, freedom and wanting what’s right for the country, however, seems to me to be a little bit risky. The actual motives, running more accurately to Arbeit Macht Frei, work camps and exploitation to the point of slave labor seem to be coming a bit too close to the surface; and some if not many of the independent voters cannot help but notice. Most of them pride themselves on being called “Independents” because they aren’t good at taking marching orders.
One cannot help but wonder whether the exploited children themselves will believe they are benefiting, when the Republicans will have to either break the existing law to put the little kids to work, or change the laws designed to protect children from exploitation in order to do so. I, for one, will make a point of keeping these facts in front of any and all independent voters I know.
I, for one, will keep reminding anybody who will listen that I have asked that the actual facts of the matters under discussion be dealt with, and that at every turn the facts I have raised have been ignored in favor of childish jibes. Were the jibes an attempt to lessen the tension while dealing with this cynical recommendation of economic and emotional exploitation of children, I might let them pass. Offer me evidence they are so now, and I will let them pass now.
In the meantime,children deserve better from adults who are supposed to be responsible for protecting them.