Friday, March 28, 2008

Newt on Child Abuse, War, Immigration? Not?

There is a good deal else
That would not exist
Without "poisonous pedagogy."
It would be inconceivable, for example,
For politicians mouthing empty cliches
To attain the highest positions of
Power by democratic means.
Alice Miller

Can't help wondering... what you're wondering about?

Did John hear the bells toll yesterday? Barack and Hillary grab their helmets and flack jackets, begin to run faster and harder? If not, then they missed Newt's speech at AEI.

Whatever one thinks of Newt, and this isn't the place for that, the man is brilliant…almost beyond belief. Some months ago in an interview when asked if he'd run, he said no reason to do that as Republican's had a full field of good men running.

The speech he gave yesterday is either being thrown into the ring…or about to become the ring around all future Republican talking points. Newt managed to wrap himself in everything Barack, added a few touches of Hillary, coated himself with pure Repubican brass and came out looking like a gold ring looking for a finger…or a nose.

But this isn't about Newt, John, Hillary or Barack…what their positions on issues look like, how they compare or contrast. This is about something they all have in common with each other and the vast majority of politicians.

They talk about the 3 million in prisons, not about the 3 million reports of child abuse each year. They talk about the 4,000 soldiers killed in this 5 year war, but not about the
7,000 children killed by child abuse during that same time. They talk about the thousands of wounded soldiers who will suffer and struggle the rest of their lives, but not the hundreds of thousands of child equally as wounded each year by child abuse. They talk about people losing homes, but not about children who are homeless. They talk about poverty but don't mention the 12 million children who go to bed hungry every night. They talk about the sad state of illegal immigrants hiding in the shadows, but not about the child abuse of having children grow up without education, medical care, or much else besides a venomous rage that encircle their young hearts, then wells and swells until it can no longer be contained and brings them finally to uncoil and strike at anyone for any reason. They talk about human rights for all but the United States hasn't ratified the 1989 UN Convention on the Rights of the Children. (Somalia is the only other one!)

In this speech, Newt in his cleverness managed to avoid alienating the black voters by throwing a few glittering pieces of mica in their direction as he shifted the focus of compassion away from other minorities to the Native Americans. He managed to make everything Barack and Hillary offer to champion education, poverty, race relations, look like paupers offering to share crumbs. When he offered free college to students who finish high school in two years rather than four, while coating them in tax cuts and the talking points always popular with the Republicans, I almost had to stand and applaud the man for his creativity.

Say what you will about Newt. He knows his stuff, and how to use it for best advantage. He proved that 30 years ago. In this one speech he gives the deserting Republicans a path on which to run back to the fold, the wavering independents a means to get out from the stress of indecision, and the disgruntled Democrats not happy with the idea of voting for a black or a woman, a time-tested old white guy saying what they want to hear.

But what about John, the war, immigration, and child abuse? Dogs that don't bark?

HMMMM...I had a dog once... a German Shepherd... she didn't bark, but she was the best watch dog in the world...anyone coming over the fence never knew she was there before she pounced.

Here are some links:

AEI Address by Former Speaker of the House Newt Gingrich

Obama Campaign Speech on Race

An Open Letter to all Responsible Politicians from Alice Miller

Spanking is Counterproductive and Dangerous

Alice Miller: The Childhood Trauma

UN Convention on the Rights of the Child in Child Friendly Language

Convention on the Rights of the Child

UN Convention on the Rights of Children

What Are You Going to Do About Child Abuse?

The Limits of Politics I: The Roots of the Politics of Power

The Politics of Lies: Suffer the Child

A Child is Waiting,
Take aware,
Nancy Lee

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