Dear Mr. President:
“Please, sir, I want some more.” – You may recognize this simple polite request coming from the impoverished orphan, Oliver Twist, in the novel by Charles Dickens. Just reading the quote instantly congers up the stark image of a dirty, emaciated Oliver holding his empty gruel bowl aloft in front of the “master,” and asking for more.
This is what the Republican Party has come to represent, but instead of England in the 17th century, it’s America in the 20th century, and more specifically GOP candidate Newt Gingrich in particular. Gingrich has promised “extraordinarily radical proposals to fundamentally change the culture of poverty in America.” And that’s what Americans should be afraid of… he will take this country back to the dark and bitterly cruel era of workhouses and orphanages.
So just as Oliver was to be ‘educated’ and ‘taught a useful trade,’ Gingrich would have students in poor neighborhoods clean their own schools, but only after they had spent the day studying. Gingrich blames the core policies of protecting unions for crippling the children be not allowing them to work before their mid teens. He further insists that, “it is tragic what we do in the poorest neighborhoods, entrapping children in, first of all, in child laws which are truly stupid.” Gingrich suggests that these schools should fire the unionized janitors, have one “master” (his word not mine) janitor, and then pay local students to clean the school.
Yes, ‘Master’ Gingrich believes it would be just the thing to ‘lift’ these students up so they can “begin the process of rising” out of poverty. And for this, I’m sure he thinks the kids should be so grateful they’d perhaps say a little prayer for him every night thanking him for his Christian generosity, just as the boys in England’s workhouses were taught to do before they were “allowed” to sleep before getting up again at six the next morning to begin another day of humble service for their gruel.
Yes, Mr. President, the GOP would return us to the draconian days of merry old England where only the rich and privileged prospered. And isn’t that just what they are proposing on a daily basis… Tax cuts/breaks for the super rich, slashing Medicare and Medicaid, decimating Social Security, protecting large corporations, and eliminating all the environmental protections it has taken fifty years to accomplish? What next, abolishing Child Labor Law… in a Gingrich world, yes.
Gingrich wants to challenge the existing child labor laws so children in poor neighborhoods will have the ‘opportunity’ to learn how to be janitors, “earn some cash,” “begin the rising process” and as a bonus, “they’d have pride in their school.”
Really Mr. President… is this the GOP plan for America’s children? Sadly, it is.
Your Gadfly Granny