I'm interrupting my 25 Days Of Random to discuss something that is Making Me Want To Hit People. Or one person, in particular. My friends, last night had the distinctly aggravating experience of hearing Mr. Newt Gingrich speak.
He gave a short talk supposedly on leadership, and though I disagreed with some of his examples, it is hard to argue with the overall suggestions-- ie, know your goals, prioritise your goals, and cheerfully persist at the things that are important to you. Yeah, ok. I mean, it's kind of hard to mess up an inspirational message like that.
And then... THEN, my friends... they started the question and answer session.
My friend asked one of the first questions, asking Gingrich to comment on women in politics, what it took to make a successful woman politician, and why there are so few women in the area.
TURNS OUT that in fact, there is NO difference in women and men in politics. WHY, you may ask? Why, it's because Gingrich can list 10 women in politics off the top of his head. And did you know one of his friends wrote a book about Margaret Thatcher? WELL. If that doesn't scream "equal opportunity," I don't know what does! It's interesting, isn't it, how he neglected to notice that Congress is, in no uncertain terms, MOSTLY MALE. And he couldn't even comment on that honestly. GR. (Oh, and he also noted that race and ethnicity aren't issues anymore-- I'm sure they're not if you're WHITE and MALE...)
In your speech, you seem largely in favour of using police forces to reduce crime rates. I would be interested to hear your thoughts on the underlying problems of crime-- lack of education, poverty, and so on.
I agree with you TOTALLY! Education is IMPORTANT! That is why I created a campaign to pay poor children $2 a book to read over the summer.
Because, obviously, PAYING CHILDREN TO READ not only fixes the failing US education system, but also creates a desire in the children to seek out and appreciate knowledge, not to mention to read for fun. Good use of money, Newt.
(Paraphrased) What about the 46 million Americans without health insurance?
What about the 250 million Americans WITH health insurance (wait... what?)??? Do you want to take away THEIR options (well, no, but I'd sure like to give some to other folks...)? Do you want to take THEIR money? (Well, kind of. I mean, I think we should all pay taxes...)
But... wait, hold on, what about the question? Seems his conclusion is that no, in fact, he does NOT care about the 46 million Americans without health insurance.
Money is coming out of my paycheck for Social Security, and yet that system is failing and I will never see a penny of it. Do you have a solution?
Compound interest! Start saving! And I hope you don't begrudge paying into a system that will benefit your parents! (Fine, fine, play the "parents" card...)
Wait, I'm still waiting. What about the people who don't have enough money to save for when they're older?
No? We don't care about them? Oh. Ok.
OH! But it turns out this is all the current administration's fault, because of the giant debt....
I thought the Bush administration was the one that cut taxes for the wealthy, and started a really, really expensive war.
But I guess I could be wrong about that...
IN CONCLUSION, I am fascinated that Newt Gingrich cares so little for the people in this country who are not rich, white, and male. I never knew such indifference could exist. It makes me shudder (literally) to realise that people like him have so much power.
So when the opportunity arises, VOTE, my friends... because it is up to US, the voters, to say that People Matter.
****And yes, obviously I realise that my questions and responses were not exact quotes, but they certainly do accurately reflect what was being said!****