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"newt's War on Poor Children": Thank You for Saying So Mr. Blow

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I follow the Presidential elections closely enough to know each of the candidates and their viewpoints. I frequently watch them speak, whether it be a formal speech, or on a talk show that I deem worth watching. I distinctly remember watching Newt Gingrich belittle the poor families and children of America. I remember the anger I felt at hearing his short, arrogant, horribly wrong interpretation of "poor." The next day, I was pleased to read this article, and many others, condemning Gingrich and his pompous opinion. Not only does the author, Charles M. Blow, a New York Times Op-ed contributor, share my point of view and advocate for the poor, but he also gives such a convincing argument against Gingrich's stance through word choice, factual analysis, and a reprimanding tone, that it would be hard for anyone, even someone as senseless as Gingrich, to dispute it.

I went through a number of feelings regarding this article. First, it served to fuel my anger at Gingrich. Then, I was overjoyed, a bit sadistically, that someone reputable thought that this could quite possibly be the most idiotic and insulting remark ever leveled against the defenseless and that the moron who said it should at the very least get his facts straight. I was glad that Blow shared my incredulity, which only increased when Gingrich did not retract the statement, but said "okay make them assistant janitors" when confronted about the subject and the safety of the children. Poor people work and they work hard. The problem is that they get paid measly wages and often have two or three jobs. Poor children from poor families know the definition of work because they, for the vast majority, have many more responsibilities and dilemmas than wealthy middle and upper class children. In addition, they see how much their own parents have to work. Another fact from Blow was that even in the poorest of poor neighbors, a third of the children had at least one working parent. That figure does not account for any other working family members than parents, so a good percentage of poverty-stricken children have an example of whom and what a "worker" is.

Then, I tried to rein in my emotions and find the most objectionable points from the candidate. I was immediately drawn to the article quoting his claim that the child labor laws are "truly stupid" and that children should work as janitors. "Janitors" in most schools equates to handymen. Gingrich wants nine-year-olds to sweep up glass, clean bathrooms, and perform all the tasks of an adult. Pushing aside the fact that he would be destroying thousands of jobs across the nation, it is dangerous! He also compares money and morals. He would be a servant of the top one percent if there was even a chance that the majority of America would be dense enough to vote for him. As we have seen on Wall Street, and from the numerous lawsuits concerning the unscrupulous activities concerning politicians, CEOs, and others with power and money, money is more likely to corrupt that instill a moral conscience within a person. I found it ironic that no one thought to bring up Gingrich's misdemeanors, including being run out of Congress



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