Saturday, May 14, 2011

Newt Gingrich’s “History Of Divisiveness And Intolerance”

Newt Gingrich, who declared his presidential candidacy, fashions himself an intellectual heavyweight and a historian. I’ve been tracking Gingrich’s historical pronouncements and find many as valid as Glenn Beck’s. Gingrich has commented on “gay and secular fascism,” distortions to which his gay rights activist sister Candace objected; stated that "we are surrounded by paganism”; declared that the president’s behavior is “Kenyan, anti-colonial”; stated that his own adultery was driven by love of country; demanded that Obama bomb Libya and then criticized him for doing so. In an editorial, The New York Times rounds out the Gingrich “history of slashing divisiveness and intolerance”:

He refers to himself as a historian, but apparently his personal study of history has primarily taught him about the effectiveness of demagogy. Donald Trump, fiddling with birth certificates, is an amateur compared with Mr. Gingrich at sliming the Obama administration — as well as Democrats, Muslims, blacks and gay men and lesbians.

The Democrats who won in 2008, including President Obama, are “left-wing radicals” who lead a “secular socialist machine,” he wrote in his 2010 book, “To Save America.” He accused them of producing “the greatest political corruption ever seen in modern America.” And then the inevitable historical coup de grâce: “The secular-socialist machine represents as great a threat to America as Nazi Germany or the Soviet Union once did.”

The slurs don’t stop there. He compared the Muslims who wanted to open an Islamic center in Lower Manhattan to the German Reich, saying it “would be like putting a Nazi sign next to the Holocaust Museum.” He is promoting the fringe idea that “jihadis” are intent on imposing Islamic law on every American village and farm.

Last year, he called for a federal law to stop the (nonexistent) onslaught of Sharia on American jurisprudence and accused the left of refusing to acknowledge its “mortal threat to the survival of freedom in the United States and in the world as we know it.” This nuanced grasp of world affairs was reinforced when he said that Mr. Obama displayed “Kenyan, anti-colonial behavior.”

In his world, advocates for gay rights are imposing a “gay and secular fascism” using violence and harassment, blacks have little entrepreneurial tradition, and Justice Sonia Sotomayor of the Supreme Court is a “Latina woman racist.” (He kind of took back that last slur.)

...It is not difficult to know what Newt Gingrich stands for, and to find it repellent.

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