Inside The Sickness That Makes Republicans Hate Poor Children

The famous quote that says the degree of civilization of a society is measured by how it treats its weakest members was probably not referring to children because in most societies, it is a given that children must be treated well because they represent promise for the future. This is not limited to industrialized nations or advanced civilizations, but is a universal truth that parents understand and most humane people agree with. America is no different and any parent would agree that they would do anything to nurture their offspring to ensure a secure and content life. It is sad, but not all Americans hold children in the same regard and it is especially true if they are poor minority children.

At the GOP debate on Monday, Newt Gingrich reiterated his position that poor children should be indentured servants by forcing them to work. Gingrich’s statement and resulting standing ovation from equally inhumane Republican audience members has been critiqued and covered in great detail here, but instead of rehashing Gingrich’s statement, it is worth considering why the audience cheered at the prospect of child labor.

It is probable that the audience’s cheering was in part because their children were not in jeopardy of being forced into slavery, but they also love the idea of taking jobs away from union labor; more on that later. There is a sickness inherent in many Republican supporters that makes them hate the poor and extending their contempt to poor children is a natural progression. If Gingrich had said that all children, regardless of their parent’s income level, had to work in schools the audience may have held their enthusiasm in check. Make no mistake, Gingrich definitely singled out poor children because he said, “They’d be getting money which is a good thing if you are poor. Only the elites despise earning money.” Apparently millions of Americans who are unemployed are elitists who hate the idea of a decent, living-wage job and, instead, enjoy wallowing in poverty while real Americans earn money from investments and inheritances.

The sickening audience display was also evident that Republicans hate unionized labor. If that is true, and apparently it is, then those who cheered wildly should call a child the next time their house is burning or their property is being burglarized. Perhaps they will also call on children to care for them in hospitals when they fall ill or need surgical care. The audience and Gingrich have benefitted from union labor in every facet of their lives whether they fly around the country in private jets or drive luxury cars on paved roads. It is unclear why Republicans detest unions, but it is also unclear why they hate poor children. In fact, it is obvious that Republicans hate everyone who is not an affluent white Christian.

These days, Republicans have more Americans to hate than ever before. With nearly one-in-two Americans living at or near the federal poverty level, Republicans must hate half the population and they are on pace to increase those numbers drastically by obstructing job creation efforts of President Obama and cutting spending on programs to help the poor escape a life of poverty. However, it is their contempt for children that is distressing. Gingrich is not the only Republican to call for eliminating child labor laws to replace adult labor, and many Republicans advocate eliminating the minimum wage. Whether Republicans intend increasing the number of Americans living in poverty or not, their policies are guaranteeing that eventuality.

Newt Gingrich’s remark about forcing children into labor was not accidental or a misstatement. Gingrich knew the audience was callous when it comes to poor minority children and it may seem that it was the particular region of the country but it is not limited to South Carolina. In California there are those who advocate forcing poor children to work in schools mowing lawns, mopping floors, and cleaning toilets if they receive free or reduced-cost school lunches, or get tutoring help. The Republican sickness that engenders hate for the poor and especially children is universal.

Americans are kind-hearted people, but instituting child labor and putting janitors, cafeteria workers, and office help out of work to save money for the wealthy belies that notion. Children are supposed to be nurtured and given every opportunity to receive a decent education that will help them avoid living in poverty, but according to Gingrich and the cheering debate audience, that opportunity is reserved for white affluent children. If unionized school employees are out of a job so thirty poor minority children can avoid being elitists who despise earning money, then our society is in decline.

The predominate question for Americans is whether or not this nation reverts to pre-Civil War sensibilities where the poor are forced to serve white, wealthy landowners and their children. All children deserve equal opportunity to thrive and prosper with a good education, but Republicans object to equality to protect the wealthy’s tax breaks. One reason union labor is under fire is because Republicans want to take their decent-paying jobs to give the rich greater tax breaks. If it means indentured servitude for children, then that is the price to pay to help the 1% prosper.

One hopes all Americans are not emboldened at the thought of killing union labor and replacing them with children, but it appears that at least half the country favors forcing poor  minority children into labor. Gingrich did not say how young children should be before they have to mop floors and clean toilets, but the callous notion of making any child work in school portends that there is no age too young. It would be interesting to poll the audience members who gave Gingrich a standing ovation to discover how many would acquiesce to their children taking on an adult’s job for a pittance. The chances are that they would object vehemently to that idea; but they love the thought of poor minority children cleaning their children’s toilets, washing their dishes, or serving them food.

Republicans claim Democrats engage in class warfare, but it is a deflection from their own war on the poor, and now on children. At a time when America should do everything to help all children thrive and benefit from a good education, Republicans intend on reserving that right for white affluent children and it is shameful. However, Republicans have sought to disenfranchise poor women, senior citizens, the middle class, and college students so it is not surprising they include children in that group. Hopefully, the world does not look too harshly on Americans because if they measure this country by the statements and policies of Republicans and their supporters, they would conclude that as a society, we are despicable people for, if nothing else, the way intend to treat our most cherished asset; our children.


38 Replies to “Inside The Sickness That Makes Republicans Hate Poor Children”

  1. Republicans just love to hate anyone, anything that does not mirror themselves exactly! They seem to have learned this from a very young age, most likely from sermons preached by parents and pastors. How they hide behind their bibles.

  2. The US has sunk to a devastating low if it elects someone from the GOP like Newt. His moral character and professional political views, statements and actions are not deserving of the the most powerful leader of the free world. Christianity in it’s sincerity would never embrace the GOP’s heartlessness and greed.
    Willard is too self involved, Newt is too dangerous, Santorum is too extreme and Rand Paul is beyond the beyond.
    America, please we must unite for the principles that made this nation great. Everyone is supposed to have a chance. The good life has been reduced to the multi millionaires and billionaires. The rest have been left to barely make ends meet or worse. The GOP is killing civil rights, women’s rights, voter’s rights, children’s rights and labor rights. They intend to end Medicare, Obamacare and Social Security! They want to destroy the educational system and have education available to only the rich. Is anyone listening out there? Please pay attention and don’t buy into the main stream media’s greed for negative ads and constant misleading GOP talking points. Stand up and stand now for our true democracy!

  3. In a culture that worships bigness, power, money, connections, and Machiavellian intelligence, children, and especially babies, are despised as being the antithesis of all that. Into them, the power-worshippers project their own weaknesses, the better to externalize and punish them. The elites need their own children as safety-deposit boxes for their names, dynasties, idelogies, and fortunes, but as someone who spent my salad days working in a psych ward for juveniles, I can testify that the abuses they heap on their youngsters demonstrate a depraved cruelty that less well-off families would never get away with. Those who survive this treatment go on to be as cruel and parvicidal as their parents; those who do not, get warehoused in private psychiatric hospitals. We have not yet proceeded to a planned starvation of the “unacceptables”, as described in Lifton’s “Nazi Doctors”, but if chance does not produce enough such results, perhaps that is next.

    Dr. Josef Mengele was said to have a cruel fascination with the fetuses he extracted from inmates by force, as well as allowing babies to come to term so he could vivisect them. The current fascination by the right with fetuses, photographs and plastic models of which they display everywhere, seems but a thinly veiled sublimation of the same impulse. The small deserve to suffer and die…at least so long as their existence doesn’t serve to punish and burden someone else. This latter purpose, though, is better served by babies who are starving and languishing in front of their parents’ eyes than by healthy, happy children. And there you have motivation in a nutshell.

  4. And I have to think that the people who are invited to these debates, and even those who vote in these primaries are the most politically active and probably the most extreme of the people in the states. I cannot see a multitude of people in South Carolina who came home from working in a factory or on a farm standing up for child abuse or abuse of labor.

    The people in these audiences of the debates have to be the worst that America has to offer. If they are representative of the conservatives in the Republican Party that is a sure thing that the candidates will have to pander to them and lose the election in 2012

  5. They hate minority children. And non rich white children. But they think your tax dollars should fund their charter schools fir the rich kids. They want all the resources to go back tontheir own including the tax dollars of the middle class and poor.

  6. It’s also known as the “I’ve Got Mine” disease. I’ve got mine — screw the rest of you.

  7. Unfortunately, it’s simply not true that “any parent would agree that they would do anything to nurture their offspring to ensure a secure and content life.” Some parents abuse and neglect their children, even murder them. If parents are desperate enough, they have been known to sell their offspring–this happens every day in the United States as well as abroad.

    I agree with the rest of the article though. Newt Gingrich and Republicans like him are the social, political, economic, and moral scourge of this nation.

  8. while it is true that in Japan, teens do indeed take over the janitorial duties in their schools, it is done more out of a respect for their school and to teach them responsibility. So maybe having teens do some light cleaning at the schools might not be a bad idea. Taking the country back to 1852 is not the way to go. Science has progressed too far to take us back. These guys want to go pre-steampunk era, even. If they even got their wish, what would they do when they got there?
    Don’t take the country back, take it forward.

  9. I actually believe that the reason why the GOP is advocating child labor and eliminating minimum wage is so they can return the US to sweatshop days. They truly are the regressive party.

  10. The US really does treat it’s children differently from other nations. I adopted my daughter from Russia and noticed how differently children were treated. They were allowed to be children. If a child cried on a plane, they tried to help. Here, someone would be flagging a flight attendant to see if they cant boot the noisy kid off.
    And we really do not care about the environment we leave for them, either. Or the education they are getting.
    I know I am not speaking for everyone, but too many Americans

  11. Remember, these people think ‘the Rapture’ is an exit strategy.
    Their death is unthinkable. They don’t expect the world to survive their personal old age. Therefore, the world must end for their convenience.

  12. You know, I think you’re really on to something there.

    That really helps to explain the vicious hatred of kittens and cats I’ve encountered, especially in this area (seeing how it is dominated by dominionists/conservatives/Republicans). We’ve got people advocating declaring cats to be an invasive species (what about cattle, pigs, non-native dogs, wheat, I could go on and on), we’ve got people who preach against them (“They’re the Devil’s pet!”), people use them for target practice, steal them for teaching pit bulls to kill (sometimes along with small dogs), people who will risk their cars or trucks in driving off the road to hit kitties, and people who put out poison for them. Not to mention people who are better off (or “comfortable”) and once their children’s ‘cute kitten’ gets pregnant, drop her off in some poor neighborhood.

    When you think that cats don’t fawn all over humans (they show their affection and love in other ways), combined with the disdain for small or helpless things… it makes sense. After all, good children are supposed to make their parents look good. A child who doesn’t instantly obey is something to be punished and MADE to obey. Their innate cruelty (coming from their religious beliefs and sense of “everything for me”) spills out into many areas.

    (That’s also what they want from adults… instant obedience to authority.)

  13. I’ve seen the same damn thing too often…and I live just across the peninsula from you. Cats, of course, are small beings who do not exhibit the meekness and submissiveness that authoritarians think should go with smallness. To himself, each cat is a lion, even though there are bigger breeds of rabbits, and that truly inflames tyrants (on the other hand, Lenin was thoroughly pushed around by his cats).

  14. First of all. Democrats hate just as much as Republicans. This is obnoxious. Plain and simple. I claim no affiliation because both parties are twisted so sideways that they cant even see straight. If you are 100% democrat you are just as bad as 100% republican. Here is a fun FACT:

    There is more wealth in congress from democrats than republicans. (yet we still hate the republicans for being rich and by “we” I mean the democrats)
    And the majority of wealthy democrats in congress inherited their money while the republicans earned it.
    I’m sick of the “poor me” attitude.

    Go occupy a desk.

  15. Mr. Gingrich wants children to work in servitude because they are children and; or, because they are from poor background. Frankly, what do you expect from a man of moral decryption? What do you expect from a man who left his wives when they were in need of real family support? What do you expect from a man seeking an open marriage from his last wife! What do you expect from a cheat, an adulterous man with very low bar of morality, claiming to be conservative than other!. What do you expect from a man that steals from tax payers while lying that he was giving historical advise to Fannie Mae. Gingrich has more luggage than all Airlines put together!

    Mr. Gingrich and ilk like him will go down in history as the most disloyal President if he ever wins the 2012 election; quite frankly, I doubt if he will ever have that chance. Yes, Republicans who hate those of us who came from poor background and who want us to remain in servitude, we are very thankful for your hate and ignorance. At the end of the journey, it will never matter if you or us lived rich or poor, we all end up as ashes, dust and peat! Hey Gingrich, you are 67 years-old and soon will have to go, whether you like it or not! At that time the world will be here to say: Good bye to bad rubbish!

  16. You claim no affiliation yet turn around and say “(yet we still hate the republicans for being rich and by “we” I mean the democrats)”?

    I think 99% of us recognize that its the congress period that has let us down. That doesn’t stop us from discussing the actions of the republicans however.

    Your hate remark is subjective at best, to the observer

  17. Left AND Right LIEEE;

    1. You say, “the majority of wealthy democrats in congress inherited their money while the republicans earned it.” Link to your “fact” please.

    2. I’m sensing anger from your post. I would support a great big “I told a lie” jar sitting front and center in both houses of congress. What do you think would be an appropriate “caught lying fine/penalty” for our elected representatives?

  18. Hmmm… I usually associate cat “ownership” (more like a shared life) with being a decent person! Maybe he had some good traits after all? (Typed while one of our kitties is grooming my hands!)

    Seriously, I understand the bullies I’ve encountered throughout my life a lot better thanks to that insight. They consider gentleness and kindness to be weakness.

    Maybe that goes for intelligence too…

  19. Well, hey, Chris, I’m a year older than Mr. Gingrich. On the other hand, I live in poverty and chastity, though not much obedience, and I’m probably a third of his size, so I might get to see him turn into peat first (though I really don’t want to watch the process).

  20. They’re right out of Dickens’s own pages–Wackford Squeers, Scrooge (natch), Mr. and Mrs. Bumble, the Guardian in the white waistcoat (Newtie is him, I’d say), the Murdstones, Uriah Heep, Mrs. Joe Gargery, Mr. Pecksniff and maybe Miss Havisham as well and I’m sure I could think of more! Let all those who remember reading Dickens add to the list. What about a superrich Madame Defarge?

  21. I, for one, have no interest in living in a Dickens novel. And this is the world to which the Republicans would have us return.

  22. I’m absolutely confounded at trying to imagine what these “affluent white Christians” think Christianity is. They can’t know anything about the religion they purport to believe…What is being taught in their churches? And to their children? It’s horrifying to contemplate.

  23. Too many times have I seen the hatred that the Rethugs and Teanderthals have for working people,especially poor kids.I think it is a mental illness.I grew up poor,son of a coal miner,now I am disabled.I still help as many kids as I can through the Computers for Kids project.I donate my time and computer repair skills to make sure as many of the poor kids as possible have a computer.I know what it is like to do without.The smiles I get from those younguns are well worth the effort.

  24. Theocratic Republicans believe that God smiles on true believers and helps them be rich, healthy, beautiful, whatever. The poor and the sick have done something to offend God therefore he turns his benevolence away from them.

    If God has turned away from these poor souls, why should his true believers, Theocratic Republicans, lift a finger to help them? It would be like, insulting God’s judgement if humans helped those God wants to punish.

  25. Some of their names for Jesus – Rambo Jesus, Jesus the Executioner, General Jesus… that should give you the beginnings of a picture.

    As to what is being taught in their churches… Obedience theology is a big one (obey those in authority without question) that they’ve exported to other denominations, the way to heaven is through total obedience to God and Jesus and the Bible, only those who believe as they do will go to heaven and everyone else will burn for eternity in Hell, that anyone not like them are evil and monsters and enemies of God… this is only the tip of the iceberg.

    I should add (if your question isn’t rhetorical) that part of them believe that they must take over the world in order to make Jesus return. Even more of them believe that if they don’t take over the country and make everyone obey God, that God will punish America with all sorts of horrible disasters and all “Good Christians” will be made to suffer with the non-Christians because they didn’t force the others to obey God. Quite a few of them believe that there MUST be a big nuclear war before Jesus will return, so they WANT nuclear war. They also believe quite firmly that it is OK to force others to convert or punish them if they don’t “Obey”.

    Oh yeah – and it’s OK to lie, cheat, steal, torture, and even murder (but maybe not exactly in those terms) if it’s done for the “Kingdom of God”.

    That’s a beginning.

  26. The old Calvinist viewpoint. I’ve got a few good resources on that – and that viewpoint has infected America since the days of the Mayflower. (Homelessness and poverty – and the Republican-like attitudes towards the same – have been part of this country since the Pilgrims and were brought here with them.)

    One thing leading to that is a serious lack of true Bible scholarship. For instance, if they were to read the book of Job (and not to their blowhard preachers’ dismissal by saying that the most important line in Job is Job’s statement of faith – it’s really not that important) and read the line where God tells Job’s friends that they haven’t spoken the truth about God as Job has… then go back and read everything that Job says, they would realize that the entire book is a denunciation of the idea of “God rewards piety with good things and punishes sin with misery”.

    In other words, what they believe (which is what you wrote) is directly contrary to the scriptures they claim to follow and obey.

  27. Your actions embody the Christianity that these cretins and their cynical manipulators only pay lip service to and pretend to possess. Some of them grew up poor themselves, and they lost their humanity in the process of becoming wealthy.

  28. While I do agree there’s definitely a Calvinist philosophy here, it goes even deeper and gets even weirder than that! In reality, we have the perfect illustration of Steinbeck’s great quote,“Socialism never took root in America because the poor see themselves not as an exploited proletariat but as temporarily embarrassed millionaires.”

    While it IS possible the debate audience WAS wealthy, South Carolina is a very red state, that votes wildly against its own self interests. Although far right, they’re also very poor (42nd in per capita income in 2009) and have a correspondingly high unemployment rate (currently 9th highest, excluding Puerto Rico and DC).

    Yet they all “hate” government handouts and interference. Though I can guarantee you they all take whatever’s offered, while sneering at wealthier, “librul” states as elites. The same states whose dollars pay for part of their welfare status.

    It’s hardly exclsuive to South Carolina. In Oregon our one VERY red district is also the poorest,w ith the highest unemployment. The two wealthiest are the bluest. Yet all the wingnuts will sneer at Portlanders as welfare sopping junkies. After they’ve dissed us for being “over-educated”.

    It isn’t that they mind taxes or social programs—they just mind the ones that don’t directly benefit THEM. And they’re basically too cheap to pay their own taxes.

    It’s a case of self-entitlement, really. I’ve seen it twice with small businesses I’ve worked for: vehemently, psychotically anti-tax, yet tax dollars made up the bulk of their income. One was atrade school, heavily dependent on the Pell Grants and other federal financial aid they aggressively pursued. The other is a child care facility who services many DHS clients.

    The crowd is all for children working as janitors—just not their children. Even if they’re welfare recipients, it wouldn’t be their kids. It really does follow the same logic as elites are people who ride subways and rent (because they can’t afford to buy). And educagted people don’t want to work (because getting an education certainly wasn’t work).

    Because they’re all convinced the day their ship is going to come in is just around the corner. And seriously? Their IQs are probably a bit lower, as well.

  29. Oh, yes, “over-educated”. That’s the one they call you if you believe the earth is round, goes around the Sun, and is several billion years old. That and “elitist” if you believe the proper way to treat the unlucky is by helping them instead of treading on them again and again until they “get right with God.”

  30. I thought “Hate” was an equal opportunity sin of all peoples. Personally, I think the extreme Liberal base has the upper hand in hate speech. Some respect no one or no group…They take great pride and effort in dissing women, slamming anyone who disagrees with them and for some odd reason does not know how to debate according to the rules. This is is scary to me, because when you scream on raw emotion without substance then it borders on mental irrationality. We need level heads who can think and speak under pressure, because this country is standing on one leg and soon its’ going to fall…that will be bad for everyone…no one will escape.

  31. I don’t hate anyone. I think children of single parents should have
    the OPPORTUNITY to work and they should take advantage of it.

    I was and I did. Those children without real parental guidance get what
    to help them grow up and be productive members of society?

    If they get a job – delivering newspapers, making pizzas, janitoring,…-
    they learn the value of their own contributions to their own purse
    and the value of their contributions to those
    for whom they work. This is a life lesson missing in all welfare dependent
    families. How else can it be learned?

    The alternative is to teach them that no matter what they do during their
    life, Government will take care of them. Is Government care for those
    who have not learned to care for themselves
    the goal of those who believe ‘Republicans just love to hate”?

    EmmaLib: Did you work when you were 13 years old (8-th grade)
    Do you work now? Do you believe 13 year olds should get jobs?


  32. Do you believe poor kids should be put to work cleaning up after more affluent kids?

    You do know that just getting them jobs was not Newts intentions at all right?

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