Monday, November 21, 2011

Newt Gingrich and the Great Unwashed

Scrotumville, IA. Newt Gingrich brought the audience at the Thanksgiving Family Forum to its collective feet this past Saturday with what is soon to become one more timeless Gingrichian bon mot when referring to the Occupy Wall St. protestors, he said, "Go get a job, right after you take a bath."

While the subtlety of this statement certainly is lost on many pundits, it is clear that Mr Gingrich sees those of us not fortunate enough to be counted among the nations elite 1% as "The Great Unwashed." That he would slyly allude to a term first coined in 19th century England, one that succinctly described the rabble of the lower classes, tells us a great deal not only about Mr Gingrich but his party as well, for this era was characterized by Croesian wealth and gnawing, grotesque poverty.

Apparently, Mr Gingrich sees the connection, and shows the same disdain for the struggling working class as did Edward George Earl Bulwer-Lytton, the playwright largely credited with coining the phrase in the 1830's. It is also evident that the Republican Party shares this view, as he is being roundly applauded by conservative pundits for making the statement.

This all makes sense when one remembers that conservatives detest unions and workplace regulations, among other liberal accomplishments that ruined and replaced the more charming elements of the Victorian Era, like children working in factories by age six, rampant disease eliminating the poor with amazing alacrity and of course debtors prisons. Republicans see the term "Dickensian" as a positive one, just as they see nothing ominous or negative in the term "Orwellian."

It also makes one thing undeniably clear: this is class warfare. When one alludes to The Great Unwashed, there can be no other intent or meaning. Mr Gingrich clearly sees those not in his peer group as beneath him, unworthy and certainly unclean. In other words, if you are not in the top 1%, you stink. And the crowd  of would-be elites in Iowa and across the nation who support him and his mainstream conservative ideas agree. So the next time you hear a Republican charging liberals, progressives and even Democrats with "class warfare," tell them that they are absolutely correct. And sorry about the smell.

©2011 Kona Lowell

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