Just when you think you know everything about someone, you get blindsided by a revelation you weren’t expecting.
Although I became a newly drafted Clintonite back in August 1992, I felt there was something respectable about Representative Newt Gingrich’s 1992 proposed Contract With America because I had always believed we Americans should be responsible for ourselves, and that government should not be expected to give handouts to those with an able body and mind.
Despite growing up in a family where generations of many extended members relied solely on state welfare benefits to live, the Welfare Reform and Personal Responsibility Reform Acts of the Contract With America resonated with me because it was disturbing that the state and local government aided in a sense of entitlement of welfare benefits and complacency in being poor and under-educated by offering “free money” with no strings attached It was also frustrating because a lot of these extended family members spent less of this tax-payer money on food and clothing than they did on drugs and alcohol.
However I felt about those who abused the system, Speaker Gingrich’s guided Republican Revolution was too harsh, too fast. Just as one cannot expect a heroin addict to kick his demonic habit overnight, I did not think it was fair to cap legitimate welfare recipients at 2 years of benefits at the hand of those who used welfare as a form of compensation as oppose to supplementation, often times over several generations, without some reasonable form of rehabilitation or guidance. (Contrarily, President Clinton favored a more generous option by signing the Welfare to Work legislation.)
Don’t get me wrong; Speaker Gingrich is a brilliant historian who did not only represent the 6th Congressional District in Georgia, he fought for policy and championed real change to help rebuild and reshape America’s prosperity and security that would uplift all Americans long-term. He was not “conservative” for the sake of being “mean”, or “right-wing”. He legislated with well thought out purpose and analysis, thus earned my admiration, even if I was a registered Independent with Democrat-leaning tendencies.
As my political naivety transformed into savvy, I was so certain I knew where Speaker Gingrich stood on all issues that are important to me – some I agree with, others I don’t. But at least I felt secure knowing he wouldn’t surprise me with a piece of proposed policy or legal change he intends to effectuate. Well, wrong again.
During the Republican National Security Debate on November 22, 2011, I didn’t almost choked on my chips and homemade habanero latent salsa because it was spicy. No. I just listened and gasped as the Speaker outlined his proposed amnesty for illegal immigrants who have been in the United States for 25+ years, and who “are good citizens”.
No matter how well they “follow the rules of law” and “pay taxes”, [they] are not citizens. While I can appreciate Gingrich wanting to “allow families to stay together so not to break up the family” by deporting illegal parents, the resources of tax paying LEGAL residents and CITIZENS can be better spent trying to keep poor American families together so not to force children into foster care, or onto the street because their parents cannot find work, thus cannot meet rent or mortgage payments. Illegal immigrants know and understand the consequence of crossing our borders illegally. If and when illegal border crossers are discovered, the reputation of Immigration & Nationalization Service i.e. the United States Government, should be that that the illegal person knows they will be deported without a hearing or plea. Rather, they should enjoy living in this beautiful country while it lasts, but not expect legal Americans to be bleeding heart liberals granting Ex Post Facto laws according to one’s sob story.
This Gingrich revelation was very shocking to me, and for a split second, I fickly withdrew my support of his candidacy. But as the debate concluded, I realized no candidate is capable of being perfect, but most importantly, I remembered that Newt Gingrich is still the smartest Republican running, and this hot button issue of illegal immigration is not going to change any time in the near future. So, in spite of disagreeing with “legal without citizenship”, my support of Speaker Gingrich as the Republican nominee for President of the United States of America remains steadfast.
Article Tags: Legal Without Citizenship, Newt Gingrich, Republican National Security Debate, Welfare Reform