The Daily Kos found a nice example of what happens when you automatically criticize every word out of your opponent's mouth: You sometimes get tripped up in your own contradictions. Newt Gingrich the other night gave a speech to the Republican faithful lambasting President Obama for using the dangerous concept of "citizen of the world." Only problem is, President Reagan embraced exactly the same concept in a speech to the UN. Oops.
I wonder if Gingrich ever told Reagan that the citizen of the world concept is "intellectual nonsense" and "stunningly dangerous." Somehow I doubt it.
But even apart from the stupidity of attacking Obama for saying exactly what Reagan said, isn't Newt Gingrich's message just pushing the Republican party even further out onto an ideological limb that might continue to marginalize their appeal? The concepts that Gingrich was attacking--that all human beings inhabit the same planet, that our actions affect the well-being of one another, that we Americans come from every corner of the globe, and that we ought to have a sense of humanity that operates beyond borders--are not exactly far left, socialist ideas. They are almost platitudes. To attack brotherhood and global cooperation strikes me as more "stunningly dangerous" than using the innocuous phrase "citizen of the world." And to say you're not a citizen of the world suggests that you must be a citizen of someplace else. Does Newt Gingrich really want the Republican Party to embrace hate-mongering and fear-mongering as their political platform? Does he want to place himself outside of the mainstream of the rest of the six billion human inhabitants of the globe, nearly all of whom are quite comfortable admitting that we were born here? Ronald Reagan would not approve.