Ethical Quote of the Month: Newt Gingrich

The Good Newt (newtus virtuous), once believe to be extinct, was sighted in D.C.

“I do not believe that the people of the United States are going to take people who have been here a quarter century, who have children and grandchildren, who are members of the community, who may have done something 25 years ago, separate them from their families, and expel them. I do believe if you’ve been here recently and have no ties to the U.S., we should deport you. I do believe we should control the border. I do believe we should have very severe penalties for employers… I don’t see how  the party that says it’s the party of the family is going to adopt an immigration policy which destroys families that have been here a quarter century. And I’m prepared to take the heat for saying, let’s be humane in enforcing the law without giving them citizenship but by finding a way to create legality so that they are not separated from their families.”

—-GOP Presidential hopeful Newt Gingrich, telling CNN debate moderator Wolf “Blitz” Blitzer his approach to illegal immigration, and spitting into the wind of Tea Party and and conservative Republican ideology on the subject.

Good for Newt. Only on Ethics Alarms can you be scored for your lack of character one week, and celebrated for courage and integrity the next. Complex organisms, these humanoids.

He is, of course, right, just as Sen. John McCain and President Bush were right when they proposed similar policy. There is a statute of limitations on most crimes; there should be one on illegal immigration. The “no amnesty” zealots are irresponsible by definition, because their position ignores reality. The United States cannot, will not and should not round up 11 million people, rip them away from their communities and families, load them into boxcars, and ship them off to their home nations. Yes, not to do so rewards them for cheating, jumping in line, breaking the law or however else you want to describe it (just don’t call it “immigration” without the illegal part, please.) Yes, it lets them ‘get away with it.” Yes, it’s unfair to the immigrants who played by the rules, and yes, it’s infuriating that things have reached this point.

None of that matters ethically. The goal is to take the most ethical option left to us, flawed though it may be. Open borders are not the answer. Continuing current policy isn’t the answer. Newt is right, and courageous to state the truth before an audience that is more interested in posturing than it is in governance. If this statement keeps New Gingrich from the Republican nomination, I won’t be unhappy, because he has proven himself to be untrustworthy, but it would certainly be ironic. With all the irresponsible and unethical things Gingrich has said and done in his career, he shouldn’t get derailed for telling the truth.

5 thoughts on “Ethical Quote of the Month: Newt Gingrich

  1. I had no idea he had any ethical instincts at all. Maybe it’s like Jekyll and Hyde? Some days he’s a governing moderate with some smarts, some days he’s lying, cheating pond scum.

  2. I nearly fell over when I heard him say it. I never expected it. I thought maybe there is hope for him, yet. Not as president, but as a human being.

  3. That’s a great quote. Adaptations of it ought to be in the party platforms of both the Ds and the Rs – and in the platform of any party that’s serious about dealing with the immigration problems as they are, instead of as they are imagined or hyped. You might be surprised to find that more Republicans and TEA Party people agree with Gingrich on his points than disagree. Which reminds me – I’m going to have a house full of them tonight…

    What Newt says is one thing. What Newt should be empowered to do is quite another.

    • The thing about that is that the primary voters tend to be much more ideologically ossified than the rest of the Republican base, especially this season. They don’t seem to WANT reasonable and nuanced policy positions, or they wouldn’t have flirted with the likes of Bachmann and Trump. If the people attending the Republican debates are any benchmark of the primary wing, they’re most interested in rhetorical bomb-throwers and red-meat talking points right now. If Newt wins the primary, though, I’d be interested to hear more of his policy when he moves towards the center for the general election. Still wouldn’t vote for the SOB, but I’d be interested to see if he has any more moderation hidden in those folds of extremism and bacon.

  4. Why oh why is it so impossible to create and administer a system that allows for timely and efficient admission of as many LEGAL immigrants and migrant workers as we need and want, and who want to come here? If Newt had a plan for that, make no mistake about it, every conservative in the country would go along with him. Contrary to popular liberal belief, conservatives don’t hate immigrants. They hate disrespect for the rule of law.

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