Online social media played a major role in the 2008 Presidential election and is already looming large in the early stages of the 2012 Presidential bid. Newt Gingrich made a dramatic statement recently about Paul Ryan’s Medicare proposal:
“I don’t think right-wing social engineering is any more desirable than left-wing social engineering. I don’t think imposing radical change from the right or the left is a very good way for a free society to operate,” he said when asked about Ryan’s proposal.
Such a provocative statement created a media firestorm, begging for a press release from Mr. Gingrich’s campaign. After all, what is “social engineering”? Is it not the same as law reform? The press release’s reference to Tweets as a form of warfare is curious. When I first learned of the quirkiness of this response, the embedded humor and irony was apparent but took on a new level of clarity with actor John Lithgow’s amazing reading. I invite you to enjoy this video – yes, I am aware that it is posted broadly across the blogosphere – but I simply had to share it with my readers.
Wouldn’t it be great if a sense of humor could be applied throughout the Presidential campaign, executed without disrespect and with such panache as John Lithgow? Such a grand performance inspired a vision of Lithgow as Gingrich’s press secretary during the campaign. If only it could be so.
Note that Lithgow’s performance begins at about 3:30 into the six minute video.
The full text is below:
“The literati sent out their minions to do their bidding,” Tyler wrote. “Washington cannot tolerate threats from outsiders who might disrupt their comfortable world. The firefight started when the cowardly sensed weakness. They fired timidly at first, then the sheep not wanting to be dropped from the establishment’s cocktail party invite list unloaded their entire clip, firing without taking aim their distortions and falsehoods. Now they are left exposed by their bylines and handles. But surely they had killed him off. This is the way it always worked. A lesser person could not have survived the first few minutes of the onslaught. But out of the billowing smoke and dust of tweets and trivia emerged Gingrich, once again ready to lead those who won’t be intimated by the political elite and are ready to take on the challenges America faces.”