Newt is not the only historian defending colonialism. The British historian and Harvard professor Niall Ferguson is another one. In Empire: The Rise and Demise of the British World Order and the Lessons for Global Power, he states that colonialism is a benign form of global government. The British Empire collapsed not because of decades of struggles of colonized people, but because of the overreach of the Empire. He bemoans the fact that the U.S. is not prepared to take up the mantle and finish what the British Empire has started.
Now back to Newt. Congo is a country that captivates all postcolonials. Why, because Joseph Conrad wrote The Heart of Darkness, based on Congo. Edward W. Said has written about the novella again and again. Did Conrad try to contrast the darkness of the continent with the “light of civilization?” Or did he try to demonstrate the brutality of the Belgian colonial regime and the self-doubt of Marlow? Where can we locate the “darkness”—in the natives or in the hearts of the colonizers?
As a historian, Newt fails repeatedly to read the signs of the time. At the height of the civil rights and Black Power movement and global protest in 1971, he sided with the colonizers. In 2011, forty years later, the former professor has not become wiser. At the height of the Occupy movement, he said that the poor people are poor because they are lazy. He said we should abolish children labor laws so that the poor kids can work as janitors. He sides with the 1 percent.
Newt, the 99 percent are not stupid. They are the ones who will decide whether you can become the president or not.
“Those who do not learn from history are doomed to repeat it,” said George Santayana. If the American people did not know the true color of Newt the first time he was around, they should know it by now. Otherwise, God save America.