Mon. Feb 26th, 2024

Charles Idelson's picture

In 1729 writer/satirist Jonathan Swift penned an essay directed toward the English upper class suggesting a solution for how to prevent the children of poor people in Ireland from being a burden to the country and empire and “for making them beneficial to the public.”

“I have been assured,” Swift wrote in A Modest Proposal “by a very knowing American of my acquaintance in London, that a young healthy child well nursed is at a year old a most delicious, nourishing, and wholesome food, whether stewed, roasted, baked, or boiled; and I make no doubt that it will equally serve in a fricassee or a ragout.”

Amidst the words emanating from Washington these days, it seems apt to ask if House Speaker Paul Ryan, Office and Management Budget Director Mick Mulvaney, or Republican Congress members Roger Marshall, Jodey Arrington, or Jason Chaffetz are descendants of that “very knowing American”.

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