We still can't quite wrap our heads around this after a full hour of staring at the wall, and crying, so let's see if the simple act of typing it out helps: Donald Trump, after meeting with child-labor zealot Newt Gingrich this morning, has announced a plan to hire at least 10 poor children as "apprenti." This development is about as surreal as the phrases "2012 Republican presidential frontrunner Newt Gingrich" and "2012 Republican debate moderator Donald Trump." Are we completely untethered, now? Have things come undone?
Trump and Gingrich appeared shoulder-to-shoulder following their morning powwow, excited to share their labor-intensive plan for poor children. Gingrich, as Raw Story writes, announced that he'd "asked [Trump] to take one of the poorer schools in New York and basically offer at least 10 apprenticeships to kids from that school to get them into the world of work, and to get them into an opportunity to earn money, and get them into the habit of showing up and realizing that effort gets rewarded, and that American is all about the work ethic." What a couple of heroes. Murder me with a knife through the eyeball!
Then it was Trump's turn to remind us that he also hosts a television show called The Apprentice:
"It was a great honor to have Newt up here," the business mogul remarked. "He did mention if I could do something for some of the kids in very, very poor schools throughout the city. I thought it was a great idea. We call it apprenticeship and we all know about ‘The Apprentice.'"
"We're going to be picking ten young, wonderful children, and we're going to make them apprenti. … It was Newt's idea, and I thought it was a great idea."
The harrowing thing about Newt Gingrich's plan for Donald Trump to force poor children to work menial jobs as (a) a branding and marketing vehicle for Trump's reality show and (b) a testing ground for Gingrich's plan to eliminate federal child labor laws is that it's not a political mistake. More likely it's a net positive for the Newt Gingrich presidential campaign! Gingrich knows exactly what he's doing with this child labor kick. It gets liberals all worked up, which is movement conservatives' primary objective at all times; it gives Gingrich an excuse to say he's "reaching out to inner city voters," the precise type of feel-good spin that the CNNs of the world will accept at face value. Meanwhile, the message that conservative Republican base voters are hearing is "Newt Gingrich will force those lazy black kids to clean shit all day." It's all they've ever wanted to hear. Why did it take so long for Gingrich to run with this? Why didn't any of the other candidates think of it? It's a perfect, timeless means of instantly uniting the Republican base in support of your campaign. And now he's able to bring in birther Donald Trump to play overseer! This is how to win the fuck out of a Republican nomination.