A Modest Proposal

Jonathan Swift 1729 A Modest Proposal
“I have been assured 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 fricasee, or a ragoust. “
“I do therefore humbly offer it to publick consideration, that of the hundred and twenty thousand children, already computed, twenty thousand may be reserved for breed, whereof only one fourth part to be males; which is more than we allow to sheep, black cattle, or swine, and my reason is, that these children are seldom the fruits of marriage, a circumstance not much regarded by our savages, therefore, one male will be sufficient to serve four females. That the remaining hundred thousand may, at a year old, be offered in sale to the persons of quality and fortune, through the kingdom, always advising the mother to let them suck plentifully in the last month, so as to render them plump, and fat for a good table. A child will make two dishes at an entertainment for friends, and when the family dines alone, the fore or hind quarter will make a reasonable dish, and seasoned with a little pepper or salt, will be very good boiled on the fourth day, especially in winter.”

Glenn Beck’s Modest Proposal (from the Dally Beast) [2020]
“Telling listeners of his radio show on Tuesday that he wanted to have “frank conversation” with them, Beck openly acknowledged that such action could end up killing millions of Americans, especially older ones like him.”

And

“I would rather have my children stay home and all of us who are over 50 go in and keep this economy going and working,” Beck added. “Even if we all get sick, I would rather die than kill the country. Because it’s not the economy that’s dying, it’s the country.”

Texas Lieutenant Governor Dan Patrick [2020]
“Patrick, the Texas chairman of the president’s campaign, appeared on Fox News on Monday and said that he was not only ready for the country and the economy to get moving again amid the coronavirus pandemic, but also that he and other grandparents might be willing to die for that to happen.”

“My message is that let’s get back to work,” Patrick, 69, said on “Tucker Carlson Tonight.” “Let’s get back to living. Let’s be smart about it, and those of us who are 70-plus, we’ll take care of ourselves, but don’t sacrifice the country.”

Medicynical Note: The modern Modest Proposal from Patrick, Beck and from our feckless President refers to sacrificing lives in order to save………the stock market (a stand-in) for the economy. Their proposal as far as I can tell is a “serious” recommendation.

Swift’s modest proposal also aimed at correcting economic problems but in Ireland in the early 18th century. “A Modest Proposal, is a Juvenalian satirical essay written and published anonymously by Jonathan Swift in 1729. The essay suggests that the impoverished Irish might ease their economic troubles by selling their children as food to rich gentlemen and ladies. This satirical hyperbole mocked heartless attitudes towards the poor, as well as British policy toward the Irish in general. “ (Wikipedia)

The difference between Swift and Beck, Patrick and yes Trump is that Swift’s was satire.

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