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Newt Gingrich’s Mom was Bipolar

Fantastic Daily Beast article on the nexus of politics and psychology.

by
Dave Swindle

Bio

December 27, 2011 - 2:06 pm

Via The Daily Beast…

BTW, Mood disorders run in families:

Newt’s was a rootless boyhood as his stepfather’s military career moved the family around the U.S. and abroad. His mother became more and more emotionally fragile. How did she survive? I asked Kit Gingrich.

“I almost didn’t,” she blurted out. “I had manic-depressive illness.”

“Oh, sure. My life was moving from one post to another and another doctor and more medicine,” she told me. “You name it,” she said, referring to all the medications she was given for bipolar disorder, “and I was on it.” When a new doctor took her off all medication, she said, “I almost fell apart.” Bob Gingrich was furious and demanded that she be medicated again. But in that brief window of clarity, she told me, she saw him with new eyes. “Bob is a tyrant,” she declared. “No question about it.”

Newt grew to the age of 15 believing that Bob Gingrich was his real father. When he found out that his real father was named Newt McPherson, a fine Scottish name, a great fantasy grew in his mind. “Robert the Bruce,” Gingrich rhapsodized, “is the guy who would not, could not, avoid fighting … He carried the burden of being Scotland.” To be called Newt the McPherson would be hugely significant. It would mean that Newt was head of the tribe, the supreme leader.

I wrote an article a few weeks ago making the case against Gingrich because of his radical, unreliable temperament.

Some might mistake my passionate opposition to Gingrich as a personal distaste for the man. Nothing could be further from the truth. Gingrich is one of the giants of modern conservatism. His accomplishments deserve our respect. His encyclopedic erudition inspires us all to strive for a deeper intellectual understanding of our world. And on a personal level he stands as an example of a man who has been able to fall and build himself back up again to aid in the defense of freedom.

But you still don’t give the keys to the kingdom to someone who can’t be trusted.

One can judge a man’s character and ethics as not being at the A level necessary for the presidency. That’s not a personal slam against Gingrich. That just means he’s normal. He’s flawed like most Americans are flawed. (And I do not look down in judgment.) But for president we need to look for moral character that is well ABOVE average. That was how conservatives more or less succeeded on the ethical front with both Ronald Reagan and George W. Bush.

So Newt, can’t you just go back to being one of the top pundits again instead of trying to be president? We’d very much appreciate more books and Fox News appearances and bold policy proposals. Come on, better to reign in intellectual hell than serve in political heaven, right? Then at least you’d put the country in less danger and less reliance on blind faith that your Catholicism has finally tamed your Radical Spirit.What an ending:

Marianne raged at Newt for his sanctimony in giving high-minded speeches about family values—how could he stand up and say such things and do what he was doing? His retort, she said: “People need to hear what I have to say … It doesn’t matter what I live.”

RTWT.

David Swindle is the associate editor of PJ Media. He writes and edits articles and blog posts on politics, news, culture, religion, and entertainment. He edits the PJ Lifestyle section and the PJ columnists. Contact him at DaveSwindlePJM @ Gmail.com and follow him on Twitter @DaveSwindle. He has worked full-time as a writer, editor, blogger, and New Media troublemaker since 2009, at PJ Media since 2011. He graduated with a degree in English (creative writing emphasis) and political science from Ball State University in 2006. Previously he's also worked as a freelance writer for The Indianapolis Star and the film critic for WTHR.com. He lives in Los Angeles with his wife and their Siberian Husky puppy Maura.
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