I don’t know how many Democrats/Progressives/Liberals listen to Conservative talk radio as much as I do, but if you have, you’ve probably heard about this big dust up over a quote by Anita Dunn, talking about how she turns to Mao Zedong’s philosophies for guidance.
For those unaware, Mao Zedong was the first Communist leader of China and also happened to be the leader of the biggest genocide in the 20th century, killing an estimated 49-78 million people – considerably more than Hitler, mind you.
Suffice it to say, a lot of people don’t like him.
So, it goes without saying that one should be a bit careful when referencing the guy, particularly in a somewhat positive light.
That all being said, Anita Dunn, the White House Communications Director, when she was speaking to a group of high schoolers, referenced Mao’s philosophies with the goal of showing that people will have to make choices.
Here’s the full quote referencing the “[one] I turn to most” quote that’s at the heart of all this:
And then the third lesson and tip actually come from two of my favorite political philosophers, Mao Zedong and Mother Teresa — not often coupled with each together, but the two people that I turn to most to basically deliver a simple point, which is, you’re going to make choices. You’re going to challenge. You’re going to say, “Why not?” You’re going to figure out how to do things that have never been done before. But here’s the deal: These are your choices. They are no one else’s.
via Media Matters for America.
To me, this is just another instance of selective quoting by certain “News” organizations for the purpose of appealing to their base. C’est la vie.
For what it’s worth, numerous other Conservative politicians have also quoted Mao:
- John McCain
- Newt Gingrich
- Karl Rove, referring to a book he was encouraged to read.