There's an old proverb that says once a person becomes known as an early riser, he can sleep all day. The point of the saying is that many people will ignore a person's actual behavior, and instead base their opinion of him on his reputation. Nothing demonstrates this truth more powerfully than the very strange career of Newt Gingrich. He is arguably the most left-wing of the current candidates for the GOP presidential nomination, but because the media portrayed him as a right-wing conservative back in the 1990s, and continue the charade even today, that's how most people view him. Even millions of conservatives think he's one of us, when nothing could be further from the truth.
In actuality, Gingrich was never really a conservative, not even in the early 1990s when he first shot to fame. However, it suited the mainstream media's purposes to portray him as a right-wing foil to Bill Clinton, and that's the reputation that has stuck with him. In addition, he long ago mastered the arts of speaking out of both sides of his mouth, saying one thing while doing another, and constantly revising his "fundamental" principles. For example, while he was on the path to becoming Speaker of the House, Gingrich strongly denounced affirmative action, quotas and other race-based privileges as un-Constitutional and unfair. Shortly after becoming Speaker, however, he quickly reversed himself, not only supporting race-based privileges for minorities, but also denouncing other Republicans who opposed them. He said the GOP needs to embrace affirmative action and quotas in order to be "fair", and to attract black voters. [Why Newt Gingrich's Affirmative. Action Position. Is Moderated by the Threat of Black Voters, The Journal of Blacks in Higher Education, Autumn, 1997]
This is only one item out of his three decades of betraying conservatives. Let's briefly recap several more of his most flagrant actions.
He teamed up with Bill Clinton to force the NAFTA free trade agreement through Congress, over the strong opposition of the majority of the American people; some 50,000 American factories have closed since its passage. He voted yes on Jimmy Carter's proposal to create the federal Department of Education, which takes more control over local schools every year. In 2007 he told PBS that he "would strongly support" a cap and trade program. Now he not only says he opposes cap and trade, he denies that he ever supported it. It's the same with socialized medicine; he now claims to oppose Obamacare, but has long supported a federal law requiring people to buy health insurance. He received 1.6 million dollars from Freddie Mac, which cost taxpayers billions in the mortgage crisis, for lobbying during the run-up to the housing bubble, but claims he was actually warning them about their shoddy practices. Now he claims to be against big spending, but in the past he supported the TARP bailout and the multi-trillion dollar prescription drug benefit for Medicare. He claims to favor 2nd Amendment rights, but in 1994 he voted for Clinton's gun control law.
During his 30+ years in politics, Gingrich has swung wildly back and forth on the issue of global warming several times. Currently, during his campaign for the GOP nomination, he's saying it's not a big deal. However, just three years ago he made a famous TV commercial with Nancy Pelosi calling for immediate government action to deal with the alleged problem. He now says the ad was that "dumbest single thing I've done in recent years." Of course, this raises the question of why he did it in the first place, if it was so "dumb", especially given his numerous other alarming statements on the subject. One would think a 65 year old man would know better than to make a commercial with his supposed political enemy endorsing a huge government program he now claims he doesn't believe in. No matter how he spins it, a man who could make such a "dumb mistake" is obviously unfit to lead the country.
Gingrich has a long history of pandering to radical left-wing race based groups. His reversal on affirmative action was indicative of his entire career with respect to these groups. In a foolish attempt to win Hispanic votes, as Speaker he lobbied hard for statehood for Puerto Rico, which would have created two more permanent Democratic seats in the US Senate. He favors amnesty for illegals, boasting about how brave he is to do so, when he knows very well it's one of the main reasons he's getting such positive coverage in the media. (In contrast, Michele Bachmann says she would deport all illegals from America, in three stages. Compare her brutal treatment in the media with how they treat Gingrich.)
In 2009 he teamed up with Al Sharpton for a national tour to insist on even more billions in funding for public schools and demand that government raise the test scores of minority children. Gingrich declared a new frontier in civil rights, the right to high test scores: "Education should be the civil rights issue of the 21st century," Gingrich said. "If a foreign power did to our children what we did, we would say it's an act of war." (It didn't take long for that message to sink in; a few months later some parents in Detroit were calling for local teachers and principals to be jailed for low student test scores.) Last year the NAACP passed a resolution accusing the Tea Party movement of racism. Instead of denouncing this vile, scurrilous action, Gingrich said it was "a wonderful opportunity for the Tea Party movement" and called for the Tea Party to team up with the NAACP for town hall meetings, saying the two groups share the same goals.
There's much more, but to discuss everything Gingrich has done that should alarm conservatives would require a book, not a report. However, one thing should be especially troubling, and that's a book called Creating a New Civilization: The Politics of the Third Wave. It was written in 1995 by Alvin and Heidi Toffler, who were popular "New Age" gurus and "futurists" at the time; they were considered to be "deep thinkers" and even prophets by some in the media. To give you an idea of where the Tofflers were coming from, they were promoting same-sex marriage and polygamy years ago. A New York Times reviewer of Creating a New Civilization called the couple a "cyber-age version of Marx", and noted that in the book they acknowledge Marx "respectfully, more than once." The book is nothing less than a call for a complete abolition of our current form of government, because separate nation-states are a thing of the past. In a letter to the Founding Fathers, the Tofflers write:
"...this system of government you fashioned, including the very principles on which you based it, is increasingly obsolete and hence increasingly, if inadvertently, oppressive and dangerous to our welfare. It must be radically changed and a new system of government invented - a democracy for the 21st Century."
You might be wondering what this has to do with Newt Gingrich. Well, Gingrich actually wrote the foreword to the Creating a New Civilization, as unbelievable as that might sound to anyone who has fallen for the "Newt Gingrich is a right-wing conservative" line the media is peddling. He has long been good friends with the Tofflers and it didn't bother him at all to write a foreword for a book calling for an end to our constitutional form of government. Conservatives should be horrified at the thought of this man in the White House.
On top of all this, there's the matter of Gingrich's sordid personal history. Shortly after he graduated from high school, he married his former geometry teacher. He later told his second wife that they had actually begun dating when he was sixteen. After nearly twenty years of marriage, he divorced his first wife to marry a much younger woman with whom he'd been having an affair. That marriage also lasted nearly twenty years, until his second wife came down with multiple sclerosis, and he left her for a woman 23 years his junior, with whom he'd been having an affair for years. During this entire time, Gingrich portrayed himself as a strong defender of family values, giving many speeches on the subject. According to his second wife, Marianne, when she found out he was cheating on her, she asked him how he could give these speeches. He replied that "it doesn't matter what I do," arrogantly adding that "people need to hear what I say."
These days Gingrich claims to be devoutly religious and a changed man, but, incredibly, lays much of the blame for his long history of adultery on his hard work and patriotism. He actually told CBN News that those affairs happened because he loved America so passionately that he started working too hard, which caused him to stumble. Those are hardly the words of a repentant man. Millions of conservatives find Gingrich's personal history deeply offensive. If he's the nominee, many of them will stay home next November. Millions of women, of all political stripes, will be outraged that a man like this is trying to move himself and his wife into the White House, and they won't stay home; they'll make it a point to come out and vote for Obama. For all of Obama's faults, he appears to have an exemplary relationship with his wife and kids, and it appears that he always has. The contrast between the two couldn't be greater, and you had better believe the Democrats will play up the contrast for all it's worth.
No matter what happens in the general election, if Newt Gingrich is the nominee, it will be a disaster for Republicans and conservatives. Democrats won't hesitate to make hay out of Gingrich's past, and it's hard to imagine him overcoming that to win the presidency, which means we're stuck with four more years of Obama. Unfortunately, given Gingrich's political history, it's hard to imagine the size of the disaster it would be if he actually did become President and started working on "creating a new civilization." We have got to do whatever it takes to make sure New Gingrich is not the GOP nominee for President in 2012.
Now many of you will wonder what I suggest we do instead. The media is trying already to set this election up as a choice between Romney and Gingrich. By doing so, they create a heads-they-win-tails-we-lose situation. Gingrich will lose to Obama, so if Gingrich gets the nomination they get four more years of Obama, what they really want. Democrats are already writing internal memos salivating over the prospect of Newt Gingrich as the Republican glass jaw nominee; even if by some freak accident Gingrich were to win, the media gets a fake conservative in the White House, a man who will make George W. Bush look like Calvin Coolidge by comparison. If Romney wins, he will likely beat Obama, but then again the media gets a fake conservative. I actually think Romney is likely to be the more conservative President, as I think it more likely that Romney was lying to get elected in Massachusetts than I believe Gingrich is telling the truth now about being a conservative. Romney at least has said he will support mandatory E-Verify at the federal level, and won't back off this position. If Gingrich wins, expect the media to play up his pro-amnesty position as "proof" that Republican majority want amnesty.
Here's the reality: we can ignore the media's propaganda and choose a candidate that's better than both of these sorry "front-runners." In my view, there are two candidates true conservatives can support: Ron Paul or Michele Bachmann.
Republicans who dismiss Ron Paul are living in a fantasy world. Regardless of your opinion on one of his unorthodox positions, the fact remains that he is the ONLY candidate that has put forth a budget plan to actually balance the federal budget during his first term. America is broke. While Paul's way of communicating can be jarring to those who think we need to fight trillion-dollar wars in the Middle East to convince people who've always hated each other to stop killing each other, he's right that we can't afford the wars.
So whether you vote for Paul or not, Paul's foreign policy is going to be America's future. The epitome of Republican insanity is this idea we can afford to fight a war with Iran, a mountainous country three times the size of Iraq with a much more advanced military, all to prevent them from developing nuclear technology that is now three quarters of a century old, while tolerating, because we have to, a nuclear Pakistan. We can't fight wars if we're broke, and every other candidate is endorsing a budget policy that just chips at the edges at the massive expansion of government from the Bush-Obama era. A much cheaper way to fight the "War on Terror" would be to drop our politically correct pretensions by withdrawing our troops to protect our border, tell the UN to take a hike, let Israel take the gloves off to deal with those they deem threats, and cut off immigration from countries who hate us.
As a fiscal conservative Paul simply has no equal. Every other candidate has failed to put forward a concrete plan or is literally a joke fiscally who will bankrupt the country in ten years instead of five years if we re-elect Obama. Another negative on Paul is he would likely veto any mandatory E-Verify legislation on libertarian grounds.
One of the greatest tragedies of the 2011 Republican Presidential race has been the abandonment of Michele Bachmann by social conservatives. She won the Iowa straw poll, but her fickle supporters drifted to Perry, then Cain, and now Gingrich. This is a woman who has been with the Tea Party since the beginning, and unlike Gingrich or Romney, is a genuine evangelical Christian with a powerful testimony. She has all of the Heartland appeal of Sarah Palin, but with a sharper mind and without Palin's tendency towards gaffes. She supports deporting all illegals, mandating E-Verify, and building a border fence. Fiscally, she claims to support $1 trillion in budget cuts, but has not released a detailed plan. She did endorse Rep. Paul Ryan's plan earlier this year, but this plan is a joke, too little too late, that would not balance the federal budget until 2063! If Bachmann would adopt a Ron Paul style plan to actually balance the budget with major cuts the first year (instead of pushing most of the cuts way down the road), she might be our ideal candidate.
Unfortunately, at this point there are no ideal choices in this election, but we can do better than Romney or Gingrich.