Reheated Newt

National | Ex-House Speaker Gingrich returns to public life, calls on liberals to "look at the world they've created"

Issue: "Is our military ready?," May 29, 1999

Newt Gingrich returned to Washington, D.C., last week for his "first serious policy speech," as he called it, since quitting as House Speaker. It was delivered to the Republican Women Leaders Forum. A speech like this hasn't been heard since ... well ... since Newt used to give them. Mr. Gingrich reminded the Republican women not to shy away from taking credit for the balanced budget, welfare reform, and many other ideas that President Clinton opposed, but only agreed to after focus groups revealed the people wanted them. Mr. Gingrich said that whether it's at home in Littleton, Colo., or overseas in Kosovo, liberal journalists and their ideological soul mates in academia and politics are "afraid to talk about the mess" they have made or "take responsibility for the things" they have done. Instead, he said, they have forced on the rest of us "pathetic banalities" because they lack "the courage to look at the world [they] have created." The former House Speaker called for a "national open discussion" about how we got to where we are. He suggested the reason: "We have had a 35-year experiment in a unionized, bureaucratic, credentialed, secular assault on the core values of this country." He lamented children who don't know much about the history of America's heroes, or the nation's founding documents, and proposed that states mandate the teaching of the Declaration of Independence and the Constitution. Let the American Civil Liberties Union go to court to try to expunge "our Creator" from the lesson, he challenged. The best way to confront the entertainment industry over the violent and sexually explicit materials they produce, he said, is for politicians not to accept money from the people and companies that produce the offending materials. Mr. Gingrich blamed high taxes for forcing both spouses to work when one wishes to stay home with young children. The same liberal politicians who express concern about children, he said, keep the taxes high so one spouse can't give them the proper supervision. He was only warming up. Mr. Gingrich said the reason we're doing poorly with China and Russia and in Kosovo is because the "Clinton-Gore Administration" has gutted our intelligence agencies, weakened the military, and mismanaged NATO. Weak people hate the company of strong people because it exposes their weakness. So the few who are strong and willing to say what is right without fear or favor must be done away with by the weak if the weak are to remain in power. It is Darwinism in reverse: a survival of the unfit. That's why, for instance, Margaret Thatcher was forced out by her own Conservative Party. Her intellectual strength and political courage exposed her male colleagues as inferior. It is the same with Newt Gingrich. He had to go as Speaker of the House because the left feared all the political, economic, relational, cultural, and moral havoc they had brought forth upon this nation was about to be reversed. They turned him into a grinch who wanted to starve children and kill the elderly through Social Security and Medicare "cuts" he never proposed. Some in his own party joined the opposition because they feared being exposed as weak leaders. Newt Gingrich speaks like a leader. How many of the incumbents will come forward and follow his lead, not only with tough talk, but with a bold agenda?

-© 1999, Los Angeles Times Syndicate

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Cal Thomas
Cal Thomas

Cal, whose syndicated column appears on WORLD's website and in more than 500 newspapers, is a frequent contributor to WORLD's radio news magazine The World and Everything in It. Follow Cal on Twitter @CalThomas.


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