In "To Save America," former speaker of the House Newt Gingrich issues a warning for America. By overspending, sacrificing conservative values for the sake of easy answers and electing President Obama, America is at risk for its very survival, he writes. Gingrich offers his paln for Republicans to make a comeback in the 2010 mid-term elections and win the 2012 presidential election. An excerpt.
This is a book I never expected to write.
After the victory of freedom over Communist tyranny, of religious liberty over secular police states, and of American pride over the malaise and cynicism of the 1970s, I fully expected America to follow an upward curve of consistent improvement.
I did not expect the Left to ignore the lessons of history and move further into ideological extremism. I did not expect them to react to their meager popular support by seeking to impose a corrupt, Chicago-style political machine on the entire country.
After leaving Congress in 1999 with a balanced budget and a booming economy, I certainly did not foresee Republican failure so vast that it allowed left-wing radicals to take over the House, Senate, and Presidency.
America as we know it is now facing a mortal threat.
The Left have expanded their power through their control of academia, the elite news media, union leaders, trial lawyers, the bureaucracy, the courts, and lobbyists at the state and federal levels. They share a vision of a secular, socialist America run for the interests of the members of the political machine that keeps them in power. It will be an America where government dominates the people rather than represents them. In short, they want to use government power to change who we are and how we think.
This danger to America is greater than anything I dreamed possible after we won the Cold War and the Soviet Union disappeared in December 1991. We stand at a crossroads: either we will save our country or we will lose it.
An alien ideology
The left-wing Democrats who currently control the White House, the House of Representatives, the Senate, and many state capitols are committed to a secular-socialist ideology that is alien to America’s history and traditions.
Traditional America values hard work, entrepreneurship, innovation, and merit-based upward mobility. But the secular-socialist machine rewards its members, punishes overachievers, kills jobs by over-taxing small businesses, and even exploits your death to tax the savings you hope to pass on to your children and grandchildren.
Traditional America was based on a profound belief that “we are endowed by our Creator with certain unalienable rights.” But secular socialists are so opposed to God in public life that they can’t tolerate school prayer or even allow a cross to stand in the middle of the Mojave Desert.
Our government traditionally regarded the protection of American lives as its top priority. Our primary concern with captured terrorists (or pirates, the old equivalent of terrorists) was interrogating them and using that information to stop further attacks.
The secular socialists, however, want to give our enemies the same constitutional protections we afford our own citizens, effectively placing the rights of terrorists ahead of the lives of Americans. With the Left in charge, when a foreign terrorist tried to blow up an airplane over Detroit, he was read his Miranda rights (which, as a foreign enemy combatant, he was not actually entitled to have). Taxpayers were forced to pay for the terrorist’s lawyer, who most likely advised his client not to answer questions except as leverage to get a plea bargain.
Americans traditionally believed in American exceptionalism—that America has a special mission to protect and spread freedom. For many in the secular-socialist Left, however, the only thing exceptional about America is our supposed viciousness. They believe America is an exploitive, imperialist aggressor, and that the U.S. military is a nefarious tool of corporate interests. Some on the Left even hope for America’s wartime defeat as a means to stop us from promoting American values across the world.
Historically, America was a low-tax, high-job-growth, small-business-oriented society in which families, charities, local governments, and the private sector were much more important to daily life than was the federal government. But the secular socialists believe the only reliable institution is a bureaucratic, centralized, supremely powerful government. Their answer to virtually every problem is higher taxes, more spending, and bigger bureaucracies, because they don’t believe Americans can be trusted to make the “right” decisions.
Americans traditionally believed that elected officials served the people and were obligated to listen to them. “No taxation without representation” was really a battle cry insisting that free people have the right to temporarily loan power to elected officials. In contrast, because the secular-socialist Left cannot win by proclaiming their real goals, they resort to dishonesty to ram through their agenda. They represent the worst aspects of a Chicago-style political machine combined with the greatest political corruption ever seen in modern America.
Given this enormous gulf between historic America and the secular socialists, it’s clear that if the Left stay in power, they will transform America into a radically different nation—a union-dominated, bureaucratically controlled, high-tax, low-growth country. Powerful politicians will impose their will on an exhausted, submissive citizenry, who will look to government bureaucrats for guidance and permission to succeed in life. Naturally, there will be no place for God in this new, purely secular society.
As my daughter, the columnist Jackie Cushman, wrote, “We were told to vote for change we could believe in and found we had elected people who wanted to change what we believe.”
The America in which we grew up is vastly different from the America the secular-socialist Left want to create. And that’s why saving America is the fundamental challenge of our time. The secular-socialist machine represents as great a threat to America as Nazi Germany or the Soviet Union once did.
This diagnosis may strike some readers as alarmist. But this book will show just how radical, how corrupt, and how ruthless the Left have become. You will also see why the term “secular-socialist machine” is the only honest way to describe the Left’s ideology and the way they operate today.
Time has not run out, but it is running short. It’s up to those of us who love our country to save America from the destructive, irreversible transformation that the Left have in store for us.
Who we are
For the first time since the Civil War, we as Americans have to ask the most fundamental question possible: “Who are we?” In 1861 that question related to whether the American Experiment was to be dissolved, whether one-half of our country was to perpetuate the institution of slavery, or whether we, as a united country, were going to abolish it.
Today, we face a challenge equally grave: whether the United States as we know it will cease to exist. I’m not talking—not yet—about the threat of terrorism, or of the growing power of China, or about any other external threat. I’m talking about losing what defines us as Americans.
Most of us know who we are. We know that America is an exceptional country with a unique genius for combining freedom and order, strength and compassion, religious faith and religious tolerance. But today we have given power in Washington and in state capitols nationwide to a radical left-wing elite that does not believe in American exceptionalism. Barack Obama has told us so. When he was asked by a Financial Times reporter whether he believed in American exceptionalism, he replied, “I believe in American exceptionalism, just as I suspect that the Brits believe in British exceptionalism and the Greeks believe in Greek exceptionalism.”
In other words, everything we cherish about America, our president thinks is not so very special, not so very different from any other country. That’s why he and his supporters feel free to change our country as they see fit, to use all the levers of federal power to annex our healthcare system to the federal government, to act as if the bureaucracy—not the private sector—is the great job creator, to make America a more socialist, more secular society.
To put it plainly, America is facing an existential threat—and it comes from a movement that fundamentally rejects the traditional American conception of who we are. No longer, in the Left’s view, are we the Americans of the frontier, the sturdy, independent farmers; no longer are we America the capitalist colossus serving as the arsenal of democracy; no longer are we the America that believes our liberty is an unalienable right that comes from God. All this, the secular socialist wants to deny—and is denying—in favor of a secular, bureaucratic society guided by government elites.
Overall, the fundamental definition of what it means to be American is being undermined and distorted by the values, attitudes, and actions of the secular-socialist machine.
This brings us back to the essential question: who are we? By this, I mean what are America’s basic values and traditions, and what ideals have successfully guided us in the past? By contrasting these historic American attitudes with the alien, destructive values the Left are now imposing on us, we can develop solid principles that should guide our efforts to rescue our country from secular socialism.
The fundamental difference between historic American ideals and those of the secular-socialist Left can be seen in ten conflicting values:
1. Work versus theft
2. Productivity versus union work rules and bureaucracy
3. Elected representation versus bureaucrats and judges
4. Honesty versus corruption
5. Low taxes with limited government versus high taxes with big government
6. Private property versus government controls
7. Localism versus Washington control
8. American energy versus environmental extremism
9. Conflict resolution versus litigation
10. Religious belief versus secular oppression
Any one of these conflicts represents clashing values on the most basic level. Taken collectively, they indicate two irreconcilable worldviews that, in the long run, cannot coexist in the American system. Eventually one of these value systems will defeat and replace the other—and that time will come sooner rather than later. If we lose this struggle, the America of our fathers and forefathers will be forever lost, giving way to a secular-socialist machine that will never relinquish power of its own accord.
Excerpted from "To Save America" by Newt Gingrich. Copyright (c) 2010, repinted with permission from Regnery Press.