American Solutions, Day 2

by Ryan on September 29, 2007

in Culture,Election 2008,Politics

Today is the second day of Newt Gingrich’s “American Solutions for Winning the Future.”  The opening of the conference Thursday was quite inspirational and full of ideas and possibilities.  One of the things I love about Newt, is that he speaks a language I understand:  the language of history and historical perspective.  This conference and this afternoon’s workshops are all about finding solutions to America’s big problems.  Surprisingly, the American people, according to the American Solutions polls of a diverse group of 6000 people asking in-depth revealing questions, have super majority opinions on:

  • wanting English as our official government language (85%)
  • solutions to our nation’s problems must start at the grassroots level outside Washington (84%)
  • change must happen (90%) and that government needs significant transformation (56%)
  • America has shared values (80%)
  • private sector solutions are better than government ones on Social Security and Health Care (80%)
  • long-term solutions trump short political quick-fixes (92%), etc.

I’ve already posted my feelings about America and our feelings about change and which political party can take the initiative better than the other.  But Newt spoke the language of history to indicate that when the American people get fickle like they are today, they send a clear message to the ruling class in Washington:  “Change or we’ll defeat you.” 

Newt said this attitude has been present many times in US history and is present today:

  1. The Federalists (1780s)
  2. The Jeffersonians (Early 1800s)
  3. The Jacksonians (1820s-30s)
  4. The Lincoln Republicans (1860s-70s)
  5. The Progressives (1900s-10s)
  6. The New Deal Democrats (1930s-40s)
  7. The Reagan Republicans (by extension the Contract with America) (1980s, 1994-5)

Those government officials embraced the public’s demand that the system change in order to accommodate the new challenges of the era.  In all of these periods, the American people demanded that their government change the way it does things:  some of these periods saw a decrease in government action, others an increase.  Yet, in all of them the government had to change to the detriment of the political party not willing to listen:  the Federalist and Whig Parties even went extinct!  Is Newt making too big a deal about this?  Is there really a national desire to make government work again?  I think there is, and his polling data and historical perspective are consistent with the desire of the American people to embrace change.  What kind of change?  Well, that’s why Newt’s putting on these and future workshops– to at least start a serious dialogue.

UPDATE:  Word has it that Newt is not going to run for President in 2008.

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January 9, 2008 at 1:14 pm

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rightonoz October 1, 2007 at 6:22 pm

You could possibly add the republican party to the list of parties that disappear if the threat this week from the religious right to run their own candidate in 08 comes through.

They are saying they will not tolerate Guliano as the candidate because of his views on abortion. In a country that supposedly supports freedom of speech (and one hope thought)I am amazed that a fanatical group such as this would kill the chances of the party that most closely reflects their values, because the potential candidate doesn’t subscribe to every last one of their values.


Ryan October 1, 2007 at 6:57 pm

This idea vexes me because it’s plausible: not the extinction of the Republican Party, but a loss to the she-bitch due to a conservative third party insurgency. Giuliani is in a tough position: he’s a political dynamo with Independents and Republicans who want to win, yet the principled party members cannot support him down the line. Whereas I respect the values-voter for sticking to principle, they also jump on the sword whenever they can.

Giuliani would absolutely be better than She Who Must Not Be Named on every issue, but I wrote a post a while ago thinking that the party is looking for a George W. Bush-like candidate without the baggage: Dubya had the conservatives, religious right and the party-types all rolled into one, proving that it can form an electoral majority, like in 2004. Who would the South vote for if given the choice between SWMNBN or Giuliani? That’s obvious. Yet, if you add in a conservative Pat Buchanan-like candidate to the mix, then we have trouble. SWMNBN could easily sneak in, just like her husband did, by drawing a third party which usurps Republican votes.

Yet, for example, the values-voter is against abortion, which they view as a serious human rights issue of the unborn. To them it’s tough to budge on the value of life. Too many times has the Republican Party sacrificed principle for getting elected, which I believe led to their defeat in 2006– their philosophical inconsistencies caught up with them and has demoralized the base thus far in this election cycle. It’s a tough bind. I’m not voting for Giuliani in the primary elections on principle, but a Republican who’s mostly right is a heck of a lot better than a Democrat who’s hardly ever right on what’s best for this country.


Mike October 1, 2007 at 9:30 pm

I’m not for Giuliani in the primary, but I’m with you on this one Oz. (I don’t see it as a free speech issue though). It’s one thing to abandon your party’s candidate if that candidate disagrees on so many issues that it makes no sense to support them, but its quite another to oppose Rudy in a general election because he is pro-choice when the alternative is also pro-choice, and a socialist witch.

Besides, Rudy says he believes in strict constructionism and would nominate judges who simply apply the Constitution. There is a chance the pro-choice Rudy could give us an operationally pro-life Justice. She definitely won’t.

I’m just as amazed as you are Oz.


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