(By popular request, a printable PDF version is available of this letter)
Dear Speaker Gingrich.
We all know that other than Todd Palin, there is one endorsement that would make a profound difference in your run for President. Mine. I am writing to tell you that after exhaustive research, contemplation and prayer, I have come to a decision.
My journey has been an interesting one. I casually started my blog to weigh in on whether a Christian should gloat over the death of anyone – including Osama Bin Laden; the hypocrisy of many NFL players during the strike; and the lies by some NFL players that Israel was killing Palestinian children. Frankly, it was easier than facing assault charges venting my anger another way. (I grew up in Chicago.)
Then, through the Tea Party, I had the experience of attending and writing about a rally to protest the Obama Administration’s Director who had banned the use of the words “God” and “Jesus” at the Houston VA Cemetery. I realized that a very imperfect American like me had to not just talk about these problems – but also DO something. I got more involved in politics than ever before helping to speak at tiny community tea party events, and volunteering for various functions to take responsibility for this luxury of liberty we’ve been offered.
I remember reflecting upon the upcoming GOP Presidential race with the thought that I truly had no “dog in the hunt” or “pig in the auction.” …Until I saw THE UNDEFEATED. It blew a gaping hole in my earlier impressions that A) Sarah Palin was just a nice conservative who really wasn’t educated or experienced enough to run for President and B) that any of the GOP candidates would do. That film made me realize two things about this race. First, I would support Governor Palin if she entered. Secondly, we would need a candidate – who understood as Palin did in Alaska – that the battle was not just about policy, but a total takeover of the GOP and the conservative message that appealed to more than just the listeners of Rush Limbaugh. A candidate was needed to battle the corruption in Washington; replace the legacy government systems that continue to thwart freedom even “while in neutral;” and who could again inspire America again. The attitudes toward capitalism, conservatism and freedom are essential if this Republic is to remain the freest and strongest in the world.
Since then, I have defended and attacked every political candidate running for the 2012 GOP nomination with the exception of Tim Pawlenty, and Jeb Bush. (These two I only attacked as I never saw anything to defend. I did find one good thing to say about Jon Huntsman. Only one.) I have tried to call a “spade a spade.” In fact, I wrote of my disappointment in you for trusting the scientific establishment so much that you, (like my own company) fell for the falsified IPCC data supporting manmade (or possibly any) global warming. I also chastised you for not insisting that some form of accountability and penalty be levied on ALL illegal immigrants, regardless of the length of their crime. (We are not just about Truth and the American Way – but also Justice.)
And, through the process, I was very disappointed with the knee jerk reaction of conservatives beginning with the misunderstanding on the Paul Ryan issue. Yes, you were a bit dull to conservative sensitivity that it was “us” versus “them,” and you were correct that Ryan’s design was destined for failure if it was shoved down the throat of the American people as David Gregory had posed the question. But it was partly our fault in not giving you the benefit of the doubt. Honestly, most of the conservative movement, bloggers and pundits were still in classes about history while you were making it. And who in the past 20 years has taken the time to teach us what you really did?
I’ve been embarrassed by your narrow minded critics who would call you a “sell out” for associating with people they don’t agree with. You and Jack Kemp had been two of the ONLY conservatives who made honest attempts to broaden the conservative message and some act like hillbilly’s afraid of the “foreigners.” You mentioned a similar dynamic you observed when you took over as Speaker and graciously pointed out then that many of these are so used to being betrayed, they end up never growing the cause beyond the converted.
Like you did with Ronald Reagan over his failure to address the NAACP, too few realize that your Nancy Pelosi, John Kerry and Al Sharpton forays always were part of a larger conservative initiative, even if it was poorly thought out an executed. And unlike some of your competitors, I appreciate the fact that you not only freely acknowledge your past mistakes, but don’t pretend that you will be perfect. One of my early mentors always told me to never trust anyone who does not walk with a limp, since their own pride will blind them to inevitable potholes and cliff’s that even Jesus struggled with.
Like many other conservatives, I had great hope in Bachmann, then Perry, then Cain only to see each fail on issues of their ability to forcefully represent the conservative message, or show us that they understood conservative policy, or exhibited leadership. Like others, my limited knowledge of Bachmann and her Tea Party leadership made her a focus for me, until she became a typical politician. When she accused you, the guy who would not quit sending partial birth abortion legislation to President Clinton, of being “for abortion,” she permanently lost my support. We can not tolerate the same old stupid political tricks that liberals use among people who claim to stand for integrity and honesty. I have noted that through the 285 debates this season (or however many there have been), that you have been the ONLY politician to strive to practice Reagan’s eleventh commandment. Not only have you not distort the voting or media minutia of your fellow candidates, you have stepped in to defend them from the media. And have done it honorably.
I remember a bit of your reign as Speaker in the 90’s, although I wasn’t deeply into politics then. Frankly, the barrage of negative press that you endured, obscured my recollection of your leadership. I was shocked to find that the GOP and Congress rose to unprecedented popular support among Americans during that time. I think I “got” the whole global warming mistake better than most because I’m in the “clean and green” technology worlds – and the scientists I knew believed that early data too. (I just love how some conservatives - who don’t know CO2 from DO2 - are acting outraged and shocked that you temporarily entertained using government measures to address what some serious scientists believed was a real threat.)
Although he didn’t impress me, I likely would have gotten behind Santorum after Cain fell into disfavor. Then as you were attacked, I (gasp) did the unthinkable, and researched the objections against you as you were attacked left, right and center. She may have lost her marbles now, but Ann Coulter used to have a great line that was something like, “If the liberals are for it – I automatically assume it’s bad.” The over the top smearing of your record made me detect scents of a rat. From more than one sewer.
As I uncovered long buried interviews from your contemporaries in the late 80’s, and then interviews with Paul Weyrich and Pete DuPont, I rediscovered the enormity of what you had accomplished as a young Congressman. I became incensed that I didn’t know this, and that current conservative leaders didn’t seem to care.
Until someone puts themselves back in the era of what was considered a “permanent” minority position, no one today can comprehend the mental, financial, political and cultural challenge to reversing 40 years of Democrat domination. And you were planning it as a hippy-looking, first term Congressman from Podunk Georgia. (Really, what was up with those sideburns?)
When I discovered that Glenn Beck’s rantings on Teddy and Franklin were made of pure historical ignorance, I actually began be a bit embarrassed to be one of those who not only didn’t appreciate what you had done. In fact, I didn’t even recall it. (Shout-out to Beck: Your hero Calvin Coolidge picked Teddy Roosevelt for Mount Rushmore and Ronald Reagan’s initiated a “Theodore Roosevelt Day” as President. Take the tinfoil off!)
When you began to bang on Bain, I was hip to your jive. I’ve been an investor and victim of venture vultures and was shocked that people like Rush Limbaugh and others thought that ANY scrutiny on Mitt Romney’s reign at Bain was “off limits.” Especially when the entire Obama machine has been gearing up for a “fake” 2012 fight over Wall Street excesses. TRUE conservatives shouldn’t have any hesitation to attack “bad” capitalism. There is no defense for Enron, Lehman and the like. Why take the idiotic position that EVERYTHING called capitalism is correct? It makes no sense. (So I was down with that ‘yo.)
But your explanations on why this subject should be broached, began to make the slow synapses in my mind spark and sputter. I kept saying to myself, “PolitiJim, where have you heard this vibe before? And why are you talking to yourself in the third person?” Then it dawned on me that I had gone through the same thought process when watching Sarah Palin’s UNDEFEATED. When she attacked “Big Oil,” I had the same initial emotional revulsion that the Limbaugh’s and Levin’s reacted to as you brought up Bain.
As I thought about it back then, I realized that not only was Palin right – (Greed is NOT Good) – it also was the reason she enjoyed 80% popularity throughout most of her Governorship. And why she was able to get things done. She didn’t pitch “conservatism” or “capitalism,” but in doing what was correct and common sense. Even the moderates and liberals respect someone who is against predatory practices whether they be environmental, criminal or entrepreneurial. You were not only on the side of de Tocqueville, Adams and Monroe, you were smart enough to be positioning yourself to steal a major point of contention the Democrats had planned to use in the general election. It has been truly idiotic how blindly conservatives were freaking out about simply honest talk about the excesses of capitalistic parasites. Then again, these are the same people that couldn’t stand up to George Bush and the establishment to the excesses of Congressional spending. Why should we be surprised they leaped on Limbaugh’s line to defend excesses ANYWHERE?
Having gone back and listened to many of your speeches for the past 30 years, I was refreshed that you weren’t just pulling a Romney repositioning of rhetoric. You’ve been a careful student and strategist of how to move America from the left to the middle, and then more rightward for over 30 some years. I suddenly realized that you not only had the winning campaign strategy against Obama, OUR side hadn’t a clue of what they were doing. Talk about the whole “what have you done for me lately” juggernaut run off a cliff. But then again it seems you had the same problem with those that put their own interests ahead of the country in Congress. No matter what you did, everyone was continually upset with you. The fanatical conservatives felt you were selling them out by not demanding the abolishment of Federal Reserve and the fearful ones were upset you made it hard for them to pad their pockets or bring home pork.
Then I got in trouble defending the attacks on you by Mitt Romney and the GOP Establishment forces before Michael Reagan, Jeffery Lord, Bud McFarlene, Art Laffer and others jumped in. The good news is that it caused me to dig much deeper into your past ideology and record. I don’t blindly defend ANY personality. Even Reagan. I want to to only traffic in truth like any honest conservative.
And I was astounded. I now understand why Nancy Reagan was willing to preside over the event where Ronnie passed you the “torch” of revolution. I now understand why Weyrich worried you would run for President, because losing your unique talent in making coalitions among Republicans that steadily moved us rightward was irreplaceable. I also see why the liberals and establishment are deadly afraid of you. If you set out to reform Washington DC the way you did Congress – even in your first session – they are SOL (excuse my French) to keep mesmerizing not just the American public, but their mediums in the media.
It also leads me to this; an apology.
Please forgive me for not knowing my history, and taking for granted what you accomplished for the entire conservative movement from 1978 until your resignation in 1998. Please forgive me, for not defending you more fiercely out of the gate, or questioning your love for this country and the calling you have had since you were fifteen years old on the WW2 battlefields in France.
Forgive us for questioning your conservative principles when, by EVERY objective measure from the American Conservative Union to accomplishments within the conservative movement, you have surpassed both your co-candidates and nearly any other political figure in our time.
Most of all, please forgive the disrespect of the so called conservative “leaders” who sit in front of their microphones, cameras, or keyboards never really risking their fortunes or reputations to be scrutinized and attempting something truly heroic and patriotic for this country. It is a shame on us all that everyone has forgotten the personal price you paid when you set out to do something hardly anyone in the GOP thought possible, much less other conservative leaders. And then, their thanks was to throw you overboard second guessing your strategy. And where did it get them after you left? Runaway spending and a launching pad for socialism ala Barack and buddies.
I suspect from the interviews I’ve heard you give evangelical leaders, (and many who have already given you their support like Don Wildmon and Tim LaHaye), that you truly have a love for God and a new humility making you a stronger man. The adamant and fervent support of your daughters has made me realize that Moses, King David and other very imperfect humans in the bible weren’t just fairy tales, but promises that no matter what our past – God can always use us for His plans in our future.
I can forgive the personal stuff easily. You see, I’m not proud of decisions I made in my first marriage. Like you, one day I looked in the mirror and realized I needed to be determined to NOT be “the guy” that didn’t keep commitments. I had never wanted to be anything else, but it takes some of us longer than others to get our will power to reign over our perceived emotional voids. We may not be able to change the mistakes of our past, but we can absolutely control our actions going forward. And as I’ve asked God to change my life, I’ve seen him make me stronger in my conviction than the so called “righteous” ones who were never tested.
And isn’t this just like our country? We can’t undo slavery, or internment or depriving the fairer sex equal rights – but we can be the best from here on out. We can’t take back mistakes of casting our vote for Carter, or settling for McCain, or allowing liberals to kill children under the deception of free choice, but we can resolve to reaffirm the Reagan revolution to bring freedom and liberty to all. This country is about redemption, from the first pilgrims who were thought of as criminals, to our founders who risked being called traitors and worse.
Even the Father of our country screwed up his first military assignment and lost more battles than he won during the entire Revolutionary War. In the British army, he wouldn’t have likely been chosen to lead a brigade to bring supplies, much less command an entire army. The promise of America from the beginning was that we would not be held captive by class, or wealth or even past failures – but it would be a land of hope opportunity for all. All it requires is continually learning, humility, and persevering to be better.
Republicans can’t take back the excessive spending that profligated after you left office, but we can once again show America how conservatism is done. You took Congress and the GOP from subpar to overwhelming approval and started it in the early months of the first Reagan election. You took a sledgehammer and dynamite to many of the excesses of bureaucracy both with Reagan and the Contract revolution. I was shocked to learn that you resisted Reagan and his appointees who wanted to stray from strict conservative fiscal policy. Frankly, none of your competitors can hold a candle to not only your past accomplishments – but to the core of what drives you. As Paul Weyrich put it in an interview with PBS:
Q: Do you have any indication of what degree Newt is devoted to carrying on reform --if we shouldn't use the word 'revolution.'
Weyrich: Oh, I think he wants to carry on reform. I think that is the primary objective that he has in mind. The question is whether he would carry this on in his current position or whether he would attempt to become President and carry it on. I think that's the issue. But I don't think there's any doubt about his devotion.
As I see the 9th Circuit Court overturn the clear desire of the people of California; other courts - including those in your home state of Georgia - subverting basic Constitutional laws; an Attorney General refusing to enforce basic protections or comply with court ordered directives; and corruption so deeply ingrained in our every level of our voting, legislative and executive systems that our Founders would feel they lost the battle against King George III; there is only one person left that I see that not only has a primary objective of reform – but has actually done it by orchestrated the money, candidates and media to see it through.
Two of your competitors have never really “run” government, or have been in places of successful large organizational leadership. The other has shown when in power previously, he quickly succumbed to political forces even leading one of his supporters to admit:
…there is no question that Governor Romney’s initial fiscal discipline slacked off in the second half of his term…
Are we really willing to risk (again) electing a nominee who has never done ANY of this before? Or a nominee who gave up their fiscal discipline half way through their first and only term? With a chance of world wide monetary collapse imminent, massive conservative legislative battles ahead, foreign threats to our closest allies and soon-to-be nuclear-armed enemies who have already declared war on us – I don’t know of any candidate, running or not running, that has the following experience needed for such challenging times:
- Standing up to forces that oppose conservatism without alienating them in a way that entrenches them against conservative policy,
- Leveraging truth and balancing similar political interests to even get the liberals to balance a budget (multiple times) and agree to financial and governmental reform,
- Building national conservative funding organizations to recruit future conservative lawmakers,
- Studied and taught at the War College for over 20 years,
- Developed a keen understanding and use of media to persuade the American people,
- Being committed to continue learning ways to make Constitutional government run more efficiently and less expensively while being committed to get rid of that which is not the job of government,
- Studying and developing the core tenants not just of policy, but of “governing,”
- An ability to hold accountable those who have committed crimes of corruption and treason if the facts and circumstances warrant.
What people forget (even between debates it seems) is the gift God has given you to inspire and challenge Americans. Your message is one of uncompromising devotion to eliminate corruption and return power to the people. It is the hope of Ronald Reagan – even our Founding Fathers – that we can be redeemed once again. (You need to do this more often in my opinion.)
Rather than take the luxury of being “impartial” I feel that the times our country is in dictates for us to risk whatever we can. For me it is no longer protect my tiny insignificant blog branding concerns. I’ve always been repulsed at the reporter or cameraman who feels that it is their duty to “document” disasters rather than being an American and jumping into the fire to save lives. I’d be a hypocrite if I stayed on the sidelines any longer while our country faces the most severe test in her history. I only hope the Rush Limbaugh's and Sarah Palin's do the same, commit to someone and start going "all in" not just to defeat Barack Obama, but in creating a revolution within the GOP. I see that you always have believed that America can be great again. And we all have to start “doing.” To let the people know, justice WILL be enforced on everyone in government, business or education who is intentionally undermining this original Constitutional intent of this country. To quit just talking about how bad things are, and registering to enforce vote integrity, walk their neighborhoods and contribute time and money where needed to revive a people who are active in holding accountable this government that “We” are supposed to be running.
Since the times are too drastic to take a chance on those with unclear political motives, or no track record of actually reforming government, it is my honor therefore, to wholeheartedly endorse you as the next President of the United States.
I am not only for you, I am with you.
We can be redeemed. Again.
Now don’t screw it up. I don’t want to look stupid.