Newt Gingrich: Look to the States for Conservative Beacon of Hope

| January 6 2013
David Leeper

I was deeply disappointed and more than a little angry when Mitt Romney’s handlers, PACs, and GOP old bulls knocked Newt Gingrich out of the 2012 Republican primary.

Newt won in states like South Carolina with record-high voter turnout.  Mitt won in states like Illinois with record-low voter turnout.  The GOP went on to lose the election (arguably) because of low voter turnout.

Newt took on the elite media directly and won standing ovations for doing so.  Mitt never took on the media, and they savaged him and the Republican/conservative cause.

Given the history of the 2011 / 2012 campaign, I wouldn’t have blamed Newt for disengaging as Mitt (apparently) has.  But Newt is still active and providing hope and renewal for the conservative causes he has so long championed and many of us hold so dear.

On January 2nd, Newt published the short piece that appears below.  As I look to Washington these days, I see little cause for anything but despair.  Newt’s article gives conservatives like me another place to look for hope — the states.  Perhaps his article will do the same for you.

States Serve as Conservative Beacon of Hope
Newt Gingrich
January 2, 2013

Republicans and conservatives in general will feel a lot better if they focus less on Washington and more on the 24 state capitals (including more than half the American people) which have Republican governors and Republican control of the state legislature.

Washington is likely to remain a painful spectacle for the near future. President Obama and the elite media will create anti-conservative and increasingly liberal policy directions. If the last seven weeks are any indication, Washington Republicans will range from inarticulate to deeply split. House Republicans have the Constitutional tools to take on Obamaism, but as long as the leadership refuses to operate strategically, those tools will be largely unused, with [Oversight Committee] Chairman Darrell Issa’s investigations as a striking exception and model for the others.

The good news is that conservatism is on the march outside Washington. (And outside Sacramento, Springfield, and Albany, which will be the new case studies in destructive tax and regulatory policies and the disastrous economic consequences of job-killing and taxpayer flight to other states. All three states will become poorer as long as they are dominated by liberalism.)

Michigan just adopted a right to work law in a stunning victory for workers rights and personal freedom and a deep blow to the power of union leaders to focus resources politically. Governor Rick Snyder has provided real leadership in moving Michigan back toward job creation.

Gov. Scott Walker became a national figure through his campaign to bring basic changes to government employee unions in Wisconsin. His reforms have already begun making life easier for local governments and local school board. The lessons about common sense work rules replacing overly strict and expensive union work rules in Wisconsin will spread across the country.

Texas has adopted common sense prison reforms which are saving taxpayers money while improving the lives of young Americans with minor offenses.

Texas also has an experiment underway to provide four-year college education for $10,000 a year or less. Gov. Rick Perry has taken the lead in helping young people get an education without massive debt.

Departing Gov. Mitch Daniels took a different step toward affordable college when the Daniels Scholarships provided that any Indiana student graduating early would receive the cost to the state of his or her senior year in high school as an automatic scholarship.

Daniels privatized a great deal of infrastructure development and the Indiana model of providing better infrastructure through private investment will be studied by other states and ought to provide a model for Washington as national infrastructure issues are developed.

In Washington, national policy debate seems mired down between a party of big government and redistribution and a party of pain and cuts.

In the 24 states with Republican governors and Republican legislatures there is an emerging party of the future.

Conservatives in general and Republicans in particular ought to spend more time focusing on the states.

The Republican Governor’s Association (RGA) could become the leading idea producer of any Republican organization in the country.

Despite the spectacle of taxing and spending in Washington, there are real signs of hope in the states.

Be of good cheer.

The future will not be defined by President Obama and the elite media.

The future will be defined by the American people — and it will be a much more conservative future than the elite commentators currently expect.

2 comments
sleepergirl
sleepergirl

Newt was my choice for President too.  Despite the progress that GOP governors are making in their respective "laboratories,'" however, I don't share Newt's optimism for our county in its entirety, especially what comes out of Washington.

 

Republicans need to get tough.  We need to preempt Obama's public relations shows like the one he orchestrated with carefully dressed and coiffed middle class American on December 31 in front of national news cameras.  We need to put our own group of middle class Americans who abhor federal spending and want real spending cuts.  We need to post wasteful spending bills on flip charts and get them under America's noses.  We need to take the fight to THEM and not just react from the back seat.

WesternFreePress
WesternFreePress moderator

 @sleepergirl You're right. The big difficulty is that for the left, political "progress" is a religion, a calling, a cause. They're motivated. They'll do anything---whatever they have to---to move the statist project further down the road. The right, by and large, begins with the notion that government should do less and that people, acting voluntarily in the civil society,  should be free to follow their own goals and wishes. The left is trying to make something affirmative happen; the right just wants to secure and preserve natural law and negative liberties, and thus far, they have treated it as a bland policy objective rather than as a cause. Primarily, the right's position has been reactionary—trying to push back's the left's continued encroachments.  The right needs to see this as an affirmative goal rather than simply reacting and trying to defend an ever-shrinking beachhead.