Well, we’re down to the last two republican candidates that I had planned to review, Newt Gingrich and Jon Huntsman. Although I must admit, I am not sure why I am even reviewing these last two, because I do not believe they stand a snowballs chance at even making the primaries, and I am positive that neither will win the presidency. In fact, I think even Huntsman believes this, as he has already said that he would be interested in accepting the vice-presidency under Michele Bachman. Of course he very quickly pointed out that he is confident that he will be the next president, but, oops! You let the cat out of the bag there Jon! And you know what they say, “it’s a whole easier letting the cat out of the bag, then it is putting it back in!” So with that in mind, let’s start with Newt Gingrich.
Gingrich has stated that he is completely against abortion, and supports a federal ban on abortions. He later went on to say that he was not sure how a federal ban could be implemented. He supports parental notification before minors can have abortions, and he would like to see Planned Parenthood defunded.
I am not sure what Gingrich’s plans on Afghanistan are, as he has refused to comment, however, he did point out that Obama was wrong to not explain to the American people just how we were going to win the war in Afghanistan, and then later commented that not one general had recommended the speed of the troop drawdown. In light of any form of constructive commentary by Mr. Gingrich, I can only assume he really has no idea what to do with Afghanistan.
Gingrich’s opinion on Pakistan is a different story altogether though. He has, on more than one occasion, condemned Pakistan for their retaliation against those who informed us as to bin Laden’s whereabouts, and stressed that we should have retaliated against Pakistan. He questions why, after receiving more than $20 billion in aid from America since 9/11, we are still allies with them after they hid bin Laden.
His view on the budget is similar to many conservatives, in that he believes America should quit spending beyond its means, the budget should be balanced, and lowering the deficit by cutting spending through the reduction of the federal government. The result of this would be a smaller federal government, (presumably) lower taxes, a quicker paying off of our debt, and less government intrusion into our lives. This is something that sounds good on the surface; however, as Gingrich did not indicate where in government he would cut spending, there is too much left open to speculation.
Gingrich has claimed that if elected, he would be able to successfully balance the budget within five years. As evidence for this, he points out that he was part of the team that produced four surplus budgets between 1998 and 2001, all while paying off $405 billion of federal debt. What Mr. Gingrich does not seem to realize, is that the debt is significantly higher than it was between 1998 and 2001, and is projected to grow even larger, and what he helped do back then, he may not be able to do now. Nor is there any indication that he was a driving force within the team he speaks of. He may very well have been a “seat filler” rather than a productive member of that team.
Newt Gingrich’s view on China seems almost fairy tale like in its naiveté. He believes America should open relations and trade not with the Chinese government, but only with the Chinese people, in order to facilitate friendly relations with China. To further this goal, Gingrich says we should encourage tourism and student exchanges. He goes on to say that while we should be respectful of the Chinese government, we should encourage the Chinese people to demand their God given rights. Of course, common sense will tell you that to ignore the Chinese government, and deal only with the Chinese people is pointless, since the Chinese government regulates Chinese business, as well as all other aspects of Chinese life; and encouraging the Chinese people to demand their “God given rights” is akin to encouraging them to revolt against their government. A revolt that is sure to be mercilessly and brutally put down by the Chinese government. If Gingrich is fantasizing about a war with China, this would be one way to encourage it. A war, I fear, we could not win.
Gingrich has indicated a five-point plan that he would implement upon becoming president. First, he would eliminate the National Labor Relations Board. I am not sure what end he would accomplish with this, however, I would think that a revamp of the Board and its mission would better suit the American people. Second he would replace the Environmental Protection Agency. He does not say what he would replace the EPA with, and this leads me to believe he is merely throwing out his slaying of the EPA-Dragon in the hope that it will gain him votes. Third, Gingrich would repeal Obamacare. As many believe Obamacare is unconstitutional (myself included), I would take this as a given. Fourth, he would cut regulations on financial institutions. This could be good, or it could backfire. The days of the small town, home town bank are long gone. Most (if not all) financial institutions are owned by large, often multinational corporations. Cutting all regulations could very well encourage these institutions to play looser and freer with their depositors money than they currently are. And we all know where that could lead. Fifth, Gingrich would employ a fiscal policy based on Reaganomics. As Reaganomics worked in the past, and worked well, this would be good for the American people. Sixth (yes, his five point plan has more than five points), Gingrich would implement a one-year tax moratorium coupled with the elimination of the capital gains tax and a lowering of the corporate tax rate to 12.5%. Again, as with his Reaganomics based fiscal policy, cutting taxes virtually always stimulates the economy and results in jobs creation. Seventh (and last), Gingrich would limit unemployment benefits to a maximum of four weeks. Assuming that Gingrich would wait until he had created enough well paying jobs to employ all employable American citizens before implementing this, it would encourage people to become and remain gainfully employed. However, if he implemented while the country is still in the midst of a jobs-poor recession/depression, the result would be disastrous.
Gingrich’s views on education tend to lean a bit toward unreality. He believes high schools are obsolete. Exactly what he means by this I am not sure, as I have seen some very good public high schools, that stress academics and preparing young people for life after school.
He believes that schools and teachers should compete to improve education. However, it is not the schools and the teachers who have the final say in this matter, and it tends to lay with the school boards, and other local resident controlled administrative bodies. He thinks schools should focus on patriotic education rather than multiculturalism, and says he would bring back school prayer with a Constitutional amendment. This in itself, however, would be a violation of the first amendment. To do away with that amendment could easily set a precedent that could lead to the abolishment of other rights as well.
Most interestingly, Newt Gingrich believes that high school girls who graduate as virgins should be rewarded. In what way they would be rewarded is unclear, nor is it clear just how they would be tested to see of their virginity is still intact. The very thought of this brings up the issue of the Egyptian military checking the virginity of Egyptian females. Gingrich also does not include exclusions for those girls who are the victims of rape, and therefore promotes the assumption that they would not be rewarded. This particular plan of Gingrich’s seems eerily akin to certain practices of islam.
Gingrich is also somewhat wishy-washy with regard to our involvements in Iraq. Although he believes that setting a deadline for troop withdrawal would indicate defeat and encourage terrorists and terrorist acts in America, and severely undermine national security (which leads me to believe he is for extending the war indefinitely), he also states that the Iraqi’s should fight their own wars, and if they really want to be free, they will do so without us (which leads me to believe he would withdrawal all troops immediately). These two views are in direct contradiction to one another, and shows that Gingrich is merely trying to appeal to everyone, when in fact, his wishy-washy stands indicate that he is not presidential material.
Gingrich has also indicated that he would not allow North Korea to have nuclear weapons, would stop all North Korean missile launches (by force), and would not rule out war with North Korea. Should Gingrich by some strange twist of fate become President, and begin a war with North Korea, he should recognize that not one of our allies would stand with us, as I am sure they still remember the Korean war, when China (and Russia to a lesser degree) backed North Korea. And they still would today should we go to war with North Korea. War with North Korea would not be a world war, it would be a war between America and every communist country in the world, and rest assured that in the event of such a war radical islam would take advantage of our increased weakness to strengthen their attacks on America as well.
As with many of Gingrich’s ideas, his ideas on poverty are also not in line with many in America today, and would bring back institutions that were in place almost 100 years ago. Gingrich would like to see orphanages and homes for unwed mothers brought back from obscurity and into mainstream America. He would deny welfare for minor mothers, and would increase the opportunities of the poor by teaching values and emphasizing family, education and work to all children.
Needless to say, Newt Gingrich is about as far away from any semblance of America that either I or anyone I have ever known has experienced. I have tried to be unbiased in this review, but Gingrich’s stands on many of the issues are so far out there so as not to appeal to anyone, I am left wondering “why is this man still around? Why hasn’t he been placed in a home yet?” Thankfully, he will never be president.