Vote As If Your Country Depends on It

Tomorrow, you and I and all the members of the “Winning the Future” movement will go to the polls and vote as if our country depends on it — because it does.

We’ve talked a lot about the stakes involved in this election — stakes such as the safety of our children and grandchildren, and our families’ future prosperity. And don’t get me wrong, it still looks like it will be a very competitive election for conservatives, but there are increasing signs that it’s precisely the high stakes involved in this election that will deny liberals the sweeping victory that they’ve been counting on.

On the crucial issue of our families’ future prosperity, the economy just isn’t playing by the liberals’ playbook. Unemployment is low, gas prices are falling and the booming stock market is hitting record highs.

And on the even more crucial issue of our national safety and security, liberals, offering no solutions of their own, have failed to convince Americans that they can be trusted with leadership.

Those of you who read this newsletter regularly know that I am not in the “stay the course” camp on the war in Iraq. I believe we need a new approach in Iraq. But that approach includes winning and defeating the terrorists, not how to leave and give the terrorists a major victory. Liberals talk a lot about all the problems in Iraq, but they have no plan for victory there, only a plan for defeat.

And then there were Democratic Massachusetts Sen. John Kerry’s comments last week.

Kerry’s Comments: One Man’s Gaffe, or a Left-Liberal Bias?

On Fox’s “Hannity and Colmes” the other night, Alan Colmes accused me and other conservatives of being unfair to former Democratic presidential nominee John Kerry for his insulting comments about our troops serving in Iraq. Alan claimed that Kerry just botched a joke he meant to be directed at President Bush. Republicans, he claimed, are just playing politics with Kerry’s innocent mistake.

But as I explained to Alan, the reason Kerry’s comments struck such a chord across America is because they fit a well-known pattern. His comments insulting our troops are just the latest in a long series of such comments from those on the left.

Kerry’s own campaign to disparage the U.S. military started more than 30 years ago.

U.S. House candidate Kerry in 1972 wrote this answer about the military in a questionnaire: “I am convinced a volunteer army would be an army of the poor and the black and the brown.”

That does not sound like a botched joke.

A year earlier on April 22, 1971, after returning from Vietnam, Kerry testified before the Senate Foreign Relations Committee. You can read it for yourself, but in his testimony he claimed to represent a “group of one thousand” which he said was “a small representation of a very much larger group of veterans in this country.” He then asserted that “were it possible for all of them to sit at this table they would be here and have the same kind of testimony.” Presumably he meant that they would all claim, as he did, that “war crimes committed in Southeast Asia” by American troops were “not isolated incidents but crimes committed on a day-to-day basis with the full awareness of officers at all levels of command.”

Sen. Dick Durbin (D-Ill.), the No. 2 Democrat in the Senate, went to the Senate floor to offer an apology for comparing the United States to Stalin’s Russia, Nazi Germany and Pol Pot’s Cambodia.

Sen. Kerry apologized by press release for his most recent comments — an apology that made it sound more like he was sorry that we were too stupid to get the joke. But to date, we have not seen an apology for his smearing of U.S. troops who fought in Vietnam.

The fact is that for some on the far left, their belief in America as a force of evil and destruction in the world makes them believe that the American military is the agent of that evil and destruction. Their whole approach is to blame America and demean our fighting men and women, not the enemies who threaten us.

The far left believe themselves to be the intelligent and cultured elite who possess the only opinions that matter. They become apoplectic when reality collides with their misguided worldview. The fact is that the average young man and woman serving in Iraq today is better educated than the average civilian American their age and comes from a higher income level than the average civilian American their age. The fact is that our troops are exemplary young men and women serving our country for patriotic and decent reasons. But instead of accepting these facts about our troops, they call them stupid, desperate and worse.

Friday Is Veterans Day. We Owe Our Troops Thanks, Not Insults

Friday is Veterans Day, and it’s not just any Veterans Day. It will be a day on which we honor those who have served while we have men and women actively serving in harm’s way in Iraq and Afghanistan. It will be a good time for all of us here at home to remember that our country is free because it is protected by these courageous young men and women. Then ask yourself what kind of message the left is sending them. This Veterans Day, our men and women in the U.S. military are owed our gratitude, not the left’s vitriolic scorn.

Just 36 Hours Until We Know Who Wins Election ’06 — Or Will It Take Longer?

Campaign ’06 is down to its final hours. And already there are signs that we may not know the results of some of the most hotly contested races until Wednesday or even later.

In some cases, the races are just that close. But in any case, liberal activist groups are planning on challenging in court the election results they don’t like.

Liberal Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) is seemingly already laying the groundwork for challenging an outcome she does not favor. She told the San Francisco Chronicle yesterday that “the only variable in this” is “will we have an honest count?”

Yet at the same time, in states such as Indiana, Missouri, Georgia and Ohio that have passed laws requiring photo identification to vote, liberal interest groups have challenged these laws in the courts. In some places such as Missouri, they’ve been successful in getting the courts to reverse the expressed desire of citizens to require photo identification, even while newspapers are full of stories of voter fraud on the part of other liberal activist groups. Does that sound honest to you?

Liberal groups are also setting the stage to discredit elections that conservatives win by challenging the accuracy of voting equipment itself.

This cannot be allowed to happen. We’ve seen how liberals have succeeded in short-circuiting our democracy by turning to the courts to overturn laws they don’t like. We cannot allow the same thing to happen to our elections. Win or lose on Tuesday, Americans should keep in mind that the integrity of the process itself is more important than the outcome of any individual race.

I know you take voting seriously, but I want you to convince your friends to take it seriously, too. Make sure they get to the polls tomorrow. Our country depends upon it.

Your friend,

Newt Gingrich

P.S. Saddam Hussein was convicted yesterday and rightly given the death penalty for his crimes. I believe there are four key lessons to be learned from Saddam’s conviction and death sentence.

  • First, it shows that the Iraqi people are far better off today under the rule of law than under the rule of a dictator that killed at least 300,000 Iraqis.

  • Second, America was right to replace his evil dictatorship and to give the Iraqi people the chance to be a free and self-governing nation.

  • Third, Saddam’s conviction should send a message to every other dictator on the planet — from Kim Jong Il in North Korea to Ahmadinejad in Iran to the head of the Sudanese dictatorship. It says to these men that if you kill, torture and destroy your own people, one day, given the chance, your people may destroy you.

  • Fourth and finally, the Saddam verdict reminds all of us about the current fecklessness of the United Nations. After completely failing to protect the Iraqi people from Saddam’s terror, when Saddam was convicted for his crimes all the United Nations could talk about was saving Saddam from the death penalty. This reminds us that the United Nations today is a clearly broken institution focused on the preservation of the status quo, even when it is a status quo that tortures, mutilates and destroys human beings.

P.P.S. Another big thanks to all those who are making my new book, Rediscovering God in America, such a huge success. This week we hit No. 31 on the New York Times extended bestseller list for hardback non-fiction. And even better, we were the No. 4 best-selling religion-themed book at Borders. Thanks again. If you have read my book, thanks and please take the time to write your review on