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The Emerging Crisis in American Politics and Government

Reading the news this week and talking to friends and leading conservative analysts has convinced me that we are seeing something new and powerful emerging: We are seeing the beginning of a three-way split in American politics among “Stand-pat Republicans” who do not understand change is needed, a leftwing machine that wants to impose the wrong changes, and those Democrats, Republicans and Independents who understand that America is truly being challenged by historic forces and that we must find real solutions large enough to meet those challenges.

Let me begin with the patterns of power in Washington, Detroit, and Sacramento that convinced me there is a new power structure on the left. There is an emerging alliance of leftwing activists and union leaders that will change the pattern of politics and government. These groups have worked together before, of course, but never before have they been this well funded, this well organized, and this determined to impose their will on America.

Their strategy isn’t to work collaboratively with all Americans to develop solutions to the challenges that threaten our future. Their strategy is to work together as a machine to mutually benefit themselves — at the expense of the American people. They want to impose their leftwing agenda from the top down. And their tactic isn’t to encourage debate, it’s to stifle it.

The Leftwing Machine vs. the ‘Stand-Pat Republicans’

If the 2006 mid-term elections taught us anything, it’s that “Stand-pat Republicans” are no match for this leftwing machine.

Who are the “Stand-pat Republicans”? They are those in the Republican Party who don’t recognize the need for large-scale solutions to deal with challenges of the aging baby boomers or the unending effort to drive God out of the public square. If the leftwing intimidation machine believes in the wrong changes, Stand-pat Republicans don’t believe in much change at all. But business as usual isn’t what our party or our country needs.

The country wants real change when it sees bureaucracies failing as they have in New Orleans, failing to control the border, failing by graduating only one out of every five entering freshmen in the Detroit public schools on time, failing in the California prison system that potentially may have to release up to 75,000 convicted criminals before serving their full sentences, and failing to win in Baghdad.

The country wants its values defended on issues such as English as the official language of government, teaching American history, and protecting the right to say “one nation under God” as part of the Pledge of Allegiance.

Stand-pat Republicans fail to offer real leadership on both implementation effectiveness and on successfully defending classic American values.

The leftwing machine actually wants the wrong changes.

For real change in both our politics and our policy, a third coalition will have to emerge: Americans who know we need change and who understand that standing pat and doing nothing will fail and that the left actually wants the wrong changes. I believe there are millions of these Americans, in fact a vast majority, who want the values of classic American civilization and the solutions necessary for our country to successfully win the future.

Enter the American Solutions Supporters

American Solutions supporters are Republicans, Democrats and Independents who have had enough of negative, trivial politics and pork-barrel-payoff governing. Their real allegiance isn’t to any political party but to the belief that we can and should be doing much more to ensure a better future for our children and grandchildren.

American Solutions supporters believe in entrepreneurs, productivity, the power of technology and innovation to transform our healthcare and our retirement, and the traditional American values of hard work, optimism and acknowledgement of the self-evident truth that our rights come from God.

The goal of the organization I have founded, called American Solutions, is to be the political home of those Americans who know success for our country and for our children and grandchildren will require real solutions to our challenges. American Solutions will spend the next seven months developing real solutions to challenges such as health care, energy independence, securing our borders and protecting our national security. And then, on September 27 — what Matthew Continetti of the Weekly Standard dubbed “G-day” last weekend — we will host a nationwide series of workshops aimed at communicating these solutions to the 511,000+ elected officials in America.

Exhibit A: The Big Labor Payback Act

Now to the evidence for the emerging leftwing machine.

Exhibit A was the March 1 vote in the House of Representatives on the so-called “Employee Free Choice Act.” This bill should have been called “the American Worker Coercion Act.” It literally strips American workers of the right to a secret ballot in deciding whether or not to unionize their company. It exposes every worker to intimidation and coercion tactics from the union seeking to get their dues money.

The hypocrisy of this bill was revealed in a 2001 letter signed by the bill’s main sponsor, Rep. George Miller (D.-Calif.) and 11 other members who voted for the bill. The letter was addressed to Mexican government officials and it urged them to protect secret ballots for Mexican workers because — and these are the exact words — “we feel that the secret ballot is absolutely necessary in order to ensure that workers are not intimidated into voting for a union they might not otherwise choose.”

Is Your Representative a Member of the Leftwing Machine?

So what has changed for George Miller & Co.? Two things: This is the United States and the Democrats just won the mid-term elections, and American private-sector workers are turning away from the unions in droves. And as the Wall Street Journal put it: “Reversing this trend is a top union priority. Labor leaders made it clear to Democrats that, in return for political support in last year’s election, they wanted a vote on legislation that would make organizing much easier. House Democrats have now delivered, but don’t let them fool you into thinking this has anything to do with ‘free choice.'”

So go online and check. Is your representative a member of the leftwing machine that is determined to strip American workers of the right to a secret ballot in deciding whether to form a union at their workplaces?

Exhibits B, C and D: Protecting Illegal Employees, Putting Prisoners Back on the Streets, and Shutting Down a Debate

Last week brought even more evidence of an emerging leftwing machine of powerful unions and leftwing activists — aided and abetted, at times, by activist judges.

  • In California, a local union front group convinced a judge to prevent a hotel chain from terminating employees with invalid Social Security numbers, as required by federal immigration law. These workers were using false Social Security documents. In effect, the unions are working with the help of a judge to force the hotel to violate federal immigration law, keeping illegal immigrants on the payroll. Think of that. A judge is making it illegal to obey the law.
  • Also in California, an attempt to ease dangerous overcrowding in state prisons by transferring inmates to other states was blocked by the powerful prison guard union. Even though a judge has threatened to begin releasing criminals back onto the street if the overcrowding isn’t eased, the union found a state judge to rule against the transfer plan. So the leftwing machine — in this case the unions, allied legislators in Sacramento and activist judges — would prefer to see criminals released back into communities, threatening innocent citizens rather than have prison guards lose some overtime pay.
  • And finally, leftwing activists, whose distain for the Fox News Network knows no bounds, succeeded in intimidating the Nevada Democratic Party into canceling a Democratic presidential debate in Reno to be broadcast on Fox in August. The desire of the leftwing machine to oppose Fox evidently outweighs their desire to have open and honest debate.

These are just a few examples of this leftwing machine, but they illustrate how large a threat this machine represents.

The leftwing machine isn’t merely an example of governmental failure or incompetence. Like any greased machine, the leftwing machine actually functions quite well, and therein lies its danger. The culture of political payoff and mutual benefit that defines the leftwing machine serve many powerful political interests. And they will not be defeated by business-as-usual, Stand-pat Republicans.

If Republicans “stand pat,” the leftwing machine will roll right over them. If you are not the stand-pat-and-get-rolled type, keep your “Winning the Future” e-newsletter subscription current and visit my website, Newt.org, to find out how you can be a part of our nationwide effort to enact real change. You can also go to AmericanSolutions.com to learn more about the new solutions and the solutions workshops. We have about seven months to begin to create a future for our children and grandchildren that is not ruled by either a machine on the left or complacency on the right.

So join our “Real Change Requires Real Change” coalition today. The countdown to September 27 starts now.

Your friend,

Newt Gingrich

P.S. — On Wednesday, March 14, at 8 p.m. (ET), I will speak at the Goucher College President’s Forum in Baltimore, Md. The event will be in the Kraushaar Auditorium. After the event, I will be signing books. The forum is free and open to the public, but tickets must be reserved by calling (410) 337-6333 or by e-mailing boxoffice@goucher.edu.

On Friday, March 16, at 5:00 p.m. (ET), I will speak to the Excalibur Charitable Foundation at the Meadville High School in Meadville, Pa. I am going to talk about the future of small business and the economy. For more information, visit www.excaliburcharities.com or call 1-800-611-4931.

If you are nearby either of these events, I hope to see you.

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Written By

Mr. Gingrich is the former speaker of the U.S. House of Representatives and author of To Save America: Stopping Obama's Secular-Socialist Machine, Real Change: From the World That Fails to the World That Works and Winning the Future (published by Regnery, a HUMAN EVENTS sister company).

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