IOWA — I’m writing to you from Iowa today, and the message I hear in America’s heartland is the same one I hear everywhere I go: People are tired of “red-versus-blue” partisanship and bickering.
Across America, people say they are tired of negative campaigns, bitter partisan arguments and gridlock in Washington with nothing substantive getting done.
So that got me thinking. What if there were a platform of specific policy ideas that had the overwhelming support of the American people? And what if both parties adopted this platform in addition to their own platforms at their national conventions this summer? And what if they spent the first three months of 2009 making this platform law?
It would be a fundamental break from the red-versus-blue status quo. It would be a Red, White, and Blue Revolution.
Six National Polls Over the Last Six Months
At American Solutions, we have done months of work to create the potential to break out of the current partisan bitterness and move politics and government toward a unifying and empowering message that brings Americans together rather than pushing them apart.
Over the last six months, American Solutions has commissioned six national polls costing $428,000.
And the results? We’ve been pleasantly surprised to discover how many things the American people agree on.
A Core of Deeply Held, Shared Ideas: The Platform of the American People
The politicians may emphasize the negative and the news media may emphasize the conflict, but there are a lot of very substantive approaches to the challenges we face on which a majority of Democrats, Republicans and Independents agree. Pollster Kellyanne Conway calls these “tri-partisan” issues, because all three groups agree.
We reviewed all the polls and concluded that there was a core of deeply held ideas that had such strong support they could be called the Platform of the American People.
To distinguish these shared ideas from the usual red-versus-blue partisan bickering, we’ve given this platform a subtitle: The Red, White, and Blue Revolution.
Making the Platform Part of the Iowa Caucuses
Today, December 4, I am in Muscatine, Cedar Rapids and Des Moines, Iowa, and later tonight in St. Paul, Minn. I am releasing this proposed Platform of the American People and urging both Democrats and Republicans to take it to their precinct caucuses January 3.
The Iowa caucuses both pick presidential candidates and allow local citizens an opportunity to propose resolutions and even whole platforms.
Our hope over the next month is to get citizens in both parties to begin moving the Platform of the American People in their parties.
Since every item in the platform has a majority support in both parties, it is appropriate for both parties to begin with something that unifies us rather than divides us.
At the Party Conventions, a Platform for the American People Alongside the Partisan Ones
Imagine if we could get both parties to agree to adopt two platforms at their national conventions next summer.
The first platform would be the issues that unite us and would be identical for both parties. The second platform would be the usual partisan disagreements and arguments.
Then imagine that both parties could agree that for the first 90 days of 2009 both parties would work together to pass the legislation that has a majority support in both parties and that has overwhelming support from the American people.
After 90 days of cooperating to pass popular legislation with minimum partisanship and minimum bickering, we will have established a new tone in which people can opt to keep working together and solving problems instead of dividing up into bitter partisan camps.
A New Era of Getting Things Done for the American People
America will have entered a new period in which the vast majority of Americans would actually be represented in government and politics and in which we would actually get things done.
Let me give you just three examples of the Platform of the American People and why it is so potentially powerful. (The full platform can be found at AmericanSolutions.com. There, you will also find the polling data which proves it represents a majority of Democrats, Republicans and Independents.)
- Example 1: English as the Official Language of Government. The American people want English to be the official language of government 87% to 11%. Overwhelming majorities of Democrats, Republicans and Independents agree. The majority of Hispanic Americans agree. This should be an easy win for the American people.
- Example 2: Prizes to Spur Innovation. The American people like the idea of prizes to accelerate the development of new solutions on energy, the environment, health and other issues. By a score of 79% to 18%, the American people would like to see prizes developed to encourage people to develop bold solutions.
- Example 3: Dramatic Investments in Math and Science Education. The American people believe there will be four to seven times more scientific knowledge in the next 25 years (88% to 7%) and that new innovation and technology is the key to competing with China and India (88% to 8%). Therefore, they are willing to invest dramatically more in math and science education (91% to 8%).
A Common Sense, Unifying Approach to Break out of Washington Gridlock
These are just three examples of deeply held, widely shared issues that could bring us together in a productive way. The entire Platform of the American People is at AmericanSolutions.com/Platform.
Let your friends know that, whatever party they belong to and wherever they live, they will have a chance to advocate that both parties adopt this common sense, unifying approach to break out of the gridlock and bring us together again.
In particular, if you have friends or relatives in Iowa in either party let them know that January 3 they can begin to bring America back together by offering this platform in their local precinct caucus.
View My Visit With the Republican Governors Association
Speaking of the Platform of the American People, I previewed it a little bit in my speech to the Republican Governors Association last week in California. I talked about the enormous opportunity that exists for real change, and I went into depth about the issues and the polling data that make up the platform. You can view my speech here. The response from this group of Republican leaders to breaking out of the current partisan gridlock was very encouraging.
What Is Nancy Pelosi Thinking?
Two weeks ago, I wrote to you about how House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D.-Calif.) is attempting to appease anti-English extremists in the House by blocking legislation that would protect American employers such as the Salvation Army from being sued by the federal government for requiring that their employees speak English on the job. As I write, Speaker Pelosi is still holding up a bill sponsored by Sen. Lamar Alexander (R.-Tenn.) that would give charities such as the Salvation Army protection from frivolous anti-English lawsuits brought by their own government.
And as if this hostility to our common language weren’t enough, now Speaker Pelosi’s House has approved a bill that would establish a race-based government in Hawaii that is not subject to the Constitution. What is Speaker Pelosi thinking?
A Race-Based Government in Hawaii? So Much for ‘E Pluribus Unum’
Has it somehow escaped Speaker Pelosi and the authors and supporters of this bill that hundreds of thousands of Americans gave their last full measure of devotion in the American Civil War to preserve a nation dedicated to liberty and equality among all men and women, regardless of race?
The Native Hawaiian Government Reorganization Act would not only create a race-based government in Hawaii, but also its racial jurisdiction could extend to include governance over the thousands of native Hawaiians living throughout the United States. State legislatures in all 50 states may potentially be required to accommodate two tiers of sovereignty — one for native Hawaiians, another for everybody else.
The Senate should reject this misguided bill. If it doesn’t, the President should veto it. And all presidential candidates should affirm, by their opposition to this legislation, that America is more than a collection of competing, aggrieved ethnicities.
By their opposition to this bill, all men and women who lead — or seek to lead — this nation should affirm that the motto found on the Great Seal of the United States — “E Pluribus Unum” — still stands:
Out of Many, One.
P.S. — Looking for unique stocking stuffers for this Christmas season? Visit Newt.org for personalized autographed books.
P.P.S. — We have a new sponsor for Winning the Future this week. Ambassador Eckert is leading an effort to have President Ronald Reagan’s image added to Mount Rushmore alongside Abraham Lincoln, Teddy Roosevelt, Thomas Jefferson and George Washington. I urge you to click here and show your support for Ronald Reagan.
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