To Save America: Stopping Obama’s Secular-Socialist Machine
During the 1994 election campaign, House Minority Leader Newt Gingrich (Ga.) drew up a list of 10 legislative proposals that Republicans promised they would vote for in their first 100 days if they won control of the House.
The promised issues contained in this “Contract With America” ran the gamut from a balanced budget amendment to tax limitations to term limits—hot button issues that polls showed drew 60% or more support from voters, who that November ended the Democrats’ 40-year long congressional reign and made Gingrich speaker of the House.
That historic election, which toppled Democrats from power in the second year of Bill Clinton’s troubled presidency after a bitter fight over a widely unpopular national healthcare bill, could be repeated this year under eerily similar political circumstances.
A recent Wall Street Journal/NBC poll shows Republicans have regained the support of voters, including women and seniors, with independents favoring the GOP over the Democrats by an eight-point margin. Among all voters, 44% say the Democrats’ healthcare law is a bad idea, compared to only 38% who support it.
All the Republicans need now is a strategic legislative platform to run on, spelling out what they would do if they regained control of the House in November. And once again Newt Gingrich plunges into the breach with his new book, To Save America that offers a sweeping election agenda aimed at—as its subtitle declares—Stopping Obama’s Secular-Socialist Machine.
Gingrich admits at the outset of the book that the secular part “will be controversial” and needs a lot of explaining to make it work. The Contract With America did not delve into religious issues and was scrupulously secular itself.
The “central argument” against the left’s godless secular policies “is one rooted in historic fact and American history, which makes it a winning argument for us,” Gingrich writes in one of the book’s early sections titled, “Secularism: One Country Without God.”
That argument, he reminds us, is embedded in America’s founding document, the Declaration of Independence, which “boldly proclaims: “We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their creator with certain unalienable rights, that among these are life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness.”
And also, in the Constitution, the 1st Amendment in the Bill of Rights declares, “Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof.”
In a blistering attack on the left’s secular offensive designed to chip away at our religious freedoms, Gingrich lays out a detailed agenda for battles—in Congress, the state legislatures and the courts –that would add a deeper political dimension to the 2010 elections by energizing religious conservatives on a broad range of issues.
That agenda is spelled out in great detail in a separate chapter that declares, “There is no liberty without religious liberty,” in which he calls for a new political activism in defense of religious freedom at every level of American life.
That includes removing “the jurisdiction of any court review of our nation’s motto ‘In God We Trust’ and the phrase ‘under God’ in the Pledge of Allegiance, allowing public school teachers to discuss the role of religion in U.S. history and to permit its study in class.
“People of faith have been systematically marginalized” in a two-part campaign waged by the cultural elite through the schools and the media “where the values of the secular-socialist left are advanced while historic American values of God-given rights are silenced and mocked,” Gingrich says.
“The second part of the left’s campaign is to give secular values the authority of law through the courts, state houses and the Congress, while removing the individual’s right to, as Jefferson put it, ‘profess and by argument to maintain, their opinions in matters of religion.’”
Defending religious freedom means electing lawmakers who will promote religious values in law and encouraging political activism in churches. That in turn means addressing issues from the pulpit and conducting voter-registration drives, including and passing out registration cards in church.
But the bulk of this engaging, no-holds-barred book is devoted to an ambitious conservative agenda that would significantly reduce the size and growth of government, slashing spending, shrinking the debt and cutting taxes on individuals, businesses, investors and savers.
That program includes repealing Obamacare and replacing it with market-oriented healthcare and get-tough policies like cutting the Interior Department’s budget until it allows more offshore oil and natural gas exploration and development.
Gingrich’s chief strength as a political leader has always been his ability to come up with a broad range of solutions to tackle the most vexing and intractable problems facing our country. And here, often with the help of conservative experts in key areas, he fills this book with an abundance of appealing ideas.
In his solution-filled chapter on “A New American Prosperity,” he calls not only for abolishing the capital gains tax on investment, but also for cutting the Social Security payroll tax by 50% for two years to cut labor costs, boost incomes and stimulate new job-formation, for ending the death tax, and for allowing every business an immediate 100% expensing of new equipment to modernize plants and corporations and boost capital investment.
Pointing out that much of the government’s vast bureaucracy is based on organizational models used since the 1800s, Gingrich calls for a “Replace Not Reform” policy to overhaul a wasteful, redundant, outmoded, creaking, dysfunctional system.
Among his chief targets: the Department of Education, Medicare and Medicaid, the Environmental Protection Agency and bankrupt mortgage giants Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, which he would sell.
“All these are beyond hope of success. They cannot be tinkered with or renewed or reformed. They can only be abolished entirely and replaced with new ideas that work,” he says.
To Save America offers a futuristic agenda for reform that speaks to the angst and anger that is driving a mounting anti-government, anti-incumbent, anti-big-spending movement in this year’s midterm elections.
This is a book that should be read by every conservative candidate for Congress and every American who wants to fundamentally change the way Washington works.
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