I wish Republican politicians would have faith in the largely conservative electorate and not behave as though they’ll make themselves unelectable unless they pander to Generic Moderate. Who is that guy, anyway? Have you ever met him?
Recently, we’ve seen a few examples of the liberal narrative’s rearing its oppressive head and starkly different reactions to it. The first was Mitt Romney’s reportedly telling The Wall Street Journal that as a wealthy person, he thinks he lacks the credibility to aggressively push tax cuts. Mitt is also looking timid about releasing his tax returns. He needs to fight back — consistently — instead of surrendering to the liberal narrative that success is evil. Mitt should take a lesson from Newt Gingrich on counterpunching against false liberal charges and innuendo.
Newt put on a clinic in his defiant response to moderator Juan Williams’ racially charged questions during the Fox News GOP debate in South Carolina.
I honestly like Juan Williams and believe, based on observing him over the years, that he’s a decent human being with a good heart. But for whatever reason, regrettably, he was wearing race on his sleeve that evening, and his race-baiting line of questions, in my opinion, was indefensible.
Juan first tried to lay a race trap for Rick Santorum when asking him whether the time “has come to take special steps to deal with the extraordinary level of poverty afflicting one race of Americans.”
Santorum hit it out of the park, unapologetically answering, “If Americans do three things, they can avoid poverty … work, graduate from high school and get married before you have children.”
Perhaps Santorum was not Juan’s intended prey, for he chose not to follow up by suggesting that Santorum’s answer contained racist code. But if Juan believes that politicians should specifically tailor remedial policies to certain races, why doesn’t he condemn President Obama for reversing welfare reform when the evidence proves that it reduced black poverty, black childhood poverty and black illegitimacy?
Juan showed no similar restraint with Newt, suggesting that his recent statements that black Americans should demand jobs, not food stamps, and that poor kids could work as janitors in their schools were insulting, particularly to black Americans. Juan said his email and Twitter accounts have “been inundated with people of all races who are asking if your comments are not intended to belittle the poor and racial minorities.” Juan said Newt sounded as if he were trying to belittle people (read: blacks) when calling Obama “the food stamp president.”
Newt refused to yield an inch, which was exhilaratingly refreshing, not just to me but to a great number of people in the audience who are sick and tired of being accused, in so many words, of being racist purely by virtue of the race-neutral policies they support.
Not only did Newt reject the loaded premise of the question; he even responded in race-neutral terms, offering a powerful defense of the old-fashioned work ethic and infusing it with an example from his own personal experience. Then he looked Juan right in the eye and said, “The fact is that more people have been put on food stamps by Barack Obama than any president in American history.” Newt then capped it off with an encore affirmation of his belief that every American, irrespective of his background, is endowed by God with the right to pursue happiness and that he is going to continue to help poor people get jobs, even if that makes liberals unhappy.
This, in my words, is what Newt was also telling Juan: “Juan, along with other Americans, I am sick and tired — do you hear me, Juan? — sick and tired of not being able to give voice to America’s founding principles without being accused by sanctimonious liberals of bigotry or lacking compassion. Read my lips, Juan: Conservatism is not racism; conservatism is more compassionate than liberalism; conservatism brings real results rather than peaking, like liberalism, at the point of allegedly good intentions. Look at this audience, Juan. Like me, they’re fed up with the finger-pointing. If you want to point fingers, look no further than President Obama, who, in the name of helping Americans, is bankrupting this nation and whose policies are destroying the economy, with minorities being hardest hit. So please spare me the lectures, Juan.”
Newt demonstrated how conservatives should communicate truths and respond to slanderous attacks in the public arena. It’s time all conservatives learned to overcome this morbid fear of their own shadows when it comes to articulating conservative principles. It’s past time that they stand up to the liberal and PC bullying. There is a strong, aching hunger in Middle America for our side, our leaders, to fight back. Newt’s subsequent surge in no small part is a resounding reflection of that. Let’s take back the narrative.
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