Brilliant ... if not for that "imaginary friend" stuff ...
So, I know that those of you on the wrong side of the right/left line will already have your panties in a knot just from looking at the book cover, but I'm still going to write the review. If you're getting a wedgie from the thought of the guy being allowed to write
, go off and watch one of your Michael Moore videos and you'll feel better.
For the rest of you, let me say up front that Newt Gingrich's Winning The Future: A 21st Century Contract with America
is a frustrating book for me, on a number of levels. Like the Hewitt book I just got done writing about, this (dating from 2005) has the same "we can fix this"
hopefulness, while clearly pointing out the hazards on the horizon. From the current place on the other side of the Socialist over-throw of America, this is a sad read.
There is also, unfortunately, the whole "vague theocracy" in Gingrich's unsubtle religious focus which is the fulcrum point of many, if not most, of his arguments, making it hard for folks like me to fully get behind him. I can only imagine what a Hell the likes of Thomas Paine would consider the USA in a time when the choices go down to Pelosi/Obama on one side and Gingrich/Bush on the other. Why can't there be a "sane center" that rejects delusional fairy tales of both Marxism and Religion???
Only the ACORN-types (who will lie about anything
if it suits their political ends) would deny that Gingrich is a brilliant political thinker, and here's he's best when he's discussing things like "Bringing The Courts Back Under The Constitution", or "A 21st Century Intelligent Health System". The book is all over the map, however, warning of dire results of not "changing" our approaches to many things: Social Security, Immigration, Education, Global Economy, Science, Technology, Energy, etc. ... in each case Gingrich presents a very perceptive analysis of what is wrong, what is possible, and what ought to be done for moving the country forward, in nearly every case pushing entrepreneurial solutions and reduction of government.
ever going to happen again. Now in the "nightmare time" all this rings hollow, hopes for freedom, personal responsibility, traditional American values ... things that the Leftist juggernaut is fast making impossible for any to reclaim, for generations, if not centuries.
The one point where Gingrich FAILS is that he seems to believe that the values that Paine laid out in The Age of Reason
(not specifically, of course, but speaking in general of "American Values") originated in some Christian
context. This level of cognitive disconnect always amazes me, as those who conceived America were, at best, ambivalent about organized religion, and in many cases hostile to it. This book would be a magnificent document if Newt had just left the random religious drivel out of it.
Anyway, living in our current dystopian descent, Winning The Future
offers little but a bittersweet vision of what could have been, had the past decade played out according to a different script. Once again, I found this hard-cover edition at the dollar store, but it appears to still be in print. Fortunately (were you to want to torture yourself with fading visions of America), this can be had from the new/used guys for as little as 1¢ for a "very good" and 4¢ for a "like new" copy (plus the $3.99 shipping, of course). At this point, in these dark days, given the caveats above, I'm not sure I can really recommend
this, but it is quite an inspiring vision of "what could have been" had the U.S. not gone to Hell in a handbasket.