Newt Gingrich: Democrats try to ‘brainwash the whole next generation’ US news

Some blame Donald Trump. Others blame social media. And those with longer memories blame Newt Gingrich for slashing America into blue states and red states through mutual fear, suspicion and alienation.

As speaker of the House of Representatives from 1995 to 1999, the Republican probably did something different to sow the seeds of division in Washington. “Newt Gingrich has turned partisan fighting into bloodshed, destroyed Congress and paved the way for Trump’s rise,” Atlantic magazine reflected in 2018.

But now the 77-year-old party president, former professor of history and author of three Trump-winning books, must consider a new chapter in which the eventual outside president makes way for Joe Biden, the ultimate insider seeking healing, unity and a return promised. according to the pre-Gingrich norms.

So where does the Republican Party go from here? “I guess, but I think we’re going to be the reform party,” Gingrich said by telephone from Rome, where his wife, Callista, is US Ambassador to the Vatican.

‘You look at the extent to which bureaucracies are not working. You look at these Democratic governors who are little dictators and you look at the challenges we face – whether it’s a collapsing education system, a collapsing infrastructure, competing with China – and you know that the Democrats, if the party of government unions and liberalism, is not going to be able to handle any of this. ”

As the dust of the election subsided last month, Marco Rubio, a Republican senator for Florida and potential White House rival in 2024, called on the party to cool its love affair with big business. “The future of the party is based on a multifaceted, multiracial working class coalition,” he told the Axios website.

Gingrich believes this is already on the way, but as it usually seems among many people in Trump’s lane, he is once again turning to criticism from the other side. “This is partly because the left is so desperately committed to being the party of very rich people living in enclaves, and explains that the police do not matter because they have their own security guards.”

Democrats have also conceded to a liberal theology, he argues, reflecting a jurisprudence of ‘cultural wars’. “What I have, I think, is a Democratic party driven by a cultural belief system that they are now trying to drive through the school system, so that they can brainwash the whole next generation if they can get away with it.”

A red tsunami hit the blue wave at the ballot box, he continues, pointing to unexpected Republican gains in the House, victories in state legislatures and various defeats for left-wing affairs in state referendums. He chooses the praise for Congresswoman Elise Stefanik, whose political action committee dedicated to the election of Republican women has reaped dividends.

What a wonderful job she did. If we were liberals, the covers of all these women’s magazines would be ‘The Year of the Republican Woman’, but of course it would be so politically incorrect that they could not do that. So the only place that is truly an anomaly is the presidential race. I think it’s a deviation, so I get busy every day as a historian and try to figure out what’s going on in the devil. ‘

Newt Gingrich at the 41st Annual Conservative Political Action Conference on March 8, 2014 in National Harbor, Maryland.

Newt Gingrich at the 41st Annual Conservative Political Action Conference on March 8, 2014 in National Harbor, Maryland. Photo: TJ Kirkpatrick / Getty Images

Although there is no factual basis for this allegation, Gingrich shares Trump’s view that fraud should be the explanation and said it on the conservative Fox News network. “I do not see how a reasonable person can do that. You can argue about how much it was – but it’s clearly the most in our lifetime, ‘he insists.

Trump’s Department of Homeland Security described the election as the safest in history; his justice department has not discovered any evidence of widespread voter fraud; civil servants, including Republicans, did not report any significant irregularities; judges have pronounced numerous Trump campaign lawsuits.

Yet 18 Republican attorneys general and 126 Republicans from the House supported an ominous lawsuit to invalidate millions of votes briefly given by the Supreme Court. The failed coup was the latest measure of the spread of Trumpism in every organ of the Republican Party.

But ultimately, Gingrich believes, Trump’s future swing over the party will depend on Trump himself. ‘He will remain a dominant figure for quite some time, depending on how hard he wants to work on it and how serious it is. People fade pretty quickly if they do not pay attention. It is a land of enormous tranquility. ”

Does he expect Trump to be re-elected president in 2024? “I have no idea,” admits Gingrich, who in 2012 sought the Republican nomination himself. ‘He can definitely look at [former presidents] Andrew Jackson and Grover Cleveland and then make his own opinion.

‘If he does run, he will be very formidable and it will be based on what happens to Biden. If Biden ends up in a very severe recession, the temptation for Trump to continue is, “I told you so, do you want to go back to my economy?” can be overwhelming. ”

Biden will inherit overlapping crises of public health, the economy, racial injustice, the climate and democracy. Even in quieter times, current presidents halfway through their first term usually suffer losses in the House. Since Democrats now only own a fragile majority, Republican leader Kevin McCarthy could claim the speaker’s hammer in 2022.

Gingrich, who has been a member of Congress for 20 years, says: ‘As a historian, I’m quite happy. When [Bill] Clinton won, we won two years later and when we won 54 seats [Barack] Obama won, we got 63 seats two years later. I do not know that the House Democrats are being slaughtered on the scale, but I am 99% sure that McCarthy is the next speaker of the House. ‘

Bob Dole, Al Gore, Bill Clinton and Newt Gingrich, on December 19, 1995 in the Oval Office of the White House.

Bob Dole, Al Gore, Bill Clinton and Newt Gingrich, in the White House’s Oval Office on December 19, 1995. Photo: Robert McNeely / Consolidated News Pictures / Getty Images

Senate control, meanwhile, depends on two run-off races in Georgia early next month. If Republicans retain their narrow majority, will Biden be able to work with majority leader Mitch McConnell?

Gingrich, just seven months younger than the president-elect, says bluntly: ‘He has no choice. This is the genius of the American system. But if he does not want to do anything, he does not have to work with Mitch.

‘Mitch’s memoir, called The Long Game, really helped me understand him much better. He is a very long-term player and he is very independent, so he is not intimidated by anything. When he finally struck an alliance with Trump, it was surprisingly productive if you were conservative and we probably gave two generations of conservative judges.

‘In particular, if we win the two Georgia seats, which I think we will do, Biden will have to decide whether he wants to try to be a moderate Democrat, in which case his left will rebel and go crazy, or does he want to keep left in which case nothing will be done? And Mitch will be happy with both results. ”

Here’s a historical rhyme with the 1990s when Gingrich led a Republican majority against a centrist Democratic president in the form of Clinton. There may be lessons for both sides from the experience.

A large amount has been done, but that’s also why leftists hate Clinton. He signs welfare reform, he signs capital gains tax cuts, he signs four balanced budgets. It has nothing to do with his personal behavior. It’s a lot like what happened to the Prime Minister of Great Britain, Tony Blair. These are just fascinating things. ”

Can Biden, who offends the Republicans and votes left in the cabinet, pay a similar price? “He will.”

The Clinton v Gingrich years are also often cited as the beginning of the rot in American democracy. Gingrich was a political pugilis who hurled insults, played to the cameras and wanted to inflate the dual consensus. His proposals for Contract with America in 1994 helped Republicans win a majority in the House for the first time in four decades.

Clinton was charged with lying under oath and obstructing justice in concealing an extramarital affair with White House intern Monica Lewinsky. Gingrich declared it “the most systematic, deliberate cover-up of justice and an attempt to avoid the truth we have ever seen in American history.”

Looking back, does he accept the view that, among the causes of today’s hyperpartisan climate in Washington, he played a role as a coal-fired power station?

“We were in the minority for 40 years, and unless you had a clear, lively, polarizing message and style, you would be in the minority for another 40 years,” he says candidly. ‘So I did my job, but I also proved time and time again that I could work with Clinton. I worked with Democrats all the time. It was not a pathology. It was a professional job. ”

The dysfunction, restlessness and tribalism of today can not only be traced to one person, but has multiple causes that go deeper, admits Allan Lichtman, a leading professor of history at the American University in Washington. But Gingrich certainly had an extraordinary role.

“He was the original polarizer,” says Lichtman. “When he was first elected decades ago, he criticized the mainstream Republican congressmen for believing they were too reluctant and not waging enough political war against the Democrats.

He was, very importantly, also one of the architects of one of the most important elections in modern American history, the midterm elections of 1994, when Republicans took over the House and Senate for the first time since the first two years of Dwight. Eisenhower. That election also contributed greatly to polarization because it wiped out many moderate Southern Democrats and replaced them with many conservative Southern Republicans. ”