Friday, March 24, 2006

Newt making a ton of sense on the issues: A long post, but worth a read...Newt is right.

Challenge #1: "Confronting America's Enemies"
The Irreconcilable Wing of Islam believes in a strikingly different world then the one we believe. It is an uncivilized and barbaric world. This wing of Islam, and its adherents and recruits, are irreconcilable because they cannot peacefully coexist with the civilized world. Their views on the role of women, on the application of medieval religious law (the Sha’ria) and religious intolerance (prosecuting Christians) make them irreconcilable with civilization in the modern age.

This ideological wing of Islam is irreconcilable because it does not accept freedom of conscience.

It does not accept freedom of speech.

It does not accept that women are equal in dignity and equal under the law, but instead accords them an inferior status in the life of society.

It does not accept the existence of the United States, with the adherents of the Irreconcilable Wing of Islam constantly fomenting a cheering chorus calling the United States the “Great Satan” and calling for its destruction. Their constantly declared goal is to either destroy or dominate the United States.

It does not accept Israel as a legal state.

It does not accept the inherent dignity of every human life. Instead, it supports the taking of innocent lives -- in the name of its ideology -- of anyone or any group that disagrees with its world view.

Because this war is at its core an ideological war, it is most accurate to think of and identify this war against the Irreconcilable Wing of Islam as the “Long War”.

It is stunningly hard to win a war of ideology where the enemy is religiously motivated to kill us...

It is stunningly hard to win
a war of ideology where the enemy
is religiously motivated to kill us

...Because we are involved in a civil war within Islam, we must work to turn the Islamic world against the Irreconcilables. Just as the Cold War was fought in part as a propaganda war pitting the appeal of democracy against communism, so too we need the Peace Corps and other government agencies to sponsor pro-Western secular schools and charities throughout the Islamic world. Most important, we need big broadcast networks that communicate to the Islamic world Western ideas about the rule of law, private property, and freedom. We need to broadcast our civic culture so that the Arab world gets a different view of the West than what it gets from Al Jazeera and Michael Moore.

Simultaneously leading the world, defeating the Irreconcilable Islamists, forcing rogue dictatorships into acceptable behavior (or replacing them), building up our intelligence and military capabilities to cope with China and Russia and other threats, making the necessary transformations in our foreign policy bureaucracy, and securing our homeland will be an enormous undertaking.

President Bush told us the truth: It will be a hard campaign, a long war, and we will suffer setbacks on occasion. “This war will not be like the war against Iraq a decade ago, with a decisive liberation of territory and a swift conclusion....Our response involves far more than instant retaliation and isolated strikes. Americans should not expect one battle, but a lengthy campaign, unlike any other we have ever seen.”

Transformational wars always take time, and always mean overcoming setbacks: It took George Washington from 1776 to 1783 to win the Revolutionary War. It took Abraham Lincoln four years (1861 to 1864) to finally hit on a winning strategy to win the Civil War in 1865. And the Cold War lasted more than forty years until the Soviet Empire collapsed.

We have risen to the challenge before and we can do so again. As Ronald Reagan won the Cold War, so too can we win this war.

Challenge #2: "Defending God in the Public Square"
There is no attack on American culture more deadly and more historically dishonest than the secular Left’s unending war against God in America’s public life. The decision by the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals to rule unconstitutional the phrase “one nation under God” was the final straw. A court that would destroy a Pledge of Allegiance adopted by the Congress, signed by the president (Eisenhower), and supported by 91 percent of the American people is a court that is clearly out of step with an America that understands that our rights come from God, which is why no government—or court—can justly take them away from us...

the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals...
is a court that is clearly out of step
with an America that understands
that our rights come from God

...Abraham Lincoln, in his Gettysburg Address, remarked that

It is for us the living, rather, to be dedicated here to the unfinished work which they who fought here have thus far so nobly advanced. It is rather for us to be here dedicated to the great task remaining before us—that from these honored dead we take increased devotion to the cause for which they gave the last full measure of devotion; that we here highly resolve that these dead shall not have died in vain; that this nation, under God, shall have a new birth of freedom; and that government of the people, by the people, for the people, shall not perish from the earth.

We are, and always have been, a nation “under God,” regardless of our “robust national religious diversity.”

The two primary battlefields of this cultural struggle are the courts and the classrooms. Those are the arenas in which the secular Left has imposed change against the wishes of the overwhelming majority of Americans. Those are the arenas in which believing in the Founding Fathers and the classic interpretation of the Constitution can be disastrous to a career and lead to social ostracism.

If we insist on courts that follow the facts of American history in interpreting the Constitution, we will reestablish the right that every American has to acknowledge our Creator as the source of our rights, our well being, and our wisdom. And if we insist on patriotic education both for our children and for new immigrants, we will rebuild the cultural bond of historic memory that has made America the most exceptional nation in history.

Challenge #3: "Protecting American Civilization"
We should not worry about people who want to come to the United States to work hard, pay taxes, obey the law, and become Americans. In fact, we should be delighted to have new Americans join our country because historically they have been the source of enormous talent, energy, and courage. From Alexander Hamilton to Andrew Carnegie to Albert Einstein to Henry Kissinger to Arnold Schwarzenegger, people who wanted to improve their lives, and in the process improve the country, have enriched America.

Nor should we be concerned that a substantial number of new Americans are Hispanic. America has a long history of absorbing and blending people of many languages and backgrounds. There have always been non-English newspapers in America and now we have non-English radio and television. I am also not worried that some immigrants come here only to earn money and then go home (Italian immigrants, in particular, did that in the past).

What should worry us is the breakdown of will on the part of America to control the borders and to ensure that new immigrants learn to be American. What should worry us is a breakdown of will to protect America’s unique civilization...

What should worry us is
a breakdown of will to protect
America’s unique civilization

...But in all of this, we must not be naïve. Insisting that public schools actually teach American history and American values will provoke a bitter fight with the left, no matter how popular those values are with the American people.

If we lose this struggle in the classrooms we will lose the America that was proclaimed in our Declaration of Independence and defined in our Constitution.

If we do not teach America’s patriotic history to our children then how are they going to learn it? We must make sure that our young people understand America and what it means to be an American. This is a unique country, the Founders were unique people, and the Constitution is a remarkable document. We live in a very magical place called America and we need to reassert this truth again and again.

Challenge #4: "Competing in a Global Economy"
The challenge of economic competition from China and India will require transformations in litigation, education, taxation, regulation, environmental and health policies for America to continue to be the most successful economy in the world and the best source of high paying jobs and enough economic growth to sustain the Baby Boomers and their children when they retire, especially the transformation of math and science education in America. This is the single greatest challenge to our continued economic and national security leadership. Without a profound improvement in math and science learning, America will simply not be able to sustain its national security nor compete for high value jobs in the world market.

Without a profound improvement
in math and science learning,
America will simply not be able
to sustain its national security
nor compete for high
value jobs in the world market

For the last two decades, the Europeans have looked with scorn upon the American model of free enterprise. Their response to innovation and challenge has been economic isolationism, rule-rigging, and graceful decay. While they know that a welfare state and unionized work rules are expensive and inefficient, they’ve decided to live with them.

In the United States, there exists a coalition of union leaders who prefer protection over competition; environmental extremists who value nature over the well-being and prosperity of their fellow citizens; and liberal intellectuals who distrust the fluidity and uncertainty of the market and prefer the orderliness of command bureaucracies. This liberal coalition complains about companies’ outsourcing jobs while insisting on corporate taxes that encourage companies to go overseas. They prefer that government impose on business obsolete, absurd work rules, even though these raise costs, lower productivity, and make America less competitive in the world market. These liberals believe in expanding regulation even when it fails to meet any cost-benefit test and clearly drives jobs out of the United States. The Left refuses to reform litigation or create a better system of civil ¬justice even though it knows the explosion of lawsuits makes it less desirable to create jobs and invest in the United States.

The challenge to American economic supremacy from 1.3 billion Chinese and more than 1.1 billion Indians is vastly greater than anything we have previously seen. India’s embrace of capitalism and China’s bizarre combination of Marxist-Leninist government and free market initiatives will create a future where one-fourth of the world’s markets will be controlled by these countries. Those who advocate economic isolationism and protectionism are advocating a policy that could help China and India surpass the United States in economic power in our children’s or grandchildren’s lifetime.

Challenge #5: "Promoting Active Healthy Aging"
The very success of more people living longer will require dramatic transformation in pensions, Social Security and health so that seniors can have active, healthy aging and long term living without the demands on Social Security, Medicare, and related government programs collapsing the current system.

Aging is a part of life. As we creep up in years our bones get achier. But the values, characteristics, and expectations of most Americans, and especially the baby boomers, are unchanged. We want to continue to lead productive, intellectually stimulating lives, have significance, and be physically active. We value our freedom and our dreams. We do not want age to define us, nor do we want age to eliminate our right to choose where and how we live. It is this American drive for independence that will lead to changes in how we think about the aging process and how we prepare financially for our health and retirement.

We must recognize that reforming Medicare and rethinking government rules for retirement to encourage economic activity are key steps toward a better future for the baby boomers. The policies that may have made sense in earlier eras when people died younger, exhausted by farm and factory labor (most Americans died by 63 when Social Security set its payment age at 65,) are simply not applicable in an era when more people are healthier longer and want to continue to stay active.

We must recognize that reforming
Medicare and rethinking government rules
for retirement to encourage economic activity
are key steps toward a
better future for the baby boomers.

Active healthy aging requires us to develop policies for 21st Century Medicare and 21st Century Social Security Systems...

...For conservatives, such personal social security savings account reform could not be a bigger or more urgent issue. By shifting fundamentally all Social Security retirement benefits to the personal social security savings accounts over the long run, and financing part of the transition by reducing the rate of growth of federal spending, the Ryan–Sununu bill will ultimately reduce federal spending by roughly 6.5 percent of GDP. That, in fact, is a must if we are to avoid an explosion of federal spending relative to GDP that will result under current federal policies.

Personal social security savings accounts will in fact fulfill the promise that the Social Security system cannot deliver: a guaranteed retirement account. President Franklin Roosevelt and President Ronald Reagan would both be pleased.
Too much reasoned common sense in there Mr. Gingrich.

Is Newt right?


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