Saturday, December 29, 2007

Okay, Thoughts for the New Year

This may be the most intelligent, thoughtful and scary analysis of our current situation I've ever read. Newt Gingrich...yes yes, that Newt Gingrich!...delivered this speech to the Jewish National Fund meeting in mid-November. I suggest you read every word of it:
Sleepwalking Into a Nightmare
Speech by Newt Gingrich

[Former House Speaker Newt Gingrich delivered the following remarks to a Jewish National Fund meeting Nov. 15 at the Selig Center.]

I just want to talk to you from the heart for a few minutes and share with you where I think we are.

I think it is very stark. I don't think it is yet desperate, but it is very stark. And if I had a title for today's talk, it would be sleepwalking into a nightmare. 'Cause that's what I think we're doing.
I happened the other night to be watching an old movie, “To Live and Die in L.A.,” which is about counterfeiting. But the movie starts with a Secret Service agent who is defending Ronald Reagan in 1985, and the person he is defending Ronald Reagan from is a suicide bomber who is actually, overtly a Muslim fanatic. Now, six years after 9/11, you could not get that scene made in Hollywood today.

Just look at the movies. Why is it that the bad person is either a Right-wing crazed billionaire, or the CIA as a government agency? Go look at “The Bourne Ultimatum.” Or a movie like the one that George Clooney made, which was an absolute lie, in which it implied that if you were a reformist Arab prince, that probably the CIA would kill you. It's a total lie. We actually have SEALs protecting people all over the world. We actually risk American lives protecting reformers all over the world, and yet Hollywood can't bring itself to tell the truth, (a) because it's ideologically so opposed to the American government and the American military, and (b), because it's terrified that if it said something really openly, honestly true about Muslim terrorists, they might show up in Hollywood. And you might have somebody killed as the Dutch producer was killed.

And so we're living a life of cowardice, and in that life of cowardice we're sleepwalking into a nightmare.
We have created our own nightmare because we refuse to tell the truth. We refuse to tell the truth to our politicians. Our State Department refuses to tell the truth to the country. If the president of the United States, and again, we're now so bitterly partisan, we're so committed to red vs. blue hostility, that George W. Bush doesn't have the capacity to give an address from the Oval Office that has any meaning for half the country. And the anti-war Left is so strong in the Democratic primary that I think it's almost impossible for any Democratic presidential candidate to tell the truth about the situation.

And so the Republicans are isolated and trying to defend incompetence. The Democrats are isolated and trying to find a way to say, "I'm really for strength as long as I can have peace, but I'd really like to have peace, except I don't want to recognize these people who aren't very peaceful."

I just want to share with you, as a grandfather, as a citizen, as a historian, as somebody who was once speaker of the House, this is a serious national crisis. This is 1935 or 1936, and it's getting worse every year.


Anonymous said...

I suggest you read Gibbon. All six volumes.

This nation has been partisan since the founding and today's "partisanship" is nothing new despite what Newt says. Read about Jackson sometime for pete's sake. Or the 1860 election. Or the Adams/Jefferson feud. Or the 1920 election. Partisan all.

The republic will one day fall. That may be 500 years from now or ten but it will happen. And people prbably won't see it coming, or if they do, will be powerless to stop it.

Anonymous said...

Makes me break into a cold sweat.

Hopefully with Fred being an "Hollywood insider", that he can change things.

Anonymous said...

Fred can change things? Fred will be lucky to win third in Ia as it now stands. In truth, the Fred campaign is over and done with. If he doesn't drop out Jan 4 he will drop out Jan 20. And since when did Hollywood listen to conservative entertainers?

Anonymous said...

To anonymous @4:16PM,

"why" will the republic one day fall? "how" can we "see" it coming?

Anonymous said...

"Why" will the republic one day fall? Because nothing lasts forever. Haven't you ever heard the tale of the Chinese Emperor who built a great city and asked the wise men of his court to come up with a saying of great truth to put on the city gate? The wise men told the emperor to inscribe "In time, this too shall pass" on the gate. Or have you not read "Ozymandias" by Shelley?

Rome did not so much as collapse as just more or less cease to exist. When Constantine the Great had his Triumph in Rome and built his arch in honour of it there existed no sculptors to scuplt his image so the arch of another emperor was robbed for its sculptures. Rome had been on a long decline and the arts had somewhat died out by the time of Constantine.

The decline of our republic may mirror that of Rome with a long gradual decline rather than a sudden collapse like that of the Soviet Union. In which case you won't really "see" it coming. Again, read Gibbon.