Last Friday, Newt Gingrich spoke at CPAC. As I listened to his speech, I paid attention to the manner with which it was crafted. I listened to how the issues he spoke of had been carefully picked to draw a response from the crowd. I listened to his vision for America and his vision for the Republican Party. I also listen to everything he didn’t say.
Gingrich is a man of ideas. He is also a pragmatic man who understands politics. He understands issues and he believes he knows what the people want to hear. Gingrich tactically attacked the President on a number of issues to include national security, job creation, energy policy and the economy. He invoked the memory of President Ronald Reagan and he alluded to national pride.
Gingrich is a man of ideas. He is also a man, who failed to mention the U.S. Constitution, save in passing when he spoke about his vision to replace the Environmental Protection Agency with the Environmental Solutions Agency. You see, Gingrich is a man of ideas.
And finally, Gingrich is a man of ideas. He is also a man who desperately wants people to forget that he participated in a Climate Change commercial alongside Nancy Pelosi. He has since spent much time trying to explain away why it was he did it. The second half of his CPAC speech was yet another attempt to do so by segueing from talk about our national energy policy into talk about a new green conservatism. Like I said, Gingrich is a man of ideas.
Like so many politicians, Newt Gingrich has a problem. He wants to be President. And his solution to that problem is to 1) say what he thinks we conservatives want to hear, and 2) come up with new ideas. Gingrich believes the solutions to all our problems lies in the future. He wants to chart a new path for the Republican Party with new ideas and new approaches to old problems.
I want to hear a different solution, a solution that was developed over 200 years ago. It’s called the U.S. Constitution. I want to hear my next Republican Presidential nominee embrace the Constitution. I want to know, not just hear it, that our next Republican Presidential nominee cherishes the ideals that are embodied in that document.
Newt Gingrich is a historian and more than any other person in the field of potential candidates for the republican nomination he should understand what it took for this nation to arrive at that sacred document. He perhaps, above all the potential candidates, should be the one to embrace it. Yet he does not. I ask myself why?
The answer I keep coming back to is this. Newt Gingrich, like so many other politicians, like Nancy Pelosi, like Barack Obama, desperately want make their mark on this world. They want to craft a society in their image. They want to be the one who everybody refers to when the people say, “Look what He did.” All these people are “men” of ideas, but they have forgotten the ideas that made this nation great.
So many of our politicians speak about being conservative. Only a handful of them actually look to the Constitution and govern by the rule of law outlined in that document. Is that not true conservatism? The framers of the Constitution were certainly men of ideas, but they looked to the past and took from the past, ideas that were already working in the States, to draft the Constitution.
Yes, the concept that men could govern themselves was a new idea. The concept that men could be free in their thoughts and opinions, that they could enjoy the rewards of property that a lifetime of hard work brought them, and that they could simply live without the burden of an oppressive tyrannical government. These were bold new ideas, and our founders crafted a document whose sole purpose was to protect those ideas, the Constitution.
The framers were not opposed to new ideas. They were the original “new ideas” men. They however, cleverly understood that new ideas could not be simply implemented with each new Congress and with each new Presidential Administration. They very carefully crafted within the Constitution a process for implementing new ideas. That process was the Constitutional Amendment process.
I don’t want my next President replacing one horrible federal agency with another horrible federal agency. I don’t want my political party to embrace mystical environmentalism repackaged under the new name of green conservatism. I don’t want a President who will attempt to redefine the ideals embodied in Americanism. And I don’t want a President who tells me what he thinks I want to hear. I want a President who will tell me that he is prepared to embrace the Constitution and govern under the rule of law outlined in that document.
Now, when I listen to a so called conservative politician tell me why I should give my support to them for President, or any other office for that matter, I listen past the issues of the day they speak about, I listen past all the “new ideas” they have for our nation, I listen past all the bashing of their opponents, and I listen to what they have to say about governing this country by the rule of law outlined in the Constitution.
NOTE: If Newt Gingrich does ultimately win the Republican nomination I will support him. I’ll support any republican over President Obama. I would prefer it though if that republican were a Constitutional conservative.
Also posted at Protopolitics.com