Newt Gingrich calls for change
ASPEN On Friday, Newt Gingrich told an audience at Aspen Institute’s McCloskey Speaker Series that the status quo in America is just plain crazy.And, by quoting Albert Einstein, who said insanity is “doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results,” the former U.S. representative from Georgia called for change.Gingrich, the author of “Contract with America” led the Republican takeover of the U.S. House of Representatives in 1994, becoming speaker after 40 years of Democratic control of the House. And since leaving office, Gingrich has authored many other books, including his recent alternate-history title, “Pearl Harbor: A Novel of December 8th.” He also works as an analyst and consultant on various projects.”Let’s talk about reality,” Gingrich told the audience, which filled the Doerr-Hosier Center to capacity.Gingrich said the coming challenges in the United States are more important than anything in the last century, and the next 50 years will prove either a “golden age of freedom and prosperity,” or the “decline of our civilization.”While Gingrich said he has no plans to run for president – he called the office “overrated” in the face of some 513,000 other public offices – he said he’d rather run his campaign for “evidence-based government.” That is, unless, he is called on by the people.”The machinery of implementation in this country is broken,” he said. “The current system is pathetic.”Nobody wants to look at the lessons because they are too painful,” Gingrich said, citing the demise of the U.S. auto industry and the federal response to Hurricane Katrina as examples.”Real change requires real change,” Gingrich said. In fact that’s the likely title of his next book, he said.And, after “24 years of pabulum baloney on education,” Gingrich called for an overhaul of U.S. schools. He wants a system that “insists on real learning” in math and science.”I’m for bringing people up, not bringing other people down,” Gingrich said, which is especially important when more than 2 billion people in China and India are joining the global economy. “Do we want to stay in the game or not?”Protectionism, Gingrich said, “will guarantee our decay,” but making U.S. visas available to trained professionals from other countries would create jobs.”We are crazy not to have ’em come,” Gingrich said.Gingrich said that while the current incapable government can’t find the estimated 20 million illegal immigrants in the U.S., UPS and FedEx can track 35 million packages to the precise moment.The solution: “We can send a package to everyone who’s here illegally,” Gingrich joked – a bit of shtick that has landed him a popular spot on YouTube, he noted.Charles Agar’s e-mail address is firstname.lastname@example.org
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