By Peter Roff, Thomas Jefferson Street blog
Former House Speaker Newt Gingrich is pushing back against those who say his criticisms of President Barack Obama and the Democratic leadership in Congress in his new book, To Save America, cross the line.
"I have asserted that the secular-socialist machine is a mortal threat to the future of America as we have known it, just as totalitarian regimes were mortal threats to the survival of America in the past,” Gingrich says in a statement explaining what he is trying to do, discounting claims that he equates the people currently in power in Washington with some of history’s darkest regimes.
Rather, as the former Georgia congressman and history professor puts it, the United States is facing mortal threats to our liberties and way of life from what he calls “radical Islam and secular-socialism.”
“If either system wins total dominance,” he says, “then the America that was endowed by its Creator with certain unalienable rights, the America that guaranteed the pursuit of happiness, the America that favored the work ethic, the America that believed in an honest day’s work for an honest day’s pay, the America that protected everyone under the rule of law, the America that was centered on family and local community—that America will disappear.”
It’s a strong statement, coming from someone who is known for his ability to draw sharp contrasts between the competing visions of what kind of country America should be.
In Gingrich’s view, the “secular-socialist machine,” which Obama and the Nancy Pelosi-Harry Reid led Congress exemplify, “would replace government of the people, by the people, for the people with government of the bureaucrats, by the politicians, for the special interests in a leveling, redistributionist centrally controlled system.”
For Gingrich these are not so much new themes but a reiteration of positions he has long held, representing the liberal welfare state on one hand and a conservative opportunity society on the other, which is why he remains one of the most controversial and most significant figures on the American political scene.