Almost exactly a year ago, former House Speaker Newt Gingrich posted an op/ed entitled “America Needs an Honest Adult Conversation” in which he outlined eleven issues and threats critical to the future of our country that are in need of serious debate, and in his introduction to them he wrote “If America is going to remain free, safe, and prosperous, we’ll have to elevate our national debate far above the current pattern”, and he lamented our continuing inability to even have a serious conversation about them. Substantially all of these issues found their way in one form or another into the Commitment to America document subsequently adopted by the Republican Party, and by securing a slight majority in the “people’s” House that party has won itself the leading role in conducting this national debate and challenging the opposition to seek bipartisan approaches to these pressing issues. We’re at the point where simply the return to regular order will be a productive victory. Can they succeed? Is there the political will?
I’m cautiously optimistic. The new Speaker is showing evidence of leadership skills I wasn’t sure he has; his election was messy, a “clown show” in some respects, but it was healthy I think to publicly air out intraparty frustrations. Some early bill filings and new committees and assignments, particularly on China, intelligence, rules, and the border/immigration crisis are encouraging. I worry about too much emphasis on retribution through investigative hearings, but hopefully prudence will win the day there–this is where the adults must take charge so as to avoid overkill.
A final, but important, priority: The unprofessionalism, pettiness, and shallowness of the major media outlets that have corrupted the body politic and helped to incentivize these traits must be confronted on a bipartisan basis by the leadership on both sides of the aisle.
Again, I’m hopeful. Pray for our country and its leaders.
Gregory Stachura says
I am skeptical that both parties will be willing to confront media. One party is a close ally of the media and finds them useful. However, there are signs of a slow reformation in the industry: The Washington Post recently hired two conservative writers and CNN has let go its liberal personalities in order to boost ratings.
Yes, McCarthy is courageous to want that job. I am cautiously optimistic over his future. He must collect wise counsel within his party.
Richard Illyes says
We have the equivalent of the 1850’s Planter Class in the Progressive Boomer Democrat led ruling party and Academia. They have given themselves power and money through insane levels of borrowing.
The 1850’s Planter Class lived on the stolen labor of their slaves and were hopelessly in debt. . Today’s live on the stolen future labor of their students via student loans and the stolen future taxes of the rest of the world via incredible public debt.
It is unstable, at some point it will collapse, and something will arise to change it. People like Gov Ron DeSantis, Senators Rand Paul and Ted Cruz, etc. will lead to a new consensus, but the Boomer Democrats, the most self serving clueless evil group in over a century will have to age out before it manifests.
Until that happens the best thing to do is take every opportunity to defund the Swamp.
Robert C Hux says
Well said and for the Republicans, the biggest question is how DeSantis and Trump play out. Personally, I believe Trump has shown he can accomplish a lot under unbelievable circumstances. It would be nice to have Trump for 4 more years draining the swamp and DeSantis for 8 years finishing the project.
vern wuensche says
In my humble opinion, you nailed it Jim!
Interesting observation regarding the mainstream media:
“The unprofessionalism, pettiness, and shallowness of the major media outlets that have corrupted the body politic…”
I’d be very interested to hear your in-depth thoughts on that statement in a separate essay.
Danny Billingsley says
I hope you’re optimism is well founded Jim..
david redford says
I hope the Republican party will have a party platform in the near future so we will know what they want to do. They have not had a platform for a while.
Jim Windham says
David — The Commitment to America I referenced in my post is the Republican platform on which the party based its 2022 campaign.
Tim P says
Can someone please explain how the Republican Party is structured, governed and run? How is the chair of the party nominated and elected, and by whom?
I echo the need for the adult conversation. My concern is that the Republicans can’t create a clear vision, mission, and agenda to present to the American people. I can’t cite one point of the current plan referred to in your post. The Republicans fail miserably at messaging, promotion, PR, and communication.
Bottom line, US politics at all levels is but a theater performance art to keep the masses entertained whilst the global financial/pharma/energy/food/technology industrialists pay for mass media and the administrative execution/enforcement powers of governmental regulatory agencies and global military industrial complex to execute an earth worshiping, greed and power driven plan for the establishment of a global utopian one world order (not government) at the expense of freedom and rights of the individual. Borders, cultures, language, and most of all God-given laws, virtues, values and institutions will continue to be attacked and torn down and simultaneously replaced with homogenized humanity in the form of spiritless androgeny, lawlessness, and ever increasing reliance upon the “provider state” of all basic human needs – food, water, shelter, educational, health and spiritual. And all of the foregoing root cause is easy to diagnose, simple – once again, since the beginning mankind chooses to worship the creation instead of the Creator, and in so doing creating the greatest idol of all – self.
Jim Windham says
Very well put, Tim, and I don’t have a rebuttal or even a worthy answer to any of your characterizations of the present state of the American experiment. There aren’t any Reagans or Gingriches out there and you’re right–no one is going to march to the “Commitment to America”. But we play the hand we’re dealt and right now the new Speaker is the leader of the loyal opposition.
Tim, your remarkable insights are reminiscent of Mark Twain, especially the long sentences. Loved reading your views.
Jim, keep up the work of making us think.