I consider myself an optimistic person. Even though we are in the midst of a terrible recession, I still think America’s glory days are ahead of us. After spending most of my life around politics, I still believe that politicians run for office to serve their country and try to change things for the better. However, do you know one of the few things that can make me a cynic? Politicians with a history of ethically questionable behavior who miraculously reinvent themselves as the second coming of Ronald Reagan. Politicians with a history of corruption who think people who question their history “don’t have a clue” about America and what is right for our country. I am, of course, referring to Newt Gingrich.
Gingrich is the new flavor of the month, the current frontrunner for the Republican presidential nomination. He has seen such a dramatic surge in the polls, I’m actually scared. The idea of Gingrich becoming our nominee makes my stomach turn. What exactly are we doing as a party? How is it possible that out of all the great politicians in the GOP—and all of the imperfect, but still admirable, politicians running—this is the guy we’re left with?
The primary process exists for voters to discover which candidate can best represent the party in the general election. So far, I have not heard one argument for how Gingrich could beat President Obama next year. Gingrich is a smart man and a talented politician. But he’s also a Washington insider, who served this country for 40 years with a track record of being a questionable character.
Democrats would love nothing more than for us to nominate Gingrich because all they will have to do is delve into his past for easy ammunition. If we nominate Gingrich, we lose to President Obama. In these tumultuous times, we need a leader who is stable and consistent. Gingrich is neither. He left his office as speaker of the House in disgrace in 1998 when he was forced to resign. Most recently, he was reportedly paid $1.6 million to $1.8 million for offering “advice as a historian” to Freddie Mac. I don’t care how he wants to spin this—Gingrich was a lobbyist for Freddie Mac. Give me a college history professor who would have been paid that amount of money to “advise as a historian.” Not only is that spin, but it’s stupid spin.
What Republicans need right now is a statesman and a real leader who will inspire America, not someone who reminds them of all the things they hate about Washington. The possible nomination of Gingrich makes it difficult for even a person like me to continue to be an optimist when it comes to politics and the future of the Republican Party. I don’t know what kind of choice I am being given if this election ends up between Gingrich and President Obama, because from my perspective, that is no choice.
The real question that looms is, why do Republicans continue to resist Mitt Romney? He is by no means a perfect candidate or politician (as much as we want our politicians to be infallible, they never are), but he is light-years less controversial than Gingrich. I am not looking for a rock star. I am not looking for a person who is going to be the most rowdy and controversial in interviews. I am looking for a real leader who will become the next president of the United States. That won’t be possible if we hand Gingrich the nomination. I just hope the voters in Iowa, New Hampshire, South Carolina, and Florida wake up in time to realize this before it’s too late and we forfeit the election to President Obama and the Democrats.