Wednesday, August 25, 2010

Sinful

I checked out Newt Gingrich's latest book To Save America: Stopping Obama’s Secular-Socialist Machine from the library. I had heard about it earlier in the year and put in a request.

It takes a lot for me to pick up a book and read it: irresistible reviews, an inspiring author, a favored subject. Or, in this case, an outlandish title.

I have to say, this book is tough to understand. More precisely, it is tough to understand how a person whom I regard as a seasoned representative, scholar, educator (and a Christian!) could write something so painfully deceitful and cynical. This book appears to be directed at an audience that Gingrich must judge as having absolutely no capacity for critical thought.

It is the worst, most self-serving book I can recall. (Of course I know there's an endless supply of such trash. I just won't touch the stuff.) But I certainly didn't expect this from Mr. Gingrich (even though I never really forgave him for the pall his "Contract on America" cast over this country.)

From the first words, I was astounded that virtually every paragraph could be challenged on it's bias, assumptions, incompleteness, veracity, or faulty logic. This result would be really difficult to accomplish - even if it you had set out to do so!

I'll have to offer some examples here (where to begin!), but I suggest you get your hands on a copy, just randomly open to any page and read. I think you'll see my point.

(And last night, it was a bit unnerving when I heard a couple conservatives speaking after winning in yesterday's primaries, channeling "The Newt". I'd swear they were pulling quotes right out of the book.)

Selected quotations:

P. 2

America as we know it is now facing a mortal threat.
The Left have expanded their power through their control of academia, the elite news media, union leaders, trial lawyers, the bureaucracy, the courts, and lobbyists at the state and federal levels. They share a vision of a secular, socialist America run for the interests of the members of the political machine that keeps them in power. It will be an America where government dominates the people rather than represents them. In short, they want to use government power to change who we are and how we think.

This danger to America is greater than anything I dreamed possible after we won the Cold War and the Soviet Union disappeared in December 1991. We stand at a crossroads: either we will save our country or we will lose it.

P. 2

Traditional America values hard work, entrepreneurship, innovation, and merit-based upward mobility. But the secular-socialist machine rewards its members, punishes "overachievers," kills jobs by over-taxing small businesses, and even exploits your death to tax the savings you hope to pass on to your children and grandchildren.

P. 3

For many in the secular-socialist Left, however, the only thing exceptional about America is our supposed viciousness. They believe America is an exploitive (sic), imperialist aggressor, and that the U.S. military is a nefarious tool of corporate interests. Some on the Left even hope for America's wartime defeat as a means to stop us from promoting American values across the world.

...secular socialists believe the only reliable institution is a bureaucratic, centralized, supremely powerful government....They don't believe Americans can be trusted to make the "right" decisions.

P. 4

The America in which we grew up is vastly different from the America the secular-socialist Left want to create. And that's why saving America is the fundamental challenge of our time. The secular-socialist machine represents as great a threat to America as Nazi Germany or the Soviet Union once did. (Emphasis added.)

This diagnosis may strike some readers as alarmist. But this book will show just how radical, how corrupt, and how ruthless the Left have become. You will see also why the term "secular-socialist machine" is the only honest way to describe the Left's ideology and the way they operate today.

Time has not run out, but it is running short. It's up to those of us who love our country to save America from the destructive, irreversible transformation that the Left have in store for us.

This is just the opening salvo, a taste of what Mr. Gingrich has in store for the reader. Note that I did not search out passages that use the term "secular-socialist machine". The label appears profusely - a useful device in brainwashing, but not in rational discourse.

If one were to replace Gingrich's use of "secular-socialist Left" with "blacks", "Hispanics" or "Muslims", it would become clear that he attacks this perceived threat in the same way racists irrationally attack the perceived threat from those "who are different".

More from the Newt:

P. 35 (Here, Newt gives a history lesson. A clear explanation why Obama is a radical.)
The "Left" is a term stemming from the seating of political parties in the National Assembly during the French Revolution. The radicals were seated on the left and the conservatives on the right. Today, the Left comprise a range of opinion favoring various levels of state control over society and over the economy. So the Obama-Pelosi-Reid agenda is indeed leftist...

P. 37

A purely secular outlook does not acknowledge God. It does not consider the implications of one's actions beyond the impact they make within one's own life. It does not recognize any higher moral order beyond that which human beings have rationally developed.

P. 37

For example, the Declaration of Independence, America's founding political document, boldly proclaims, "We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their creator with certain unalienable rights, that among those are life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness."

This extraordinary sentence makes some key assumptions: that God is sovereign over the affairs of the universe; that God created man; an that man must obey an order of justice God Himself has instituted.

How then can a purely secular worldview account for the original American understanding of our rights and freedoms?

It cannot.

P. 46 (Gingrich rails against radical tactics, which he himself commonly employs in his own "personal" revolution)

Perhaps nobody has been more clear about the Left's need for dishonesty than Saul Alinsky.

One of the twentieth century's most influential radicals, Alinsky is considered the godfather of community organizing...

Many of his "rules" are guideline for engaging in immoral, dangerous, political dishonesty. Echoing the maxims of Vladimir Lenin, the architect of Soviet Communism, Alinsky justifies almost any immoral act, especially outright dishonesty and hypocrisy, if it's done while pursuing revolution.

David Horowitz, in his small book Barack Obama's Rules of Revolution: The Alinsky Model, cogently explains the significance of Alinsky's teaching to the modern Left.

For Alinsky, a radical's primary goals must be acquiring power and destroying the current system. What replaces it is of secondary concern. He teaches that you amass power by organizing people based on their naked self-interest, not on any idealism or common vision of the future.

P. 62-63

President Obama hides his duplicity behind secrecy, clever language, and legalisms. Like President Reagan, Obama possesses captivating, eloquent rhetorical gifts. While Reagan used rhetoric to clarify and educate, however, Obama uses his skills to confuse and deflect. These are profoundly different models of leadership. But then, clarity was Reagan's ally, since he was a conservative who articulated the values of the American people. In contrast, as an apologist for the secular-socialist Left, Obama knows clarity is his opponent; the less the American people understand about what he is doing, the better.

P. 71-72 (As a historian, Gingrich's memory seems to fail him. Does the name Nixon ring a bell?)

Contrary to their promises to clean up Washington, the president, House speaker, and Senate majority leader have governed with a political machine mentality that is more corrupt and secretive than anything we have seen in modern American politics.

P. 129 (Another of the conservatives' arch-enemies is attacked. This one is particularly hilarious, as Gingrich attacks its one country-one vote system. Membership is even granted to despotic nations, such as Saudi Arabia! Of course, no mention is made of where most "Western democracies" sourced much of their wealth.)

In some ways, the UN machine is even worse than the machine of the American Left; first, since even the most despotic governments are entitled to UN membership, the UN is not limited by elections or the need to keep up democratic appearances. And second, lacking America's legal framework for government transparency, the organization is even more prone to corruption than is the American Left.

Despite the fact that a handful of Western democracies pay the vast majority of the UN's annual budget (the United States alone pays 22 percent), the UN's most influential voting block is a group of 130 undeveloped countries called the G-77. Using the UN's one country-one vote system, the G-77 has hijacked the UN to turn it into a mechanism for redistributing wealth from the developed to developing countries.

P. 137 (Here Newt basically expresses his outrage that the UN has the gall to criticize and obstruct some of our self-serving pursuits. In other words, that other nations have a say in the matter.)

The UN could make an immense contribution to world peace, human rights, and the spread of democracy. But it is not doing that - and that's a tragedy. Having proven impervious to all attempts at reform, we need to sideline this dysfunctional, self-perpetuating, bureaucratic machine until it stops acting as a vehicle for the world's most oppressive states to exert their will over the world's free democracies.

P. 150-151 (Newt attacks other conservation enemies - the czars and EPA. Though I guess the EPA was doing just fine under G.W., as it overturned decades of environmental protections. Gingrich loves the use of labels designed to incite and inflame.)

Consider the White House czar system. It is an unconstitutional centralization of power in the hands of the appointed, unaccountable bureaucrats. It is guaranteed to increase corruption, lead to political cronyism, and give the president unprecedented - and un-American - power to manipulate, coerce, and bribe people.

The solution is to eliminate the White House czar system, not to reform it.

The EPA has become an engine of undemocratic bureaucracy filled with people who seek to impose their fanatical views on an unwilling American population. The EPA and its entire regulation-litigation, Washington-centered, command-and-control bureacracy needs to be replaced.

That's enough. The book numbers roughly 350 pages, full of gems such as these.

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