Saturday, June 07, 2008

Newt Gingrich's Formula for Political Success

Newt Gingrich believes that the vast majority of Americans are on general agreement on most major political issues. The problem he sees is the two political parties represent opposite views on the extreme ends of opinions. He believes many Democrats focus on what they see is wrong with government and many Republicans focus on their philosophy that government should be reduced. He instead argues that the discussions should be on how to make government more efficient. He sees Democrats as unable to do this because they are beholden to union and bureaucratic interests whose interests would be harmed by efficiency efforts. He sees Republicans as unable to do this because they focus primarily on cutting government without considering making government more efficient once it has been cut.

Reagan cut programs but failed to create a permanent culture where the cuts were made to operate efficiently and permanently. The Republican Party lacked a commitment to maintaining long term government cuts and keeping taxes low. Instead, George H.W. Bush raised taxes two years after Reagan left office. Gingrich argues that Republicans need create a permanent goal of achieving smaller, more efficient government with lower taxes.

Gingrich warns that candidates and elected official rely too much on what political consultants and pollsters tell them is the more politically viable course of action rather than acting according to what is the most proper course of action. This is especially bad, according to Gingrich, because these short term policy decisions fail to consider creating the proper long term, in not necessarily the most popular, policies.

Republicans pander too much to their activist base, which often has extreme positions. This fails to connect with the larger body of voters. He argues that the Republican Party would be successful if it became the permanent pro-good government, pro-limited government political party.

Republicans should attack Democrats who advocate raising taxes because doing so will make us less competitive in the global market, Gingrich advises. The U.S. needs to focus on increasing productivity and increasing income to make our nation more able to compete against other foreign producers. Gingrich believes Republicans can win on making lower taxes an economic development argument.

In sum, Gingrich argues “the solution we want will have our values as their base, our vision for the future as a goal, and evidence (metrics) as our standard for measuring our progress.”


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