The Man Who Started It

I almost wish I believed there is a Hell so there could be a place for Newt Gingrich. Newton Leroy Gingrich is the worst public figure in the history of the United States.

Newt is worse than Benedict Arnold. Trump would put Benedict Arnold in his cabinet. In fact he has.

Newt Gingrich is Joseph Goebbels. Lots of people get called that, but I submit that Newt is the best candidate in the United States. I will support that position.

Newt Gingrich singlehandedly destroyed the public conversation in the United States of America. I don’t see any way to get it back. You know all the insults, all the nasty terms Republicans use for everybody else? Newt Gingrich literally wrote the book on that.

In a concise memo titled Language: A Key Mechanism of Control which Newt wrote for GOPAC in 1996, Newt Gingrich did not just suggest using nasty language against Democrats, he prescribed the specfic words. He told them,

  This list is prepared so that you might have a directory of words to use in writing literature and mail, in preparing speeches, and in producing electronic media. The words and phrases are powerful. Read them. Memorize as many as possible. And remember that like any tool, these words will not help if they are not used.

Look at a calendar. Look at public records. Democrats started losing states almost immediately, and it has never stopped. And losing states means losing Congress. Not just because of gerrymandering, either. The voters who elect state governments elect the US Congress.

I said Newt Gingrich was America’s Goebbels. Here is my justification for that statement: Newt Gingrich wrote, in public where everybody can see and read it, the playbook of the right-wing takeover’s propaganda.

Propaganda works. Eight or ten million people died in ovens and gas chambers because of propaganda, as we are reminded over and over, often forgetting the over 60 million more who died on  battlefields fighting over it. Over propaganda. Propaganda works. We have got to get our act together. Newt Gingrich’s propaganda prescription redefined America and we’re dying of it.

We – the Democratic party – have to combat it fiercely, now, in the hopes that it’s not already too late.

This is not a battle of ideas. This is a battle of language. We’ve got to think, and think hard, how to sell a vision of inclusion, decency, and opportunity for all to live in reasonable comfort with good health care, but we’ve got to do it in short, repeatable ideas. Hold the position papers. Fight with words: short, punchy, smart, repeatable words. And not too many. Newt’s list of words fit on one page, because he knew, just like Goebbels before him, that repetition is a critical part of propaganda.

I have a couple of essays on the topic, and will be writing more. I believe it is essential, if we are to compete, that we use language as powerful as Gingrich’s.

I would give us a thousand point bonus if we could do it with language less brutal.

But I’m going to turn for the moment in a different direction. I seriously hope that history views Newt Gingrich in the way that the really nasty politicians of history are viewed. Machiavelli.

Occasionally one will still hear some old geezer say, “Ronald Reagan and Tip O’Neil were friends.” Yep. Ask Joe Biden what it used to be like. Ask John Dingell. America was not like this.

Newt’s words did more than win elections at every level. He taught his followers the words of hate. He said, in essence, Memorize these words. Use them as much as you can. And then he listed words like “sick” and “twisted.”

Humans think in words. Words have meanings way down inside of us. He taught his followers to think of me – of us – in the words of hatred. And soon, sure as water falls when it rains, they hated us.

Democrats and Republicans never hated each other before, not since the parties were born. They squabbled bitterly, and did dirty tricks, but not even Nixon hated Democrats like your run-of-the-mill Republican today hates the Democrat down the street.

Newt Gingrich did this to us. On purpose. He appears to be proud of it.

Newt Gingrich is the worst man in the history of the United States of America.

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One thought on “The Man Who Started It”

  1. I read through this. My intentions,are to re-read article. Most,of THE text,has a point of resounding truth.I’ve followed political races FOR many many moons. The atmosphere has progressed downward since Reagan.

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