Winning the Future: A 21st Century Contract with America

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Regnery Pub., Dec 1, 2004 - Political Science - 243 pages
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According to former House Speaker Newt Gingrich, America currently faces five threats that could undermine, if not eliminate, the United States if immediate steps are not taken to correct them. The threats as he sees them are Islamic terrorists and rogue dictatorships armed with nuclear or biological weapons; the removal of God from American public life; a loss of patriotism and sense of America's history; a decline in economic supremacy because of poor science and math education; and the increasing budgetary burden of Social Security and Medicare. To tackle these problems, Gingrich offers his "21st Century Contract with America," which he outlines in great detail in this bold and thought-provoking book. His updated contract, which comes a decade after the original Republican Contract with America that marked the high point of Gingrich's national power, calls for a dramatically simplified tax code that favors savings and investment; government investment in science and technology, particularly regarding space, energy, and the environment; transforming Social Security into personal savings accounts; overhauling the civil justice system to reduce the burden of lawsuits; and updating the federal government, including the privatization of some functions, so that it moves at the speed and effectiveness of the information age. And that's just the beginning. He also calls for tripling the size of America's intelligence community, reforming its election system, developing a more intelligent health care system that creates jobs and increases quality of life, and balancing the federal budget.
Gingrich believes that this ambitious agenda can be accomplished, but only if it receives grassroots support. The entrenched political system, with its lobbyists, bloated bureaucracies, and the complicity of the media, is too self-serving to fix itself, he stresses. Concise and clearly presented, Winning the Future is long on specifics and short on rhetoric, and it succeeds as a springboard for political discourse. Gingrich's aim is clearly to inspire citizens to take responsibility for the county's direction by demanding more of their government and their leaders.

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Winning the future: a 21st Century Contract with America

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The conservative Republican maverick opens his latest work with a "traditional American values" self-test; readers who score well may be energized by this assertive broadside against all that ails the ... Read full review

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I will not argue the fact that Newt Gingrich is an extremely intelligent man – brilliant, even. He is very knowledgeable about the events that are taking place around the world and he genuinely desires to act upon giving a hand in helping our country out of the hole we have dug ourselves into. However, my personal belief is that there are a few key flaws to his plans, a few reasons why these proposals will not all end in great success.
On page 186 in his conclusion, Newt was correct when he said that “winning the future is hard work” and that it requires effort, but his plans are for a nation that will comply with these efforts and be willing to follow these proposals that he has made. The fact of the matter is that not all Americans have the same political beliefs. This is nothing new, but this book is written for Americans that all agree with Newt Gingrich’s beliefs – and he is but one man. Obviously not all Americans will read this book and agree with every single word. Great plans like his require cooperation on everyone’s part, and not all will be willing.
America has gone through several ups and downs. It has been experimented on with different plans and propositions, and not all of them have ended in success. With change, there is always a chance of whether there will be success or that we will be worse off than we were before. Of course a proposal would never intentionally be given to worsen off America more than it already has been, but much change has ended in this conclusion. This has caused Americans to stiffen at the mention of change – there is a certain element of fear towards the word. Many of Newt’s propositions require a great deal of change, and who can honestly say with great confidence that each of his plans will end in success? No one. Although he has done great amounts of research and can use past examples of when these changes have been made and were successful, they were just as well in the past, and we are living in the present.
My last argument is that some of Newt’s ideas were a bit contradictory to his beliefs. Although he believed in America as a free country, his belief that our nation should continue to be a Christian one contradicted itself. I myself am a Christian, but I am also an American in this order. I would love for as many as all the Americans in the United States to believe in God, but because America is a free nation, it gives the freedom of religion to all. It gives me freedom to be a Christian, but it also gives someone else the freedom to believe in Buddhism or Catholicism. We as Americans fight for this freedom. Our Founding Fathers may have believed in the Divine Power and declared our nation as a “Nation under God”, but to shove this down peoples’ throats defeats the purpose of Christians freely believing what they wish, and the reason that America has freedom of religion in the first place. The original colonies in America may have been Christian ones, but the reason they fled to America was so that every one of them could have the freedom to believe what they wished, and this applies to other religions besides Christianity. Newt boldly stated that, “There is no attack on American culture more deadly and more historically dishonest than the secular Left’s unending war against God in America’s public life.” (pg. 43) I will not deny that I wish all Americans would turn to God and realize that He is their Creator and Savior, but it is because America is a free nation that I can boldly state this belief.
In conclusion, Newt Gingrich is an incredible man with incredible passion, but because the effort required to help America’s success is on the part of all Americans, I doubt greatly that every one of his plans towards a perfect America will make it far enough to be 100% successful.

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About the author (2004)

Newt Gingrich was born on June 17, 1943 in Harrisburg, Pennsylvania. He was brought up in the transient household of a military family and survived the Hungarian Uprising as a boy. His Baptist faith also helped mold his conservative philosophies. He received a Bachelor's degree from Emory University and Master's and Doctorate in Modern European History from Tulane University. Before his election to Congress, he taught history and environmental studies at West Georgia College for eight years. First elected to the U.S. House of Representatives in 1970, he rose to the position of Speaker when the Republicans gained control of Congress in 1995. A staunch conservative, he gained nationwide recognition with the successful Contract with America, but his political career suffered a setback when his admission of violating House ethics rules resulted in a reprimand from the House and a fine of $300,000. He has written over 20 fiction and non-fiction books including Days of Infamy, To Try Men's Souls, Valley Forge, Window of Opportunity: A Blueprint for the Future, To Renew America, and To Save America: Stopping Obama's Secular-Socialist Machine. He was honored as Time magazine's Man of the Year in 1995.

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