Newt Gingrich Says You’re Welcome
Newt Gingrich turned partisan battles into a vicious blood sport, wrecked Congress, and paved the way for Donald Trump’s rise. As McKay Coppins reported in November, the former speaker of the House is now reveling in his achievements.
I couldn’t help noticing that the lessons Newt Gingrich takes from nature are only those that reinforce his particular worldview. Thus the usual nods are made to survival of the fittest, and women are expected to bow down before the obvious superior strength of dominant males, but no mention is made of the nurturing behaviors of countless animals or instinctual traits that help ensure the survival of groups. The ecology of our planet is so much more complicated than Gingrich’s filtered view, and while I don’t know whether we necessarily ought to be basing our political decisions on any examples from nature, what I see is just one more wealthy white man using any means to justify a position of power. What a pity that he was able to influence our country.
There’s no question that Newt Gingrich was an important figure, but he was an inevitable important figure. If Gingrich hadn’t ended Democratic dominance of the House, someone else would have. There were tensions in the Democratic coalition that could not be avoided. The Democratic hammerlock on the House was out of step with the composition of the American electorate. The tidal forces of cultural conflicts launched decades before were going to tear apart Congress in the same way they’d torn apart campuses and caused conflict at kitchen tables.