Newt Gingrich for U.S. Senate

This isn’t a request for Newt Gingrich to move to Illinois, but rather to visit. Republicans here are in desperate need of a little assistance, primarily from someone who can effectively articulate the Republican vision during this campaign season.

Here’s my idea.

The Illinois Republican Party State Central Committee should go ahead and appoint an accomplished, competent, pro-limited government/pro-life candidate to fill the job vacated by Jack Ryan. That, after all, would reflect the wishes expressed by Illinois Republican primary voters last March.

But the Central Committee should then ask former U.S. House Speaker Newt Gingrich to fill in for that appointed candidate during the debates with Democrat opponent Barack Obama.

It would be unfair to ask someone at this late date to get up to speed on all domestic and foreign policy issues and then debate a guy who has had over a year head start on the campaign trail.

This has already been an unusual summer in Illinois politics. We might as well make it an unusual fall.

Those of us interested in the policy debates of the day understand why we need a good hearing for our side of the argument. Gingrich recently quoted what former British Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher once said — first you win the argument and then you win the vote.

Newt has a way of getting right to it. What stands out when he talks is that his words are the product of thought. Since he’s not spitting out what he heard someone else say or rhetoric that went stale fifteen years ago, he connects with his audience. He’s the most effective communicator since the Great Communicator himself, Illinois’ own Ronald Reagan.

Newt’s web site just posted two speeches he delivered this month regarding the 2004 election. In one of them, regarding the current war with terrorists he said:

We have enemies who have said publicly…that they believe they have to kill four million Americans to have a chance to win. Now, unlike our good friends on the left, I am not confused by that sentence.

He added, “…when evil people tell you they want to do evil things the safest thing is to believe them.”

Regarding domestic policies he said:

The Declaration of Independence says we are endowed by our creator with certain unalienable rights, among which are life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness. Notice that unlike the welfare state it doesn’t offer happiness stamps. It doesn’t suggest that the government pay for therapy for those who haven’t yet found happiness. It’s a very important term because it’s an active citizenship term: the pursuit.

If more Republicans spoke like this, we’d regularly be winning elections by healthy margins.

Our work is always harder. Democrats need only get voters to emote. Republicans have to make them think. The context of the debate must always be about what works best in light of the realities of the world, the laws of economics, and human nature.

There are evil people in the world and strength is the only answer — whether or not France and Germany or the many thugs at the U.N. agree.

There is a lot to dislike about economic realities but history has proved that freedom and free markets are the best way to create opportunity and raise living standards.

Civilization and the social fabric are delicate, so law and personal responsibility must be guided by actual morality, not artificial (if-it-feels-good) morality.

We’re being told that Mr. Obama is Superman, so it shouldn’t be a problem for him to face off against Mr. Gingrich on these issues. He owes it to his future constituents to participate in a real debate, rather than one about whether he or the Republican whose name appears on the ballot is the bigger “rising star.”

If Illinois voters hear a debate containing platitudes instead of specifics they’ll once again choose the default position of asking for yet more government. If Newt was to visit this fall for a series of debates he’d explain why that’s a big mistake. As he’s said, “propping up the past kills the future.”