In an email sent out this week by the neoconservative Human Events, Newt Gingrich offered advice to Mitt Romney on how to win the presidency.
As the old saying goes, “Those who can, do. Those who can't, teach.” Whether or not Gingrich's words can be seen as wise advice for Romney remains to be seen; however, they shed light on the mind of Newt Gingrich.
Mainly, this email reveals that after being schooled by Ron Paul repeatedly in what real conservatism is, Gingrich still doesn't get it. Gingrich still clearly sees conservatism as nothing more than posturing, nothing more than empty words. Gingrich, with his friend and political consultant Frank Luntz, plays with words to manipulate voters for electoral gain. On the contrary, Ron Paul has spent some 40 years in the political wilderness, for acting according to his words. Something tells me it's not just the words spoken by Ron Paul, but his actions as well.
Gingrich, clearly still not realizing that actions matter, advises Romney to simply use different language to mimic Paul and attract his supporters. In fact, Gingrich also doesn't seem to realize that in politics, astute observers judge politicians based on actions, not words. Gingrich fell victim to that method of observation, as voters increasingly said of Gingrich, “He sounds good, but I just can't trust him.” Nonetheless, it is still worth noting Gingrich's views on this matter. Here's his advice for how Romney can find his way into the White House:
President Obama has every reason to be worried by [recent European political results]. They offer solid proof that high unemployment, high gasoline prices, weak growth, and big deficits can overwhelm his billion dollar campaign ...
The voters want a balanced budget through growth and opportunity and will reject austerity and pain. The governor and his team are working to build this positive contrast based on policy, not personality -- much as Hollande did in France, though his politics could not be more different from Romney's.
The European results also put the popularity of Ron Paul in a wider context. The support for his ideas and his anti-establishment campaign is not a uniquely American phenomenon. He is, in fact, challenging the establishment in exactly the same manner as the various protest parties of the right and left in Europe.
These election results suggest the tea party movement and the support focused on Ron Paul is not a small development. It betrays historic discontent, and I doubt we have seen the last of it.
If Gov. Romney succeeds in giving voice to that discontent in a serious discussion with the American people, he has a strong chance in the fall. Indeed, the European elections suggest President Obama faces a much steeper mountain to climb as the choice clarifies over the next few months.
You heard it from Newt Gingrich first – if Romney just gives voice to the discontent of America, then he has a strong chance of winning the White House.
I'm discontent and a voter, and something tells me that having a voice just isn't enough to win over the other discontented voters out there. Maybe in the 1960s that might have worked, but all the discontented people out there have a voice already – it's called the Internet. You can use it for free at your local library.
Ron Paul will be the first to admit that he is erudite and a flawed public speaker. He somehow still manages to inspire, which is probably in contradiction to the advice of many political consultants.
Paul spent all that time stumbling through every single debate response over the course of several dozen debates. In doing so, he conveyed the message that slick words and messaging do not matter when inspiring a base. Gingrich was not listening, though. Gingrich's losing words and ideas demonstrate that it will take more than words to solve the discontent that Americans feel with their governing class today. Words alone will not work. And words alone are all that the Gingriches, Romneys, and other insiders really have to offer voters.
Obama might win, Romney might win, Ron Paul might win, but it's only Ron Paul who will bring with him the guarantee that his actions will outweigh his words. If Newt truly believes that tapping into that discontent is what will win the White House for the Republicans, then what Newt should have written is …
"Governor Romney, drop out today, back Ron Paul, and we will beat Obama handily while building a stronger Republican Party. The two of us might not be as important in the new Republican Party as we are today, but it doesn't always have to be about us. With Ron Paul, we will see America saved from a 'Marxist' president and watch its course righted by this true conservative who has long annoyed us and our party. Let's finally unleash our toughest attack dog, let's finally show Ron Paul support and let him go after the Democrats instead of bogging him down in internecine fighting. That's how we win."