Today Newt Gingrich met with 63 of America’s most ‘influential’ Conservative leaders, hosted by ConservativeHQ.com. Each of the 63 are to be considered “uncommitted” to any particular GOP candidate, although a report on Fox today by Carl Cameron, they are looking for someone other than Mitt Romney. When Gingrich was finished with his 2-1/2 hour talk, he reportedly received a standing ovation. Perhaps these Conservative leaders do not know about Alvin and Heidi Toffler, but Ann Coulter knows and she’s warning each of us who are “newly active Republicans.” Don’t miss the next-to-the-last paragraph. The Toffler story is important to the question of Newt’s conservatism, but important also is the truth about Newt’s ethics “violations.” Follow the link to see a video of Chris Farley on the House Floor imitating Gingrich. It is Priceless. Priceless.
The Tofflers are touted as “writers” and “futurists.” In this Charlie Rose interview from 1995, Alvin and Heidi Toffler speak affectionately of Newt, but Alvin clearly says they agree on little, yet Newt as a young Georgia professor taught from the Toffler’s book, Third Wave, and when he became House Speaker, had the book on his reading list along with the Federalist Papers and some of Thomas Jefferson’s writings. As you watch the video lined above, skip ahead to 20-minutes-in or you’ll have to endure an interview of former U.S. Senator Chris Dodd.
You’ll hear Toffler say it was a “great intellectual event to trade ideas with [Newt].”
The book The Third Wave isn’t as futurist as it might seem. The theory was that the First Wave of an agricultural society had moved on to the Second Wave of industrialism, and that wave was in the process of being replaced by what you and I think of as the “information age.”
Heidi Toffler talks about the “factory society” (Wave Two) taking away family time. This can be seen as an anti-corporate view, perhaps.
Ann Coulter writing in Human Events today said this about the Tofflers:
The Tofflers were a couple of old folks who couldn’t figure out how to program their VCRs, so they began writing about the “shock” of technology and how we needed government planning to deal with technological overload.
Their big idea was that the world was about to change faster than it ever had before, creating a technological explosion that would frighten and baffle the masses — much like the bewildering VCR clock. The government would have to have advisers and committees in order to ease the transition….
Soon, Gingrich was writing a foreword to a Toffler book — the same one on the Republicans’ reading list –- and spending Christmas with the pro-choice, anti-school prayer, Christian Coalition-hating Tofflers. Yes, there’s nothing like having an old-fashioned Christmas with a doddering couple who hate prayer and Christians, love abortion and are afraid of their microwave…
At the end of Gingrich’s first year as House speaker, his endless, nutty pronunciamentos — in addition to his plan to entrust Republicans’ legislative agenda to an old couple whose living room VCR continuously flashed “12:00” — had driven his public approval numbers into the dirt.
Coulter makes some excellent points about Newt within her article, and I would not argue against most of them, but her rancorous manner of making the Tofflers appear to be no one worthy of the friendship of a Conservative seems a bit overdone, especially since she is so fond of Bill Maher.
Ann points to the Toffler’s affection for big government and government intervention, through government “advisers” and “committees” necessary to usher us through the technology of the future. Still more, Coulter says the Tofflers believed our children needed adult mentoring through the transition. And as Coulter rightly says, that’s a joke. It’s the kids mentoring us through the technology lightyears (my paraphrase).
I haven’t read a single Toffler book. I did check reviews on The Third Wave. A reviewer on Amazon, identifying as a “professor,” offered these central points:
Key insights related to:
(1) Companies needing to take on full responsibility for the consequences of their actions on society and the environment;
(2) Companies becoming much more important social institutions of change;
(3) Information moving to the center of major decisions;
(4) Government spreading its influence so that business and politics become inextricably entwined; and
(5) Institutional ethics coming to more closely reflect social ethics.
Whether this a true representation of the book or not, I don’t know, but we can see that all of the above has unfortunately happened. Perhaps the Tofflers advocate for all. They are Liberals, after all.
Did Newt teach that this is what should happen, or would happen? We don’t know.
At the 29 minute mark in the video, Toffler talks about family and social issues:
If you want to strengthen family life in America…you do not do that by working away at pornography and homosexuality and all these issues. What you really want to do is move important functions back to the family. Work at home? That’s good. That strengthens the family. Education in the home? Surely the parents should have a roll in that. There are hundreds of thousands of Americans who do home schooling. With the coming of the PC and communications, we are going to see a lot more of that. Medical care. Our daughter needed intravenous antibiotics. Usually you have to go to the hospital for that. She was able to get that at home. There are a whole series of functions taken out of the home, that are now gradually migrating back into the home. If we can encourage that process, it seems to me we can build a family with many important ties to the community…that will strengthen the family. The other issues, abortion, pornography…these are devisive and not necessarily strengthening the family.
It’s all about the social issues. Toffler then tells Rose that he thinks Newt would agree with him, but would not agree that the social issues are unimportant. Of course, abortion, food stamps, unemployment benefits – all the various welfares, are unimportant to Democrats. Right?
The Toffler book was copyrighted in 1980, just as Ronald Reagan was beginning his tutelage of Conservatism. We rejected Barry Goldwater, got Lyndon Johnson, and Conservatism wandered in the desert for a few years, when California Governor Ronald Reagan caught our attention. Gingrich ran for office for the first time in 1974, 10 years after Goldwater lost. He lost to the incumbent Democrat, but only narrowly in the same year that WaterGate loomed. His professorial years ended in 1978. He ran again in 1976 and lost, but in 1978 he won a Georgia U.S. House seat, Ronald Reagan took the Oval Office two years later.
Newt is a mixed bag, but I will say this, there were few true Constitutional Conservatives when Reagan stepped up. It was a learning curve for Congress, and one that was well-honed by Reagan, but not well-learned by Republicans. Years later, the Tea Party stepped in where Reagan left off, and are trying to correct some of the Reagan failures, mostly due to the false need for Congress to reach across the aisle. Today, we understand what that means, and we don’t like it.
When Ann’s cutting edge starts to slice, she cuts through to the bone. I’m usually cheering her on, but I’ve noticed since her support for Christy was forced out of the picture, and her support of Romney became apparent, she doesn’t always fight a fair verbal war, in my opinion.
I hope you’ve read to this point, because NiceDeb looks at the Newtmentum, and his front-runner status in three of the four early voting states, but more importantly, she has pertinent information about the Ethics Committee and IRS findings on Gingrich 13 years ago – the same information Nancy Pelosi threatened to reveal “when the time is right.” Over 200 reports were filed back then, but not a single one with the real story or the truth. There’s a hoot of a video introducing Newt, when Chris Farley (remember his portrayals of Newt on Saturday Night Live?) shows up on the House floor. Great video. See it and read the truth about Newt’s “ethics” at NiceDeb.
Many thanks to David Lemon for the Coulter article. David is beginning a new commission to sculpt a one-half-life-sized bronze of Captain John Lovewell, an early American hero who died in 1725. Watch the video here.