Gingrich says United States is at crossroads

In order to save the future of America, young people must dream big, work hard, learn everyday, enjoy life and be true to themselves, said former speaker of the house Newt Gingrich.

Several U College Republicans and Hinckley Institute staff members heard Gingrich speak Thursday evening at the Downtown Marriott Hotel.

Gingrich said the nation is in trouble, but because the United States functions as an organic body served by organic leaders, there is still hope.

“Countries can die,” he said. “But Washington grew and learned every day of his life. There was no single moment when he became Washington.”

In addition to encouraging the nation’s future leaders, Gingrich warned the crowd of local politicians and general public that the United States is being rocked by a plethora of challenges at once and the very existence of our nation is in jeopardy.

One way to stop the United States from wilting, Gingrich said, is for the government to allow competition in the private sector.

“I am not for a weak government,” Gingrich said. “I am for a limited government. The government we have should be very strong-strong enough to defeat terrorism, control the borders and secure a sound dollar.”

Gingrich said the United States is currently under siege like a ship being threatened by five “waves:” nuclear and biological weapons, a continuing assault on American culture, competition with China and India, a struggle with the current state of health care and a wave of science and technology.

“People have a deep sense that the challenges are larger than the solutions,” Gingrich said. “They really want to see us think through what we’re doing.”

He said intervention in Iraq has been a failure and criticized the government for not setting up an Iraqi interim government or patrolling streets alongside Iraqi police two years ago.

“It was a terrible mistake that has cost the president and cost 1,500 lives,” he said. However, he added that winning is a predicate for a successful future.

He warned that the United States cannot be intimidated by the current situation in Iraq, and said we must confront Iran, whose leader called for the elimination of Israel while standing in front of a large image of a crushed ornament representing the United States.

“The elites are so frightened by Iraq that no one wants to talk about Iran,” Gingrich said. “We need to stand and say, ‘We’re stronger, we’ll hurt you.’ We need to beat these people overseas before they come to our country with nuclear or biological weapons and kill us.”

While he recognized what he said was radical, Gingrich said so is letting the United States fall apart.

“We’re either going to be serious about getting this country’s future organized and winning the future, or we’re going to keep decaying,” he said.

U College Republicans President Yana Jurovitzki said the event gave U students connections to in-state politicians while educating them.

College Republican Brad Anderson said he enjoyed the speech and could not find fault with anything Gingrich said.

“He’s right on health care, he’s right on Iraq, he’s right with Iran,” Anderson said. “He called American power out…Gingrich in ’08.”

Kirk Jowers, director of the Hinckley Institute, said Gingrich did a good job of putting forth a clear and seemingly attractive vision of where he would take the country, but he said Gingrich was a little extreme and hoped college students would listen to the thought-provoking comments with open minds.

“A good public speaker can make a lot of things seem attractive until you take that and really compare it with your own views,” Jowers said. “But he doesn’t say what you want to hear-he’s an idea guy, and I like those wherever I find them on the spectrum from conservative to liberal.”

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