Nello stesso tempo non evita il confronto con la più stretta attualità e con cruda praticità afferma che preferisce avere come presidente McCain con il quale combatte il 20% del tempo piuttosto che Clinton o Obama con i quali combatte sul 90% delle questioni. Nel suo discorso peraltro denuncia una situazione pericolosa, perché vede una mobilitazione e una convinzione enorme in campo democratico che non ha riscontro tra i repubblicani.
La sua strategia è quella di sempre, puntare su quei temi di destra che sono condivisi da una larghissima maggioranza degli americani, il ragionamento è questo: noi cerchiamo il 51% dei consensi, ma alcune nostre proposte hanno il favore di oltre il 70% e quindi su queste bisogna puntare. Per il resto le sue battaglie sono rivolte a fenomeni che ben conosciamo in Italia: sprechi, burocrazie inutili, tasse, egemonia culturale della sinistra, solo che da noi sono amplificati per 100, cioè sentito dall’Italia, fa un po’ l’effetto che faccio io, quando mi lamento del freddo con i miei amici di Torino e mi chiedono quanti gradi ci sono? Io dico 9/10 e loro: qui siamo a -1….
Thank you all for that remarkable welcome. I’m deeply, deeply grateful, and Callista and I are delighted to be back here once again at the most important single meeting of the conservative movement in a historic time.
Many of you know that my background includes being a teacher, and I am going to try in the next few minutes to offer a little bit of a lesson. My Dad was a career soldier, served 27 years in the infantry, and when I was very young, he convinced me that leadership and courage and a willingness to think deeply are vital to the survival of a free country.
Between my freshman and sophomore years in high school, when we were stationed first in Orleans, France, and then in Stuttgart, Germany, I concluded that what we are doing here today is really, really important. It’s part of the dialogue by which a free people govern themselves. My dad was reassigned to Fort Benning, Georgia, and in 1960, I was a volunteer as a high school student in the Nixon-Lodge campaign. So I want to talk to you this afternoon from having spent what will be this August, fifty years studying and thinking about what it takes for America to survive. In many ways, they’ve been remarkable years. The Georgia I arrived at in 1960, was legally segregated and a one-party Democratic state. Today it is legally integrated and a two-party state with a Republican governor, two Republican senators, and a Republican legislature.
When I decided at the beginning of my sophomore year in high school that I would study national security and I would try to understand how we acquire the power legitimately from the people in order to implement the policies we need, the Soviet Empire was a real and a direct threat to the survival of freedom on this planet. Because of the courage persistence, clarity, and vision of one person, the Soviet Union does not exist today, and that person was Ronald Wilson Reagan.
Next month will be the 25th anniversary of two speeches: the speech in which he broke with the elite, morally neutral, real politik, accommodationist view, and described the Soviet Union as an “evil empire”, the beginning of the end of that evil, and 13 days later, the speech in which he outlined a proposal for a science-and-technology-based, entrepreneurial approach to national security to develop a strategic defense initiative which would in effect bankrupt the Soviet Union and lead to its collapse. ....
…he (Ronald Reagan) made the first CPAC conference really important, because he came here at a time when we were in despair, when the Republican Party was crumbling under the weight of Watergate, when the Left was on offense, when the counterculture was in full steam, and he said in [March of 1975] that we must have a flag of bold colors, no pale pastels. [“Our people look for a cause to believe in. Is it a third party we need, or is it a new and revitalized second party, raising a banner of no pale pastels, but bold colors which make it unmistakably clear where we stand on all of the issues troubling the people?”—Ronald Reagan] …
…9 million, is the number of additional votes who came out to vote in 1994, the largest one-party increase in an off-year election in the history of the United States, brought out by a proud, positive, clear, and very, very bold Contract with America. I cite it to point out that when we stand clearly, simply, and directly for large-scale change, that year it was welfare reform, the first tax cut in 16 years, a balanced federal budget, accountability for the Congress, stronger national defense and intelligence. The American people responded. … we kept our word on the Contract, and we voted on every single item in the first 93 days, and people began to believe we were serious. ….
….I believe that this is a time for the conservative movement, to issue a declaration of independence. And let me explain what I mean by issuing a declaration of independence.
First of all, I think we need to get independent from a Washington fixation. There are 513,000 elected officials in the United States and the conservative movement should believe in a decentralized United States, where every elected official has real responsibility, and we should be developing a conservative action plan, at every level of this country, and not simply focused over and over again on arguments about the White House.
Second, I think we need to get independent from this leader fascination with the presidency. Remember Ronald Reagan rose in rebellion because Gerald Ford was negotiating the Panama Canal Treaty. I voted against two Reagan tax increases. I voted against George H. W. Bush’s 1990 tax increase. It is a totally honorable and legitimate thing to say I am going to support the candidate and oppose the policy. This idea [is] that I think we [did] President George W. Bush a grave disservice by not being dramatically more aggressive in criticizing when they were wrong, and being more open when they were making mistakes.
And I don’t think it helped them or the country.
I also think that we need to declare our independence from trying to protect and defend failed bureaucracies that magically become our’s as soon as we are in charge of them. We appoint solid conservatives to a department and within three weeks they are defending and protecting the very department that they would have been attacking before they got appointed. And this is a fundamental problem and I think it comes from some very great challenges. And I want to suggest to you, and I spent a lot of time since 1999 thinking about this. That’s the part of why I wrote the book Real Change, and why I have tried to lay out at American Solutions a fundamentally different approach to how we think about solving our problems.
I think that there are two grave lessons for the conservative movement since 1980.
The first, which we still haven’t come to grips with, is that governing is much harder than campaigning. Our consultants may be terrific at winning one election, they don’t know anything about governing. And unfortunately most of our candidates listen to our consultants. And so you end up with people who don’t understand briefing people who don’t know, and together they have no clue.
…The second thing that I think has been a very sobering surprise to me, and it really started when we won in 1994, and I thought that the Democrats would stop and say “Wow we just lost power that we had for forty years, I guess maybe we did something wrong.”
They didn’t say that at all. They said, “Gingrich must have cheated.” …
….But it is a deeper problem. I had no real understanding of how decisively and deeply entrenched our opponents are from every level. From the Marxist tenure faculty member running for the U.S. Senate in Minnesota, achieving the impossible, the only man in America who could be to the left of Al Franken, and a vivid reminder of how much our University campuses are filled with people who hate the very country that provides them their salary, that provides them their tenure, and provides them their freedom….
…Any of you who have listened to Ambassador John Bolton knows that we have a vast portion of the State Department deeply committed to defeating the policies of President Bush. We have a large proportion of the Intelligence community deeply committed to defeating the policies of President Bush. The fact that he is the elected Commander in Chief of the American people, the fact that the laws have been passed by the elected legislators of the American people, seems to be no matter to this bureaucratic elite, which arrogates to itself the right to do things that are stunningly destructive…..
…the conservative movement has to declare itself independent from the Republican Party.
Let me make very clear what I'm saying here. I am not saying there should be a third party – I think a third party is a dumb idea, will not get anywhere, and in the end will achieve nothing
I actually believe that any reasonable conservative will, in the end, find that they have an absolute requirement to support the Republican nominee for president this fall. And let me remind you, I say that in the context of personally believing that the McCain-Feingold Act is unconstitutional and a threat to our civil liberties. And I say that in the context of believing that the McCain-Kennedy amnesty bill was a disaster and was correctly stopped by the American people.
But I would rather, as a citizen, and I say this with Callista and I have two wonderful grandchildren. Maggie who is 8 and Robert who is 6. We think about their future. As a citizen, I would rather have a President McCain that we fight with 20% of the time, than a President Clinton or a President Obama that we fight with 90% of the time....
…I believe the conservative movement has to think about reaching out to every American of every background. …
…what’s in this Platform of the American People is issues which are tripartisan. They get a majority of Democrats, a majority of Republicans, and a majority of independents.
Now it turns out when you develop a tripartisan platform, it's a center-right platform because this is a center-right country. The fascinating thing will be watching Senator Obama who is for “Real Change” and has “change” on all his slogans, and I am for it. We wrote the book Real Change last summer and I want to thank the people at Regnery for going along with the title, it turns out this February that it was really a good title.
…(Platform of the American People from American Solutions) isn’t the Gingrich Platform, this is the Platform of the American People. And by the way, we’re going to want your help when you go back home reaching out to Democrats and Republicans, to get them at your county, at your district, at your state, in both parties to adopt this platform. Everything in here has a majority Democrat support. It doesn’t have a majority elite support….
…And here’s my point. Let’s talk about the right change versus the wrong change. 85% of the American people believe we have an absolute obligation to defend America and her allies. So if we need to strengthen our intelligence capabilities, and strengthen our interdiction and surveillance capabilities, and strengthen our ability to win wars in Afghanistan and Iraq and elsewhere that would be the right change. But if we want to have weakness, under funding, and crippling of our departments of security that would be the wrong change. …
… 92% of the American people believe that for us to compete with China and India in an age of science and technology we have to dramatically improve math and science education. Now, I am prepared to change every bureaucracy in America that is failing our children until we get them to actually succeed, and I think the change should start today, because we shouldn’t lose a single child to prison who ought to be in college if only they had a decent school to go to. And the question for Senator Obama and Senator Clinton is simple. Are you prepared to put the children ahead of your (trade) union allies, and actually measure achievement rather than union dues as a primary success?
…87% of the American people believe English should be the official language of government.
Now, 87% means an absolute majority of Democrats favor English as the official language of government. An absolute majority of Republicans favor English as the official language of government. An absolute majority of independents favor English as the official language of government. An absolute majority of Hispanics favor English as the official language of government.
Both Senator Obama and Senator Clinton voted against 87% percent of the American people, but nobody knows it.
Well, it’s not their fault that nobody knows it, it’s our fault….
….The permanent bureaucracy is permanently liberal, permanently obsolete, permanently incapable of doing its job, and we need fundamental deep change from school board to city council to county commission to the sheriff’s office to the state legislature to the governor to Washington, D.C., and we are the movement of real change by this summer I suspect we will win one of the most cataclysmic elections in American history. Because the sad reality is that our friends on the Left are trapped by their allies, they’re trapped by the trial lawyers, they’re trapped by the unions, they’re trapped by the big city bureaucracies, they are trapped by their allies in tenured faculty, they are trapped by the Hollywood Left.
And if there is a clear choice of which change, we will win…..
…I’m here as somebody who has spent his entire life practically, since I was fifteen years old, trying to find a way for us. And we’ve had great successes. We cut taxes dramatically, we re-launched the American economy in the 1980s, we eliminated the Soviet Union. The fact is we won the Cold War. People are freer.
So we have had great successes. But we can’t rest on them. And so we need to go out dedicated to insist on real change now, on the right change now, and about making sure that every American, of every background, in every neighborhood, understands that their future, their children’s future, and their country’s future, rest on creating the kind of opportunities that we are building, and that that requires real change in the obsolete, expensive, and destructive bureaucracies we’ve inherited in the past.
With your help, at every level, starting with adopting the Platform of the American People, and moving on to encouraging every elected official you know to be active in the reform movement, we have a chance I think to set the stage for a dramatically better American future. Thank you, good luck, and God bless you.