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The Big Answer


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Contract with America

a document by various conservatives, including Newt Gingrich

(our site's document review)

The Contract with America was a document released by the United States Republican Party during the 1994 Congressional election campaign. When the Republicans gained a majority of seats in the 104th Congress, the Contract was seen as a triumph for Party leaders such as Minority Whip Newt Gingrich, Dick Armey, and for the American conservative movement.

A nurturing family
A nurturing family

On the plus side, Newt wants each child to have a chance for a nurturing family and he has policies to try to effect that. And he also wants to balance the budget, stop crime, reform welfare, reinforce families, cut government regulations, reduce taxes, get rid of legal loopholes for Congress, initiate child support payment enforcement, initiate “loser pays” laws to lessen the number of frivolous and nuisance suits, impose limits on punitive damages, legislate term limits, require welfare recipients to work, require honesty in evidence to exclude “junk science” from the courtroom, support a diverse range of choice of lifestyles, promote civic responsibility, and spread the idea that the things that are wrong with the U.S. are not wrong because of lack of funds for programs—they’re wrong because there’s some wrong ideas that have led to wrong policies and they need to be replaced by the right ideas. (Second Wave thinking when Third Wave thinking is what’s needed is a perfect example.)

Missile defense system insanity
Missile defense system insanity

On the minus side, Newt supports defense spending on "Star Wars" missile defenses which all the reputable scientists and engineers have laughed at for many years as nonviable. ("The software required by the Strategic Defense Initiative could never be made to be trustworthy and that such a system would inevitably be unreliable and constitute a menace to humanity in its own right" Source: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Strategic_Defense_Initiative) How can Newt—who supposedly keeps up with science and technology—put stock in such reductionistic, Second Wave ideas?

The only logical answer is that he is getting paid off by special interests who hope to make billions of bucks making such defense systems. The knowledge that the Patriot system was a miserable failure ("On February 25, 1991, a Patriot missile defense system operating at Dhahran, Saudi Arabia, during Operation Desert Storm failed to track and intercept an incoming Scud. This Scud subsequently hit an Army barracks, killing 28 Americans." Source: https://www.cs.drexel.edu/~introcs/Fa10/notes/07.1_FloatingPoint/Patriot.html?CurrentSlide=10) in the Gulf War—hitting only 2% (some people say 0%) of the targets and used for public relations rather than as an actual defense weapon—should alone give Newt pause about a weapons system with an infinitely more difficult goal than PR. But money talks louder than science sometimes.

Newt Gingrich
Newt Gingrich