Dear Commons Community,
In her New York Times column today, Maureen Dowd looks at Newt Gingrich the man, his past, his present, and as the future president. (Yikes) Here is her opening:
“By the time he was 16, Newt Gingrich was sure of two things.
He would marry his high school geometry teacher [which he did]. And he would save Western civilization.
Gingrich has moved on to younger wives. But he’s still obsessed with numbers and rescuing the planet.
In 1994, he described himself to me as “a conservative futurist,” which seems like an oxymoron. The man George Will once called a “cherub with a chip on his shoulder” finds the future simultaneously apocalyptic and massively fun.
You can picture President Gingrich on his first day in the Oval Office, emanating an impish doomsday aura of “Let’s see what happens if we press this button!”
In his own feverish, gee-whiz imagination, Newt is both the arsonist and the fireman.”
Dowd comments that Gingrich has been drawn to the likes of Isaac Asimov, Alvin Toffler and George Lucas’ Star Wars. He has also been a big fan of virtual reality and gave a talk called “From Virtuality to Reality,” where he declared that: “In a sense, virtuality at the mental level is something I think you’d find in most leadership over historical periods.” Sounding Newt Age-y, he mused: “We are not at a new place. It is just becoming harder and harder and harder to avoid the place we are.
She concludes: “Torn between the virtual and the virtue-crats, Gingrich this week endorsed the “marriage pledge” of an evangelical group in Iowa opposing same-sex marriage and abortion and vowed fidelity to [his wife] Callista. Hasn’t he taken that vow and broken it twice before?
In sum, “Sometimes you go with “Future Shock.” Sometimes you go with present schlock. “
Incredible that our supposed advanced developed society would seriously be considering this man for president!!!