Axis of Right

Three Native Rhode Islanders Commenting From the Right on Politics and Anything Else

Book Review: Real Change by Newt Gingrich

Posted by Ryan on March 22, 2008

I am recommending the book “Real Change” by Newt Gingrich. Newt paints a picture of a Red, White and Blue America (clever) where on so many issues, the American people are astoundingly on the same page: that many media-driven divisions don’t really exist on a host of cultural and domestic issues like religion, immigration, the broader War on Terror, English, and many others.

Newt also indicates that in order to achieve real change we need revolutionary thinking: admitting that our current bureaucratic government structure and dynamic inhibits the very change the folks really crave because of red-tape, leading to cumbersome and slow reactions to crises, and people in power resisting change to save their jobs (ie- government worker unions, of which, for full disclosure, I am a part).

The Dems are too tied to this failed bureaucratic paradigm to see their true belief that the very government screwing up Social Security, Medicare, and our energy policy, will be the very agent which will save the day. That’s ridiculous! In Newt’s view, the Republicans are in the best position to foment real change, but opportunities have been lost and the American people seem to have lost faith in the Republican’s ability to be different from the Dems: look at all the big-government pork-barrel spending Republicans engaged in this decade! If the Republicans would just stay true to their principles and look at our problems in different ways, real fundamental and positive change could take place.

Newt’s agent for change would be to look at a world where structures work and apply it to government: the private sector. Competition, entrepreneurship, America’s brains and will-power being unleashed to do great things applied to our government would be revolutionary enough to actually fix our system.  Don’t get me wrong, I am not an advocate for big government here, but I would like the government which exists to actually work well (I’m paying for it)!

Here’s a YouTube clip:

I saw this on display this morning.  I used my credit card to buy groceries.  It took about three seconds for the system to verify me and access my account.  I also got a package this morning that I ordered online a week ago.  The company said 7-10 days delivery on this particular item.  Nice and smooth. 

I’ve also seen the bureaucratic nightmare up close a few years ago.  I dare anyone reading this to apply for a teaching certificate in the State of New Jersey just for fun!  They lost my application twice, the application they did allegedly look at came back to me with my last name spelled wrong and a with different birth year (everything else was fine though). They charged me $60 for all three.  I fought them for two months on the phone and in person and only managed to pay once — on the fourth version with everything fixed.  Horrible and scary.

What if private sector business models (where things work) were applied to cumbersome bureaucratic structures like the State of New Jersey, Social Security, the Pentagon or any government bureaucracy (where things don’t work)?  Revolutionary change indeed!

4 Responses to “Book Review: Real Change by Newt Gingrich”

  1. Jesse said

    lol. that’s why we have lieberman and mccain front and center for the GOP.
    might as well congradulate the dems now and let obama and hillary duke it out.
    but of course, we wouldn’t want to give up the chance for mccain and his quasi nomination status to miss a great opportunity propagandinzing foreign policy agenda!

  2. Jesse said

    can the gop be saved?

  3. Ryan said

    I think the GOP has an opportunity to seize the agenda and push America into a new and better direction waaaay more than the Empty Suit and the Shrill One ever could. Newt’s approach to answering your question, Jesse, would be to say that there are 513,000 elected officials in America. While the President and Congress are super important, real change must occur at the grassroots level.

    That means 2008 won’t be that election. Maybe not even 2012 — it depends how much the next Congress or Administration screws things up. The Katrina mess was not one persons fault, it was the bureaucratic and legal monster we have in all levels of government that slowed down our reaction to it, and diverted money for levee maintenance and upgrades away from the levees years before the tragedy in Nawlins. Iraq is another example of a bureaucratic mess that is succeeding despite itself — in 2003 only David Petraeus was hiring former members of the Iraqi Army to build infrastructure and stay out of trouble, and he got a lot of heat from the CPA for it. As it turns out, his approach was the right one! In both cases of Iraq and Katrina, our system failed, not the individuals working and fighting on the ground, but the process by which our government works.

  4. Jesse said

    absolutely, grassroots is the only for sure way.

    it is possible for paul to win. still highly unlikely but possbible.
    and yes bureaucracy is a major problem.
    and iraq is a disaster. its only getting worse because it is spreading and involving more nations with thousands, millions even, displaced and dead. iraq was a very bad move.
    when was mission accomplished? 2003?

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