Newt Gingrich Erases Ronald Reagan

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In his latest campaign web ad, Newt Gingrich peddles some odd history. The spot—which Gingrich doesn’t have the money to air widely—opens with a shot of water and then pans to show the former House speaker staring at the Statue of Liberty. (He’s not really a huddled-masses type of guy, though.) And Gingrich narrates: “2012 is the most important election in this country since 1860.” The issue at hand, he says, is whether to continue with “bureaucratic socialism” or “whether we will decisively repudiate an 80-year drift to the left: a drift in our news rooms, a drift in our collleges and universities, a drift with our judges, and a drift among elected politicians.”

Whoa. So what about Ronald Reagan? Wasn’t his election rather important—at least to Gingrich and his conervative comrades? (Didn’t Reagan single-handedly end the Cold War?) And how were Reagan’s eight years in office a part of that drift to the left? Or, say, the Republican revolution of 1994 led by Gingrich? It’s as if Gingrich has airburshed Reagan and himelf from the historical record. And where is that drift to left regarding the Supreme Court? And the rise of Fox News doesn’t really fit in with said drift. 

Gingrich likes to point out that he used to be a historian (such as when he was first accused of being a paid influence-peddler for Freddie Mac). But this rendering of faux history is just another demagogic exercise of pandering to the right. Perhaps he can blame his puny campaign bank account on this drift to the left.

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SIX TRUTHS

Reclaiming power from those who abuse it often starts with telling the truth. And in "This Is How Authoritarians Get Defeated," MoJo's Monika Bauerlein unpacks six truths to remember during the homestretch of an election where democracy, truth, and decency are on the line.

Truth #1: The chaos is the point.

Truth #2: Team Reality is bigger than it seems.

Truth #3: Facebook owns this.

Truth #4: When we go to work, we're in the fight.

Truth #5: It's about minority rule.

Truth #6: The only thing that can save us is…us.

Please take a moment to see how all these truths add up, because what happens in the weeks and months ahead will reverberate for at least a generation and we better be prepared.

And if you think journalism like Mother Jones'—that calls it like it is, that will never acquiesce to power, that looks where others don't—can help guide us through this historic, high-stakes moment, and you're able to right now, please help us reach our $350,000 goal by October 31 with a donation today. It's all hands on deck for democracy.

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