Newt Gingrich: Millennial generation most important since Founding FathersThe Honorable Newt Gingrich
By Newt Gingrich
(The Washington Times) – While millennials are often criticized as lazy and entitled, Newt Gingrichcalls them the “most important generation since the Founding Fathers” and said these youths have a “moral obligation” to preserve freedom.
The former U.S. House speaker, who engaged with participants at Young America’s Foundation’s 37th annual National Conservative Student Conference this weekend at the George Washington University, urged millennials to stay engaged, to fight for the “pursuit of happiness” and to not tolerate “bureaucratic incompetence.”
“Your generation is going to be at an extraordinary crossroads,” Mr. Gingrich, who writes a column for The Washington Times, said to the crowd of young faces. “One of the great challenges for [the millennial] generation is to win the argument about ‘pursuit of happiness.’
“We have decayed from a country that believed in ‘pursuit of happiness’ to a country that believes your rights come from government, and you have the right to entitlement,” he said. “None of the Founding Fathers would have thought that entitlement made any sense because they all worked hard.”
With the presidential campaign season heating up, Mr. Gingrich, a former presidential candidate himself, discussed what members of the Republican Party, such as Sen. Lindsey Graham of South Carolina, are doing to appeal to the large number of young voters.
Mr. Graham has made a video with the Independent Journal Review, and Carly Fiorina is promoting female equality in the workplace on Buzzfeed.
“I actually thought Lindsey Graham’s video was pretty funny. That may have been the funniest I’ve ever seen Lindsey be,” Mr. Gingrich said of the response to Donald Trump’s having publicly released the senator’s cellphone number. In the video, the senator demonstrates various ways to destroy an old cellphone, including dropping it from a building and butchering it with a knife. All to the tune of Antonio Vivaldi’s “The Four Seasons.”
“You want a Republican Party that can be on social media appealing to younger people. It’s going to have a lot of goofy things because, the truth is, those things go viral. They have an impact,” Mr. Gingrich said.
“There is a challenge to virtually everybody, except [Jeb] Bush and [Scott] Walker, in that [Donald] Trump now occupies so much space that trying to figure out how you get covered becomes much harder,” Mr. Gingrichsaid.
Mr. Gingrich described politics as “entrepreneurial” because anyone with ideas and the courage of conviction can run for office.
“If you have lots of ideas and you’re willing to talk about ideas, you’re going to be attacked,” he said. “On the other hand, if you don’t have ideas, no one is going to notice you.”
Mr. Trump, who headed NBC’s “The Celebrity Apprentice,” a successful prime-time TV show, is dominating Republican presidential polls. Mr. Gingrich called the real estate mogul a “unique personality.”
“People tend to forget that this isn’t some random real estate guy that showed up Tuesday. This is someone who’s been very successful on national television. He’s very aggressive, and he’s very risk-taking.”
Mr. Gingrich also gave his opinion about the Planned Parenthood scandal. He said he hopes Congress defunds the organization because the sting videos showing the harvesting of fetal body parts are “horrifying” and “represent a view of human life that is inconceivable for Americans.”
He drew a comparison, similar to one made by Republican presidential candidate Marco Rubio, to the amount of coverage Cecil the Lion has received from national media while “thousands of children have been killed in the United States.”
“I think it’s terrible, and this dentist ought to lose his license to ever hunt anywhere ever again. It’s just awful,” Mr. Gingrich said. “It seems to me that at some point, children being killed here should be at least as important as a lion being killed in Zimbabwe.”
Millennials, Mr. Gingrich said, should stay engaged and involved in national issues.
“You are the citizens of freedom, and you have a moral obligation to do what it takes to ensure that your children and your grandchildren inherit the freedoms that George Washington and his generation fought and died for, and which we have now preserved for 225 years,” Mr. Gingrichsaid.
“You have the chance to be the greatest generation since the Founding Fathers, and I am confident that you will rise to the occasion.
“That’s why I am extraordinarily optimistic about the future of America.”