This piece in National Journal reminds me of the moment when I decided we were done for as a country. I was still in my salad days when a man is supposed to be full of optimism. Instead, I was oosing doom and gloom. Well, maybe it was not that bad. Still, watching Newt Gingrich waddle on stage as the next Speaker of the House and, presumably, the leader of the loyal opposition, I knew we were done for as a country. If that’s the best we could muster, it was time to reconsider the whole experiment. Two decades of rot have confirmed what I suspected.
It’s not that Gingrich is a festering carbuncle of man or that he is a moral nullity. Politics, going back to the Alcibiades, has been populated with loathsome parasites. If the country could weather the Kennedy family it could handle another degenerate in a powerful office. The thing that was the clincher for me was how Gingrich was talked about as some sort of deep thinker. That absurdity is right here in the piece.
Within a year, nine out of 10 Americans could be dead. And whatever causes the national apocalypse—be it North Korean malice or the whims of the sun—the downfall will ultimately be our own fault.
That’s the fear of Newt Gingrich and other members of a high-profile coalition who are convinced that our fragile electrical grid could be wiped out at any moment.
Their concern? Electromagnetic pulses, the short bursts of energy—caused by anything from a nuclear blast to a solar flare—that can wreak havoc on electrical systems on a massive scale. And the coalition believes it’s coming soon.
“I think we’re running out of time,” said Peter Pry, a former CIA officer and head of a congressional advisory board on national security. And if the worst happens? “This gets translated into mass fatalities, because our modern civilization can’t feed, transport, or provide law and order without electricity,” he said.
While some see the coalition as alarmist—and others dismiss them as out-and-out quacks—the coalition boasts some prominent and influential names. Pry and Gingrich are joined by former CIA Director James Woolsey.
“It wasn’t difficult persuading them” to join the coalition, Pry said. Gingrich “has known about EMP and cared about it for many years.”
Last year, Gingrich told members of Congress that an EMP attack “could be the kind of catastrophe that ends civilization—and that’s not an exaggeration.”
What does Gingrich know about physics? The answer is nothing. He was a history instructor at strip mall college and he liked dinosaurs. I love history, but it is not science and everyone knows it. Many not-so-bright people skate though college as history majors, English majors and so forth. Even if you dispute my opinion here, you cannot dispute that history is not science. Gingrich is no more qualified to discuss the electric grid and EMP attacks than my cat.
The fact that the nation takes seriously a guy like Gingrich on anything, much less issues he is uniquely unqualified to discuss is far more worrisome than solar flares or an EMP attack. Gingrich is a crank and not the funny entertaining type either. He is the weird guy who lives at the end of the lane type of crank. The guy parents warned their kids to avoid. His ideas are mostly nonsense, but he believes them with the intensity of a fanatic. This is a guy who thought we could put sunglasses on the globe to “address global warming.”
I tend to like fringe guys, even when they hold very weird opinions. The reason is they make watching this stuff fun. Jerry Brown is entertaining as all get out, until he gets power. Then he becomes a dangerous lunatic. Gingrich has always been at the center of the “conservative movement.” His weird social engineering ideas should never get a purchase in a movement that makes claims to liberty and small government. His central role in conservative politics over the last two decades says “conservatism” has been nothing but a fraud. That’s why we are doomed. Without an alternative to the Cult of Modern Liberalism, they are free to do as they please for as long as they please.