It all started in the summer of 2007 when part of one of my speeches was posted on YouTube. It was a short, three-minute clip in which I explained the difference between two Americas, one that works and one that fails, by contrasting UPS and FedEx with the federal bureaucracy.
You can see it yourself here.
The gist of the video is that UPS and FedEx are so capable and efficient they can track millions of packages in real time. The bureaucracy, on the other hand, can't locate the 10-20 million people who are in this country illegally. Perhaps, I suggested, we should send them all a package.
The book that was inspired by the tremendous public reaction to this video was Real Change: From the World That Fails to the World That Works.
Real Change Means "the Special Interests, the Bureaucracies, and the Force of the Past Will Not Determine the Course of the Future"
Here's how I described what I wanted to accomplish with Real Change at the time:
Real change must begin at the individual level, with each person deciding that the special interests, the bureaucracies, and the forces of the past will not determine the course of the future. Real change has to start with families who don't want to see their quality of life decline even as they work harder to maintain it. Real change has to start with citizens who say to their families, friends, and neighbors that the time has come to insist that their politicians change or they will change their politicians.
We must have been on to something because the presidential campaign that was waged since I wrote Real Change was full of talk about change and promised to end business as usual in Washington; to take the nation beyond the bitter deadlock of partisan politics.
President Obama Promised to End the Influence of Special Interests in Washington, Then He Gave 55% of Chrysler to His Union Supporters
The American people clearly voted for change last November. But equally clear is that what we've gotten is more business as usual.Barack Obama campaigned as a new kind of centrist who could bring people together. But as president he's been a radical liberal, passing his stimulus bill without a single Republican vote in the House.
He campaigned to end the influence of special interests in the nation's capital. But as president he's rewarded his political supporters at the expense of economic recovery in the stimulus bill and paid back his union allies at the expense of the rule of law in the Chrysler and GM bankruptcies.
Barack Obama campaigned as a leader who would bring a new kind of politics to Washington. Then he used Chicago-style politics - twisting arms and offering payoffs - to pass one of the largest tax increases in American history in the cap and trade bill.President Obama promised change and failed to deliver. Where do we go from here?
Real Change, Expanded and Updated for the Obama Era
The new, Obama-era edition of Real Change is entitled Real Change: The Fight for America's Future.It has all the innovative ideas and practical solutions of the first Real Change, and much more.
The new forward begins with how American taxpayers were exploited with the taxpayer bailouts that began at the end of the Bush Administration. Then it describes how things got worse with the big government, big spending bacchanal that has been the first six months of the Obama Administration.
It describes how our national security has deteriorated faster than I thought it would since the last months of the Bush Administration, despite the spectacular success of the surge in Iraq.
The section culminates in a powerful critique of the Obama domestic and national security policy:"The Obama-Pelosi-Reid team is the most radical group ever to hold the reigns of American power. Their vision of a high tax, big bureaucracy Washington-centered system dominated by politicians and leading to a secular-socialist future will fundamentally challenge America's role as a beacon of hope, opportunity and freedom."
Real Change Is More Than a List of Complaints About the Obama Administration. It's a Plan of Solutions for America
But Real Change: The Fight For America's Future is more than a list of grievances against the current administration.It is a guide, a set of talking points, and a blueprint for how conservative and center-right Americans can reclaim the mantle of "change" in our political debate; how we can, in fact, transcend "change" to bring about real change.
Using Ronald Reagan and the current Tea Party movement as guides, the new Real Change describes how we can't argue within the current framework of the left and the elites if we want to bring about real change.
If we accept their terms and their premises, the book explains, we "will end up being with the less destructive, less expensive, slower decay wing of a lot of really bad ideas."
When the Left Takes for Granted the Superiority of Big Government, We Must Argue Forcefully for Free Enterprise
Instead, we have to establish our own terms of debate and argue for bold solutions to the challenges we face.When the left takes for granted the superiority of big government, we must argue boldly and forcefully for free enterprise.When they play to their union base with calls for an even bigger bureaucracy, we must remind Americans that the world that works is the world of entrepreneurs.And when they assert the lowest-common-denominator fairness of government redistribution, we must counter with the moral superiority of individual initiative and success.
America is Still Waiting For Change in Washington
Real Change: The Fight for America's Future is about these ideas and much, much more. I encourage you to pick up a copy for yourself or someone you care about. America is still waiting for real change in Washington. It's time for more than change. It's time for real change. Let the battle of ideas and solutions for America's future begin.
Newt's Quick Links:
Energy has been central to American Solutions' efforts recently, and we will be holding a free Tele-Townhall this Thursday night from 7-8pm EDT to discuss the Energy Tax fight in the Senate, and re-launching the Drill Here, Drill Now campaign. To join me for this special Tele-Townhall and invite your friends click here.
David Kralik - our Director of Internet Strategy at American Solutions and point man in Silicon Valley - spoke at Google's Mountain View, Calif., headquarters last month about bringing Silicon Valley entrepreneurial culture to Washington, D.C. You can watch it here.
(Reprinted with permission)