Op-Ed: Lunar Dreams: Newt Gingrich and the Power of Big Ideas


By Jeff Pavlak, Staff Editor

Bombastic moon colonizer and Fannie Mae historian Newt Gingrich is a man of many, many big ideas. Don’t trust my word? Just ask his humble opinion. According to Mr. Gingrich, "I am very different from normal politicians . . . we have big ideas," with the turn in pronouns an apparent overture to his otherwise unnecessary campaign staff.

As the former Speaker of the House continues his latest book tour, which doubles as a run for president, he has not disappointed in the big ideas department. Whether it’s debating the constitutionality of arresting judges with whom he disagrees ("I would suggest to you actually, as a historian, I may understand this better than lawyers") or abolishing child labor laws to allow school children to build character and replace greedy janitors ("It is tragic what we do in the poorest neighborhoods, entrapping children in . . . child laws, which are truly stupid."), Gingrich dispenses his grand ideas with unique humility.

And as N. Leroy Gingrich traipses the balmy shores of Florida, he offers us his latest big idea: colonizing the moon, with aspirations of admitting this galactic protectorate as America’s 51st state. “By the end of my second term, we will have the first permanent base on the moon and it will be American . . . when we have 13,000 Americans living on the moon, they can petition to become a state,” Gingrich promises. Why 13,000 people? I’m not sure. But it seems like a pretty wise idea for disempowering coastal elites and embedding malapportioned moon policy biases into the electoral system.

While cynical observers, including Willard Romney, believe this is mere transactional politicking at its worst – “going state to state and promising what people want to hear . . . to make them happy”– they would be wrong. This is not some whimsical ode to the ears of hungry low-information voters awaiting a corndog in a county fair line. No, sir. Speaker Gingrich has a long and distinguished career in moon policy.

Riding the early tide of the Reagan Revolution, an upstart Gingrich was not wasting his time on regulatory reform, defeating the Evil Empire, or the other heady topics of the day. In 1981, Newt became the first leader of the immensely powerful Congressional Space Caucus and sponsored legislation to set forth “the government of space territories, including constitutional protections, the right to self-government, and admission to statehood.”

In fact, the always-frugal historian knew the last thing Earth needed was another welfare dependency in the solar system plagued by crime, joblessness, and illegitimacy. According to Newt, not only will the moon be replete with good jobs in the thriving lunar manufacturing and mining sectors, but it will also help fight crime and light our interstate highway system. In his futurist 1984 tome, Window of Opportunity, Gingrich meekly professed that a “mirror system in space could provide the light equivalent of many moons,” asserting that this “ambient light covering entire areas could reduce the current danger of criminals lurking in the darkness.”

Of course, a cabal of scientists and former astronauts—who apparently seek comfort in allowing criminal gangs to operate in the dark of night—say Gingrich is wildly bullish in his assessment of space colonization. But what big ideas have these earth-bound creatures ever seen to fruition?

So it seems true; Gingrich is very different from normal politicians. For a nation mired in political stasis and dire unemployment, there is salvation. This humble public servant will deliver what the American populace is truly craving: reducing Mitt Romney’s onerous 13.9 percent effective federal tax rate to zero and building a moon base that "will be American."

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