Opinion » Letters

On Newt Gingrich and history

San Luis Obispo



Our second president, founding father John Adams, once said of democracy: “There was never a democracy that did not commit suicide.” With today’s Congressional approval at record lows, could Adams’ suicidal prediction apply to our republic? There is one worrisome precedent.

Germany’s Weimar Republic in the 1920s was in moral crisis, its legislature (Reichstag) gridlocked over taxes vs. entitlements (sound familiar?). Germany’s fragile economy, drowning in World War I debts, was largely financed by American dollars. When Wall Street collapsed in 1929, America’s lending and investment stopped, and Germany’s inflation and unemployment ballooned out of control. Chancellor Friedrich Bruner resorted to executive decrees to govern the paralyzed Reichstag—until an exhausted, nearly senile President Hindenburg appointed a new Chancellor in 1933. This anointed leader, speaking over cheers lasting five hours, said: “We have the power. Now our gigantic work begins!”

The suicidal precedent exists; we lack only the “Newtly” anointed leader.

-- Dan Biezad - San Luis Obispo

-- Dan Biezad - San Luis Obispo

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