Jay Clarke

Forgiving Newt

In Politics and Religion on December 14, 2011 at 12:05 am

By Jay Clarke

Original Article at American Thinker

Newt Gingrich is a failure.  A flawed, failed, weak human being.  But then again, isn’t everyone?  When we are finally called to meet our Maker, there isn’t one human being who has ever lived who can lay claim to perfection.  Well, there is One.

But that’s not Newt.  He’s true blue human frailty to the core.  And everyone knows it.  Newt’s “baggage” has been dissected, discussed, debated and droned on network news and cable shows since before he announced his candidacy.  His supporters respond with glowing praise of his agile intellect, debating performance, innovative ideas and knowledge of Washington power structure.

But, for some Republicans and conservatives Newt is definitely not their guy.  They could never vote for him no matter how smart he is.  No matter if he could defeat Obama in a landslide or put America back on the track to prosperity.  Not even if he could tame the tax code, modernize and shrink the Federal Government and bring American sensibilities back to the White House.  It’s a “no go.”  Newt just has too much baggage.  Two affairs.  Two failed marriages.  Boom.  He’s out.

But, according to Newt, he’s changed.  He’s older.  Wiser.  A grandfather now.  And he’s answered every question about his past with grace and dignity while openly acknowledging his failures.  He’s found a relationship with God.  And has sought God’s forgiveness.

There are no perfect candidates just as there are no perfect people.  America’s Founders were less than perfect.  Washington, Jefferson and Madison held slaves.  Adams was highly abrasive and had an explosive temper.  Benjamin Franklin fathered an illegitimate son and was quite the ladies’ man as America’s 1st ambassador to France.  More modern leaders have fared no better.  John F. Kennedy, Richard Nixon and Bill Clinton were all deeply flawed human beings.

So, at what point does a candidate or president’s personal, human frailties cross the line and disqualify him or her to run for the highest office in the land?  What level of moral perfection should we demand from our presidents?  How far back into their lives should we dig?  And is there any room for those who seek the presidency, to ever be forgiven for their mistakes?  Or will Americans continue to follow political hatchet men and media manipulators who destroy the character of good men and women who seek public office?

These are questions that American voters need to seriously consider.  If a “perfect” and unblemished presidential candidate is ever found, you can be sure that he/she has been manufactured and groomed by media consultants and political operatives.  What you see definitely won’t be what you get.

And is that what America really wants?  A candidate who has never faced adversity and lost? American history is built on stories of those who have failed and then risen to overcome seemingly insurmountable odds.  The American Revolution itself, hinged on just such a story.  Bruised and battered, shoeless and shivering, George Washington’s army crossed the Delaware River on December 25, 1776 to attack and rout the surprised Hessian forces at Trenton, NJ.  This single act saved the American Revolution.  Adversity and failure were no strangers to Washington in 1776 and were essential ingredients in his development as a general and American political leader.

Experience is the father of wisdom.”  So goes the saying.  Some believe wisdom comes with age.  Yet, the world is full of young and old fools alike.  Experienced and inexperienced.  Wisdom is not easily discovered.  It must be earned.  Not through academic study, professional expertise or time served on the planet.  But through hard truths taught by potent and profound mentors.  The humblers of prideful men.  Pain.  Loss and failure.

Newt Gingrich has had his share of pain and loss.  And failure.  In a way that most Americans will never experience.  His errors cost him 2 marriages.  He’s paid the price in his personal life.  Many times over.  His personal failings have been widely publicized, editorialized and embellished.  Most of us cannot imagine the level of pain and humiliation involved when one’s personal and private failures are made public and laid bare for all to see.  Newt has lived it.  And, by all appearances, he’s a better man today because of it.  Smarter.  More insightful.  And wiser.  Pretty good traits for a president to have.

As human beings we all share the same, inherent defect.  We are not perfect.  We all sin.  With that in mind and for those who may feel that Newt Gingrich is not qualified to be president, based solely on his personal failings, a word from a very wise man.  “He who is without sin among you, let him be the first to throw a stone…”

If God, against whom all sin is committed, can forgive Newt Gingrich, maybe America can and should too.

Jay Clarke is a businessman, writer and lifelong conservative from Southern California.  Write him at americanheirs@gmail.com

Advertisements

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: