Newt Gingrich: And His List of Words

Below is the list of negative words Newt proposed be used by potential candidates against their opponents: It is from Newt Gingrich’s 1996 GOPAC memo.

I remember reading a nearly identical list of negative words in one of his books and wondered why he would broadcast his strategy that then could so easily be boomeranged back on him by his opposition.

It’s odd now, all these years later, his language has not matured over these last 16 years, for many of these same negatives he touted years ago, still appear in his weakest protestations and condemnations.

And too, many of these words from his very own list of things to call others… are used against him now: disgraced, lie, bizarre moods, corrupt, self-serving.

I just think of Old Laertes in Greek mythos who was wise enough to know when to put up his sword, for he was so out of shape he could no longer keep up. He was instead filled with blather about what he did, what he thought, how things should be. But, he never listened to what others did, thought, wanted. Therefore, he forfeited being a true leader.

So, instead he then sat by the fire telling whatever young men would listen about all his carefully inflated adventures when he’d once been in his prime– and in his narratives, it was always himself and no one else, who played the hero.

For people who have no new, consistent, reliable ideas, who are past prime of aspiring to be a great leader but failed because of putting oneself before all others (except dead heroes), It seems a good way to go: stop trying to keep up, go sit by the fire, be at peace in harmless blather about oneself, one’s creaky ideas, one’s outmoded strategies. Above all, do not become a caricature of ‘horatio hornblower.’

The day comes for all of us to go into the freeze of winter and melt into the sun.

Here are Newt’s words…

“Often we search hard for words to define our opponents. Sometimes we are hesitant to use contrast. Remember that creating a difference helps you. These are powerful words that can create a clear and easily understood contrast. Apply these to the opponent, their record, proposals and their party.
abuse of power
anti- (issue): flag, family, child, jobs
betray
bizarre
bosses
bureaucracy
cheat
coercion
“compassion” is not enough
collapse(ing)
consequences
corrupt
corruption
criminal rights
crisis
cynicism
decay
deeper
destroy
destructive
devour
disgrace
endanger
excuses
failure (fail)
greed
hypocrisy
ideological
impose
incompetent
insecure
insensitive
intolerant
liberal
lie
limit(s)
machine
mandate(s)
obsolete
pathetic
patronage
permissive attitude
pessimistic
punish (poor …)
radical
red tape
self-serving
selfish
sensationalists
shallow
shame
sick
spend(ing)
stagnation
status quo
steal
taxes
they/them
threaten
traitors
unionized
urgent (cy)
waste
welfare”

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Author: DR. CLARISSA PINKOLA ESTÉS, Managing Editor of TMV, and Columnist

  • JeffP

    What a list! The most prominent of his phrases that comes to my mind over the years is his constant reference to apocalyptic “mushroom clouds.”

  • DORIAN DE WIND, Military Affairs Columnist

    Missing from his list, because he definitely is one, is “chickenhawk,” “crybaby” and perhaps even yellowbelly.

  • Allen

    We should not leave out the word, “Bitch”, with which he uttered against the First Lady. Probably the first time it has ever been done in public. Such a tower of adult manhood that Newt.

  • http://kikoshouse.blogspot.com SHAUN MULLEN, TMV Columnist

    The Laertes reference is powerfully spot on.

  • zephyr

    Dorian’s comment sums it up well imo.

  • DR. CLARISSA PINKOLA ESTÉS, Managing Editor of TMV, and Columnist

    I think allen, maybe that was newt’s poor mother who said the b word about hillary? DId newt call her that in public also? I remember connie chung had interviewed newt’s mother, a poor soul who was a lot like miss pitty pat in gone with the wind, nervous and clearly just a sort of overly anxious, out of it, mom type person. Chung leaned in and literally led her to say hillary was *bad word*, in fact, in a manner I thought deeply dishonest. I’m not sure, but think that’s what tanked chung’s career. She’s married to Maury Povitch, I think.