Your Daily Newt: Gingrich Channels Liz Warren

Former Speaker of the House Newt Gingrich points at something.Kelvin Ma/ZumaPress

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As a service to our readers, every day we are delivering a classic moment from the political life of Newt Gingrich—until he either clinches the nomination or bows out.

This quote, from Massachusetts Senate candidate Elizabeth Warren, is about as spirited defense of big government you’ll ever see, outlining the foundational—and irreplacable—role played by public institutions in creating a prosperous society:

The era of Republican domination back between 1856 and 1932 was a period of tremendous government experimenting, a period of building the transcontinental railroad…a period of encouraging homesteading through the Homestead Act, a eriod of the agricultural college and the Morill Act which led to the land grant colleges and the agricultural agent system. 

The test I always give conservatives is to say “How many of you wanted to save the Panama Canal?” Most of my conservative friends promptly raise their hands. But the fact of the matter is that the Panama Canal was built by government engineers, because government doctors cured yellow fevers. It was run by a government corporation and it was constructed by government Army and Navy, the largest public works project in history at the time was it was set up.

Except that quote didn’t actually come from Elizabeth Warren (this one did). It came from a young Rep. Newt Gingrich, in 1983.

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THE TRUTH...

is the first thing despots go after. An unwavering commitment to it is probably what draws you to Mother Jones' journalism. And as we're seeing in the US and the world around, authoritarians seek to poison the discourse and the way we relate to each other because they can't stand people coming together around a shared sense of the truth—it's a huge threat to them.

Which is also a pretty great way to describe Mother Jones' mission: People coming together around the truth to hold power accountable.

And right now, we need to raise about $400,000 from our online readers over the next two months to hit our annual goal and make good on that mission. Read more about the information war we find ourselves in and how people-powered, independent reporting can and must rise to the challenge—and please support our team's truth-telling journalism with a donation if you can right now.

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