Jackie Gingrich Cushman

I grew up in a small college town.  We lived half-way down a dead-end street, across from the college where my father was a professor.  From our house, the steep hill to the top of road appeared daunting. 

In the fall of 1974, I was seven years old, the same age as my daughter today.  I can remember walking the top of the road to Maple Street, the main thoroughfare, to watch the West Georgia College Homecoming Parade.  The parade started in mid morning, the air was crisp and cool, and I was wearing a sweatshirt to keep warm.  This Saturday, 33 years later, the homecoming parade for what is now called the University of West Georgia will be held at 10 a.m.

In the years (decades) since, I have grown up, married and had two children.  My husband and I live in Atlanta, which I once considered to be a large, unnavigable city.  My mother still lives on the street where I grew up.  My children are staying with her this weekend and will certainly learn life lessons from her, just as I did.

As a country we have survived the aftermath of Watergate, stagflation, and the Iran hostage crisis.  Mr. Gorbachev brought down the wall.  We survived 9/11 by drawing together as a nation.  Subsequently, we have endured a return to partisan politics and polarization.  Many things have been accomplished; however, there are still many challenges to be met.

Since that fall day, that college professor, Newt Gingrich, went on to lose two congressional elections, win 10 others and helped create a Republican majority in Congress.  He founded the Center for Health Transformation and became an advocate for transforming our nation’s broken heath care system.  Reinvention and vision have always been the tools that he has used to create the next phase of his life. 

He is now deeply committed to one of his boldest visions, creating a non-partisan group, American Solutions.  Its goal is to “fundamentally change government in all 513,000 elected offices across America. 

“The core of the American Solutions movement is the belief that red versus blue thinking has brought us to a deadlocked dead end. Furthermore, American Solutions is focused on replacing the blame game and instead developing the positive innovative answers for America’s challenges.”

Jackie Gingrich Cushman

Jackie Gingrich Cushman is a speaker, syndicated columnist, socialpreneur, and author of "The Essential American: 25 Documents and Speeches Every American Should Own," and co-author of “The 5 Principles for a Successful Life: From Our Family to Yours”.