I'm driving home and pop on my fellow talk radio colleague Michael Medved, who is interviewing some book author on why slightly crazed people make better leaders in times of great crisis than stable people do. Medved kept my attention because one of the first things he said after I got in the car was something along the lines of, "Your premise is making me reconsider my position."
Since talk radio personalities never change their opinion about anything I was clued in for whatever came next.
The author's study had looked at historical figures and the amount of manic depression they endured. Long story short, if you were slightly crazy, you were a great leader--at a specific time. If everything was running smoothly, then the emotionally balanced guy can keep everything afloat.
This premise has HAUNTED me almost daily since.
There is no question that Winston Churchill, besides being one of my favorite people from history, fit the bill. He had mad sleeplessness. He was irritable. He threw temper tantrums, and paid for it politically. He went through a season of near absolute exile. But when the Barack Obama of his era (Neville Chamberlain) proclaimed "Peace in our time" and waved a document with Hitler's signature on it to the cameras, Brits turned to Churchill and he propped up the world on his shoulders in its darkest hour.
The comparisons to Churchill are obvious for Gingrich. He's stubborn. Sometimes painfully so. He's strong of will, even if sometimes the application of that will blows in the wind. (I mean, he INSULTED the Paul Ryan legislation and his own voter base by uttering the words, "right wing social engineering.") He's been through his own season of exile, attempting to pay for his sins he followed Churchill's example and wrote extensively.
There is also little argument to be made that America is at a crossroads of perilous crisis. This, not so much from World War--though terrorism hangs in the back of our minds daily--but more from the war on the values we hold, and the lives we Americans intend to live.
Ultimately I believe that's where the comparisons end. Gingrich's problems have been based in character and the need to be liked. Churchill's problems were primarily of temperament and personality.
It's also likely that Churchill's most zealous supporters at his peak could've predicted the success he would have looking basically at his life up to that point. So one might ask, "Is the best Gingrich yet to come?"
We have nothing that seems to indicate as much, but how could we if he is the new Churchill?
For reasons I've laid out previously Romney will be an easy opponent for Obama to conquer in a general election match-up. With Gingrich's baggage, it would seem three good debate performances in late October 2012, probably won't overcome the billion-dollar media campaign Obama will launch if Newt goes two for three out of the gate in the primary elections.
Which is why, if you truly care about this nation--especially if you live in Iowa, New Hampshire, or South Carolina, I implore you to take this decision seriously.
Please study the records of the candidates involved, not merely their most recent soundbites.
The fate of the free world rests upon it!
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