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I've been my own boss for 23 years now. I've had a lot of successes and a few failures. But the one thing I haven't had during my time of working for myself is someone looking over my shoulder constantly complaining about how I do my work!
I don't work in the orthodox way. I have my own style (which comes off as lazy to some) and my own ideas - which apparently annoy the hell out of lazy co- workers. I've always had a passion for my work that also seems to rub others the wrong way.
My first job in high school was as an usher/ticket taker/popcorn stand master at an AMC theater in Atlanta. Every night after people entered the theater for the last movie, the manager would close down the concession stand. As we cleaned, people would inevitably stream out during the last movie wanting more popcorn, candy and Coke. So I went to the manager as a 17-year-old and asked why they didn't keep it open for at least the first hour of the last movie. He said he'd like to but the other employees wanted to get home - they didn't want to work one more hour.
So I volunteered to work the additional hour and run the stand by myself. I told the manager I didn't mind if everyone else went home. I also volunteered to do the final cleaning at the end of the hour. (If you've worked a long time and you're not lazy, you can probably guess where this is going)!
At the end of the first week, the stand had made $400-$500 per night in that last hour! I was ecstatic! I thought they'd be so happy with that they might even consider doing it system-wide. Boy was I naïve! I didn't realize I was in for the first great shock of my working life. At the end of the second week the manager called me into his office and said while he was very happy with the results, he was going to end the "experiment" and close the concession stand at the regular time.
I was stunned by that! I asked him why. They were paying me probably $5 for that hour and making nearly $500 on most nights! Sounded like a great deal for them. But he told me something I'm sure a lot of you have heard in your careers. He told me that the other employees were very upset with me for doing it. He didn't explain why and for the life of me I couldn't understand why they would even care.
I went home and told my dad about it and he explained it. He said I was making them look bad because I was actually getting something done and they just wanted to go home. Rather than alienate the whole staff, the manager decided it was better to just forego the nearly $3,000+ a week - or $150,000+ a year (in 1970-something dollars!) than to alienate all the other lazy workers.
THE LESSON: Do your job and don't stand out. Be as good as your fellow employees but never better.
So what in the world does this have to do with Newt Gingrich? There are a lot of things that give us all pause about Newt Gingrich. But one thing that shouldn't give us pause is the fact his fellow Republicans are coming out saying they could never support him because of the way he ruffled their feathers in the 90s. They say he didn't play well with the other kids. They say he annoyed people. They say he caused more trouble than he was worth. Liberals said he was a fire-breathing bomb thrower and many Republicans agreed.
To all that I say, pish posh! Newt Gingrich was the first Republican congressman in a generation who accomplished anything worthwhile. He brought us the first Republican controlled congress in more than 50 years. He almost single-handedly ended the disaster that was the Great Society welfare program - that had the country barreling towards bankruptcy. That in itself was a huge achievement - and made him worth his weight in gold. I remember the days when no conservative thought that horrific welfare program would ever come to an end. But it did and Gingrich was the guy who got the job done. And as if that wasn't enough he got the first balanced budget through in decades!
In 1995 Time Magazine named Newt the man of the year. In the article they said, "U. S. Representative Newt Gingrich held on to his Speaker's post by a narrow margin of only three votes in 1997."
Well, it's amazing he held onto it at all with all the boats he rocked to actually accomplish what congress people are sent to Washington to do - represent the voters rather than themselves.
Did you know in the decades the Republicans were in the minority that they had grown quite comfortable being in the minority? It was Stockholm Syndrome. They just wanted to make nice and get along with their Democrat captors. They wanted to go along to get along. They worked with Democrats, they compromised with them, they practically bent over backwards to give them whatever they wanted... so the New York Times would compliment them on their bi-partisan spirit. They also wanted the approving nods from their Democratic captors as they passed them in the hallways of the House and Senate office buildings.
They didn't want to do anything "drastic", they didn't want to rock too many boats. Sure they'd raise an objection or two towards their captors' policies around election time, but other than that they were happy to just keep their nice cushy jobs and gain great wealth off all the insider information they were given.
Then along comes "fire-breathing bomb thrower" Newt who actually wanted to change the direction of the country. Time Magazine said this about him in the 90s:
"Our view is that Newt Gingrich is a bomb thrower, a fire-breathing Republican
Congressman from Georgia, he is more interested in right-wing grandstanding
than in fostering bi-partisanship."
I can almost hear my theater co-workers saying the same things about me. "Jonathan isn't a team player, he doesn't care what anybody else thinks, he's more interested in gaining attention for himself than in getting along with his fellow workers." Oh, and he has too many goofy ideas too!
Sure they were furious. As a 17-year-old employee I had come up with an idea that made the company more money than all the ideas my co-workers had ever come up with - combined. And as a freshman Congressman, Newt was turning Congress upside down in order to begin fixing all that was wrong in this country. This was very upsetting to the status-quo (all the whiny cry-baby Republicans who are now saying they'd never support him). They had their nice comfortable life robbing from Americans, and this fire-breather was going to upset all that.
All of Newt's right-wing grandstanding brought an end to one of the most cherished liberal programs of all - LBJ's Great Society program. Poor liberal babies! They finally came upon a Republican leader who was more interested in fixing the problems they had created than he was in "fostering bi-partisanship"! "Fostering bi-partisanship" is of course code for "doing what we liberals tell you to do".
We look at Romney's liberal acts while in office, passing Obama-care lite. And we look at some of the things Newt has said in recent years. But if we compare Newt's actual record to Romney's - Newt is the only one who has a record of governing as a true conservative. And not only just governing as one - he has governed effectively as one. That's of course why the liberals at Time considered him a "fire-breathing bomb thrower" from Georgia. Because he was effective!
Ron Paul supporters still can't point to a single major piece of legislation that Paul has ever initiated and gotten through congress on a single fundamental conservative issue. Yet they will not let go of their rabid idea that Paul is the only "true" conservative in the race. Newt accomplished more for the conservative cause in his three years as Speaker than Ron Paul has accomplished in his almost three decades in Congress.
If you're looking for a true and effective conservative, Newt Gingrich is the only one in the race who has substantial conservative accomplishments. And he accomplished not just one or two things, but several major things. No wonder he earned the ire of Time Magazine and RINO Republicans.
Speaking of RINO's, did you know the charge against Newt from Republicans in the House was led by such uber-RINOs as Lindsey Graham and Chuck Scarborough (host on MSNBC)? They were the kind of Republicans Newt ticked off. And they were the kind all conservatives would like to tick off. He should wear their disgust as a badge of honor. It shows just how much he accomplished. .
Newt, like me and many of you, earned the anger of his co-workers because he was actually accomplishing major things. And in Newt's case he accomplished major things of which all conservatives can be proud and grateful. He overturned decades of a liberal welfare dystopia, he overturned decades of deficit spending and he overturned decades of a Democratically-controlled congress.
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