While organizations such as The John Birch Society have long warned of Newt Gingrich’s commitment to unconstitutional, fiscally reckless, and leftist causes, many other conservatives have also been sufficiently educated and made aware of Gingrich’s true colors. Among these organizations is the group Conservatives Against Newt Gingrich. Founded in 2009 by Kevin Shen, Conservatives Against Newt Gingrich identifies itself as a constitutionalist conservative organization with the goal of “educating others on true conservative values, and identifying those ‘conservatives in name only’ who have fooled scores of Americans into believing that they are conservative.”
The New American had the privilege of interviewing Kevin Shen, who currently serves as the executive director of Conservatives Against Newt Gingrich.
The New American: How and why did you form this group? What resources, events, etc. resulted in your political paradigm shift?
Shen: It dawned on me to form this group in October 2009, because around that time, Gingrich had endorsed a liberal Republican in a three-way election in New York’s 23rd Congressional District, Dede Scozzafava, a Republican with support from ACORN, pro-choice groups, and labor unions. No real conservative would endorse a Republican like that, especially when the real conservative ran on a third-party line. I did more research into Gingrich, and I came across JBS President John McManus’ speech “The Real Newt Gingrich” online. McManus not only opened my eyes to Gingrich, but also to how the Republican Party has failed to uphold traditional conservative values and concepts. Constitutionalism has sadly been neglected by the GOP, and thanks to Facebook and the rise of the Tea Party Movement, more people have been made aware of the fact that establishment Republicans are to blame perhaps even more than Democrats for America’s rising deficits and increase in size of government. My forming this group also was motivated by my own political transformation; I always disliked Gingrich and his ilk, but after educating myself on the pertinent issues, I now see that he is part of a greater elitist and globalist push to dupe conservatives into accepting an agenda that runs counter to everything held dear by advocates of the free market, federalism, constitutionalism, and limited government.
TNA: Please elaborate on your dissatisfaction with the GOP.
Shen: The GOP is not necessarily always conservative. Ever since Ronald Reagan was elected, there have been no Republican presidential candidates that can be described as even remotely conservative. George H.W. Bush, Bob Dole, George W. Bush, and John McCain are far from being any kind of conservative; they are big government-types whose commitment to traditional family values is insincere. Sadly, people often have this misguided, visceral reaction that the Republican is good, the Democrat bad. These same people even use the term RINO (Republican In Name Only), which, historically, makes no sense, since conservatives like Reagan and Goldwater were always in the minority. The truth of the matter is that the GOP is controlled by a top-down model, with the RNC and Council on Foreign Relations members pulling the reins, and very rarely are there any major policy differences between the two parties. Look at Obama; his Middle East policy differs in no way from the Bush foreign policy. Libya is another Iraq.
TNA: Carol Quigley makes the exact same point in his book Tragedy and Hope. Do you think that his observations will hold true in the 2012 elections?
Shen: I think history generally repeats itself, in the sense that we’ll see a Republican like Gingrich or Mitt Romney earn the nomination. These are the frontrunners, and have all of the powerful forces behind them. These types of candidates will always succeed by playing on the fears of conservatives, that if they don’t vote for these candidates and instead vote for a third-party conservative, the liberal Democrat will always win. I think that if you look at Ross Perot’s failed bid in 1992, and if you look at the power of social media, and the Tea Party, then this may not hold true. And if you compare 1992 to 2011, there are profound differences nowadays in how people access information, and this can dramatically help truly principled conservatives gain the exposure they need in the arena of ideas and public opinion.
The Internet revolutionized politics, and the establishment realizes that it is a potent force in how people get information and form opinions based on that information, hence the push for net neutrality. People no longer rely solely on the mainstream media for their information, which we know is controlled by those at the top. But, nowadays, since information is accessible at the speed of light, people would be more likely to go down a more populist path, and become informed on the need to potentially vote for a solid conservative third-party candidate. We need to give up this “lesser of two evils” mentality that might help politicians, but does nothing for the American people except deliver more of the same problems and inadequacies. I can speak on this from knowledge and experience. Liberals often have a stereotypical prejudice of us as being ignorant white rednecks, but I am an Asian American lifelong conservative in Information Technology. I have my Masters degree from Creighton University in IT Management, and if it weren’t for the Internet, I wouldn’t be a Constitution Party member exposing fake conservatives like Gingrich to a collective audience of over 32,000 people on a daily basis, which we would be unable to do without entities like Facebook. I’m just a normal guy angered with the direction the country is going in, and I found my niche in reaching the public this way.
TNA: What is your impression of Republicans such as Gingrich and Romney? I would assume you see them as being faux conservatives, but where do you see this having an actual political effect?
Shen: These are spineless and opportunistic politicians. Romney has changed his position on a host of issues ever since being Massachusetts' Governor. [What] ... may relatively qualify one as conservative in an ultra-left state like Massachusetts, ... doesn’t on the national scale. With Mitt Romney, one simply cannot figure out where he stands on any host of issues, including abortion [and] gay marriage. Gingrich’s positions are well known: he supports free trade agreements — which conservatives like Jesse Helms opposed — Medicare Part D, the Obamacare Mandate. [He] appeared on screen with Al Sharpton and Nancy Pelosi to endorse global warming and federal education legislation, and is an environmentalist. While these are both fake conservatives, Gingrich, at least, has skeletons in his closet, which detract from his appeal. It was revealed he is in debt with Tiffany & Company — how can a debtor fix America’s deficit? Romney, though, is more dangerous, in the sense that he has a presidential appearance, and has no skeletons in his closet. More conservatives will be duped into supporting him. I’m thinking of forming a “Conservatives Against Mitt Romney” group to build grass-roots opposition to Romney by educating the public on this matter.
Photo of Newt Gingrich: AP Images