As students and young voters, we tend to look at Washington and ask why party politics and stalemates are allowed. We question the childish games of those who are supposed to be governing. And we wonder when the day will come when we’ll see real improvement, rather than the typical rhetoric.

We’ve reached a point in America where party politics dominate our political culture rather than unite groups of people who are passionate about the same stances.

So to fix what has fueled some of the most important conversations in modern politics, isn’t it only natural to pick a candidate who can appeal to both parties at the same time?

As of this weekend, former Speaker of the House Newt Gingrich may be that candidate.

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On Sunday, the New Hampshire Union Leader, a conservative, Manchester-based paper formally endorsed Gingrich in an op-ed piece written by its publisher, Joe McQuaid.

The endorsement is huge, a significant move in the right direction for Newt Hampshire, Gingrich’s N.H. team. But what’s larger than that was President Bill Clinton’s praise for Gingrich on Saturday afternoon, just a day before.

In a matter of two days, Gingrich picked up some serious brownie points.

Both Clinton and McQuaid cited Gingrich as a strong leader who’s balanced the budget, has worked across party lines, and who is thinking outside of the box.

They both think he’s got new potential for the GOP and believe he could be the source of grand, new ideas the party’s been desperately looking for.

Ultimately, both parties appreciated the same qualities about Gingrich and see the governing potential he brings to the campaign trail with these qualities.

Though Gingrich may not be the favorite flavor of all Republicans and Democrats may quarrel about specific policy stances, the bottom line is Gingrich has the ability to govern.

America is looking for a strong leader who will be able to break across party lines and stale arguments to come up with real solutions. If both parties can agree on certain leadership qualities in Gingrich necessary to accomplish this, then doesn’t he stand to be the best choice?

The clock is ticking and Americans are rapidly losing ground when it comes to fixing the problems we face. These aren’t Democrat problems, Republican problems, or any other group’s problems anymore. They’re American problems.

Americans need to come together, across party lines, to determine not which political party is best cut out to govern our nation, but which qualities are most necessary to do so. If Gingrich continues to gain support, especially from both Democrats and Republicans as he has this weekend, he could potentially be the candidate we’ve all been looking for.

By taking a moment to step back and get out of the haze of political parties, we’ll have a chance to sort out the rhetoric being slung in every direction. Instead, we’ll examine candidates for their actual skills, not their speaking ability. We’ll do something productive.

This election won’t come down to where we stand on the issues if we call for a different approach. Rather than continuing the same arguments, politicians will converse and find compromises and similarities in their beliefs, not differences. But this will only happen if we demand it.

As voters, particularly young voters, we have a responsibility to call for the transition from what got us into this mess to the “Newt” way of thinking. We’ve got to think about the qualifications of a president and the skills it takes to effectively govern from the Oval Office, not what rhetoric will pour out of it.

If we can agree on a candidate like Gingrich, or at least someone with similar, necessary governing qualities, we can begin to resolve the issues. We won’t be able to wave a wand and eliminate the debt overnight. We won’t fix social security and automatically agree on what health care reform is necessary. But we’ll do something profound.

We’ll begin the dialogue that’s been lost in the political games, and move toward productive solutions.


Allie Bedell can be contacted at

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