Trump's new 'Contract With America' sounds revealingly different from the '90s original

Donald Trump and Newt Gingrich.
(Image credit: Illustrated | Getty Images, iStock)

During the 2020 presidential election, the Republican Party decided to forgo an official platform, instead choosing to define itself entirely by its support of Donald Trump. Some themes emerged — Trump was against immigration and for police — but often he didn't seem to have a solid notion of what he wanted to do during a second term, except still be president.

Six months after he lost the election, Trump has apparently decided to come up with a platform. Politico reports that Trump is teaming up with former House Speaker Newt Gingrich to write a new "Contract with America," obviously based on the 1994 campaign Gingrich designed to sweep Republicans to power in the House of Representatives.

So what will the new contract include?

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"It should be positive," Gingrich told Politico. "School choice, teaching American history for real, abolishing the '1619 Project,' eliminating critical race theory and what the Texas legislature is doing. We should say, 'Bring it on.'"

Gingrich has always been a master of the culture wars — he deserves a big chunk of credit (or blame) for pioneering the style of politics that ultimately brought Trump to power. But the original contract at least offered Americans a specific set of proposals, including tax cuts, term limits for Congress, cutting social spending to pay for new prisons, kicking teen mothers off welfare, and raising the Social Security earnings limit. Some of those ideas were wrongheaded, even cruel, but they did form the core of an actual governing agenda. Gingrich's comments suggest the new contract will be driven more by the GOP's all-consuming crusade against wokeness.

It remains to be seen, of course, whether the promised contract actually comes to fruition. Donald Trump has never been one to get deep into the policy weeds. The contract, when it arrives, might just end up being a list of grievances.

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Joel Mathis

Joel Mathis is a freelance writer who lives in Lawrence, Kansas with his wife and son. He spent nine years as a syndicated columnist, co-writing the RedBlueAmerica column as the liberal half of a point-counterpoint duo. His honors include awards for best online commentary from the Online News Association and (twice) from the City and Regional Magazine Association.