Before the Dawn

America has the most Left of center president in its history, and Democrats have overwhelming majorities in both houses of Congress. People have openly talked about whether the Republican Party can even survive.  Its standard bearer in the last presidential election was profoundly uninspiring. The energy shortage threatens our economic and national security well-being.  The economy, in general, is in a shamble and all the President promises America is a hard road ahead. Our enemies, particularly in Afghanistan, seem to be winning.  Europe is sullenly indifferent to America.  Yes, there was a brief tax revolt, and this did shake the Left up a bit, but it lasted all of one day.  Is there hope in this picture?

Well, this is the picture of America and of the world thirty years ago:  Jimmy Carter, naïve beyond belief about the dangers of Communism, watched as the Shah was hounded from office, as the Red Army occupied Afghanistan, and as our allies, all over the world, were ignored or worse.  The Misery Index, a term coined by Carter, was at higher levels than at any time since the Depression.  An actual shortage of oil (not just a high price for oil) produced huge gas lines at the pump.  Californians passed Proposition 13, limited real estate tax rates, but taxes generally across America were high and rising.  Then, thirty years ago, something extraordinary happened. 

On May 4, 1979, when all seemed lost, Maggie Thatcher won a huge and historic victory in the United Kingdom.  Thatcher was the first female prime minister in British history, and still is the only woman to hold that office. (A fact still throws Leftist feminists off balance.)  Thatcher was also very smart and very tough.  She was also deeply committed to freedom's cause around the world, to market economies with limited government, and to standards of decency based firmly upon Judeo-Christian ethics.

She turned Britain completely around.  The military and diplomatic power of Great Britain was marshaled in a global war in favor of freedom.  The British were encouraged by resolute government action to produce and to save and to innovate.  They did.  The British economy, in real terms, grew by one quarter in less than a decade.  Government control of the economy was stunningly reversed, and millions of Britons through privatization, gained a shared in formerly state owned (and failing) industries.

Her opposition to Soviet aggression became vital when Ronald Reagan took office in early 1981.  The practical demonstration of how principled conservatism ends hopelessness and dependency and creates wealth and promise provided President Reagan with an example to follow in his difficult early years of cutting taxes and reducing regulation. 

Lady Thatcher, like Ronald Reagan, put up with torrents of scorn and personal abuse, both before gaining power and while in power, but curiously, the Left has seemed utterly incapable of diminishing their reputation after each produced a national conservative revolution.  She remains, like Reagan, a profoundly revered figure by millions of ordinary, apolitical people who sense when they are being led by principled leaders (and not windbags and hacks.)

It is hard for many people today to grasp how hopeless the world situation seemed in 1979.  The nodding heads of Leftism not only thought that the best days of America and of Britain were over, but that the best days of those nations ought to be over.  The world did not expect a Thatcher Revolution, just as the world did not expect a Reagan Revolution two years later.  But serious, articulated, conservative principles can restore health to the sickest of patients (and Britain in 1979 was a very sick patient.)

Hope, courage, and honor -- as Lady Thatcher and President Reagan both knew quite well -- is contagious, and it does not always come from expected places.   After the sunrise, we realize that the dawn does come.  In 1979, it seemed like the night had been unbearably long.  The first light of dawn did not come where most people would have expected it:  Hope came, instead, from the lamely socialist, internationally introspective Britain.

Before the dawn, there are noble men and women -- people like John Paul II, Lech Walesa, Margaret Thatcher, and Ronald Reagan -- who work in the darkness.  Their trust in victory is based upon a trust in the power of goodness, the granite of integrity, and the knowledge that God rules the universe, not oily politicians, who are as old to our world as Amos and Micah.    Never imagine that virtue surrenders.  It simply waits, patiently, for a champion.  Thirty years ago, it found one in a remarkable woman from a demoralized nation.  We can guess where our next champion will come, but we must always be sure that a champion will arise out of the night and lead us into the dawn.

Bruce Walker is the author of two books:  Sinisterism: Secular Religion of the Lie, and his recently published book, The Swastika against the Cross: The Nazi War on Christianity.
America has the most Left of center president in its history, and Democrats have overwhelming majorities in both houses of Congress. People have openly talked about whether the Republican Party can even survive.  Its standard bearer in the last presidential election was profoundly uninspiring. The energy shortage threatens our economic and national security well-being.  The economy, in general, is in a shamble and all the President promises America is a hard road ahead. Our enemies, particularly in Afghanistan, seem to be winning.  Europe is sullenly indifferent to America.  Yes, there was a brief tax revolt, and this did shake the Left up a bit, but it lasted all of one day.  Is there hope in this picture?

Well, this is the picture of America and of the world thirty years ago:  Jimmy Carter, naïve beyond belief about the dangers of Communism, watched as the Shah was hounded from office, as the Red Army occupied Afghanistan, and as our allies, all over the world, were ignored or worse.  The Misery Index, a term coined by Carter, was at higher levels than at any time since the Depression.  An actual shortage of oil (not just a high price for oil) produced huge gas lines at the pump.  Californians passed Proposition 13, limited real estate tax rates, but taxes generally across America were high and rising.  Then, thirty years ago, something extraordinary happened. 

On May 4, 1979, when all seemed lost, Maggie Thatcher won a huge and historic victory in the United Kingdom.  Thatcher was the first female prime minister in British history, and still is the only woman to hold that office. (A fact still throws Leftist feminists off balance.)  Thatcher was also very smart and very tough.  She was also deeply committed to freedom's cause around the world, to market economies with limited government, and to standards of decency based firmly upon Judeo-Christian ethics.

She turned Britain completely around.  The military and diplomatic power of Great Britain was marshaled in a global war in favor of freedom.  The British were encouraged by resolute government action to produce and to save and to innovate.  They did.  The British economy, in real terms, grew by one quarter in less than a decade.  Government control of the economy was stunningly reversed, and millions of Britons through privatization, gained a shared in formerly state owned (and failing) industries.

Her opposition to Soviet aggression became vital when Ronald Reagan took office in early 1981.  The practical demonstration of how principled conservatism ends hopelessness and dependency and creates wealth and promise provided President Reagan with an example to follow in his difficult early years of cutting taxes and reducing regulation. 

Lady Thatcher, like Ronald Reagan, put up with torrents of scorn and personal abuse, both before gaining power and while in power, but curiously, the Left has seemed utterly incapable of diminishing their reputation after each produced a national conservative revolution.  She remains, like Reagan, a profoundly revered figure by millions of ordinary, apolitical people who sense when they are being led by principled leaders (and not windbags and hacks.)

It is hard for many people today to grasp how hopeless the world situation seemed in 1979.  The nodding heads of Leftism not only thought that the best days of America and of Britain were over, but that the best days of those nations ought to be over.  The world did not expect a Thatcher Revolution, just as the world did not expect a Reagan Revolution two years later.  But serious, articulated, conservative principles can restore health to the sickest of patients (and Britain in 1979 was a very sick patient.)

Hope, courage, and honor -- as Lady Thatcher and President Reagan both knew quite well -- is contagious, and it does not always come from expected places.   After the sunrise, we realize that the dawn does come.  In 1979, it seemed like the night had been unbearably long.  The first light of dawn did not come where most people would have expected it:  Hope came, instead, from the lamely socialist, internationally introspective Britain.

Before the dawn, there are noble men and women -- people like John Paul II, Lech Walesa, Margaret Thatcher, and Ronald Reagan -- who work in the darkness.  Their trust in victory is based upon a trust in the power of goodness, the granite of integrity, and the knowledge that God rules the universe, not oily politicians, who are as old to our world as Amos and Micah.    Never imagine that virtue surrenders.  It simply waits, patiently, for a champion.  Thirty years ago, it found one in a remarkable woman from a demoralized nation.  We can guess where our next champion will come, but we must always be sure that a champion will arise out of the night and lead us into the dawn.

Bruce Walker is the author of two books:  Sinisterism: Secular Religion of the Lie, and his recently published book, The Swastika against the Cross: The Nazi War on Christianity.