Still the Last Best Hope
America remains, in spite of the left, the Last Best Hope of Man. As the New Year starts and the 2016 presidential race begins in earnest, that is a vital truth to grasp. Happy optimism, not grouchy despair, ought to inspire conservatism today.
Yes, the national debt is huge and growing; entitlements and debt service will soon swallow each tax dollar. Yes, Obama has tried as hard as he can to undo the American Dream and will try in 2015 to fight us with unconstitutional rule by executive fiat. Yes, the educational and informational establishment is firmly in the hand of leftist cadres, and the ignorance of Americans is appalling and growing.
There are many things to worry and depress us, but there always have been problems. Fifty years ago, in January 1965, LBJ propounded his calamitous Great Society and shipped young Americans to a war in Southeast Asia that he chose not to win. Seventy-five years ago, Nazis and Communists were fast allies against the civilized world, and FDR’s New Deal was savaging the Constitution and creating those entitlements that plague us now.
Go back 100 years to the beginning carnage of Great War in 1915 or 150 years to the ghastly end of our Civil War in 1865 and ponder how little reason our countrymen had for hope. Things have always been bad, and the future has always seemed cloudy. But that is the mindset of leftist socialists and state planners, not conservatives.
The reality of conservatives is inherently a reality of hope. It is the left that views the imagined slow change in global climate – if, indeed, there is such a change and if, indeed, it is man-made and not natural – as cause of fear and trembling. Conservatives (that is, ordinary people) easily grasp the incredible adaptability of man, and those with a smidgen of history know of the Medieval Warming Period, a good thing for man, and see no problem at all.
Successful conservatism both loves the American Dream and views life with promise and smiles. Think of Goldwater or Reagan or Buckley, the conservative leaders of a generation ago. They were all reviled by the left, but they were all cheerful and confident men. Indeed, the very friendliness and calm of Reagan seemed to drive leftists into sputtering rage.
Or think of the last two decades of Rush Limbaugh and Newt Gingrich, two trailblazers in conservative action who were demonized by the left and smeared with every sort of slime imaginable. Yet both men are happy and exuberant and know that they are on the winning side of history and that our nation is the promise of mankind. Sometimes I flinch at the grimace that seems to paint so many conservatives today.
Things are, in many ways, better than ever for us. Winning the Cold War without firing a shot remains a staggering achievement almost unequaled in human history. No threat we face today is as dangerous or thorny as the Evil Empire and its subject nations, and yet, in a remarkably short time, that whole hideous castle collapsed before an astonished world.
The left has long utterly controlled the national media, but guerrilla conservatives in the last twenty years have used talk radio, cyberspace, and cable television to challenge the empire of leftist media monopolies. Academia has been a leftist cesspool since the 1940s and fifty years ago conservative authors were noting that conservative thinkers were almost never invited to speak on campuses or were hounded when they spoke. Today, we hear about this much more. What has changed is that the left, at last, is being challenged in the information and education complex.
Our economic problems may seem daunting, but wealth is created in ways that are unexpected and unanticipated. Twenty years ago, information technology created vast wealth from little more than the genius of man. As we enter 2015, the free spirits of those men most hated by leftists, oilmen, have utterly transformed the energy productivity of our nation and created new vast wealth undreamed of twenty years ago.
We live in a land that has had an “immigration problem” for the last two hundred years, something unequaled in human history, and as conservatives in America, we are, in so many ways, the vanguard and pioneers of not only America, but all of mankind. Conservatives in America ought to enter this new year with happy courage and resolution. We are, in so many fields of battle in the war of ideas and policies, winning.