You can always count on Americans to do the right thing — after they’ve tried everything else.
— Winston Churchill
It’s true. Americans, even our enlightened Founders like Jefferson and Madison, put off the issue of slavery until it blew. The right side eventually prevailed.
Americans tried to dodge the threat of Hitler and the imperial Japanese. Pearl Harbor and Hilter’s march into Paris and London changed all that. Rational self-interest and preservation prevailed.
What is the “right thing”? If your definition of “right thing” is freedom, individual rights, and justice, then it follows that actions consistent with self-interest and self-preservation are what we require. Churchill was a brilliant wartime leader, because on some level he grasped this fact.
The same cannot be said of today’s leaders. In fact, we live in the era of the anti-Churchill. At a time when we could really use one.
Will that change? Time will tell. America has always risen to the occasion in the past. When you study the events of the American Revolution, the Civil War and World War II closely, it’s amazing to find just how unlikely and how not guaranteed eventual victory was.
In the end, it was resolve, combined with the right ideas, which carried the day. We sure need that now.
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