The immediate battle over health care reform in the United States is now over, with an apparently decisive victory for progressive socialism. In defeat, however, freedom lovers may yet find a route from tragedy to ultimate triumph. To do so, it is important to understand what has occurred.
Let me liken recent events to the early stages of what would become known as the European Theatre of World War II. The forces of national socialism grew quietly and all but unnoticed in the United States during the years of The Great Moderation that were ushered in by President Ronald Reagan and Federal Reserve Board Chairman, Paul Volcker during the early 1980s and that lasted until the end of the Clinton Presidency in 2000. The ‘Brown Shirts’ of the progressive socialist movement gradually dominated the mass media, the public schools, the universities and the law schools, and linked arms with the public sector unions and the growing expanse of those making good livings in the non-market economy.
The US equivalent of Krystalnacht in Germany (November 10, 1938) was September 15, 2008, when Lehman Brothers filed for bankruptcy and the stock market went into a free fall. Just as German Jews were on the run, and Hitler’s Third Reich began to flex its muscles throughout continental Europe after Krystalnacht, so laissez-faire economics was on the ropes in the United States, and the forces of progressive socialism were rampant after the stock market collapse.
The Battle for France (health care reform) is now lost and the British Expeditionary Forces are in full-scale retreat from Dunkirk. If tragedy is to be turned into triumph, a defensive war until 2012 must now be skillfully engaged, under new leadership, with the intent of turning the hinge of fate with an election victory in November 2012, just as the Allied desert victory at Alamein on November 6, 1942 turned almost uninterrupted disaster to almost unbroken success.
In order to achieve an Alamein victory, those who love liberty will have to regroup forces and rethink strategy during difficult times. The rethinking will have to reach out to the entire regulatory and entitlement program that is slowly strangling freedom and economic prosperity in the United States – Social Security, Health Care Subsidies, Housing Subsidies, Food Subsidies, Green Subsidies, and the like - and the implications of such burgeoning programs for the national debt, taxation and inflation. Such rethinking will have to combine intellectual ingenuity, media savvy, and financial support, with widespread ground support under entrepreneurial leadership. The War surely cannot now be won piecemeal – there are too many vested interests to overcome. It can only be won comprehensively by offering an attractive package of fiscal and deregulatory reforms, designed to roll back the state, to a decisive majority of an electorate that will be increasingly disenchanted by the stagflation of progressive socialism.
As on June 4, 1940, when the Retreat from Dunkirk was completed, so on March 25, 2010, when the Battle over Health Care Reform ended, the future for freedom looks bleak. At times like this, let us recall the immortal words of Winston Spenser Churchill delivered at the nadir of fortune for the British Empire:
“Never give in – never, never, never, never, in nothing great or small, large or petty, never give in except to convictions of honour and good sense. Never yield to force: never yield to the apparently overwhelming might of the enemy” Speech to students at Harrow, 1941.
“In Victory: Magnanimity
In Peace: Goodwill”