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  • Historic Leaders Pave the Road to Prosperity

    6/18/2013 3:09:27 PM Posted by Hillary Cherry

    zzReagan2By: Ed Miranda, Young America's Foundation Intern

    Ronald Reagan once delivered a speech at Westminster Hall, telling them that the world had arrived "at a turning point." The irreversible march of freedom proved that it -not tyranny- created the path to a prosperous society. Four years later, the Soviet Union collapsed. 

    But how did Reagan know this, when most seemed blind to this realization?

    He explains this phenomenon in that same speech as well. Paying deference to Sir Winston Churchill, Reagan explained that it was Churchill's unique "gift of vision, the willingness to see the future based on the experience of the past" that permitted him to be a great statesman.

    Churchill never doubted that America's destiny was to fight along the British against the forces of tyranny, believing it was a matter of when, not if, America entered the war. During the Battle of Britain, he called on the British people to remain steadfast, "until, in God's good time, the New World, with all its power and might, steps forth to the rescue and the liberation of the old."

    Why was Sir Winston Churchill so confident in the United States' involvement? Because America is, has been, and always will be vested in the preservation of freedom. He understood freedom as the foundation of our system, and that freedom cannot coexist with tyranny, in any world, because it never has.

    This gift of vision explains precisely the role of Conservatism in American discourse. Even further, it explains the need for students to develop an intimate understanding of our past experiences, to know exactly what it is that we are trying to conserve, and why we are trying to conserve it.

    A couple of days ago, I had a conversation with a friend over the merits of an anarchic system of cooperation. He made the case that if society could just agree to cooperate fully and respect another's property rights, then there would be no need for government. His conclusion then hinges on if, meaning it is purely theoretical at this point. His theory falters because it doesn't take into account whether man is capable of these changes. An anarchic model on which to cement this theory never existed in history.

    Here's what we do know-an effective rule of law (limited government) allows us to prosper. And we know this because we belong to a country unique to the scope of history, a country with freedom and the rule of law as its foundation.

    Approaching ideas based on what is known (freedom prospers with the rule of law), rather than what can be (anarchism works if), provides conservatives with a distinctive ability to analyze ideas.

    Reagan understood this in relation to the Cold War.

    Churchill understood this with regards to fascism.

    In that same manner, students can use conservatism as a lens to view the world, in all of its complexities, giving you greater understanding of the path to prosperity.

    Ed Miranda is a Sarah T. Hermann Intern Scholar and a student at The King's College.




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