Rocket Man’s invocation of Margaret Thatcher more or less completes my thoughts today. From Churchill to Thatcher, from Friedman to Reagan, I am struck by the power of their audacity in articulating the truth in the face of contempt and derision. Recall, for example, the triumphant return of Prime Minister Neville Chamberlain from Munich on October 1, 1938, announcing the agreement with Hitler that promised to preserve “peace with honor.” The people of Great Britain celebrated virtually in unison.
In the subsequent parliamentary debate on October 5 Churchill gave one of his greatest speeches, denouncing the agreement as a disaster. The people, Churchill said, “should know the truth…they should know that we have sustained a defeat without a war, the consequences of which will travel far with us along our road…And do not suppose this is the end. This is only the beginning of the reckoning. This is only the first sip, the first foretaste of a bitter cup that will be proffered to us year by year unless, by a supreme recovery of moral health and martial vigor, we arise and take our stand for freedom as in the olden time.”
Take our stand for freedom as in the olden time! That, friends, concludes our lesson for today.
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“Arise and take our stand for freedom as in the olden time.” Winston Churchill
“Proclaim Liberty throughout All the land unto All the Inhabitants Thereof.” Inscription on the Liberty Bell