Ultima Thule

In ancient times the northernmost region of the habitable world - hence, any distant, unknown or mysterious land.

Tuesday, September 21, 2004

Liberty Century

These two simple words from President Bush's speech before the UN today are all you need to know about the difference between George W. Bush as leader of the free world and John Kerry. Could there be a starker contrast between the defeatism and negativity of Kerry's anti-American address yesterday to a rabid crowd of UN loving, America-hating zealots -- otherwise known as faithful democrats -- and the President's inspiring speech today?

President Bush, like Ronald Reagan before him, sees beyond the current state of affairs to a world that is as yet over the horizon. That is the job of a leader with vision. It was the job of Churchill -- who saw through the smoke and ruins of the Blitz, the humiliating setback of Dunkirk, and the isolation of his lone green isle as the sole outpost of liberty in a Europe overwhelmed by Nazi darkness and tyranny. He saw through what looked like utter defeat and peered over the horizon and saw that the only path was victory. The only choice was to fight. We will never give up. We will never surrender. And he carried his countrymen on the shoulders of his dream with comforting words and bold deeds throughout the darkest days.

Ronald Reagan rejected the malaise and defeatism of Jimmy Carter and envisioned a Shining City on a Hill -- a magnificent vision that encapsulated not only that great man's optimism, but the optimism of a nation hungry to see the sun again after the clouds of the Carter years. Ronald Reagan saw the Soviet Union and said -- why not? Why must we settle for the politics of "containment", of MAD -- Mutual Assured Destruction -- as a way of maintaining a balance. He correctly labeled the Soviet Union as "The Evil Empire" and horrified the mavens with such impolitic and dangerous talk. He was a true revolutionary. He saw the Berlin wall and against all advice adamantly demanded, "Mr. Gorbachev, tear down this wall!"

Because -- he had vision. He had some basic and fundamental principles which he lived by. There were things he actually believed to the very core of his being and soul. That men are born and created to be free. That they aspire to live in peace. That freedom is not granted only to the few, but is mandated by God for all of his creatures.

George Bush has such a dream. He believes in freedom and the dignity of all men. He sees that it is only through establishing democracy throughout these darkened places that peace can eventually thrive. But we are not there yet. And there are many dark days yet to endure, and many setbacks will mark the way.

The difference is that you must keep your eyes on the prize -- on the horizon and beyond -- to what can be -- what MUST be. Not look at what is and throw up our hands in despair and defeat.

America has hardly faced a starker choice in its lifetime.


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