Aunt Felicity returned to the window and looked out as if World War Two were still raging somewhere in the fields to the east of Buckshaw.
“She was more than brave,” she said. “She was British.”
I believe there was a time when the British were among the most stout-hearted peoples of the world. They fought like bobcats, overcoming great odds not only to survive, but also to prevail, and build one of the vast empires of history. There was no hyperbole in the claim that “the sun never set on the British Empire” at one time.
As a student of history, I know that they accomplished this feat with surprisingly limited resources. For example, I was well aware that captains and crew of British men 'o war preferred to capture enemy ships during the Napoleonic Wars rather than destroy them not only to collect prize money, but also because England simply didn't have sufficient forests to supply the lumber and spars needed to build and maintain their far-flung fleets. However, I never really appreciated the paucity of their resources until the other night while viewing Top Gear on BBC America, I was stunned to learn just how small the British Isles really are. During one segment, Jeremy Clarkson and his co-hosts traveled to Scotland to build a kit car. Their challenge was to complete and drive it to a race track and cross the starting line before The Stig, their tame race drive, could arrive from Surrey, England, after driving through London. The shocking part was that the distance from the south of England to the Scottish capital was only slightly farther than driving from Los Angeles to San Francisco!
I wonder just how stout-hearted these Brits are today. After decades of societal experimenting, could they even defend their island nation let alone conquer so much as a cabbage patch? Have entitlements softened that iron will? Would Churchill be wasting his breath if he encouraged them to “fight them on the beaches?” Is it possible that the Battle of Britain was “their finest hour,” never to be repeated?
Despite the fact that those now holding the reins of power in Washington are attempting to steer us down the same path of social democracy that has ruined Europe, I am an optimist. I firmly believe that America will recover from its current malaise. Indeed, I believe the recovery will begin on the same night when we learn that men and women who have trust and confidence in our people have been elected. America's next great recovery will begin when liberty is restored so that the people can succeed or fail by their own mettle rather than collective decision makers. I believe that our finest hours are still ahead.