Recently, I’ve been watching season four of “The Crown” on Netflix. This season features Margaret Thatcher—played by “X-Files” star Gillian Anderson— in a prominent role. As I was watching the series, I was reflecting on how the 1980s had strong prominent world leaders who fought for freedom around the world. They articulated and defended Western Civilization in a way that few leaders have in the time since then.
The 80s had Thatcher, Ronald Reagan, Pope John Paul II, and Lech Wałęsa, to name a few. They took a hard stance against communist oppression which eventually led to the collapse of the Berlin Wall and the Soviet Union.
But where are those types of leaders today?
Outside of President Trump and Benjamin Netanyahu, no leaders come to mind. British Prime Minister Boris Johnson has been a disappointment in Great Britain outside of his masterstroke pushing through a Brexit deal.
But Britain has authoritarian like lockdown policies, their citizens are constantly being monitored, and their nationalized health care system is a nightmare.
Countries throughout Europe have become more state-run than people-run. Civil liberties aren’t valued as highly as they are here in America.
Outside Europe, the situation is even worse.
In Asia, China suppresses Hong Kong and its own citizens. North Korea and Vietnam remain communist.
In South America, socialism is destroying Venezuela and Nicaragua.
Africa remains a disaster. Strongman governments continue to keep their citizens in abject poverty, and violence is a way of life.
90 miles from Key West, Florida, Cuba remains a communist country to this day.
Even the Canadian Parliament debated whether to limit free speech a few years ago, which led to the rise of the brilliant psychologist Jordan Peterson.
Instead of progressing forward by ensuring more freedom, the power-hungry regressives are taking back authority and making the world less free. Liberty is under attack on every continent that is inhabited by humans.
The Dictionary defines progressive as “a person advocating or implementing social reform or new, liberal ideas.”
However, their ideas are hardly new. Many, like socialism and communism, have been around for decades and have already proven to be failures. Many of their ideas also pit people of different classes, races, and genders against each other. For their “progressive” policies to be accepted by the public, they must convince Americans that one group is exploiting another.
It is OUR team vs. THEIR team. That creates divisiveness and ushers in an era of government control achieved by artificially creating grievances that wouldn’t exist otherwise.
The “progressives” would have us revert to the tribal characteristics of our ancestors in the name of “social justice.”
Here in our country, America is unique because it was founded on the rights of the individual to pursue his or her own interests and not those of the collective alone.
America is at its best when our success in life is based on merit and individual effort, not on the will of the collective or some central governing authority.
The progressives want to undo the American experiment and return us to pre-Enlightenment times. The famous philosopher Thomas Hobbes described life pre-Enlightenment as “solitary, poor, nasty, brutish, and short.”
The will to succeed is dampened by “progressives” because a person is deprived of the rewards of their labor.
Hence the more fitting label of “regressives.”
Author Jonah Goldberg wrote an excellent book on the degeneration of our politics caused by the regressives. His book Suicide of the West brilliantly made this point and is worth quoting here.
Goldberg began the book by writing, “let’s begin with a somewhat unusual assertion for these pages. Capitalism is unnatural. Democracy is unnatural. Human rights are unnatural. God didn’t give us these things, or anything else. We stumbled into modernity accidentally, not by any divine plan.”
That claim is a startling one, but Goldberg goes onto elaborate on his point further by describing the anthropological record:
“Humans are animals. We evolved from other animals, who evolved from ever more embarrassing animals, and before that from a humiliating sea of primitive critters in the primordial stew. Almost everything we take for granted today—technology, prosperity, medicine, human rights, the rule of law—is a novel, unnatural environment for humans, created by humans.”
Then, Goldberg hammers the point home by citing the uniqueness of our Founding Fathers. The founding of our country was unique in the history of humanity.
He wrote, “the Founders closely studied human nature, recognizing the dangers of despots and despotic majorities alike. They knew that humans would coalesce around common interests, forming ‘factions.’ They also understood that you can’t repeal human nature. So, unlike their French contemporaries, they didn’t try. Instead, they established our system of separated powers and enumerated rights that no faction, including a passionate majority, could use the state’s power against other factions.”
Everything that Goldberg highlighted in that passage, the regressives want to undo.
It is time for the new generation of world leaders to pick up the torch bequeathed to them by Reagan, Thatcher, John Paul II, and others. It’s time to turn the clock back to the 1980s so that freedom marches forward.
And we as Americans need to be at the forefront of that march.