ROME -- Our Fox News' "War Stories" team is in the Eternal City making a documentary about World War II. From the headlines and news reports here, it seems as if European clocks stopped in 1992, when global media elites were giddy about the election of William Jefferson Blythe Clinton. Then the potentates of the press were agog about "The End of History," and pundits waxed eloquent about a "New World Order." Today it's all about how the election of Barack Hussein Obama and the prospective appointment of Hillary Rodham Clinton as our secretary of state will assure a "progressive dynasty" in the U.S. and help sweep liberal governments to power around the world. In short: The conservatives' day is done. Or is it?
In 1994, Newt Gingrich, then a congressman from Georgia, organized a Republican resurgence after the rout of '92. In a recent appearance on "Face the Nation," Gingrich recounted: "I've been through the '64 collapse, when the Republican Party was going to disappear, and the '74 Watergate collapse, when the Republican Party was going to disappear, and the '92 defeat of President Bush. And in each case, I watched us within a short time focus on new ideas and new solutions and within a very short time come back as a stronger and healthier party."
According to the "experts" here in Europe and at home, the conservative message no longer resonates with the American electorate -- or most Western democracies. Supposedly, we are in a new era of "redistributing wealth," increasing demand for domestic government intervention and global economic interdependence.
Those who propound these ideas ignore history. No economic system ever has brought about prosperity by discouraging thrift. No society has succeeded in strengthening the weak by weakening the strong; or boosted wage earners by pulling down wage payers; or helped the poor by destroying the rich. It is impossible to keep out of trouble by spending more than you earn or to build character and courage by taking away initiative and independence. Nor has any government been able to help people permanently by doing for them what they could and should do for themselves.
These ideas are neither new nor mine. They are actually a paraphrase of the principles of governance applied by the first Republican president, Abraham Lincoln, in his campaign to preserve our republic. Unspoken in Lincoln's platform was his unequivocal stance against slavery. "Honest Abe's" detractors believed his advocacy for abolition made him unelectable. They were wrong.
Oliver North is a nationally syndicated columnist, the host of War Stories on the Fox News Channel, the author of the new novel Heroes Proved and the co-founder of Freedom Alliance, an organization that provides college scholarships to the children of U.S. military personnel killed or permanently disabled in the line of duty. Join Oliver North in Israel by going to www.olivernorthisrael.com.