Tony Blankley
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By the millions, tea partiers and so many others responded to the crisis by standing up and beginning to take events into their own hands. In community after community, people have reached out to those who are suffering. And in the election, a majority spoke out for and voted for policies that would stop the theft of our grandchildren's prosperity and liberty. So I have been elevated in my hopes for our future.

But now comes reality in the saddle. Congress reconvenes. Political calculations are being made from Capitol Hill to Pennsylvania Avenue to K St. intended to perpetuate the destructive governmental trends of the last years. The world continues to menace.

And it will take more than a mere majority of Americans to be hoping for the best. We must somehow maintain and even enhance collective action for a return to constitutional government, fiscal balance and national security.

In that context, I was struck this weekend by the words of the great Christian theorist and historian of the last century Hilaire Belloc that I read in his book "The Elements of the Great War, The Second Phase" (written in 1916.)

He observed that when the most profound issue may face a nation, there is the danger that "the lesser should conquer the greater, the viler the more noble, the more changeable the more steadfast, the baser the more noble ... We know, upon the analogy of all historical things, small and great, that the less creative, the dullest and the worst elements may destroy, and has frequently attempted to destroy, the vital, the more creative and the best."

That is what America faces today. For too long, the decent American majority of citizens who are productive and hardworking (and those many millions now sincerely, desperately looking for jobs) have sat by while others have tried to usurp our liberty to enhance the power of government; have taxed and borrowed from those who produce to transfer to those who neither work, nor produce, nor seek to produce, nor maintain their private virtue.

Now all these conflicting interests and passions are funneling into Washington, D.C. These next 24 months -- beginning now -- are the decisive moment.

Can the rot that has begun to eat at the ship of state be cut out and replaced with solid timber? Can the will and impulse of the majority assert itself in its capital? Can the grounds for optimism be sustained?

Louder and louder must the public voices of private virtue be heard in this 2,011th year Anno Domini.

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Tony Blankley

Tony Blankley, a conservative author and commentator who served as press secretary to Newt Gingrich during the 1990s, when Republicans took control of Congress, died Sunday January 8, 2012. He was 63.

Blankley, who had been suffering from stomach cancer, died Saturday night at Sibley Memorial Hospital in Washington, his wife, Lynda Davis, said Sunday.

In his long career as a political operative and pundit, his most visible role was as a spokesman for and adviser to Gingrich from 1990 to 1997. Gingrich became House Speaker when Republicans took control of the U.S. House of Representatives following the 1994 midterm elections.

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