Opinion / Politics / Press Releases

OPINION: America’s Finest Moment – Let Us Make It So

flag america finest momentAt the height of Britain’s defense in WWII against a horrific plague of German bombs and rockets, facing enormous odds, population fearful, deaths mounting, Prime Minister Winston Churchill did an amazing thing – he declared that moment Britain’s “finest hour.” He was positive, prescient and right. His words have resonance for Americans – for us – today.

Historical analogies are risky, riskier when applied across cultures, borders and wide stretches of time.  But they can also be accurate.  In June 1940, after Nazi Germany had overrun Poland, Belgium, the Netherlands, Denmark, Norway, Luxembourg, Romania and finally France, the inimitable Winston Churchill took history in hand, as only he could do.

The Battle of Britain ranged before his little country, casualties already projected to be large, even without the benefit of computer models.  He knew the scourge had taken out allies, leaving many dead and his own country filled with dread.  He also knew that victory is as much a matter of attitude, spirit and unified action as projected numbers of dead.

Accordingly, with a kind of confidence and calm, collected projection of facts, and grip on both leadership and crisis-shaping, Churchill gave a speech.  He took to the House of Commons on June 18, 1940.  With absolute conviction, he said the following:

“Let us therefore brace ourselves to our duty and so bear ourselves that if the British Commonwealth and Empire lasts for a thousand years, men will still say, ‘this was their finest hour’.”

The speech was filled with hope, but also with unshakable resolve.  It was about facts and the world as it was, but also about how he expected a nation united by the will to win – could and would do so.

What followed was not easy.  Many projected the nation would fold, splinter, divide by class or geography, miss the point, or get the point and allow fear to control individual and collective psychology.  None of those things happened.

Instead, as if Churchill had willed courage and fiber to his nation, as if he knew the British national character better than many knew themselves, as if he were – by force of faith, will and courage – able to shape historic events, the nation became unified and unstoppable.

The facts did weigh on the nation, and on individuals.  They lost thousands in weeks, with others left maimed.  They had to wrestle their fears, isolation and loss – as any population under attack does.  But they did not succumb to fear.  They did not allow international or domestic pressures to erode confidence in themselves, each other, their future or their ability to confront and defeat their foe.

This is the moment in which we live, facing a different kind of foe, in a different time, ripped by different fears, but united in the unrivaled and historically victorious spirit of the British in 1940 – a people who refused to be knocked sideways, refused to give way to circumstance or malice, who resolved not to be divided, but to come to each other’s aid and to prevail.

This is also America’s spirit, from earliest days to now.  What divides us, what seeks to weaken, shake and subdue us – has never been allowed to do so, not for long.  We rise and confront our adversaries, external forces unfairly imposed and domestic demons over which we must – as one people – triumph.

So that is it, the seminal historic analogy, or one of them.  We have within annals of our history a thousand examples of this spirit, on countless physical battlefields and in the conflict of ideas, at family and platoon level, at division, army and the national level.

The burden on us now, at this exact time, is to put down the sabre of differences that do not matter, to consciously displace fear and carping with resolve and determination – to do what we know is right, listen to national and state-level leaders, put aside pride and politics for compassion, facts and action.

This is our moment, such that if the American experiment should last a thousand years, men and women will look back and say, “this was their finest moment.”  Let us make it so.  We can, we should, we must.

Robert Charles is a former assistant secretary of state for President George W. Bush, former naval intelligence officer and litigator. He served in the Reagan and Bush 41 White Houses, as congressional counsel for five years, and wrote “Narcotics and Terrorism” (2003) and “Eagles and Evergreens” (2018), the latter on WWII vets in a Maine town.

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6 months ago

Its called backbone and spine. Something the left has and the rinos and rats dont really seem to have for the most part. True , the left has a large amount of losers, grifters and just plain idiots but they are united. Cant say the same for the right, can we? RINO—republicans in name only. RATS—republicans against trump. All equally useless and ultimately worthless. They do need to quit wanting to be “liked”, They seem to need validation.There is no way on this earth the left will love you. Even if you do something they do like they will turn… Read more »

6 months ago

There’re two takes on history, the zeitgeist view and the ‘outstanding man’ view. I tend towards the latter. Therere too many examples of one person making all the difference. Churchill is one of the best. The smart guys wanted to make peace w hitler. Hitler wanted that too, so he could turn to russia. Churchill bellowed ‘hell no!’. The country followed. In our day one man stood up to thwart the final victory of progressivism. Just as it looked very bad for England in 1940, so it did for us in 2016. Most of us know that after eight yrs… Read more »

6 months ago

Right now we Republicans, especially we Conservatives, have a fantastic opportunity to smash these Progressively Communist Democrats in this next Presidential election. Why? … Because if we fight them smartly we can destroy Socialism for at least a long time and here’s how: national Republican advertising should feature ads like this: Long lines? … Empty shelves? … Limit 1 per customer? … NO NFL, NO NBA, NO MLB? … America just experienced a glimpse of Socialism!!! … That’s Right! … WHAT SOCIALIST COUNTRY HAS ANY OF OUR CAPITALISTIC PROFESSIONAL SPORTS??? … NONE!!! … AND NEITHER WILL WE IF KEEP HEADING… Read more »

Ed J
5 months ago

Yes, we have an opportunity to come together as a nation and meet the challenges before us and I truly hope we would do so. In 1940 Britain, the enemy was external (Hitler). Unfortunately, in our current situation, the enemy is from within. Even this coronavirus crises will not change the mindset of the Demsheviks or the goals they pursue. There is no altruism in their ranks. Trump Derangement Syndrome will not be going away for any reason and we should not deceive or delude ourselves that anything will really “change” due to the virus crises. TDS will only be… Read more »

5 months ago

Difficult as it is to do, we need to leap the political chasm and leave the us-vs.-them struggle behind. Yes, just as in Winston Churchill’s “unified action”.
There is only one enemy here, and that is Coronavirus itself. It attacks indiscriminately, and it is only by unified action that we will emerge from this battle with our way of life relatively unscathed. My sympathies to those who have suffered. And we will get back to “above average” in next to no time because of the man who stands in the White House.

Be well, my friends.

jeff heib
6 months ago

truly a well written article worthy of being shared. Unfortunately, my cynical side ways it will probably fall on deaf ears, but will perhaps resonate with a few which is I suppose the best we can hope for. I thank Dennis Prager nce again for introducing us.

Richard A Olmsted
5 months ago

What’s a bigger threat…the virus or the shutting down of our country for months at a time??? Something doesn’t add up

Donna O'Leary
5 months ago

I ALWAYS enjoy your articles! Thank you for sharing your viewpoints so succinctly and accurately. What you say resonates so well with what I believe!

Robert James
5 months ago

The ONLY thing we have to FEAR , is FEAR itself!!!

5 months ago

Hopefully, our govt is examining the probablity that the Chi-Coms released this virus intentionally as a rebuke to US trade tariffs and sanctions. Until I hear that this has been thoroughly examined by a credible source I will believe that this was done intentionally. We have learned. for the first time, that virtually all of our drugs are produced in China. How did we get this stupid and how have we, the public, been so ignorant of this. This tells us we know very little, despite 24 news, about whats really going on. One can only hope for a 30… Read more »

Lorena Norris
5 months ago

For those who need some help in dealing with current life, they may find help from the sermons Pastor Rick Warren is providing at http://www.saddleback.com or on christian radio stations.

5 months ago

“We must all hang together or most assuredly we will all hang separately” B. Franklin
Balancing act now with virus vs economy. Both are poison to pick from unless we keep our heads.

6 months ago

1940’s- Americas greatest generation.
My dad fought in WWII in France, Germany and Later in Korea. We could never get him to talk about those times, I later befriended a man his age who was a bomber pilot in Midway, and spend time in the Europe battles. He spoke in DETAIL about those battles including landing a bomber on the ground with nearly the entire cockpit shot away and open seats, with pictures.
I now understand why the silence Dad, God rest your soul.

Bob L.
6 months ago

Robert B. Charles, a member of the treasonous Council On Foreign Relations, who started his career as a clerk with the 9th circuit court of appeals. Is it any wonder he’s advocating following the instructions without question or independent thought regardless of what statistics show – and massively in violation of our Bill of Rights? Is America now populated by a majority of sheeple?

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