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I Like Tony Blair


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Townhall:

R. Emmett Tyrrell, Jr.
9/9/10

WASHINGTON -- I like Tony Blair. The left always is lecturing us conservatives on moderation. It would do us good, the left says. If only we were moderate, we might win the fall elections. Yet we are likely to go for people like Joe Miller in Alaska and the dreaded Sharron Angle in Nevada, and we are going to get clobbered -- or at least not win as thumpingly as expected. For some reason, this troubles sages E.J. Dionne and Sam Tanenhaus. I sense they cry crocodile tears, but maybe I have misperceived them. Maybe they really wish us the best. Is it another manifestation of the Liberal Death Wish? As the liberals approach the Islamofascists, they clearly have it, and as they approach the economy, a death wish is all I see. Maybe they have it with conservatism, too.

So take heart, E.J. and Sam. I like Tony. Do you? Is he centrist enough?

He has summed up his worldview in his new autobiography, "A Journey: My Political Life," and I admire it. If he does not write in the most scintillating prose, at least it is his prose. That is more than I can say of any politician on either side of the pond today. Says he: "I profoundly disagree with the statist, so-called Keynesian response to the economic crisis; I believe we should be projecting strength and determination abroad, not weakness or uncertainty; I think now is the moment for more government reform, not less; and I am convinced we have a huge opportunity for engagement with the new emerging and emerged powers in the world, particularly China."

(Snip)

"There never has been a time when the power of America was so necessary or so misunderstood, or when, except in the most general sense, a study of history provides so little instruction for our present day."
"There is a myth that though we love freedom, others don't; that our attachment to freedom is a product of our culture; that freedom, democracy, human rights, the rule of law are American values, or Western values; that Afghan women were content under the lash of the Taliban; that Saddam was somehow beloved by his people; that Milosevic was Serbia's savior."

"Members of Congress, ours are not Western values, they are the universal values of the human spirit. And anywhere, any time ordinary people are given the chance to choose, the choice is the same: freedom, not tyranny; democracy, not dictatorship; the rule of law, not the rule of the secret police."

"So America must listen as well as lead. But, members of Congress, don't ever apologize for your values.
Tell the world why you're proud of America. Tell them when the Star-Spangled Banner starts, Americans get to their feet, Hispanics, Irish, Italians, Central Europeans, East Europeans, Jews, Muslims, white, Asian, black, those who go back to the early settlers and those whose English is the same as some New York cab drivers I've dealt with, but whose sons and daughters could run for this Congress.
Tell them why Americans, one and all, stand upright and respectful. Not because some state official told them to, but because whatever race, color, class or creed they are, being American means being free. That's why they're proud."
Tony Blair 7/17/03
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