Sometimes the good guys win even when they don’t. Recently Donald Trump was selected to serve as the next president of the United States. You may or may not be happy with this outcome. Throughout this long presidential campaign at least one thing quickly became clear: Both candidates have disappointed those of us who champion limited government and free market economics. But good people still win.
And the good are the women and men who work tirelessly each and every day year-round to promote the message that human flourishing is best nourished in an environment that Russell Kirk vis Edmund Burke labeled “ordered liberty.” The good include those who support us in our efforts, as well as those who endeavor incessantly in our sister free-market think tanks to promote the liberties we cherish.
For all of us in the good camp, possible temporary disappointment is understandable. However, despair is not an option. In fact, in my religious faith, succumbing to despair is considered sinful. Catholics consider such setbacks a minor felix culpa, a fortunate fall from which one witnesses true grace. The Buddhists as well possess a chant that loosely and clumsily translates as “the most beautiful lily grows from the deepest mud.” As for me, I agree with the proverb attributed to a variety of sources: “It’s better to light a candle than curse the darkness.”
The French writer Alexis de Tocqueville predicted in the 1800s that the United States would suffer eventually from such poor choices. This year’s presidential election and its results are nothing more than a pyrrhic victory wherein victors are granted only enough political rope to do themselves and their agendas permanent damage while the country once again rights itself.
Once the smoke clears and the dust settles, the good guys will still be conducting the business with which we’ve been engaged the past several decades. We will provide empirical evidence of the political and economic experiments that have failed in the recent past. We will remind the public at large and policymakers specifically of the wisdom inherent in the enlightened words of our constitutional forebears.
Most of all, we’ll celebrate our incremental victories and suffer our defeats with dignity much as we’ve done in the past. We shall never surrender nor give up, because we know in our hearts, as well as our minds, precisely what we’re fighting for.