I’ve been remiss in posting this video wherein British MEP Daniel Hannan absolutely hides British PM Gordon Brown and made himself the darling of American conservatives.
My friend Andrew Ian Dodge has an excellent piece on Mr. Hannan at Pajamas Media that gives a bit more background on his political pedigree and the cold shoulder the British press gave his speech.
The video, which is barely four days old, has over a million hits on YouTube. Hannan has appeared on at least three national cable news shows already and, I suspect, he’ll appear on several more before the month is out. So what is it about Mr. Hannan’s speech that so excites conservatives here?
For one, it is his fierce criticism of obviously failed progressive economic policies that prize theory over reality. I heard Hannan, a few days after his speech, on Sean Hannity’s radio show and was seriously impressed with how grounded in practicality he is. He believes in conservative principles not because they are right in some vague theoretical way but because, when applied, they work. That is a point I wish conservative politicians here in America would make more. We conservatives do not want lower taxes because some economist back in the 20s said that low taxes would be a good thing but because when we all have more of our money to use as we see fit, the economy takes off like a rocket.
Conservative principles don’t get better in some imaginary utopia where, if we’re smart enough and clever enough, we can do better than all the other people who tried them and failed miserably. That’s for liberals. Conservatives know that when you put our principles to the test, they pass, no matter who enacts them. Dan Hannan knows that, too, which leads into the second point.
The other reason that Daniel Hannan’s speech resonates so strongly is because he confronted Brown’s reckless progressive social engineering directly and without a shred of fear. The confidence of knowing that our principles work in real-world conditions gives us the confidence to speak boldly about them. In recent years, we’ve been cowed by a toxic mixture of liberal aggressiveness and a certain about of duplicity from former allies on the right. We can’t allow that to cow us any longer.
If we conservatives ever hope to change the economic course of this country, we are going to have to go heads-up against President Obama and the Democrats. We have to lay aside the needlessly polite words and our instinct to flinch before contact. We have to be unwavering in our position because the Democrats are unwavering in theirs. Hannan’s popularity shows me, at least, that rank and file conservatives are ready to go on every front. They’re only waiting to find out where and when the fights will take place.
The longer the leaders wait to get into the fight, though, the less likely it is that they’ll still be leaders when they do get to the battle. Already, the incredible successes of the Tea Party protests are teaching people that they don’t necessarily need to wait for a leader; they can lead for themselves. If conservative politicians want to take up the flag for conservative principles, they’d better hurry up. Folks like the organizers of these protests, and MEP Hannan are already there.
Conservative leaders, not just inside Congress but everywhere, need to pay attention to Daniel Hannan. There are reasons he is being heard in America. Wise conservatives will pay attention to those reasons.
Oh, and Mr. Hannan blogs, too. He’s quite entertaining.
I’ve tucked Hannan’s appearance on Hannity’s radio show below the fold. I encourage you to listen to all of it.
Dan’s post, especially, has some good commentary. Go, read!
UPDATE 2: Linked by Duane Lester at All American Blogger. Thanks, man!