The Corner

The one and only.

Tony Blair, Meet Harry Truman


Harry Truman was an undistinguished political hack of the Prendergast machine from Kansas City. As a senator, he was known mainly for blind loyalty to his party, and accomplished little except successfully heading a commission on corruption in military procurement. As president, he advocated a variety of failed big government measures, such as wage and price controls and socialized medicine. Yet on the most important issue of his time, he was courageously and stubbornly far-sighted. He recognized Soviet expansionism as a mortal threat to civilization, and he rallied his nation and Western Europe to defend themselves. Tony Blair, while born in much more elevated circumstances than Harry Truman, has devoted too much of his own tenure to repressive domestic nannyism. Yet, like Truman, he is defiantly and proudly right on the most important issue of his day: the awful mortal danger to civilization posed by Islamic terrorism. He may, like Harry Truman in 1948, win an unexpected vindication in the next election, but there is little doubt that he will join Harry Truman and John F. Kennedy among the greatest of liberals who embraced the privilege to defend freedom in its hour of maximum peril.


Sign up for free NR e-mails today:

Subscribe to National Review