One of the things I admire about Mark Steyn is that, although he can ramble wittily with the best commentators around, he is also able to put a point across in a short, sharp way that few can match. Witness this from The Corner.
But Wilberforce’s life reminds us that great men don’t shirk things because the focus-group numbers look unpromising. For his pains, his countrymen are now raised in schools where they’re taught that the British Empire was the pre-eminent source of racism and oppression, and they never learn that the single greatest force in ending slavery around the globe were a few Englishmen and the ships of the Royal Navy. And in the end isn’t self-loathing just an excuse for lethargy? To insist you’re inherently wicked absolves one from having to do anything.
To be fair, Steyn neglects to mention that it was actually quite a few Englishmen, a very large number of ships from the RN and that it took around a hundred years before we could say "job done" in respect to slavery, but his final point nails it spot on. The apologists of today wring their hands in dismay over the events in places like the Sudan, Somalia or Zimbabwe but have absolutely no answer to it because they do "shirk" from doing what needs to be done. Quite simply, our leaders today are not great men. They are weak and spineless - preferring to waffle on about imagined problems of "social injustice" while real problems which require their action go unchecked.
Where did all the great men go? Where are the Nelson's, Wilberforce's and "Chinese" Gordons when you need them?