BY WILLIAM KRISTOL, Editor
The Weekly Standard
OCT 29, 2012
On September 2, 1939, the day after Hitler invaded Poland, Prime Minister Neville Chamberlain made clear in the House of Commons that he still entertained hopes for negotiations with the Führer: “If the German Government should agree to withdraw their forces then His Majesty’s Government would be willing to regard the position as being the same as it was before the German forces crossed the Polish frontier. That is to say, the way would be open to discussion between the German and Polish Governments on the matters at issue.”
The acting leader of the opposition, Arthur Greenwood, rose to reply to the prime minister. He began by saying he would be speaking on behalf of the Labour party. The prominent Conservative and opponent of appeasement Leo Amery, appalled by what Chamberlain had said, dramatically interrupted Greenwood from the Tory backbenches, shouting across the chamber:
- “Speak for England, Arthur!”
It’s not 1939. But the clouds are darkening and storms are gathering. Americans sense the dangers we face. So in the foreign policy debate for the rest of the campaign, Mitt Romney’s task is not merely to speak for the Republican party and conservative opponents of Barack Obama. Nor is his task merely to speak to undecided suburban women. Mitt Romney’s task is to rise above partisanship and gamesmanship, above debating points and electoral calculations. Mitt Romney’s task is to speak for America.