American conservatives, still in a state of shock from President Obama’s victory, must now live with the man for whom they didn’t vote. We English conservatives have born a similar burden for the last 12 years, and maybe we are in a position to give the benefit of our experience. Here at least is the benefit of mine.
Axiom No. 1: There is no greater political virtue than the ability to accept the government of people whom you heartily dislike. In very few places in the world today do we see this ability properly exercised. Nowhere in Africa, only here and there in Asia, and only spasmodically in Eastern Europe or the Middle East, do people accept the legitimacy of a government of which they disapprove, even if that government was democratically elected. The strength of Western political systems lies in our ability to submit to laws that hurt us. This, which is our form of islam, is a real contribution to political stability--something that cannot always be said of Islam in its religious meaning.