We all long to return to normal but the big question is whether government will. Our nation has a history of government taking on special powers and more spending during emergencies and never returning to normal.
Two periods in history illustrate the difference. In the 1920s, following a pandemic and World War I, President Warren Harding called for “a return to normalcy.” A decade of conservative presidents, especially Calvin Coolidge, worked tirelessly to bring government spending back to pre-war levels.
But following the Great Depression and World War II, there was no return to normalcy. Instead, the bigger government and higher spending led by President Franklin Roosevelt became the new normal.
Now we ask, will government give up its emergency powers? Will the federal government ever reduce spending? That’s the leadership question facing conservatives now.