Where is our 'Winston Churchill'?

Winston Churchill died 50 years ago today.   He was one of the most consequential men of the 20th century.    Take Churchill out of the story and it would have been a different outcome for the UK and the West.

Churchill is one of my favorite people to quote, from cigars to whiskey to leadership:

"“I may be drunk, Miss, but in the morning I will be sober and you will still be ugly.”

“Success consists of going from failure to failure without loss of enthusiasm.”

"It has been said that democracy is the worst form of government except all the others that have been tried."

Of course, the reason that we use all of those Churchill quotes is because he had so much to say. Unlike President Obama, he was always serious about the big things, as we saw when he stood up in the 1930s and warned the British people about the Nazi threat.

It makes you wonder:  Is there a Churchill around, here and in Europe?  Is there someone who is willing to tell us what we don't want to hear?  Is there a future president who will talk about something other than "college tuition" and "sick leave"?

Let's hope so, especially on the 50th anniversary of Churchill's passing.

The Daily Mail in the UK has a great editorial about the 50th anniversary of Churchill's death:

"To an astonishing degree, it was Winston Churchill whose single-minded sense of purpose inspired the nation with hope in 1940, when Britain and her empire stood alone against Hitler and all seemed lost.

Indeed, it is hard to exaggerate how much the free world owes to the vision, energy and determination of this one man, who mobilised millions and galvanised Whitehall with his red stickers demanding: ‘Action This Day.’

Now fast forward to the present day, as Sir Winston’s successors at Westminster jockey for position ahead of the election.

Mercifully, the challenges they face are of a far lesser magnitude than those we confronted in May 1940. And of course any comparisons with the great man are bound to be invidious.

But with the tectonic plates of geopolitics fast shifting – and the public finances in a desperately precarious state – might we not expect just a glimmer of Churchillian clarity and vision from today’s politicians?

Instead, we see them engaged in a puerile and self-serving spat about which of them should be invited to appear in the TV election debates, each concerned only with petty party advantage.

Meanwhile, the Opposition leader hastily turns his back on fracking and stakes our future on wind farms – not to further the national interest (far from it), but merely because he fears the threat to the Labour vote from the Greens.

And where Churchill offered only ‘blood, toil, tears and sweat’, Cameron, Clegg, Miliband and Co promise us the moon – whether tax cuts or vast increases in public spending – while giving us hardly a clue where the money is to come from.

As for any Big Idea or sense of direction, we’re patronised instead by the politics of focus groups, Twitter, inane selfies and crude photo opportunities.

Yes, it is possible that Britain will muddle through. Our recovery may even continue (though it is hard to see how, if we put the economy back into the hands of the party that destroyed it).

But what if, God forbid, we should ever again find ourselves faced with a threat to our survival comparable with the fall of Europe in 1940?

Where, in our ideologically impoverished political class, is the statesman of even a quarter the stature of the national saviour we remember today?"

Let me be optimistic.Some future leader, our next Lincoln or FDR or Reagan, will rise to the occasion and lead us again. Like Churchill, he will call terrorists terrorists, he will tell us that we expect too much from government and finally he will not do interviews with people who take "Fruit Loops" baths.

 

P.S.  You can hear my show  CantoTalk  or  follow me on Twitter  

Winston Churchill died 50 years ago today.   He was one of the most consequential men of the 20th century.    Take Churchill out of the story and it would have been a different outcome for the UK and the West.

Churchill is one of my favorite people to quote, from cigars to whiskey to leadership:

"“I may be drunk, Miss, but in the morning I will be sober and you will still be ugly.”

“Success consists of going from failure to failure without loss of enthusiasm.”

"It has been said that democracy is the worst form of government except all the others that have been tried."

Of course, the reason that we use all of those Churchill quotes is because he had so much to say. Unlike President Obama, he was always serious about the big things, as we saw when he stood up in the 1930s and warned the British people about the Nazi threat.

It makes you wonder:  Is there a Churchill around, here and in Europe?  Is there someone who is willing to tell us what we don't want to hear?  Is there a future president who will talk about something other than "college tuition" and "sick leave"?

Let's hope so, especially on the 50th anniversary of Churchill's passing.

The Daily Mail in the UK has a great editorial about the 50th anniversary of Churchill's death:

"To an astonishing degree, it was Winston Churchill whose single-minded sense of purpose inspired the nation with hope in 1940, when Britain and her empire stood alone against Hitler and all seemed lost.

Indeed, it is hard to exaggerate how much the free world owes to the vision, energy and determination of this one man, who mobilised millions and galvanised Whitehall with his red stickers demanding: ‘Action This Day.’

Now fast forward to the present day, as Sir Winston’s successors at Westminster jockey for position ahead of the election.

Mercifully, the challenges they face are of a far lesser magnitude than those we confronted in May 1940. And of course any comparisons with the great man are bound to be invidious.

But with the tectonic plates of geopolitics fast shifting – and the public finances in a desperately precarious state – might we not expect just a glimmer of Churchillian clarity and vision from today’s politicians?

Instead, we see them engaged in a puerile and self-serving spat about which of them should be invited to appear in the TV election debates, each concerned only with petty party advantage.

Meanwhile, the Opposition leader hastily turns his back on fracking and stakes our future on wind farms – not to further the national interest (far from it), but merely because he fears the threat to the Labour vote from the Greens.

And where Churchill offered only ‘blood, toil, tears and sweat’, Cameron, Clegg, Miliband and Co promise us the moon – whether tax cuts or vast increases in public spending – while giving us hardly a clue where the money is to come from.

As for any Big Idea or sense of direction, we’re patronised instead by the politics of focus groups, Twitter, inane selfies and crude photo opportunities.

Yes, it is possible that Britain will muddle through. Our recovery may even continue (though it is hard to see how, if we put the economy back into the hands of the party that destroyed it).

But what if, God forbid, we should ever again find ourselves faced with a threat to our survival comparable with the fall of Europe in 1940?

Where, in our ideologically impoverished political class, is the statesman of even a quarter the stature of the national saviour we remember today?"

Let me be optimistic.Some future leader, our next Lincoln or FDR or Reagan, will rise to the occasion and lead us again. Like Churchill, he will call terrorists terrorists, he will tell us that we expect too much from government and finally he will not do interviews with people who take "Fruit Loops" baths.

 

P.S.  You can hear my show  CantoTalk  or  follow me on Twitter