Posted by: ericgrimsrud | September 13, 2014

Still waiting for the next Churchill

In one chapter of my book (see ericgrimsrud.com), I discuss the type of leadership that will be required for effectively addressing the issue of global warming. In that chapter I used as a model, Winston Churchill of Great Britain, who more than anyone foresaw the menace posed by Nazi Germany in the 1930’s and was finally chosen in 1940 to lead Britain’s efforts to survive. I have received some feedback from the readers of my book, however, who did not like my choice of Churchill as a model of required leadership because of some of his well-known deficiencies of both personality and policy.

I was therefore struck by the concluding paragraph of a review (see it at http://www.nysun.com/arts/patrick-j-buchanans-know-nothing-history/79722/) by Adam Kirsch of a book entitled “Churchill, Hitler and the Unnecessary War” written by the American politician, Patrick Buchanan. Kirsch disagrees strongly with Buchanan’s negative assessment of Churchill’s tenure as prime minister during WWII and points out why Churchill was uniquely well-qualified for addressing the relentless expansion of the Nazi empire. Kirsch’s final paragraph is provided below:

“Everything that was weak in Churchill’s character and objectionable in his politics was well-known during his lifetime. In the mid-1930s, indeed, he was one of the most unpopular politicians in Britain. The reason why he came back from exile to be named prime minister in May 1940, England’s darkest hour, was not because he was a perfect statesman but because he was indomitable: “We shall go on to the end, we shall fight in France, we shall fight on the seas and oceans, we shall fight with growing confidence and growing strength in the air, we shall defend our island, whatever the cost may be, we shall fight on the beaches, we shall fight on the landing grounds, we shall fight in the fields and in the streets, we shall fight in the hills; we shall never surrender.” Pity the nation that reaches a point where it needs a Churchill to save it; but pity even more a nation that, needing a Churchill, fails to find one.”

Kirsch’s statement very clearly explains why I also believe we are presently in desperate need of a leader with Churchill-like insight and determination in addressing the greatest threat we have before us today. So, thank you, Adam Kitsch, for providing the words that explain this point so precisely. It will be a pity, indeed, if the world fails to find another Churchill during our present hour of need.


Responses

  1. Thanks for showing some respect for Churchill. As a Brit I see the election of Clement Attlee over Churchill as a defining moment in British history. We chose a socialist vision of a “Welfare State” over Churchill’s “Blood, tears, toil and sweat”.

    Later the British socialist Utopia metastasized into the “Politics of Envy” that John Edwards tried to import into the USA.

    I hired Dr. John Vukusic, a physicist from Tito’s Yugoslavia who told me this COMECON country was less socialist than the UK.

    What was his proof? In Yugoslavia, unemployment benefits were for a limited duration while in the UK they were for life.

    In the UK an unemployed bank manager who was offered a job as a garbage collector could refuse the employment and still receive unemployment benefits. In Yugoslavia he could refuse the job but unemployment benefits would cease.


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