Churchill’s Words on Obama, Congress, World

Churchill’s Words on Obama, Congress, World October 7, 2014

His scorn was withering. . .He had described his foes in Parliament as “good, honest men who are ready to die for their opinions, if only they knew what their opinions are.” Of Baldwin’s government, he said: “So they go on in strange paradox, decided only to be undecided, resolved to be irresolute, adamant for drift…all powerful to be impotent.”

– Leo Rosten, on Winston Churchill**

Well, I read that last night and thought, were Churchill around here, he might rerun those sentiments about Obama and the Congress. He might also note with great sadness that upon the world political stage, there is currently no great leader, no one person capable — when the world is crying out for focus, as it is, today — of stirring a people to greatness by exchanging partisan postures for a larger, sharable vision and for decisiveness.

We are pursuing ISIS with the heart of Bartleby-the-Scrivener, who would prefer not to. Even as evidence mounts that they are here, and likely on every continent.

The terrible stories out of Rotherham, UK and elsewhere — which suggest a people already mentally conquered — have not created a sustainable outrage.

Ebola is a parental terror largely because we no longer trust that the government’s bloated agencies are competent to contain it. Europe may succumb, and oh, look, the thing may spread more easily than we knew.

We do not know why our children are suddenly coming down with what some call “this generation’s polio”, which came out of the blue — a virus that may leave them paralyzed, if it does not kill them. And is that the Marburg virus coming into view?

Government-enabled student debt is playing havoc with housing and other markets, and we’re not even talking about the alphabet scandals involving the IRS-VA-AP-HHS-NSA, which do not get covered.

Rosten goes on:

But he was ignored or ridiculed from every political quarter for his allegedly dramatic obsessions with an exaggerated German threat. And when England embraced its short, shortsighted euphoria over Chamberlain’s deal with Hitler at Munich, Churchill rose in the House to say:

All is over. Silent, mournful, abandoned broken Czechoslovakia recedes into the darkness…it is a fraud and a farce to invoke the name [self-determination.]

We have sustained a defeat without a war…We have passed an awful milestone in our history…the whole equilibrium of Europe has been deranged…Terrible words have been pronounced against the Western democracies: “Thou are weighed in the balance and found wanted.”

And do not suppose that that this is the end…This is only the first sip, the first foretaste of a bitter cup which will be proffered to us year by year…”

It was Churchill’s very refusal to be “expedient” or Utopian that made him the one man to whom England, on the brink of disaster, had to turn.

Parade them around and engage in apologetics for whichever politician you want, in either party, all of the suits are either empty or overspun. Again, there is no one currently striding the world’s secular stage with the gumption to brave the harrumphs of “the base” — whichever it be — and speak without considering political expediencies, or what the words might cost.

Has the world simply become too complicated to allow hard truths to be spoken, or too cowardly, or some combination of the two? And if a man or woman dare speak them, are societies willing to give the their attention for something beyond insulted outrage?

Prosperity and materialism have made us so complacent that little seems important enough to risk discomfiting another. But let’s not worry about it. Sooner or later, deterioration will force us to become willing to give a hard listen.

I wonder, then, who will speak? I wonder if the very same faith-based population that is currently being pushed out of the public arena will suddenly be remembered for helping to create and sustain the very same university-dotted, hospital-dependent and social-serving civilization we are throwing away with both hands, and ask for help?

Let us hope so, because Christians have the blueprint for rebuilding, and they’ve done it before.

**Rosten’s book is sadly out of print but I buy up used copies now and then, to hand to friends. It’s a classic.

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