LESSONS FOR AMERICA, COMPLIMENTS OF WINSTON CHURCHILL

Winston Churchill, who was probably the greatest wartime leader of the 20th century, was a man of vision, but more importantly he was a man of action. He also had that rare ability to communicate his ideas and inspire an entire nation at a time when that nation could have easily doubted itself in the face of many grave dangers.

Mark Twain said that history does not repeat itself, but it often rhymes. This is so true. Today I post Part I of a speech Mr. Churchill gave warning of the great danger posed by Hitler’s rise and the rearmament of Germany in the hopes that a study of the past can help us decide how to approach our future.

When we look around the world today, it is a still a very dangerous place. Iran may soon have a nuclear weapons. Pakistan and North Korea already have them. Russian Dictator Vladimir Putin has been emboldened by his unlawful occupation of Crimea and eastern Ukraine, which received little opposition from the Western Powers. The world-wide Jihadi movement is on the rise. These are just a few of the many serious problems the free world faces today and going forward.

Who will rally the forces for good in the face of all this? It would be well for the Western leaders who are wondering how to deal with these problems to study history, study winners like Winston Churchill, who understood how to meet the challenges of their day. The guiding principles for keeping America safe are no different in 2014 than they were for Great Britain in 1938.

Frotho    (My 100th post!)

 Mr. Churchill’s Speech before The Free Trade Hall, Manchester, May 9, 1938.

Part I

I have felt it my duty to make exertions, so far as I can, to rouse the country in the face of an ever-growing danger. This is no campaign against the Government of the day, nor against the Opposition. It is not intended to promote the interests of any Party, or to influence the course of any Election. All Parties, Conservative, Liberal, Labor, Socialist, are on the platform. Church and Chapel, Protestant and Catholic, Jew and Gentile, have come together. Trade Union leaders, Co-operators, merchants, traders, industrialists, those who are reviving the strength of our Territorial forces, those who are working on A.R.P. none have felt themselves debarred.

But what is the purpose which has brought us all together? It is the conviction that the life of Britain, her glories and message to the world, can only be achieved by national unity, and national unity can only be preserved upon a cause which is larger than the nation itself. However we may differ in political opinion, however divergent our Party interests, however diverse our callings and stations, we have this in common: We mean to defend our Island from tyranny and aggression, and so far as we can, we mean to hold out a helping hand to others who may be in even more immediate danger than at this moment we are ourselves. We repudiate all ideas of abject or slothful defeatism. We wish to make our country safe and strong – she can only be safe if she is strong – and we wish her to play her part with other Parliamentary democracies on both sides of the Atlantic Ocean in warding off from civilization, while time yet remains, the devastating and obliterating horrors of another world war.

Winston Churchill inspects bomb damage in South London, September 10, 1940. (Getty Images)

Winston Churchill inspects bomb damage in South London, September 10, 1940. (Getty Images)

We wish to see inaugurated a reign of international law, backed, as it must be in these turbulent times, by ample and, if possible, super abundant strength.

At this moment in history the broad, toiling masses in every country have for the first time the opportunity of a fuller and less burdened life. Science is at hand to spread a more bountiful table than has ever been offered to the millions and to the tens of millions. Shorter hours of labor, greater assurances against individual misfortune: a wider if a simpler culture: a more consciously realized sense of social justice: an easier and a more equal society these are the treasures which, after all these generations and centuries of impotence and confusion, are now within the reach of mankind.

Are these hopes, are these prospects, are all the secrets which the genius of man has wrested from Nature, to be turned by tyranny, aggression and war only to his own destruction? Or are they to become the agencies of a broadening freedom, and of an enduring peace? Never before has the choice of blessings or curses been so plainly, vividly, even brutally offered to mankind. The choice is open. The dreadful balance trembles. It may be that our Island and all the Commonwealths it has gathered around it may if we are worthy play an important, perhaps even a decisive part in turning the scales of human for tune from bad to good, from fear to confidence, from miseries and crimes immeasurable to blessings and gains abounding.

We make ourselves the servants of this cause, but it is no use espousing a cause without having also a method and a plan by which that cause may be made to win. I would not affront you with generalities. There must be the vision. There must be a plan, and there must be action following upon it.

To be continued…

Random Thoughts

U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder,  a paid servant of the people.

U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder, a paid servant of the people.

Letting Convicted Criminals Vote

Do you value your right to vote? Should anyone be allowed to vote? President Obama’s right hand man, Attorney General Eric Holder, is working quickly and furiously to allow convicted felons, some who commit the most violent crimes against their fellow men, the right to vote. Is there anyone who can argue with a straight face that giving people convicted of armed robbery, murder, car-jacking or rape the right to vote will be a good thing for this country? Wow! Look at Eric Holder. Look at how low our country has sunk.

Putin vs. Obama

It is very dangerous when a when a weak leader like President Obama, in way over his head, is challenged with a foreign crisis like Crimea. His desire to suddenly appear strong and silence his critics, but without the heart or stomach to follow a coherent strategy through to the end is a very dangerous urge that could set the stage for future unthinkable disasters. For one thing, the Republicans should stop publicly daring Obama to “do something” about Crimea. Don’t egg a weakling on to fight a bully – he might get creamed.

At this point, there is little in the short-term President Obama can do. I am not saying President Obama should do nothing about Russia’s invasion of Crimea, but whatever he does it should not be done rashly, it must be part of a viable long term strategy and it must be done for the right reasons. Playing politics with foreign policy is very dangerous. That goes for Republicans too.

When the administration of Neville Chamberlain encouraged Hitler through its weakness and naïveté to invade his neighbors, at least in Great Britain it was possible to call for a new administration who could get serious about stopping the tyrant’s designs, and it was done – Churchill was appointed Prime Minister. In the U.S. we are stuck with Obama for almost three more years and so the world watches and nervously waits. Who is nervous? Japan, Western Ukraine, Poland, Latvia, Estonia, Israel. Who is not so nervous? China, Vladimir Putin, Iran’s Mullahs, Kim Jong-un.

Some say it is ridiculous to compare Putin to Hitler, Obama to Chamberlain, etc. But some general parallels do apply that are instructive. Mark Twain once said that although history does not repeat itself, it often rhymes. Weakness encourages aggression. It’s true in the schoolyard. It’s true on the world stage. It was true in the 1930’s and it is just as true now. Unfortunately, many modern-day liberal progressives do not study history and thus do not have any compass to guide them. Theoretical ideas and political correctness are no substitute for historical knowledge.

Conservatives vs. Liberals: A View of Big Government and a Challenge

When conservatives complain that the IRS has used its coercive power to abuse them and stifle their political speech, liberals shrug it off – no problem they say, conservatives should stop whining. But when liberal leaders in Congress like Diane Feinstein think the Federal government is abusing them (spying drones) they cry foul and demand action.

I know it is difficult for liberals to admit that the federal government has gotten too large, too powerful, too coercive, too invasive – they don’t want to sound like their Tea Party opponents. But the time has come for all sides to agree that we need to reign in the beast we have created. The Obama administration will not offer any assistance in this area. It likes the power it has and will try to expand it. What liberals do not seem to understand is that someday they may be the target of a wrathful, powerful administration (a few who don’t toe the line are already).

It’s not a liberal vs. conservative argument as the media often portrays it. Those who marginalize the issue do not understand the dangerous political atmosphere it creates. The United States Constitution set up a limited form of government. And under it Congress and the Executive have enumerated, specific powers. Either you believe in the Constitution or you don’t. Don’t cherry pick the parts you like and ignore the parts you don’t. If you don’t believe in the Constitution, stop pretending that you do.

If you believe in the rule of law and not the rule of whim, then defend all parts of the Constitution, not just the parts that support you fleeting causes. The alternative will lead to anarchy and misery. It’s time for liberals and conservatives to put the future of our country above personal concerns and party politics. We must join hands to reign in Congress and the federal bureaucracy that routinely exceeds its statutory powers. If We the People do not demand a return to Constitutional principles and the Rule of Law then we are all at risk of being personally abused and even ruined by our own federal government.

Frotho

“Posterity! You will never know how much it cost the present generation to preserve your freedom! I hope you will make good use of it! If you do not, I shall repent it in Heaven that I ever took half the pains to preserve it!”
John Adams, April 26, 1777