erik lundegaard


Saturday September 11, 2010

Three Winston Churchill Quotes to Use Against Conservatives Who Quote Winston Churchill

From Adam Gopnik's excellent essay, “Finest Hours: The making of Winston Churchill,” in the August 30th issue of The New Yorker:

  1.  The word ‘appeasement’ is not popular, but appeasement has its place in all policy, he said in 1950. “Make sure you put it in the right place. Appease the weak, defy the strong.” He argued that “appeasement from strength is magnanimous and noble and might be the surest and perhaps the only path to world peace.”
  2. This faith in government as the essential caretaker led him later to support the creation of a national health service, “in order to ensure that everybody in the country, irrespective of means, age, sex, or occupation, shall have equal opportunities to benefit from the best and most up-to-date medical and allied services available.”  
  3. This habit of thinking about peoples and their fate in collective historical cycles, however archaic it might seem, gave him special insight into Hitler, who, in a Black Mass distortion, pictured the world in the same way. Both Churchill and Hitler were nineteenth-century Romantics, who believed in race and nation—in the Volksgeist, the folk spirit—as the guiding principle of history, filtered through the destinies of great men. ...Of course, Churchill and Hitler were, in the most vital respects, opposites. Churchill was, as Lukacs insists, a patriot, imbued with a love of place and people, while Hitler was a nationalist, infuriated by a hatred of aliens and imaginary enemies. But Churchill knew where Hitler was insecure and where he was strong, and knew how to goad him, too.
I like this distinction between patriots and nationalists. It's obvious our country, at the moment, doesn't have enough of the former and too, too much of the latter.
Maybe it's time to goad them.
Posted at 11:13 AM on Saturday September 11, 2010 in category Politics