Winston Churchill is one of the mose revered men of the 20th Century. While not everyone thinks highly of him, most people do. He was a steady leader for his country in a time of immense crisis in the heat of World War II. He was a close ally with FDR and the two of them together lead the West to victory in the “Great War.”
I am by no means a Churchill historian (although we do have a common ancestor not too far back), but I respect what he was able to accomplish. A few weeks ago I was looking for a specific quote that was attributed to him and, as a result, read many of his other quotes, a few of which are quite applicable today. So I thought I would share some of those; a nice light read heading into the weekend.
Applicable to our current political situation
“An appeaser is one who feeds a crocodile, hoping it will eat him last” — Amen to that
“I have always felt that a politician is to be judged by the animosities he excites among his opponents” — If this is true, Bush could be the best President ever!
“It has been said that Democracy is the worst form of government except all others that have been tried.”
“It’s not enough that we do our best, sometimes we have to do what’s required.” –Terrorists seem to follow this (at least according to the rationality of their own mind)
“Men occasionally stumble over the truth, but most of them pick themselves up and hurry up as if nothing ever happened.” — Congress?
“Never, never, never believe any war will be smooth and easy, or that anyone who embarks on the strange voyage can measure the tides and hurricanes he will encounter. The statesman who yields to war fever must realize that once the signal is given, he is no longer the master of policy but the slave of unforseeable and uncontrollable events.” — Bush and Rummy could have used this in ’03, Dems and Libs from then on (at least the first sentence).
“One ought never to turn one’s back on a threatened danger and try to run away from it. If you do that, you will double the danger. But if you meet it promptly and without flinching, you will reduce the danger by half.” — Reagan and Bush understood this. The rest of America (or at least 71%) doesn’t. By the way, Terrorists get it too; see Mogadishu and now AQI in Iraq.
“To build may have to be the slow and laborious task of years. To destroy can be the thoughtless act of a single day.” — Hence why Iraq is so difficult and why we Americans need to be more patient.
“So they [the Government] go on in strange paradox, decided only to be undecided, resolved to be irresolute, adamant for drift, solid for fluidity, all-powerful to be impotent.” — We eptomize this.
“We shall not fail or falter; we shall not weaken or tire. Neither the sudden shock of battle nor the long-drawn trials of vigilance and exertion will wear us down. Give us the tools and we will finish the job.”
“Never give in — never, never, never, never, in nothing great or small, large or petty, never give in except to convictions of honour and good sense. Never yield to force; never yield to the apparently overwhelming might of the enemy.” — Fantastic!
Some fun and perhaps inspiring ones:
“For myself I am an optimist – it does not seem to be much use being anything else.”
“I am prepared to meet my maker. Whether my maker is prepared for the great ordeal of meeting me is another matter.”
“The British nation is unique in this respect: They are the only people who like to be told how bad things are, who like to be told the worst.” — This could be the truest thing he said!
“Don’t talk to me about naval tradition. It’s nothing but rum, sodomy, and the lash.”
“We make a living by what we get, we make a life by what we give.”
“Success is the ability to go from one failure to another with no loss of enthusiasm.”
“I like pigs. Dogs look up to us. Cats look down us. Pigs treat us as equals.”
“He has all the virtues I dislike and none of the vices I admire.”
“All great things are simple, and many can be expressed in single words: freedom, justice, honor, duty, mercy, hope.”