Tag: Churchill quotes

Churchill on the Optimist and the Pessimist

Churchill on the Optimist and the Pessimist

Opti­mist and Pes­simist: Fif­teen min­utes of fame! David Davis MP, Sec­re­tary of State for Brex­it, boots one in his recent speech and I’m final­ly in The Guardian. Prob­a­bly the first and last time, giv­en my opin­ions. **

Ques­tion: Refer­ring to your posts of quotations Churchill nev­er said, do you know who actu­al­ly did say “A pes­simist sees the dif­fi­culty in every oppor­tu­nity; an opti­mist sees the oppor­tu­nity in every dif­fi­cul­ty”? I find no attri­bu­tion oth­er than to Churchill.

Pessimist: Not Churchill’s Quip

Answer: Sor­ry. I can’t track it; nor can my col­league Ralph Keyes, edi­tor of The Quote Ver­i­fi­er.…

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Churchill: Not Much to Say Today?

Churchill: Not Much to Say Today?

If a man is com­ing across the sea to kill you, you do every­thing in your pow­er to make sure he dies before fin­ish­ing his jour­ney. That may be dif­fi­cult, it may be painful, but at least it is sim­ple. We are now enter­ing a world of impon­der­ables, and at every stage occa­sions for self-ques­tion­ing arise. Only one link in the chain of des­tiny can be han­dled at a time. 

—Win­ston S. Churchill, 18 Feb­ru­ary 1945

Har­vard, 1943

It was recent­ly assert­ed that Churchill doesn’t have much to say to us today, and that the only peo­ple who use Churchill as a guide nowa­days are “over-testos­teroned Amer­i­can neo­cons.”

Well, as Richard Nixon alleged­ly remarked, let me say this about that.…

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Churchill’s Average Voter

Churchill’s Average Voter

(Or: “Churchillian Drift,” Part 1,398….)

Sher­iff Court, 1908: vot­ers acclaim Churchill’s elec­tion as Lib­er­al Mem­ber of Par­lia­ment for Dundee. (Illus­trat­ed Lon­don News)

On the eve of the British Gen­er­al Elec­tion, Metro UK declares: “Win­ston Churchill said the best argu­ment against democ­ra­cy is a five-minute con­ver­sa­tion with the aver­age vot­er.”

This is alas a reap­pear­ance of an ever-pop­u­lar red-her­ring quote that Churchill nev­er said.

Churchill had thought­ful cri­tiques of democ­ra­cy. See in par­tic­u­lar his essay on “Mass Effects in Mod­ern Life” in his book, Thoughts and Adven­tures. But he also had more respect for the aver­age vot­er than this non-quote sug­gests.…

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