“How Would Churchill Tweet?” appeared in National Review, 12 August 2017.
Since President Trump has taken office, the public has quickly learned to get its political news from a novel source—namely, the President’s Twitter account.
The move to this platform represents a shift in the nature of politics, both for good and for ill. Trump might be among the first political leaders to use this medium to attack opponents or make major announcements. He is certainly not the first to utilize the kind of brevity the platform requires to make his points.
Such brevity also characterized the rhetorical style of Winston Churchill, whose wit, humor and insight complemented his decisive and effective political leadership.…
Korea was a problem in 1952—as it is today. “Is the Prime Minister aware of the deep concern felt by the people of this country at the whole question of the Korean conflict?” an opposition Member of Parliament asked the-then Mr. Churchill.
“I am fully aware of the deep concern felt by the honorable member in many matters above his comprehension,” Churchill quipped. Which avoided responding to an unanswerable question.
Self-Preservation’s Jarring Gong
How do you answer the Korean question? There are no good choices. The Sino-Russian proposal for the U.S. to abandon joint military exercises in exchange for another promise by the North to stop building missiles and testing nukes is a non-starter.…
“It is difficult to remove a bad General at the height of a campaign: it is atrocious to remove a good General.” —Churchill
Obama and McChrystal (White House photo by Pete Souza, Wikimedia Commons).
What can we learn by comparing President Obama’s dismissal of General McChrystal to Churchill’s dismissals of Generals Wavell and Auchinleck, two distinguished commanders in World War II? I hope it will not be another reminder of how standards of conduct have deteriorated.