November 27th— Writing in the Daily Beast, Mr. Marlow Stern praises Kristin Scott Thomas (“Clementine Churchill” in the new movie Darkest Hour) and announces: “Donald Trump is No Winston Churchill.” (Past doubt, but who is?)
Mr. Stern himself offers only one Churchill quote and gets it right: “A free press is the unsleeping guardian of every other right that free men prize; it is the most dangerous foe of tyranny.” (Colliers, 28 December 1935.)
The election of Mr. Trump promises a surprise around every corner. But I never expected the old Churchill bust business to come flying back on the wings of petty outrage.
Lest this be thought pedantic, let’s start with two modest proposals: 1) For any U.S. president to keep a bust of Winston Churchill in the Oval Office is, for anyone who admires Churchill, a great thing. 2) Every president has the right to the totems of his choice.
Prime Minister Cameron and President Obama abut each other whilst admiring the White House Churchill bust Obama didn’t remove. (White House photo)
There is a lot of ignorance and confusion over exactly what Churchilliana resides in the White House.…
“If you don’t know the author of a choice quote, credit it to Churchill, Einstein, Lincoln or Martin Luther King, Jr.. Everybody will be impressed and they said so much that nobody will know the difference.”
I have been looking for a term to describe the numerous potted, inaccurate Churchill quotes: “A lie gets halfway around the world before the truth puts its trousers on” is big right now on Twitter. Also: “Success is not final, failure is not fatal: it is the courage to continue that counts.”
Then there is: “If I were your husband, I’d drink it,” Churchill’s alleged retort to Lady Astor’s threat to poison his coffee, which was most likely uttered by his friend F.E.…