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.
There is a lot of ignorance and confusion over exactly what Churchilliana resides in the White House. There are stories that Mr. Obama rejected a Churchill bust or “put it into mothballs” out of hatred toward the British prime minister, British colonialism, and so on.…
Above: Drift into Trinidad, March 1961. Churchill, 87, at the Governor’s residence, Port of Spain, during a cruise aboard the Onassis yacht Christina. A similar (unsigned) photo was sold at auction in 2010. Lower right: Dr. Eric Williams, who in August 1962 became the first prime minister of independent Trinidad and Tobago. I would welcome identities for the others in the photo.