Monday, April 09, 2007

Winston Churchill

I've been reading The Last Lion and I am just blown away by Winston Churchill. The man was a genius, and one of the few geniuses to enter political life. He struggled in school because he was so goddamned rebellious, despite being, throughout school, the best writer in his class. He had no patience for math. He loved the truth, and straddled both sides of the political spectrum to pursue what he saw as important. Yet because he loved truth and was not a liberal or a conservative, he was reviled by both parties. They would vilify him for any reason. I find some interesting parallels to that in my own life - lots of people don't like me because I am neither conservative nor liberal. They are afraid of what I have to say.

Some interesting examples:

In the beginning of his career as a politican, Churchill was a Tory. Yet he consistently came out against the party line: he was against the Boer War (reminds one of a modern parallel, perhaps?), and against protectionism. To sum up: he was against imperialism, which was fundamental to the Tory platform. So he switched parties and became a Liberal for a long, long time.

When Germany was about to invade France at the start of World War I, most of the Liberals wanted to stay out of the war. Churchill had to fight to roust them up, although when Germany went through Belgium they all caved. This same exact thing happened in World War II, which could have been avoided had the English and the French seen it coming and nipped it in the bud. Churchill warned of the impending disaster before its time.

There are countless other examples, but I have things to do. It's easy to see parallels today: the minimum wage is not the best way to reduce poverty, and gay marriage should be allowed. Corporate welfare is a big problem, and CEO pay is perhaps an even bigger problem.

Look at recent Supreme Court cases. In Gonzales v. Raich it was the liberals who voted to continue the immoral oppression of marijuana users. In Kelo v. New London it was the liberals, again, who decided that cities may condemn private land in order to give it to corporations. These acts are entirely unforgivable.

No comments: