Another Perspective

The Historic Winston vs. Barack Debate

Winny wins big -- Demos cry foul.

By 10.30.12

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The debate you are about to witness will not be televised, but it is indeed historic and it will provide some of the fireworks that were missing in the three presidential debates.

This is not said to disparage Mitt Romney's achievement as the clear winner of those debates.

In taking total command of the first debate, he connected with the American people for the first time. He showed that he was not the cold, heartless plutocrat pictured in the Obama ads and the mainstream media. He demonstrated that he could outthink and outtalk the president in any discussion of economic and foreign policy issues. And he looked and acted presidential. Barack Obama went from dopey and disengaged in the first debate to snarling and aggressive in the next two. But he didn't make up an inch of ground. More and more, over the course of the debates, men and women came to like and respect the challenger… and see the incumbent as the real impostor.

As good as that was, many Romney supporters were hoping for more. What Romney did not do during the three debates was to treat the thick-headed liberal/progressive mindset with the derision that it so richly deserves. The Obama administration has learned nothing from -- and cares nothing about -- its habitual mistakes and misjudgments, regardless of how costly they turn out to be. Why -- Bill Clinton pointedly asked -- is this election even close?

The president and his minions do not apologize for high unemployment, trillion dollar deficits, or the sacking of a U.S. consulate and the murder of an ambassador and three of his co-workers. They do not apologize for the most anemic recovery in more than 60 years, or for wasting billions of dollars of taxpayer money on bankrupt "green" energy projects. Instead they run around saying how much worse this country would be without them and their high-minded ideas about "fairness" and "social justice."

How galling is that?

It's time for a further debate -- one that does more than establish Mitt's bona fides; one that really takes it to the opposition.

For that purpose, I have coaxed Winston Churchill's shade out of the Elysian Fields.

Barack Obama called upon Bill Clinton to serve as his "Explainer in Chief" at the Democratic National Convention. Sir Winston agreed to play something of the same role for Mitt Romney.

As it happens, there is a history of enmity between Obama and Churchill. One of Obama's first acts as president was to knock the Churchill bust off the pedestal in the Oval Office where it had stood since shortly after the September 11 attacks -- on loan from the British government.

When the Brits offered to let Obama keep the Churchill bronze for another four years, the White House said, "Thanks, but no thanks," which is diplomatic patois between long-standing allies for "Get stuffed."

Speaking as a long-dead white man, Churchill possesses certain advantages denied to Mitt Romney and other current political figures on the right. He can say whatever he pleases -- without having to worry about the easily excited and ever-vigilant PC police who patrol the public airways and print medium.

For his part, the president has always seemed to welcome the challenge of correcting the mistakes of long-dead white men.

Here, then, are Obama and Churchill squaring off on topics of the day. As the moderator, I will pose the questions and otherwise stay out of way.

Moderator: Does Islamism, or Muslim extremism, pose a real danger to U.S. security and world peace? Mr. Churchill has won the coin toss and he has elected to go first in fielding my question.

Churchill: Of course it does. Only a fool would think otherwise.

(Note to the reader: In a few places, such as the foregoing, I have invented short quotes for purposes of transition. All other quotes herein are taken from the speeches or writings of the two men and are properly attributed.

The fact that in Mohammedan law every woman must belong to some man as absolute property -- either as a child, a wife, or a concubine -- must delay the final extinction of slavery until the faith of Islam has ceased to be a great power among men. Individual Muslims may show splendid qualities. Thousands became the brave and loyal soldiers of the Queen; all know how to die: but the influence of the religion paralyzes the social development of those who follow it. No stronger retrograde force exists in the world. Far from being moribund, Mohammedanism is a militant and proselytizing faith. It has already spread throughout Central Africa, raising fearless warriors at every step; and were it not that Christianity is sheltered in the strong arms of science…. the civilization of modern Europe might fall, as fell the civilization of ancient Rome.

(1899, WCS, The River War: An Historical Account of the Reconquest of the Sudan)

Obama: People are the same wherever you go. In essence, the threat posed by angry and disaffected Muslims is no different -- and no greater -- than the threat posed by other people who have been similarly affected by joblessness, poverty, and other social ills.

In every country, there are those who find different religious beliefs threatening; in every culture, those who love freedom for themselves must ask how much they are willing to tolerate freedom for others.

That is what we saw play out the last two weeks, as a crude and disgusting video sparked outrage through the Muslim world (on September 11, 2012, and in the weeks that followed). I have made it clear that the United States government had nothing to do with this video, and I believe its message must be rejected by all who respect our common humanity. It is an insult not only to Muslims, but to America as well -- for… we are a country that has welcomed people of every race and religion. We are home to Muslims who worship across our country. We not only respect freedom of religion -- we have laws that protect individuals from being harmed because of how they look or what they believe. We understand why people take offense to this video because millions of our citizens are among them.

(September 25, 2012, President Obama's Speech to the United Nations)

I consider it part of my responsibility as President of the United States to fight against negative stereotypes of Islam wherever they exist.

(June 2009, Obama, Cairo speech)

Moderator: Do you have a rebuttal that you would like to make, Mr. Prime Minister?

Churchill: I will say to President Obama what I once said to another member of the British Parliament: "What you have just said is both interesting and true. Unfortunately, what is interesting is not true and what is true is not interesting." All religions and cultures are not the same wherever you go. I will repeat the point that I made earlier.

[Islam] was originally propagated by the sword, and ever since its votaries have been subject, above the people of all other creeds, to this form of madness.

(1898, WCS, The Story of the Malakand Field Force)

Besides the fanatical frenzy, which is a dangerous as hydrophobia (rabies) in a dog, there is this fearful fatalistic apathy. The effects are apparent in many countries. Improvident habits, slovenly systems of agriculture, sluggish methods of commerce, and insecurity of property exist where the followers of the Prophet rule.

(1899, WCS, The River War)

Moderator: You have the last word on this matter, Mr. President.

Obama: (Sputtering -- and repeating the same words he used in trying to refute Romney's spot-on accurate statement in the second debate that fossil fuel production on public land had declined under the Obama administration) What you're saying is just not true. It's just not true.

Moderator: We turn now to the economy and domestic policy. It's your turn to go first, Mr. President. What are your thoughts on the proper role and scope of government? Do we need more government, or less?

Obama: We need more -- for two reasons. We need more regulation to keep greedy capitalists from ripping off everyone else. And we need more government intervention and planning to pick the economic winners of the future.

I'll help our auto companies retool, so that the fuel-efficient cars of the future are built right here in America. I'll make it easier for American people to afford these new cars (by providing government rebates). And I'll invest $150 billion over the next decade in affordable, renewable sources of energy -- wind and solar power and the next generation of biofuels, an investment that will lead to new industries and five million new jobs that pay well and can't ever be outsourced.

(August 2008, Obama speech)

We can see the positive impacts right here of Solyndra. Less than a year ago, we were standing on what was an empty lot. But through the Recovery Act, this company received a loan to expand its operations. This new factory is the result of those (government-guaranteed) loans.

(2010, Obama speech -- before Solyndra went bankrupt, laying off 1,000 workers and leaving taxpayers on the hook for $500 million in loans.)

Somebody helped to create this unbelievable American system that allowed you to thrive. Somebody invested in roads and bridges. If you've got a business -- you didn't make that happen. Somebody else made that happen.

(July 13, 2012, Obama speech)

Moderator: What are your thoughts on this subject, Mr. Prime Minister?

Churchill: I've said it before and will say it again: "The follies of socialism are inexhaustible."

I watched the long, slow, agonizing decline of British industry under socialism following World War II… and I know that government only makes things worse by meddling in the economy. Whenever governments try to pick winners and losers, they invariably wind up picking losers and compounding failure. And there are good reasons for that.

When losses are made (under free-market capitalism), these losses are borne by the individuals who sustained them and took the risk and judged things wrongly, whereas under state management all losses are quartered upon the tax-payers and the community as a whole. The elimination of the profit motive and of self-interest as a practical guide in the myriad transactions of daily life will restrict, paralyze, and destroy British ingenuity, thrift, contrivance, and good housekeeping at every state in our life and production, and will reduce all our industries from a profit-making to a loss-making process.

(1947, Churchill speech)

Moderator: Thank you, gentlemen. You now each have 30 seconds to make a final statement.

Obama: I have a plan.

(Late October 2012, Obama speeches)

This is our generation's Sputnik moment. Two years ago, I said that we needed to reach a level of research and development we haven't seen since the height of the Space Race. (If I am re-elected), I will be sending a budget to Congress that helps us meet that goal. We'll invest in biomedical research, information technology, and especially clean energy technology -- an investment that will strengthen our security, protect our planet, and create countless jobs for our people.

(January 2011, Obama state-of-the-union speech)

Churchill: This is the kind of tedious nonsense up with which I will not put.

(1944, WCS commenting on objections to a sentence-ending preposition)

And now I must return from whence I came. Good night, America. I am hoping that you will awake to the sun-lit uplands of a new government under Mitt Romney.

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About the Author
Andrew B. Wilson, a frequent contributor to The American Spectator and a former foreign correspondent, writes from St. Louis.