Winston Churchill Fulton speech didn’t go over so well, either.
President Trump’s executive action on immigration is a terrific shock to international socialism, whose sinews, including “free” trade, mass immigration/open borders, and Globalism First, have come to undergird the American Way. In such a Marxian system, borders, the nation-state, America First, are not just anathema, they are “reactionary” relics, and effectively defunct. Or supposed to be.
In other words, no president is ever supposed to not only say but act on the following:
In order to protect Americans, the United States must ensure that those admitted to this country do not bear hostile attitudes toward it and its founding principles.
The United States cannot, and should not, admit those who do not support the Constitution, or those who would place violent ideologies over American law.
In addition, the United States should not admit those who engage in acts of bigotry or hatred (including “honor” killings, other forms of violence against women, or the persecution of those who practice religions different from their own) or those who would oppress Americans of any race, gender, or sexual orientation.
These statements come from Trump’s executive order, “Protecting the Nation from Foreign Terrorist Entry into the United States”; the implications, however, are far more profound that the title suggests, setting forth a new working framework for immigration generally that restores boundaries, psychological as well as political, to the USA, circa 2017, which, until a few days ago, had not existed for more than half a century.
A discussion for another day.
For the moment, it seems relevant to the (continuing) core meltdown in the Washington Establishment, very much including the Media Opposition Party, to note that it is not uncommon for chaos to follow such an injection of clarity, whose potency is such as to create a new worldview.
One historical example that comes to mind is Winston Churchill’s famous “iron curtain” speech at Fulton, Missouri on March 5, 1946, which, in essence, publicly reintroduced the USSR and Communism as the aggressive foes of liberty that they always were. Mental chaos ensued.
Like Trump, Churchill was re-introducing a clear defining line, in the 1946 case, between liberty and Communist repression; a line that had been fudged and denied (not insignificantly by Stalin’s infiltrated agents “occupying” key Allied and Axis governments ) throughout the years of the wartime alliance that not only destroyed Nazi Germany and Imperial Japan — historically, nations that checked Russian expansion — but also entrenched and massively expanded the Evil Empire itself.
As in Trump’s case, the initial reaction to Churchill’s new defining line was psychological dislocation and giant dumps of agit prop.
From Churchill’s Iron Curtain Speech 50 Years Later we learn some of the details of this “torrent of controversy.”
On the Left, and reminiscent of Sens. McCain and Graham today, Sens. Claude Pepper, Harley Kilgore and Glenn Taylor issued a joint statement, declaring that “Mr. Churchill’s statement would cut the throat” of the UN (would that it had); Rep. Ellis Patterson decried the speech for its “reactionary” and “self-destructive” ideas that would bring about “world war and total destruction to the human race.” Such was the alarm on Capitol Hill.
Eleanor Roosevelt castigated Churchill for nothing less than “desecrating the ideals for which my husband gave his life.” Nobel prize-winner Pearl Buck called Churchill’s appearance a “catastrophe,” adding “we are nearer to war tonight than we were last night.”
George Bernard Shaw said Churchill’s speech was “nothing short of a declaration of war on Russia.” The Chicago Sun denounced the Briton’s “poisonous doctrines.” Marquis Childs, writing in the Washington Post, wrote that Churchill had overlooked a “vital truth”… that… you cannot fight the ‘Communist menace’ with armed alliances.” (The problem, Childs explained was root causes… zzz.) In the House of Commons, 105 MPs introduced a motion condemning Churchill’s speech.
On the Right, too, there was much consternation over Churchill’s bid for the US to enter another entangling alliance, also the conflation of American interests with British interests, all during what was seen as a time of peace following world war.
Newsweek would describe the controversy the speech caused as “the worst diplomatic storm of the postwar period.” Spencer Warren writes: “At a press conference three days later, President Truman refused to endorse it and wrongly denied that he knew its contents in advance. … When Churchill visited New York on March 15 for a Broadway ticker-tape parade on Churchill Day, he was greeted by hundreds of protesters, and Under Secretary of State Dean Acheson abruptly bowed out of his place as U.S representative at Churchill’s address at the Waldorf-Astoria, which, in the event, was unrepentant.”
Now, of course, the speech is highly regarded as visionary, a crucial turning point in the 20th century.
En route to Fulton, Missouri, in 1946 (Wikimedia Commons)