I was re-watching the movie, Darkest Hour, the other day, about the weeks leading up to Great Britain’s entrance into World War II, and I was struck by the similarities between the political dynamics of their country during that time to the United States, today. England was facing an existential threat from an evil totalitarian regime of Nazi Germany, and England’s Prime Minister was a loud, outspoken, rude, politically incorrect man named Winston Churchill. Churchill believed the best course of action was to stand up to the evil Nazi regime, and if they were to negotiate, they could then do so from a position of strength. He understood that the most dangerous course of action for the country would be not to fight.
Churchill was not well received by the elites or the political class of England. He was brash and outspoken, saying unpopular things. The King told Churchill once, “you scare people. One never knows what’s going to come out of your mouth next. Something that will flatter. Something that will wound.”
One does not have to be perfect to be a great leader, in fact, many times, their flaws are what makes them great. Churchill’s wife told him, “you are strong because you are imperfect. You are wise because you have doubts.”
A contingent of career politicians worked behind the scenes, colluding together to oust Churchill because they believed their positions and their special interests were best served not to fight. They were willing to achieve a peace treaty with the Nazis at-all-cost even if it meant negotiating from a position of weakness. It was highly unlikely that Germany would have abided by the terms of the agreement forged under those circumstances. The treaty would only have been used by Germany to exploit England’s weaker position.
What the peace-at-all-cost contingent in England did not realize was that Germany was at war with them, as they were with the rest of Europe, and simply saying “I do not want war”, does not make the war go away. In fact, it makes the war inevitable, and the results more devastating.
Today in the United States, we have an existential threat in the form of Communist Chinese. And for the last four years, we have had a President who is a loud, outspoken, rude, flawed man named Donald Trump. Trump has not been well received by the elites or the political class of the United States. He is politically incorrect. No one knows what’s will come out of his mouth.
Like Churchill facing the Nazis, Trump believes the best course of action is to stand up and confront the evil Communist Chinese, and by doing we will negotiate trade deals and other agreements with them from a position of strength. He understands that the most dangerous course of action for our country would be not to confront the Chinese, and pursue a peace-at-all-cost approach.
Throughout Trump’s term in office, there has been a contingent of career politicians, tech billionaires and the media working behind the scenes, colluding together to oust him. These people believe their positions and their special interests will be best served to acquiesce to the Chinese, pursue peace-at-all-cost thus giving away our power at the negotiating table. But these trade deals negotiated from a position of weakness, makes it highly unlikely that Chinese would abide by the terms of the agreement, merely using the treaty to further exploit our weaker position.
China is at war with the United States, pretending they are not, does not make their unfair trade practices, their currency manipulation, their stealing of intellectual property magically go away. It merely emboldens them, making all of their unfair, illegal, unethical practices get worse.
Both Churchill and Trump understood the premiere importance of individual and national sovereignty, and the utmost necessity it is to defend it against anyone or anything set to take it from us.
For those who reject the “America First” approach to international relations that Trump has promoted, answer this, does China put China first? Yes. Does Russia put Russia first? Yes. Does Germany put Germany first? Yes. Does (fill in the blank) country put their country’s interests first? Yes. Why is it only evil when America puts American interests first? And since America the greatest force of good in the world, a strong America, America as the world’s super power, is unequivocally what’s in the best interest of the world. China’s ascendency to the world’s super power would be bad for all of the world except China and a few rogue nations. How philanthropic and caring for human rights will China be to the rest of the world when they systematically oppress, enslave and kill their own people?
When Churchill was pushed to rush into some one-sided treaty for the appearance of peace, Churchill shouted, “When will the lesson be learned? How many more dictators must be wooed, appeased until we learn the lesson, you cannot reason with a lion when your head is in his mouth.” China is the lion and they are slowly but surely inserting our head into their mouth. And by the time we realize their jaws clamping down on us, it will be too late to negotiate ourselves out of it.
Despite his lack of decorum and political statesmanship, Churchill will go down as a great leader because of his strength and his fearlessness. He once said, “Success is not final. Failure is not fatal. It is the courage to continue that counts.”
73 million Americans voted for Trump, not because of his statesmanship and his rhetoric skills but because of his strength and his fearlessness. Trump has shown the courage to fight for America and for each of us until the end against enemies both foreign and domestic. It is far better to go down fighting for America than to surrender to globalism where our interests will be subjugated to the interests of other nations.
This is what scares me most going forward, we will have a President who is not strong enough and is too embedded with the Chinese to stand up against the existential threat they pose to our country. He will acquiesce to them in the name of political expediency and to appease his special interest at the expense of America’s strength and sovereignty.
When the threat of the Nazis was the most-dire, and his war cabinet was advising him to surrender, Churchill said, “Nations that go down fighting rise up again, those who surrender tamely, perish.” China is at war with us. We have two choices, stand up and fight, or surrender and perish.
Judd Garrett is a former NFL player, coach, and executive. He is a frequent contributor to the website Real Clear Politics. He has recently published his first novel, No Wind.