Strengthening Constitutional Self-Government

No Left Turns

The Statesman, The Tyrant, and Wit

The nature of the statesman and the tyrant is an old and perennial question, and a recent book approaches it by comparing Churchill and Hitler. In a review of this book is this suggestive paragaph:

Both are always said to be great orators, but where Hitler’s speeches are barely rational, musically thunderous orations, Churchill’s have a noble sense, starting with conversational and informal tones, and rising slowly to moments of great poetry. The crucial difference is that Churchill was a wit, and Hitler not. Hitler’s humour extended only to extremely cruel practical jokes; Churchill’s style was more devoted to the bitchy put-down, like his comment that Philip Snowden’s arrival among the Treasury faithful was like the meeting of two long-separated kindred lizards, or the startling, apt metaphor — ‘punishing China is like flogging a jellyfish’.

Discussions - 1 Comment

Like Bush 41’s intonation of Saddam (an intentional slight, from what I understand), during the Gulf War, Churchill, too, had a way of pronouncing "Hitlyre’s name. Drwaing on the "l" and emphasising a "liar" in the character of the bad-guy, Hilter (most folks said "Hitlur).

But I haven’t noticed and such license used by Dubya with either bin Laden or Hussein, have you all?

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