Donald Trump and Winston Churchill

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Donald Trump and Winston Churchill

[cap­tion id=“attachment_94676” align=“aligncenter” width=“700”] British Prime Min­is­ter May and Pres­i­dent Trump stand with the bust of Win­ston Churchill in the Oval Office.[/caption]

Pres­i­dent Trump has been com­pared to two of the world’s most vicious mur­der­ers and vil­lains: Hitler and Stalin.

Let me try another com­par­i­son, one with the man whose bust has recently been placed back in the Oval Office: Win­ston Churchill.

Left­ists will scoff at the com­par­i­son, but most of Winston’s sup­port­ers came from the right. The Huff­in­g­ton Puff­in­g­ton Post lam­basted the com­par­i­son, which was made dur­ing the pres­i­den­tial cam­paign by Rev. Jerry Fal­well Jr., call­ing it one of the “grow­ing list of Hail Mary passes by the cam­paign and its allies.” I guess those Hail Marys worked out pretty well for Trump.

But let’s look at a com­par­i­son of the two men.

Both Trump and Churchill came from wealthy fam­i­lies. As young men, nei­ther was a par­tic­u­larly good student.

The British leader changed par­ties sev­eral times dur­ing his polit­i­cal career – much like Trump – and ended up as a conservative.

Many lead­ers and his­to­ri­ans con­sider Churchill a racist for his views toward Gandhi and the insis­tence that India remain part of the British Empire. Trump and his sup­port­ers have repeat­edly been char­ac­ter­ized as racists.

Churchill always put Britain first in war and peace. Both Trump and Churchill tried to warn about the greatly weak­ened mil­i­tary of each coun­try — a weak­ness both sought to cor­rect. Churchill fought the Nazis; Trump plans to defeat Mus­lim extremists.

The two lead­ers clearly share a sim­i­lar tem­pera­ment — one that does not suf­fer fools gladly.

Here are some of Churchill’s more famous quotes — most of which have fewer than 140 char­ac­ters. Some of them sound a lot like Trump’s stump speech and tweets.

–Suc­cess con­sists of going from fail­ure to fail­ure with­out loss of enthusiasm.

–If you’re going through hell, keep going.

–You have ene­mies? Good. That means you’ve stood up for some­thing, some­time in your life.

–A pes­simist sees the dif­fi­culty in every oppor­tu­nity; an opti­mist sees the oppor­tu­nity in every difficulty.

–Never give in, never give in, never, never, never, never — in noth­ing, great or small, large or petty.

Clearly, there are sub­jects on which Churchill and Trump dis­agree, par­tic­u­larly trade. Churchill opposed tar­iffs on trad­ing part­ners and extended government-​subsidized social programs.

Trump is no Churchill yet. That remains to be seen. But the com­par­i­son with Churchill rings far more accu­rately than the other names Trump’s detrac­tors use.


Christo­pher Harper, a long­time jour­nal­ist, teaches media law.

British Prime Minister May and President Trump stand with the bust of Winston Churchill in the Oval Office.

President Trump has been compared to two of the world’s most vicious murderers and villains: Hitler and Stalin.

Let me try another comparison, one with the man whose bust has recently been placed back in the Oval Office: Winston Churchill.

Leftists will scoff at the comparison, but most of Winston’s supporters came from the right. The Huffington Puffington Post lambasted the comparison, which was made during the presidential campaign by Rev. Jerry Falwell Jr., calling it one of the “growing list of Hail Mary passes by the campaign and its allies.” I guess those Hail Marys worked out pretty well for Trump.

But let’s look at a comparison of the two men.

Both Trump and Churchill came from wealthy families. As young men, neither was a particularly good student.

The British leader changed parties several times during his political career–much like Trump–and ended up as a conservative.

Many leaders and historians consider Churchill a racist for his views toward Gandhi and the insistence that India remain part of the British Empire. Trump and his supporters have repeatedly been characterized as racists.

Churchill always put Britain first in war and peace. Both Trump and Churchill tried to warn about the greatly weakened military of each country—a weakness both sought to correct. Churchill fought the Nazis; Trump plans to defeat Muslim extremists.

The two leaders clearly share a similar temperament—one that does not suffer fools gladly.

Here are some of Churchill’s more famous quotes—most of which have fewer than 140 characters. Some of them sound a lot like Trump’s stump speech and tweets.

–Success consists of going from failure to failure without loss of enthusiasm.

–If you’re going through hell, keep going.

–You have enemies? Good. That means you’ve stood up for something, sometime in your life.

–A pessimist sees the difficulty in every opportunity; an optimist sees the opportunity in every difficulty.

–Never give in, never give in, never, never, never, never—in nothing, great or small, large or petty.

Clearly, there are subjects on which Churchill and Trump disagree, particularly trade. Churchill opposed tariffs on trading partners and extended government-subsidized social programs.

Trump is no Churchill yet. That remains to be seen. But the comparison with Churchill rings far more accurately than the other names Trump’s detractors use.


Christopher Harper, a longtime journalist, teaches media law.