Churchill, Obama, and Trump

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Churchill, Obama, and Trump

by baldilocks

Among the alleged mis­steps that Pres­i­dent Trump made — note the word alleged — dur­ing his trip to the United King­dom, one of them brings up a mem­ory I have about Trump’s predecessor.

Don­ald Trump sparks fury pos­ing arro­gantly in an arm­chair used by heroic wartime leader Win­ston Churchill.

Crit­ics slammed Trump for a string of diplo­matic blun­ders and said he wasn’t fit to sit there. (…)

Labour’s Stephen Doughty said: “An image of Don­ald Trump sit­ting in Churchill’s seat will stick in the throats of many Brits who would con­sider Trump not only to be one of the worst pres­i­dents in US his­tory but also not even wor­thy of a com­par­i­son with our wartime leader who res­cued our nation in its dark­est hour.”

Given Trump’s appalling actions and rhetoric, he doesn’t even deserve to look at a statue of Churchill let alone sit in his seat.”

The out­rage is inter­est­ing, since I don’t recall any com­men­tary from mem­bers of the UK Par­lia­ment when then Pres­i­dent Barack Obama removed a bust of Churchill from the Oval Office.

There are many sto­ries about how the bust what treated dur­ing Pres­i­dent Obama’s terms. First, the story was that the bust was handed back to the Brits. Here, how­ever, the for­mer pres­i­dent says it was placed in the White House Res­i­dence — the Treaty Room. That’s more plau­si­ble for rea­sons I will give in a bit.

Back when there was quite a bit of out­rage on this side of the pond from the right about Obama’s treat­ment of the bust, I pos­tu­lated that he dis­liked Churchill because of the for­mer prime minister’s role in putting down Kenya’s Mau-​Mau Rebel­lion back when Kenya was a British colony called British East Africa.

The for­mer pres­i­dent and I are both half-​Kenyan Luo and since he is inclined to hold grudges espe­cially of the racial vari­ety, I fig­ured out that this was why he hated Churchill. If you ask me, Pres­i­dent Obama hates all the Brits. He wasn’t shy about show­ing his con­tempt for any of them, from the Queen on down.

But it was only 2009 and we were just begin­ning to get to know Barack Obama.

In the wake of the bust inci­dent, few in the British press were talk­ing about how the for­mer pres­i­dent was endan­ger­ing rela­tions between the USA and the UK or about how gauche it was to treat a gift between nations in the man­ner specified.

Then, last year, it was reported that newly inau­gu­rated Pres­i­dent Trump returned the bust to the Oval Office.

So we see that, to the British press, it’s insult­ing for one pres­i­dent to sit in Win­ston Churchill’s chair but when another pres­i­dent gives a bust of Churchill an uncer­e­mo­ni­ous heave-​ho, it’s no big deal.

This hypocrisy on the part of the British press is cer­tainly no sur­prise — we see it all the time with our press — but it needed to be pointed out. And what does it mean?

Noth­ing com­pli­cated. Pres­i­dent Obama tried to destroy the USA; Pres­i­dent Trump is try­ing to save it. One might also say the same things about both pres­i­dents with respect to the West in general.

The British press was and is merely sig­nal­ing which side it’s on.

Juli­ette Akinyi Ochieng has been blog­ging since 2003 as baldilocks. Her older blog is here. She pub­lished her first novel, Tale of the Tigers: Love is Not a Game in 2012.

Hit Da Tech Guy Blog’s Tip Jar for his new not-​GoDaddy host!

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by baldilocks

Among the alleged missteps that President Trump made — note the word alleged — during his trip to the United Kingdom, one of them brings up a memory I have about Trump’s predecessor.

Donald Trump sparks fury posing arrogantly in an armchair used by heroic wartime leader Winston Churchill.

Critics slammed Trump for a string of diplomatic blunders and said he wasn’t fit to sit there. (…)

Labour’s Stephen Doughty said: “An image of Donald Trump sitting in Churchill’s seat will stick in the throats of many Brits who would consider Trump not only to be one of the worst presidents in US history but also not even worthy of a comparison with our wartime leader who rescued our nation in its darkest hour.”

“Given Trump’s appalling actions and rhetoric, he doesn’t even deserve to look at a statue of Churchill let alone sit in his seat.”

The outrage is interesting, since I don’t recall any commentary from members of the UK Parliament when then President Barack Obama removed a bust of Churchill from the Oval Office.

There are many stories about how the bust what treated during President Obama’s terms. First, the story was that the bust was handed back to the Brits. Here, however, the former president says it was placed in the White House Residence — the Treaty Room. That’s more plausible for reasons I will give in a bit.

Back when there was quite a bit of outrage on this side of the pond from the right about Obama’s treatment of the bust, I postulated that he disliked Churchill because of the former prime minister’s role in putting down Kenya’s Mau-Mau Rebellion back when Kenya was a British colony called British East Africa.

The former president and I are both half-Kenyan Luo and since he is inclined to hold grudges especially of the racial variety, I figured out that this was why he hated Churchill. If you ask me, President Obama hates all the Brits. He wasn’t shy about showing his contempt for any of them, from the Queen on down.

But it was only 2009 and we were just beginning to get to know Barack Obama.

In the wake of the bust incident, few in the British press were talking about how the former president was endangering relations between the USA and the UK or about how gauche it was to treat a gift between nations in the manner specified.

Then, last year, it was reported that newly inaugurated President Trump returned the bust to the Oval Office.

So we see that, to the British press, it’s insulting for one president to sit in Winston Churchill’s chair but when another president gives a bust of Churchill an unceremonious heave-ho, it’s no big deal.

This hypocrisy on the part of the British press is certainly no surprise — we see it all the time with our press — but it needed to be pointed out. And what does it mean?

Nothing complicated. President Obama tried to destroy the USA; President Trump is trying to save it. One might also say the same things about both presidents with respect to the West in general.

The British press was and is merely signaling which side it’s on.

Juliette Akinyi Ochieng has been blogging since 2003 as baldilocks. Her older blog is here.  She published her first novel, Tale of the Tigers: Love is Not a Game in 2012.

Hit Da Tech Guy Blog’s Tip Jar for his new not-GoDaddy host!

Or hit Juliette’s!