Our Korean professor made his point with utmost certainty:
“The United States of America is a republic; meaning the supreme power is in the hands of the people, and the elected officials said people elect to serve them.”
It was late 1953, or early 1954. The place was a school lecture hall on campus at the University of Seoul, Republic of South Korea, ROK.
PROFESSOR: “Our Korean Republic is modeled much like that of the United States. Because of the United States and the soldiers they have sent in order to help us fight for our freedom, this guarantees that one day our economy and our people will become the safest and most productive in the world.”
Today, more than ever before, I take great pride in the fact that I was one of the soldiers our Asian professor referred to on campus at the University of Seoul in South Korea, so very long ago. Studying Political Science taught by a Korean professor is perhaps best described as an experience of a lifetime. It sticks in my mind how the professor always made it a point to qualify his answers to any questions as either his personal opinion, or a fact that he deemed historically correct.
“When free people struggle to maintain their freedoms, frequent change may reveal itself as the key ingredient for their success. People who find themselves with lasting, prevailing powers, will most likely succumb to the corruption that adjoins their positions of authority. Of great commonality amongst the dictatorial leader is their inability to serve the people as opposed to themselves.”
Note: The South Koreans, on their continual march towards a successful economy as well as a secure freedom for all society, have had many changes in their government since those early days of the 1950’s. Make no mistake, they have had their share of corrupt politicians. They acknowledge that it goes with the territory, a fact of life we Americans have trouble admitting to be it a Democrat or Republican culprit.
At the time, the real significance of what our professor would ultimately impart bordered on the abstract. As time rapidly evaporated during my years on this planet, so did my previous notions of what was or wasn’t an abstraction. While the class being taught was labeled “Political Science,” in actuality, it might have rightfully been titled “World History.”
Historical Question: Aside from being dictators, what did Hitler, Mussolini, and Stalin have in common?
• All three were socialists.
• All three were progressives.
• All three were opposed to Judeo Christian beliefs.
• All three came into power at a time when the economy of their respective countries was in the doldrums.
• Hitler and his criminal gang hated the rich, the capitalists, the Jews, the Christian Churches, and “ The System.”
• The three gained power through their purposeful support of the unions.
• The association between unions and Leftism is of course historic; Hitler made great efforts to enlist unions as supporters of his party.
• In Chapter 12 of Mein Kampf, Hitler goes to great lengths to stress the importance of unions.
Three separate countries, three separate dictatorships, all shared the same and similar beliefs of the Nazi Party. Praise for strong bodies and strong peoples, developing as a force to rid the world of anything short of Aryan superiority – including the Jews, the mentally ill, the gays, the blacks, and those who bore any code of difference to the rise of the Third Reich. Their credo, “They must be eradicated.”
It’s all there in the history books. Our Greatest Generation stood up behind our red, white, and blue with a common cause. “Not on our watch,” was the verbal hymn of the American masses.
Where are they all off to? A little boy of eight wondered.
They’re on their way to enlist in the Army, he was told.
Over night, the neighborhoods’ young men disappeared. It became a city of the old, the impaired, the very young, and the women. Fully, half of the Greatest Generation was away at war.
And across the pond there arose…
Perhaps the most substantive voice of the ages, Sir Winston Churchill fought for and won the right to lead his country, and perhaps the world, towards ultimate victory. The man who would rally England and the world was also renowned for his reflections. Winston Churchill understood and studied history and was able to bring it forward to the present as no other man before him. He believed no real leader would ever step back from the truth of the past, for the past carries with it the dictation of our future.
It may be that the most glorious chapters of our history have yet to be written. Indeed, the very problems and dangers that encompass our country and us ought to make English men and women of this generation glad to be here at such a time. We ought to rejoice at the responsibilities with which destiny has honored us, and be proud that we are guardians of our country in an age when her life is at stake.
— Winston Spencer Churchill, April 1933
|Sir Winston Churchill with FDR|
The world around him was a crumbling mess. The folks at his side had witnessed the deceit perpetrated by men who only claimed to be leaders – those who ignored the truth that history foretold – men who succumbed to the false promises of the world’s dictators, hoping against hope for these despots to have their quests satiated.
Churchill warned that a step backwards was a country lost. And, as the bombs rained down on his country’s villages and cities, Winston Churchill walked those city streets, bolstering the spirits of his countrymen.
“ASK WINNIE” – AN HISTORICAL ADVENTURE
What if Sir Winston Churchill was miraculously alive today? What if we could turn to him? What if we could ask him to draw comparisons of his past to our present and delve well into his thoughts of our future as Americans? What would one of the greatest statesmen of all time have to offer us? What would he say to bolster our spirits?
As a matter of fact, it was just yesterday that I last conversed with Sir Winston. He was with me up at “da villa on da hilla,” as we kicked back with our splendid glasses of thirty-year-old single malt scotch. Since Lady Catherine was not present, I allowed Winnie (he loves when I call him Winnie) to smoke his Cuban cigar as we chatted.
Winnie: Too bad your John Wayne isn’t around to help out.
Winnie: He was one of us, you know. A real first-class spirited fighter… especially when he got together with his friend Ward Bond.
You knew him?
Winnie: Indeed, we were personal friends and, of course, he was one of us politically. When I came to beg FDR for help, he was one of my biggest Hollywood supporters – him and Jimmy Stewart.
I thought FDR was a big help to England during the war?
Winnie: Not in the beginning. We literally emptied our treasury paying you Yank’s for everything we needed. Even the French emptied their gold storage into the USA. In case you weren’t aware da harv, the United States was in a deep depression at the time. Overnight, the French and us brought you out of it by buying war machine necessities.
All this time I thought we were the ones who offered you the help.
Winnie: Not so. We had to beg. And it’s a sad thing to report, most of our diplomats despised being sent to work at any of the American embassies. Not that we were such nice gentlemen. As another matter of fact, I didn’t care for most of my emissaries either. Almost all of them were lords. Kind of like your Obama – out of touch with the common man. He must one day learn that an enemy’s bombs fall on one and all.
Were there any Americans that you happened to really like at the time, other than John Wayne and Jimmy Stewart?
Winnie: Yes, without a doubt, Roosevelt’s emissary to Britain at the time, Harry Hopkins, was not only my favorite but also the man who captured the hearts of every Brit he came in contact with. Harry’s official title was Secretary of Commerce. A little known fact was that Harry actually lived at the White House for a prolonged period of time.
|Sir Winston Churchill says farewell to Mr. Harry Hopkins after meeting about Britain’s needs for the war. January 26, 1941.|
So you would say he was of value to you?
Winnie: Without Harry Hopkins, there was a good chance I might not have been able to charm the proverbial pants off FDR.
Sounds like you weren’t exactly in love with our then president.
Winnie: Let’s just say your press was more than fair to him. Mr. Roosevelt wasn’t exactly forthcoming about many things.
And speaking of journalism and politicians being forthcoming, or as we put it today, being transparent, how would you handle our current lack of political transparency?
Winnie: Well it is quite a bit different than what we had to deal with in my time. While you have worldwide instant communications, including people taking movies of everything as it is happening, we had nothing of the sort. I remember when the Japanese bombed Pearl Harbor, the Japanese Imperial Armies were taking over the Philippines, and our allied losses were staggering, we silenced the Press reporting to our people – yours and mine – by merely asking them to be silent about the bad news for fear that the public couldn’t handle it.
Your Federal Bureau of Investigation was established to protect the populous. There was little worry about foreign terrorists flying into our buildings. The CIA had not yet been established. There was no cause for the President to attend press conferences because such a thing was not in existence. In our time, a radio address by a head of state was a major accomplishment. FDR was known for his fireside chats with the American public.
I get what you’re saying, but that still doesn’t help me understand our current problems.
Winnie: When we had a scandal, we got to the bottom of it and removed the culprit as expeditiously as possible. It was much easier for us than it is for you. For whatever the reasons may be, your politicians have many more opportunities to color the truth than ours had. We were busy fighting a war, not spying on our own people. The Chancellor of the Exchequer protects the financial welfare of the British people. It appears your Internal Revenue Service has gone far askew from the original intent of your Congress. The most powerful elected office in our kingdom is that of the Prime Minister – second in line is The Chancellor of the Exchequer who, in many countries, is known as the Secretary of the Treasury. This person answers directly to our Prime Minister. In your case, the Secretary of the Treasury answers directly to the President of the United States.
When you were in office as the Prime Minister would it have been possible for your Chancellor to investigate the opposition party without your knowledge?
Winnie: You mean as is the case with your IRS investigating and disallowing tax relief charters without President Obama being aware? …I think you call some of those souls, “The Tea Party.”
Winnie: No. Do you have any more single malt scotch? If not, a rightfully aged Cognac will do.
Roosevelt and Churchill first met in August 1941 aboard a ship off the coast of Newfoundland. They issued the Atlantic Charter, a statement of the postwar aims of the United States and the United Kingdom. After the Japanese attacked Pearl Harbor, Roosevelt and Churchill conferred in Washington, D.C. The two leaders felt that Germany was a nearer and far more dangerous enemy than Japan. They decided to concentrate on defeating Germany first.