The Biggest Argument Against Democracy = A Five-Minute Chat With The Average Voter

Sir Winston Leonard Spenser-Churchill 

The Interview

Sir Winston, please forgive me; but Word Press title format isn’t conducive to the best display of your quotation.  Despite this mangling, at least your intellect and wit still shine through; and that’s more than can be said for what we heard throughout the most recent election campaign season.

Now, be my witness, Mr. Churchill.  A late night comedian walks the streets of Los Angeles and sticks a microphone and camera into a young, pretty, adult, female face.  Perhaps it was the vapid stare, or the obvious set of materialistic values on display, that convinced him that he would hit pay dirt with the first question.

        Q: “In which war did George Washington fight?”

        A: “WWI?”

What do you believe about this interview, Sir?

That’s the whole point of your quotation?  In that case, how has democracy survived, when this kind of voter ignorance is regularly on display?

Quit laughing, Sir. . . . . . .

. . .  and stop saying “My dear boy. . .”

I am trying to be serious here.  After all, this is my first posting.

OK, I believe I understand.  First, we need more than two political parties.  How does that help?

Yes, it’s true, during your public life, at any one time, there were about a dozen or so active political parties supplying MPs to the House of Commons – everything from the British Union of Fascists, through the Communists, the Conservatives, the Liberals, the Labour, the Unionist, etc.,.  How did you get anything done with all of those diverse interests in Parliament?

Ohhhhhhhhhhhhh, THAT’S the point!  You really didn’t get anything of great significance accomplished because you couldn’t get much agreement.  All that diversity of thought was good for the country, then, correct?

What’s that?  National governments only really need to act during national crises?  Moreover, in those cases, it’s ONLY action that counts, and NOT words? Ahaaaa. . . .

However, isn’t it important that politicians have a highly developed political philosophy?  I am thinking about our Mr. John Kerry here, who, at one time, was deemed a “flip-flopper”.

It is important?  Wow, I can’t believe that I am correct for once. . . .

What’s that you say?  You were exceptional in that you had TWO well-developed political philosophies in your life?

That’s right!  You were a Conservative for four years before you became a Liberal for the next 20 years.  Then, you switched back to being Conservative for the remaining 40 years of your life.

No wonder you said,

“If you aren’t a liberal while young, then you have no heart.” 

“If you aren’t a conservative when old, then you have no brain.”

    Ohhhhhhhhhh. . . . no?  You never really said that? . . . . . . Then, who did?

Guizot and Clemenceau?  French people are that smart?

    Yes, of course, Sir. . . I didn’t mean any offense.  They were certainly our Allies.  Yes, in fact, I just bought a WWII French rifle — never been fired, only dropped once.

    You, however, must certainly have been intelligent . . . .

    What do you mean?  You had to take the entrance examination to Sandhurst three times before you gained admission?  In addition, you despised mathematics?

    So, you never considered yourself smart?  What, then, was your opinion of yourself as a politician?

    Courageous? . . . . . born to leadership? . . . . .wow. . . . Our current politicians are these unthinking sheep, who are too afraid to cross party lines.

    Therefore, you’re saying that, in addition to diversifying the centers of our political thought and influence, we need to encourage a culture of courageous politicians who have leadership qualities, but who do not necessarily need to be smart. . . .

    Ohhhhhhhh. . . . . yes. . .  of course. . . . .  because even the obtuse know what to do when a crisis develops.

    Got it. . . but. . . I just can’t help but think of GWB. . . .

    Ahaaaaaa. . yes. . of course. . our leaders can’t be total idiots .. . . Thanks for clearing that up. .. .

    So, did you really have a joke about the intelligence of your successor after the war, Clement Attlee?  I am thinking about the one where an empty cab pulls to the curb and out steps Mr. Attlee. . . . . .

    No?. . That wasn’t you?

    Ohhhhhhhhh?  You only said that Mr. Attlee was a very modest man; and that he indeed had much to be modest about.  I get it. . . .

    However, I would have thought, Mr. Churchill, that ending a joke with a preposition was something up with which you would not put. . . . .


Post Script:

    The most accurate quotation of Mr. Churchill with regard to the message of the title and this post appears to be:

“The biggest argument against democracy is a five-minute discussion with the average voter.”

    The quote is attributable to Winston Churchill; however, it is unsourced in the sense that few can agree upon the time at, or the place in, which he first said it.

    My father (1910 – 1992) was a great admirer of Winston Churchill.  He fought in Europe during WWII, when Mr. Churchill was Prime Minister, as a field artillery commander, and then (because he was a lawyer) was assigned as an occupation officer as the war ended.  After the war, he acquired, and read, many of Mr. Churchill’s books.


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