The mainstream press has pilloried President Donald Trump for announcing that Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi “died like a dog,” and “a coward.” To put icing on the mockery cake, Trump has invited “Conan,” the military working dog that tracked al-Baghdadi and cornered him in a tunnel, to the White House and referred to Conan as “beautiful” and “talented.”
Apparently, those feigning outrage in the press are unaware that the 1953 Nobel Prize winner, Winston Churchill, used equally harsh language to mock and humiliate his political and military opponents. In return, his opponents would use similarly harsh language to mock Churchill.
Throughout World War II, Churchill made no secret of his wish to borrow Florida’s infamous electric chair “Old Sparky” to publicly execute Adolph Hitler in the most painful and humiliating way possible. In a 1942 cabinet meeting, Churchill asked about the most painful way to kill Hitler. Informed that the electric chair was the most painful and humiliating method of execution, he directed that the British government should ask to “borrow Old Sparky” from the State of Florida for the job.
Churchill is also famous for referring to Gandhi, who had been nominated for the Nobel Peace Prize, as “a seditious Middle Temple lawyer of a type well known in the east, striding half-naked up the steps of the viceregal palace . . . .”
British First World War Prime Minister Lloyd George apparently so loathed his political rival Churchill and considered him so unprincipled that George publicly announced that Churchill “[w]ould make a drum out of the skin of his own mother in order to sound his own praises.”
Of course, Churchill later won the Nobel Prize in Literature for his multi-volume history of the Second World War in spite of his mocking contempt for Gandhi and George’s scorn for Churchill.
Other noted American statesmen have used similar insults to describe their opponents. John Quincy Adams referred to Thomas Jefferson as “a slur upon the moral government of the world.” His father, John Adams apparently called Alexander Hamilton, of $10 bill fame, “a bastard brat of a Scotch peddler.”
President Lyndon Johnson attacked then-House minority leader and future President Gerald Ford as “a nice guy [who] had played too much football with his helmet off.”
Theodore Roosevelt, who won a Nobel Peace Prize for negotiating peace between Russia and Japan, thereby ending the Russo-Japanese War, is supposed to have referred to his boss, and then President, William McKinley as “having the backbone of a chocolate éclair.”
Current British Prime Minister Boris Johnson, while he was a sitting member of Parliament, is also on record as having won a £1,000 prize for the “President Erdogan Offensive Poetry Competition” with the following entry: “There was a young fellow from Ankara, Who was a terrific wankerer. Till he sowed his wild oats, With the help of a goat, But he didn’t even stop to thankera.”
This 31-word masterpiece was judged, among thousands of entries, to be worthy of the £1,000 prize. For those more numerate than literate, and with an interest in this sort of thing, this is £32.25 per word.
Any commenter with any knowledge of history would recognize that mocking, and even taunting an opponent, even at the highest levels of the political class, is a long-standing tradition.
Even when Trump follows these norms, he is pilloried. But perhaps, he should continue. After all, if he continues along this path he stands a good chance of earning a Nobel Prize in Literature like Sir Winston Churchill and a Nobel Peace Prize, just like fellow President Theodore Roosevelt. Judging by the standards applied to former President Barack Obama when he won the Nobel Peace Prize, Trump has certainly met or surpassed the requirements.
Irrespective of any decision by the Nobel Committee, Trump is attacked endlessly for not conforming to “norms.” Yet, when in fact he does conform, he is still attacked.
How will #TheResistance” react when Trump receives his dual Nobel Prizes? Will this drive the epidemic of Trump Derangement Syndrome to a new fever pitch that the Opioid Crisis look like a mild case of the flu? Or perhaps Trump’s insults are part of a far more subtle plan to make the heads of the chattering classes explode and ensure his re-election in 2020? In the same way, Obama rode Osama bin Laden’s execution to reelection, my prediction is a 40-state landslide over Senator Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass). Wait and see.