By sounding the alarm of Hitlerism and the looming Nazi menace--thus saving Western Civilization from a new dark ages--many consider former British Prime Minister Winston Churchill to be the single greatest man of the 20th Century.
Indeed, his quotes and speeches have become the stuff of legend, and continue to inspire us daily.
But a new voice for a new millennium has emerged, one brimming with confidence, bravado and the power of self-promotion: self-proclaimed billionaire Republican presidential aspirant and television personality Donald Trump, who just might prove to be the greatest man of the 21st Century--even though three-quarters of the century has yet pass.
Despite being men of different eras facing far different dilemmas, there are striking similarities between these two lions of their respective ages.
Both Churchill and Trump were born of privilege and wealth, but were also self-made men who advanced their careers, overcoming many obstacles to reach unheralded heights.
Born to British aristocracy, Churchill was raised by a beloved nanny and was by all accounts a mediocre student who was shuffled through boarding schools as a lonely youth. Left virtually penniless as a young man after the death of his father, he served as a young army officer in British India, the Sudan and the Second Boer War in order to make a name for himself before advancing his career as a journalist and politician.
The son of a successful New York City real estate developer, Trump was brought up in private schools, but would for disciplinary reasons be sent to the New York Military Academy at age 13, which would provide direction in his life and he would eventually graduate from the Wharton School of Finance, while working at his father's real estate firm. He would inherit an estimated $40 million to $200 million from his tycoon father, and build that inheritance into an empire through shrewd business investments, both domestically and around the world.
Both Churchill and Trump are also esteemed men of letters.
Churchill, an historian and legendary orator, is the author of over 43 books on history and culture, including his monumental six-volume "Second World War" memoir, and his epic four-volume work, "The History of the English-Speaking Peoples." In 1953, he was awarded the Nobel Prize in Literature for his "mastery of historical and biographical description as well as for brilliant oratory in defending exalted human values."
Trump is no slouch as an author, either, having written or co-written over a dozen books including such bestselling motivational tomes as, "Trump: The Art of the Deal," "Think Big and Kick Ass in Business and Life," and "Trump: The Best Golf Advice I Ever Received," which continue to inspire legions of young community college graduates embarking on a career in sales. Indeed, his 11-step formula for business success, outlined in his first book, "The Art of the Deal," continues to resonate for many, especially tip #1: "Think Big," tip #7: "Get the Word Out," and tip #10: "Contain the Costs."
As singularly important men of their ages, both Churchill and Trump are eminently quotable, each having weighed in on a wide range of subjects.
Let's see how Churchill and Trump's own words stack up on some of the most pressing issues of their respective times.
Churchill on the Nazi Threat to Mankind
"Hitler knows that he will have to break us in this island or lose the war. If we can stand up to him, all Europe may be free and life of the world may move forward into broad, sunlit uplands. But if we fail, then the whole world, including the United States, including all that we have known and cared for, will sink into the abyss of a new Dark Age made more sinister, and perhaps more protracted, by the lights of perverted science. Let us therefore brace ourselves to our duties, and so bear ourselves that, if the British Empire and its Commonwealth lasts for a thousand years, men will say, 'This was their finest hour!'"
Trump on the Threat of Illegal Immigration
"When Mexico sends its people, they're not sending their best...They're sending people that have lots of problems, and they're bringing those problems to us. They're bringing drugs. They're bringing crime. They're rapists. And some, I assume, are good people! But I speak to border guards and they tell us what we're getting. And it only makes common sense. They're sending us not the right people. It's coming from more than Mexico. It's coming from all over South and Latin America, and it's coming probably from the Middle East. But we don't know. Because we have no protection and we have no competence, we don't know what's happening. And it's got to stop and it's got to stop fast."
Churchill on the Soviet Domination of Post-World War II Europe
"From Stettin in the Baltic to Trieste in the Adriatic, an 'iron curtain' has descended across the Continent. Behind that line lie all the capitals of the ancient states of Central and Eastern Europe. Warsaw, Berlin, Prague, Vienna, Budapest, Belgrade, Bucharest and Sofia, all these famous cities and the populations around them lie in what I must call the Soviet sphere, and all are subject in one form or another, not only to Soviet influence but to a very high and, in many cases, increasing measure of control from Moscow."
Trump on the Growing Dominance of China in World Markets
"Our country is in serious trouble. We don't have victories anymore. We used to have victories, but we don't have them. When was the last time anybody saw us beating, let's say China in a trade deal? I beat China all the time. All the time."
"Their (China's) leaders are much smarter than our leaders, and we can't sustain ourself with that. It's like - take the New England Patriots and Tom Brady and have them play your high school football team. That's the difference between China's leaders and our leaders."
"I've read hundreds of books about China over the decades. I know the Chinese. I've made a lot of money with the Chinese. I understand the Chinese mind."
Churchill on Democracy
"It has been said that Democracy is the worst form of government except all those other forms that have been tried from time to time."
Trump on Politics
"One of the key problems today is that politics is such a disgrace, good people don't go into government."
Churchill Addressing the House of Commons on Becoming Prime Minister in 1940 Shortly After England Declares War on Germany
"I would say to the house, as I have said to those who have joined this government: I have nothing to offer but blood, toil, tears and sweat."
Trump on How He Would Deal with the Threat from ISIS
"I would do things that would be so tough that I don't even know if they'd [ISIS] be around to come to the table...I would bomb the hell out of those oil fields [in Iraq]. I wouldn't send many troops because you won't need them by the time I got finished."
Churchill on Capitalism vs. Socialism
"The inherent vice of capitalism is the unequal sharing of blessings; the inherent virtue of socialism is the equal sharing of miseries."
Trump on Money
"The second-greatest day of a man's life is the day he buys a yacht, but the greatest day of a man's life is the day he sells it."
Churchill on Russia
"Russia is a riddle wrapped in a mystery inside an enigma."
Trump on President Barack Obama's Birth Certificate
"An 'extremely credible source' has called my office and told me that @BarackObama's birth certificate is a fraud."
Churchill on Hitler
"Hitler is a monster of wickedness, insatiable in his lust for blood and plunder. Not content with having all Europe under his heal, or else terrorized into various forms of abject submission, he must now carry his work of butchery and desolation among the vast multitudes of Russia and of Asia...So now this bloodthirsty guttersnipe must launch his mechanized armies upon new fields of slaughter, pillage and devastation."
Trump on Rosie O'Donnell
"Rosie O'Donnell's disgusting both inside and out...You take a look at her, she's a slob. She talks like a truck driver, she doesn't have her facts, she'll say anything that comes to her mind. Her show failed when it was a talk show, the ratings went very, very, very low and very bad, and she got essentially thrown off of television. I mean she's basically a disaster."
Only time will tell if one day many will hold such Trumpian pronouncements in the same lofty regard as those who still hold dear all things Churchillian.
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