I have noticed something over the years, and have perhaps written about it. (Short must be the list of things I’ve noticed and haven’t written about.) People who hate Lincoln, also hate Churchill. Lincoln-haters and Churchill-haters tend to be the same people. I have heard from them regularly, since I first started writing — and they come from the right. At least the ones I hear from do.
Conversely, people who admire or revere Lincoln, also admire or revere Churchill. The two men are paired, either way. I thought of this, for the hundredth time, when I was in Congressman Paul Ryan’s office last week. There was a bust of Churchill, and a photo of Lincoln. (Also a photo of Vince Lombardi — Ryan’s a Wisconsinite, remember. Lombardi was a Brooklyn boy, but he is forever linked to Green Bay.)
(I will have much to report on Ryan in NR and on NRO in coming days.)
There is an essay to be written about Lincoln and Churchill, and their haters and reverers. I’m sure such essays have been written. I may write one my own bad self, one day.
Speaking of writing: I have some remarks on Strauss’s Salome over at The New Criterion — check it out, if you wish. I end with a story about Otto Klemperer, the great mid-century (mid-20th-century) conductor. He is known to some as Colonel Klink’s dad — the father of the actor Werner Klemperer, who played on Hogan’s Heroes.
P.S. I suppose that Lincoln and Churchill are my favorite statesmen, in modern times (i.e., post-Renaissance or so). Lincoln is far and away No. 1, to me. Yet I always feel squeamish about leaving Washington out. Ah, but as I often say, in various contexts, statesmen (and others) are not like tennis players. We don’t necessarily have to rank them.