Doug Smith: The Perfect Man

Updated 1 week ago Special to HuntingtonNews.Net
Doug Smith: The Perfect Man

by Doug Smith

The Perfect Man

Brave soul, 'twere well if all the same would say, And artists aim their patron's wish t'obey. What signifies a wart, or e'en a scar? Leave both, skilled hand, and paint us as we are.

The crowfeet paint, the wrinkles on the brow, The hollow cheek, the form inclined to bow, The tear-dim'd eye, the hair well streaked with gray, The hardened hand, begrim'd with soot and clay, And if you use the seer's revealing glass, Remember this, ' All flesh is as the grass.' Joseph Horatio Chant


Winston Churchill once got into an angry argument with his butler, and they exchanged some heated words. Later, they had this exchange:

WC: “You should apologize, you were rude to me.”

Butler: “You were rude to me first.”

WC: “Yes, but I am a great man.”

I think that nicely sums up the dichotomy that was Sir Winston Churchill. Students of history, whether they admire him, as I do, or detest him, can easily agree on two salient points.

WC was a man of many parts, some of them shocking to the sensibilities of people who did not come to maturity during the reign of Queen Victoria, and begin a political career the very year of the start of the Edwardian era. He was a man of his times and his class, which is to say his attitudes on Empire may shock modern sensibilities. FDR said of Churchill, He is not a Victorian, he is The Victorian. He grated on peers of his own time as well. He was not, in short, a collegial gent with whom you might enjoy sharing his evening cognac and cigar. He was eccentric, opinionated, a man of the 19th Century British Empire making his way in the most turbulent part of the 20th.

He was also a brilliant man, courageous and astute, and the singular indispensable man of 1930s England. He once said, “History will treat us well, for I intend to write it. “ And so he did, winning the Nobel Prize in Literature. As much as it is true that absent George Washington, it is doubtful that American in her current form would exist, it is utterly certain that, absent Winston Churchill, England would have been defeated by Hitler, and the face of the 20th century world would have been very different indeed.

So I find it curious that the modern progressive leftists insist on wart-less heroes. One wonders if they have a mirror. In their quest, like some out of place, frustrated Diogenes, for the “perfect man”, no doubt to people their “perfect Utopia”, they readily toss out the memory, or the actuality, of truly great men. They are, like the lefties, and me, and, forgive me, but you as well, alloyed and flawed. But it is sometimes the case that flawed men can do exemplary things.

Progressives, who are the latest iteration of the Utopians, whose sordid, foolish, and bloody history stretches back into antiquity with the Spartans, Plato, and perhaps even the Tower of Babel, are like warped versions of Diogenes, searching the world in a futile quest for an honest man. But instead, they waste their lives, much of their energy, and as always, much that is good in the world, seeking perfection. Their idea of a perfect society, is (of course!) one in which the “best and the brightest” (always beware that term), by which they mean (of course!) themselves, will make all the decisions for the less enlightened Plebes, ( the rest of us) and usher in the Age of Aquarius, or Enlightenment, in short, Utopia. (It is worth noting that the so called Age of Enlightenment in fact coincided with the French Revolution, the Jacobins, and the Terror: mob rule which murdered 16,000 people, and brought about not a Utopia, but Napoleon and decades of war.) Despite the noble sounding words, the Utopians/progressives always bring about the result of misery, starvation, terror, and oppression. They do it with the highest of “intentions”, the ends justifying the most brutal and horrible means, but their reality Is the means. There are never “ends”. The Soviet Utopians, under Lenin, Stalin, and Khrushchev, had control of the Russian empire for 70 years and ruled with brutality, causing some 100 million deaths, until they finally collapsed of their own weight. There was never the promised Utopia, nor was there ever going to be.

I reflected after the latest progressive mob spasm over an astronaut quoting from Winston Churchill, a truly great man, one of the greatest of the 20th century, (choke on that, snowflakes), because they disagree with some of his positions. In the progressives’ search for the perfect man, who they will never find (well, they could of course, but they would not want to look where He lived.), great achievement means nothing. Sharing their current sensibilities and beliefs is everything. This explains a great deal about the modern leftist, and why he inevitably fails. The Left celebrates correct thought (as did Stalin and Pol Pot) far above effective action. Thus Bill Clinton can say, with a hint of weeping in his voice, “I never worked so hard on anything in my life” about a failed attempt at legislation, and be celebrated. Jimmy Carter can drive the country into the doldrums that are the late 70s, and swing a hammer or give some speeches, and be thought of as a good man.

Thomas Jefferson penned the documents that began a new and unique nation and people in an 18th Century world; one that would forever change the face of the world moving forward, yet be sneered at by the Left for being a man of his times. George Washington, who is properly viewed as the Father of his country, without whom we would never have won the war, and would likely have established a new monarchy and began England all over again, is likewise reviled for being an 18th century aristocrat.

All of these men were men of their times and reflected the beliefs of the age in which they lived, but put their values and beliefs to good use and lead their nations into something better.

This is the distinction the leftist who finds his hair melting that one might quote a gem of wisdom from a man who held Victorian views, but led a successful fight against a brutal tyranny with ambitions to enslave the world. “Perfect” is always the enemy of “Better.”

Winston Churchill was not a perfect man. But he left his world a better place. He is one of my heroes. He may have believed the British Empire ought to continue to rule India, but he ensured that Hitler did not rule everything. He was not the perfect man whom the left seeks, but never finds. But he was a man of accomplishments who stands in stark contrast to the leftist who uses the “correct” terms and expresses the “right” beliefs, but oppresses speech and freedom, and ultimately, builds the Gulags. (If you are too young to know that term, read The Gulag Archipelago.) We have much to learn from imperfect men who accomplished good and thus left their mark on their world.

Unless we waste our lives vainly ignoring them while searching for the elusive “perfect man.”

For the leftist who is serious about finding the perfect man whom they may follow, don’t waste your time reading my words. Instead, try the Gospel

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