Tag Archives: populist

Michael Medved: A Great Movie’s Misleading Message

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The magnificent new Churchill movie, “Darkest Hour,” easily counts among the year’s best, but a crucial scene sends a message the real Sir Winston would have hated.

In the movie, the Prime Minister wavers over starting peace talks with Hitler, and on the way to a cabinet meeting, he wanders into the Underground—London’s subway. He asks the opinions of ordinary Englishmen in his car, and—only when they tell him to keep fighting at all costs—does he convey that message to Parliament in the famous, “we shall fight on the beaches” speech.

It’s a touching sequence, but totally misleading: Churchill never rode the Underground, and never shared the comforting, populist notion that leaders should take direction and inspiration from the common man. Like Reagan, Thatcher or Lincoln, Churchill knew that great leaders must provide inspiration and direction to the masses, not the other way around.

That’s a role today’s leading figures must learn, and embrace.

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Michael Medved: France and the Collapse of the Left

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French voters won’t pick a new president until May 7th, but the first round of balloting highlights an important international trend, the dramatic decline of the left:

•    The candidate of the ruling Socialists finished a pathetic fifth in France, not coming close to the run-off.

•    In the most powerful South American countries, Brazil and Argentina, leftists are out of office and face criminal prosecution, while the Socialist government in Venezuela teeters on the edge of collapse.

•    In Germany, India, Israel, the Netherlands and many other nations, the left is divided and defeated, while U.S. Democrats have lost the Senate, House and presidency, holding power in barely a third of state governments.

Yes, populist rabble-rousers and independent centrists show energy around the world, but the more striking current development is the establishment left losing power and influence.

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