Citizen Churchill

by fp on March 3, 2010

in Democracy,War and Peace

The twentieth century saw the erosion of egalitarian American revolutionary values. Any claim America had to a special place in the family of nations was long gone by the time John Kennedy took office.

If you are some kind of fancy aristocrat with a foreign title of nobility, you can forget about US citizenship unless you renounce the title. Article One of the Constitution is pretty specific about that. But, in 1963 law and tradition were set aside to honor Sir Winston Churchill with honorary citizenship. He was the first of seven honorary citizens of the United States of America, and besides Mother Teresa the only one to receive the award while still breathing.

Citizen Churchill… how did that dissipated old war monger with his English honorifics and titles find his way so deep into our hearts that we granted him citizenship? Well, he received the award in Camelot, in the last year of the Kennedy presidency. Kennedy’s father was aristocracy himself, a beer baron during prohibition then Ambassador to the Court of Saint James. The Churchill award was symbolic of the marriage and merger of the ruling class of two great powers.

The old codger totally pulled the wool over the eyes of President Truman during and after World War Two. When his own people booted him out of office following the war he was welcomed in the US, so welcome that he gave his Iron Curtain speech in Truman’s back yard, plunging the world into the decades long cold war and encouraging our own home grown jingoistic red-baiters to divide the country along ideological lines.

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