After watching Darkest Hour, an Academy Awards contender about the former British prime minister Winston Churchill, Mike Huckabee, former governor of Arkansas, tweeted his praise of both Churchill and President Donald Trump. In his tweets he compared former President Barack Obama to Neville Chamberlain and positioned Trump as a Winston Churchill of the 21st century.
He couldn’t be more wrong.
“Churchill was hated by his own party, opposition party, and press. Feared by King as reckless, and despised for his bluntness. But unlike Neville Chamberlain, he didn’t retreat. We had a Chamberlain for 8 yrs; in @realDonaldTrump we have a Churchill,” Huckabee tweeted to his 772,000 followers, and the replies to Huckabee’s false equivalency between Churchill and Trump were vicious.
Many of us read his tweets that compared a world leader who fought against Nazi Germany with a tyrant and wondered, has Huckabee read a history book lately? Has he not seen a single episode of The Crown? If any comparison among the four world leaders must be made, at the very least, Trump is more of a Chamberlain than a Churchill. Neville Chamberlain, the predecessor to Winston Churchill as prime minister, is now known for cowering in the face of Hitler, with the 1938 Munich Agreement that gave a portion of Czechoslovakia over to Nazi Germany. Churchill not only fearlessly led Britain as prime minister during World War II, he was also an officer in the British Army during the first World War and won the 1953 Nobel Prize in Literature during his second term as prime minister. He may not have been well liked by all (especially not by those in his own party), but that’s where the comparisons between Trump and Churchill should end.
Trump, for starters, infamously received five deferments from the Vietnam draft, including one for “bone spurs,” and the closest he’s come to literary immortality is the nonsensical word “covfefe;” most of the time, he can’t even be relied upon to spell correctly. The president has also been in office for less than a year, never having occupied a public service post in the past, while Churchill was a public servant for over five decades, and was twice prime minister. Queen Elizabeth named him Garter Knight, one of England’s highest honors, and on his death, he received a state funeral of a magnitude rarely granted to non-royals, as “befitting his position in history,” as the queen declared. Trump, on the other hand, can’t even get the queen to meet him, least of all agree to all the pomp and circumstance of a state dinner; there’s talk he won’t even get an invitation to Prince Harry’s wedding.
According to the New York Times interview with Timothy Riley, a curator at the National Churchill Museum, Churchill’s “greatest task, his ‘supreme task,’ was to bring countries together to support peace and prosperity and, during the Second World War, to defeat tyranny.”
History will not look back kindly on Huckabee’s comparison between a prime minister who was eventually humbled enough to lead the globe towards peace, and a man who, while believing he is the toughest of the tough, openly stands for the opposite of world peace, and can’t even get through his first year as president without whining about not being selected as Time magazine’s “Person of the Year.”