As the new movie “Darkest Hour” ends, Lord Halifax acknowledges that Winston Churchill has taken the English language and sent it into battle. We are not yet in our darkest hour in the U.S., but we too have a political leader who sends the English language into battle. Too bad he does not do it in service of any cause nobler than enriching himself and his Mar-a-Lago customers, whom he told Friday night that they are about to “get a whole lot richer.”
Churchill said that “in war-time, truth is so precious that she should always be attended by a bodyguard of lies.” He had a very noble purpose, turning back Nazi domination of Europe (sullied by his simultaneously vicious and oblivious imperialism). In 2017, the president protects himself, or tries to, with nearly incessant razzle-dazzle, aka lies–but not, as far as I can tell, in service of any noble cause at all. It’s just a bodyguard of lies all the way down, with no bottom in sight yet.