Tuesday, February 17, 2009

"The Wilderness Years"

For the next four or eight years I will from time to time refer to "The Wilderness Years" as I post political commentary on this blog. As a Conservative Republican my political party is out of power having lost both houses of Congress and the Presidency. For those of you who are not Winston Churchill buffs this term became popular when referring to the ten year period of time Winston Churchill was out of power between 1929 and 1939. Prior to that time Winston Churchill had been a powerful politician in England and had held several posts in the British Cabinet including First Lord of the Admiralty (head of British Navy) and Chancellor of the Exchequer ( Treasury). In 1929, while still a member of Parliament, he was viewed as "washed up" and retreated to his home at Chartwell in Kent. Few listened to him and he had very little influence on the British government. He warned England about the rise of Hitler and his aggressive intentions but few in power listened. He was called back to power again as First Lord of the Admiralty when Hitler invaded Poland and then later became Prime Minister when France was falling to Hitler almost when it was too late. Now, my Republican Party has entered our 'Wilderness Years" and the question remains when will we be called back and who will lead us out of the wilderness? Today's events are tomorrows history.

UPDATE: To learn more about this part of Churchill's life read William Manchester's excellent book "The Last Lion: Winston Spencer Churchill, Alone 1932-1940"; or the also excellent HBO movie the "Gathering Storm" available on DVD. I had an opportunity to visit his home at Chartwell, summer before last.They filmed part of the HBO movie there