Winston Churchill is reputed to have said, “You can depend on Americans to do the right thing, after they have exhausted every other possibility.”
(I say “reputed” because, although I find many second-hand references to the quotation, I have been unable to find a citable usage in Churchill’s published works and recorded speeches.)
In any event, the sentiment has power, because it shows (1) Americans are a decent, generous, and freedom-loving people who usually end up doing the right thing; (2) American democracy and both our constitutional and instinctual checks-and-balances naturally lead to division, debate, and sometimes slow and muddled thinking, although in the end the processes work; and (3) there’s nothing particularly new about this: World leaders who were themselves decent, generous, freedom-loving, and philo-American were noticing it about us a hundred and more years ago.
Winston Churchill was born on this day, November 30th, in 1874. The world has known few who were as courageous and determined in the defense of liberty.