Pulitzer Prize-winning columnist Charles Krauthammer has written his last column, sharing with millions of readers and viewers that cancer ravaged his body, cutting short a life that has been remarkable in so many respects. The sheer guts and determination that brought him back from a catastrophic spinal cord injury that left him a quadriplegic are well known. He finished college and went on to graduate from Harvard Medical School. America has many outstanding physicians, but syndicated columnists and political commentators of Mr. Krauthammer’s caliber? Alas, like the white rhino, almost extent. Often, this last year, when Mr. Krauthammer battled cancer and its complications, I have watched, listened and read about geopolitical and economic issues and thought, “I wonder what Krauthammer is thinking right now?”
I maintain a level of skepticism as I wade through fake news, allegations of this, charges of that, yours is the party of hypocrites, liars, racists, enemies of the Constitution, sexual abusers – no, yours is the guilty party. Charles Krauthammer was one of the very few journalists I trusted, even though our personal viewpoints were often misaligned. I did not have to agree with him to accept his insightful dissection of issues that challenge the world daily.
I did not vote for president in the last election. I struggled with Hilary Clinton, whom I considered politically qualified, but morally bankrupt, and Donald Trump, whom I saw as appallingly ignorant on many levels, and psychologically challenged for the presidency.
Sometime in the summer preceding the election, Mr. Krauthammer wrote a lengthy column castigating, Hilary Clinton, spotlighting many of the issues which had given me sleepless nights. Then he turned his attention to Donald Trump. By the time I’d finished the article, I resolved not to cast a vote for either major presidential candidate. Sadly, the very reasons Mr. Krauthammer gave for why Donald Trump was psychologically unsuited for the highest office in the land slap me in the face on an almost daily basis.
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One former Fox News contributor was asked this week, “Do you think we’re headed towards a constitutional crisis?” He corrected the interviewer, and I paraphrase here, “No, we’re not headed towards a constitutional crisis. We’re in a constitutional crisis.” Had Mr. Krauthammer continued writing his column and giving on-air commentary on issues this last year, Americans would have had a clear voice of reason holding up a mirror to the paradoxes, quagmires, lies and assaults on the U. S. Constitution that are the diet we are being force-fed daily by political figures of both major parties.
//Sadly, Mr. Krauthammer died on Thursday. In honor of Mr. Krauthammer, I will do my best as a citizen to stay informed, to listen, question, ponder, and approach issues from different perspectives. I promise I will continue to ask myself, “What would Charles Krauthammer think about this?” Most of us want to feel that we have changed some little piece of the world for the better before we leave it. You have and I thank you for it.
Joan Newcomb is a semi-retired school teacher and Fresno resident.