We weren’t sitting in the very back of the room, but we were pretty close.
By the time I found out that syndicated columnist and FOX News commentator Charles Krauthammer was speaking in Longview, many of the tickets had already been sold. Fortunately, I was able to snag two in the back of the center section, so our seats were good.
First, let me say that I don’t often spend money to hear people speak in person that I can hear speak for free on television or radio. But, in Krauthammer’s case, I made an exception.
Part of the reason was because when I bought the tickets, we were still a couple of weeks away from Election Day. The musings of someone who could provide some insight into which way our country was about to go was something worth paying for.
Either direction seems undesirable, but I wanted to see if the one guy on TV that seems to be indefinable, neither left or right with where he stands with his politics, could enlighten me.
Turns out, I wasn’t the only person who wanted to hear what he had to say. We arrived early and took our seats. Slowly, the place began to fill up. Just before start time, I took note that there wasn’t a seat left in the house.
For those who aren’t familiar with Charles Krauthammer, he is an intellectual. But, more than that, he’s an insightful intellectual. His resume reads like something a Hollywood writer dreamed up.
He was involved in a diving accident during his first year of medical school and has used a wheelchair since. He completed his medical degree and became a psychiatrist. On paper, he still is, but hasn’t practiced medicine in decades. He worked for the Carter administration and was a speechwriter for Vice President Walter Mondale. He later became a writer for a number of national publications, won a Pulitzer Prize, currently has a syndicated column in 400 newspapers, and is ubiquitous on FOX News.
He’s kind of a big deal.
Krauthammer had several great quips during the night. His first was that he was really glad to be in a place where Bill O’Reilly couldn’t interrupt him. When he was asked how you go from Mondale to FOX News, he said, “I was young once.”
He has said on TV that Hillary Clinton is a liar and that Donald Trump is a rodeo clown. Charles later said he regretted the Trump comment because, “rodeo” was gratuitous.
Krauthammer said that later on the same day that he called Trump a rodeo clown, Trump did a late night Tweet trashing Krauthammer’s new book at the time, “Things That Matter,” which had sold over a million copies and had just come out in paperback. Trump Tweeted, “Book sucks.”
Charles said that he told his book publisher that on any additional printings of his book, he wanted to remove all of the other quotes on the back cover from famous people touting his work and replace them with just one: “Book sucks.” – Donald J. Trump.
It’s obvious that Krauthammer doesn’t care for either presidential candidate, but he certainly seems to hold a particular disdain for Trump. From all available evidence, the disdain is reciprocal. Still, Charles doesn’t hold back.
He mentioned Trump’s effort to win over evangelicals during part of his campaign by trying to quote scripture to a group. When Trump quoted The Bible, he said “Two Corinthians,” instead of “Second Corinthians.” Later that night, Krauthammer Tweeted: “Two Corinthians walk into a bar…”
During his speech, I kept waiting for Krauthammer to offer his normally spot on insight into what was going to happen to us. All of us. Our country, our culture, our children. But it wasn’t to come.
During the question and answer session, the moderators asked Charles his thoughts on a number of topics. All were questions to try and elicit some answers. He answered the questions, but not with anything definitive.
But, finally, Charles said something that did offer some comfort. He pointed out that at virtually every turn in America’s history, something significant had happened to right the ship that is our country. During the Civil War, we got a Lincoln. During the Great Depression, we got an FDR. During the 60’s, we got a Kennedy. And during the 80’s, we got a Reagan.
He pointed out that whether you attribute these fortuitous occurrences to an almighty power or something else, the fact is that our country always seems to have things fall in our favor.
This Tuesday, we go to the polls to elect our next president. And for all of our sakes, I hope Charles’ last point holds true.
©2016 John Moore
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