Most people fade quickly, but some make an indelible mark that lives on for years after they leave this earth. Sometimes we need to step back and look at people who left a mark on us before they leave us. This week’s Sunday Spotlight is about a man who had my attention every time his lips moved, or his thoughts went to type and who I wish was here today to add some sense to our mess. This week’s Spotlight is on the genius who was Charles Krauthammer.
Three men analyzed the political world for us that I admired and could not tell you whether they leaned Left or Right. Tony Snow, Tim Russert, and Charles Krauthammer were gentlemen in an ugly arena. They were thinking men who could calmly analyze the political pulse and break it down so we all could understand it. They all left us far too early but crammed more than a lifetime into their time on earth. Charles was the cream of the crop. I would say that he stood above the rest, but he had not been able to stand for years. Being captive to his wheelchair since college did not hold down this genius of a man.
I used to plan my day to be in front of the TV each night to watch Charles on Special Report. He and Bret Baier had a unique chemistry, and Charles would anchor the nightly panel discussion. He had a calming voice and demeanor and always had insightful thoughts that often had me nodding my head in unison with the other panelists. It did not matter the topic, the guests would debate the issue, and then Charles would put a wrap on the conversation.
Minds like Charles’ do not come around often. There is no one currently in the media that I would put in his league. Charles did not have a political slant. I never thought about him as a Liberal or Conservative. I just thought of him as logical and solid. His confidence was palpable but never in your face. The only person who even comes close is Harold Ford Jr. of Fox News. Ford wears many hats, and one was a former Congressman from Tennessee. Harold is a Democrat but, like Charles, is more logical than political in his thinking. Another is Shannon Bream, the new host of Fox News Sunday. In the spirit of Tim Russert, you do not get leading questions to get a particular slant. She delivers straight down the middle.
Charles was soft spoken but always confident. If Charles had not had tragedy to overcome in his life, he would be impressive. Knowing his story makes him inspirational. He showed how regardless of what life throws, you have the intestinal fortitude to overcome the challenges. A quadriplegic, doctor, philosopher, and maybe a once-in-a-lifetime national treasure. Taken from us far too soon, we are lucky to have had his life and work for the time God gave us. We who admired and listened to his words are better people for his influence.
We need people like Charles, Harold, and Shannon. The news is volatile and divisive, with everyone pointing fingers at the other side. We need a calming voice that can settle the rhetoric. We need people who are not about sensationalism but are sensational in their analysis of the news. Charles Krauthammer set the bar high, and that is what we need in life- a standard of excellence to shoot for.