Charles Krauthammer

Well, Charles Krauthammer is gone, although, for many of us, he will never be forgotten. I’m lucky, in a sense, my life and interest has spanned the life of two of the most intellectual and persuasive conservatives in American history, Bill Buckley, and Charles Krauthammer. Not surprisingly I agreed with neither more than perhaps 80% of the time. Conservatism is, above all else, a philosophy of the individual, and each of us brings different things to the table.

What Buckley, and even more Krauthammer, brought was a broad understanding of American conservatism’s basis in philosophy: Jewish, Christian and enlightenment. All have their part, all are important, and each plays slightly differently in each of us.

Much of what Krauthammer brought, for me anyway, was even (maybe especially) when I disagreed with him was that he helped to clarify my thinking. In listening to his rational, logical thinking, the flaws in my own became clear. Not that this meant he changed my mind, sometimes he did, usually, I found (or invented) a flaw in his thinking. Thus he was a superb mentor for my thinking, even as so many of the younger people at Fox News say he was for them.

I think it interesting that the two best obituaries I found this morning are in the £ Daily Mail and the Jerusalem Post.

 From the Mail:

In 1984 he joined the Washington Post where his critical column awarded him the Commentary Pulitzer Prize in 1987.

Krauthammer was an influential voice among Republicans, through his syndicated column and his appearances on Fox News and elsewhere.

He was known for a dour expression, wry humor and sharp intellect.

In 2006, the Financial Times named him the most influential commentator in the United States.

Krauthammer gave mixed reviews to President Donald Trump, questioning his ‘loud and bombastic’ approach to the job and calling him a charlatan while praising actions such as withdrawing from the Paris climate accord and nominating Neil Gorsuch to the Supreme Court.

He had been a leading critic of President Barack Obama and what Krauthammer perceived as his ‘social democratic agenda,’ while supporting George W. Bush’s intervention in the Middle East.

Krauthammer also liked President Ronald Reagan’s stand against communism and popularized the term ‘Reagan Doctrine’ to describe it.

He had been married to his wife Robyn Krauthammer for 44 years and has a 32-year-old son, Daniel Krauthammer, who survive him. In his free time, Krauthammer enjoyed baseball and chess.

One of the more fascinating things to me is that he started as a speechwriter for Walter Mondale, and began writing for The Washington Post and The Atlantic, and found himself agreeing with Ronald Reagan more and more. Perhaps the greatest conservative convert of the greatest conservative convert who became president.

He, like, I was not enamored with President Trump during the primary season, not least because we had the strongest field since Lincoln ran alone. Neither of us thought Trump sounded like what a President should, a vulgarian at best. Yet both of us, when he won the nomination decided that he was preferable to the appalling Hillary Clinton, and while not enthusiastic, supported him. I wish we could know what he thought now. For myself, I think Trump has turned into the best conservative (not complete yet) conversion since the Gipper, himself, and may end up saving the Republic as we knew it, and Israel in the bargain.

The Post speaks of his support of Israel:

Krauthammer wrote in 2014 about “Kafkaesque ethical inversions” that make for Western criticism of Israel. “The world’s treatment of Israel is Orwellian, fueled by a mix of classic antisemitism, near-total historical ignorance and reflexive sympathy for the ostensible Third World underdog,” he wrote.

He understood that eruptions featuring Palestinian casualties (such as recent Hamas assaults on the Gaza border) were “depravity.”

“The whole point is to produce dead Palestinians for international television; to deliberately wage war so that your own people can be telegenically killed; indeed, moral and tactical insanity,” he said. “But it rests on a very rational premise. The whole point is to draw Israeli counter-fire; to produce dead Palestinians for international television, and to ultimately undermine support for Israel’s legitimacy and right to self-defense.”

In 2015, he repeatedly skewered then-president Barack Obama’s nuclear deal with Iran, calling it “the worst agreement in U.S. diplomatic history.”

To Obama, he wrote accusingly: “You set out to prevent proliferation and you trigger it. You set out to prevent an Iranian nuclear capability and you legitimize it. You set out to constrain the world’s greatest exporter of terror threatening every one of our allies in the Middle East and you’re on the verge of making it the region’s economic and military hegemon.”

Decidedly a voice that will be, already has been in fact, missed. One of the clearest we have ever produced. In some ways, it was people like Dr.Krauthammer that made Fox News, as well. I can remember in the early days, even through Gulf War 1, it was nearly unwatchable, even for a conservative. But as he and others built it, it has become by any measure the best American network for news, as opposed to propaganda. Perfect, of course not, but like the country, it is a work of man, not God, and it tries to improve. But there is no improving or replacing Krauthammer. We’ll simply have to muddle along with the words he has written to guide us.

The Mail quoted his farewell letter from a couple weeks ago:

‘I leave this life with no regrets,’ Krauthammer wrote in his farewell statement.

‘It was a wonderful life… I am sad to leave but I leave with the knowledge that I lived the life that I intended.’

We should all be so fortunate.

Fair winds and following seas, Charles, rest in Peace.

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16 Responses to Charles Krauthammer

  1. Scoop says:

    This years summer solstice was filled with sad news indeed. Charles was indeed the heir apparent of the intellectual wit and conservatism that the Bill and to an extent brother Reid Buckley displayed. We will sorely miss him on the conservative side of things and sadly I know of know successor lurking in the woods at this time.

    And Koko the gorilla, who’s IQ could have been as high as 95 (which is probably higher than most Democratic politicians), has passed. Certainly she had more compassion and civility than most of our Washington elite.

    Lastly, my daughter’s dog had to be put to sleep after some 17 years of being a loyal and loving companion to our whole family. So a sad day for the losses that were brought to us on the summer winds of 2018.

    Liked by 4 people

    • NEO says:

      Yes, a very sad day, and my condolences to your daughter, and Charles would add his I’m sure as he was another dog lover.

      Liked by 1 person

    • the unit says:

      Condolences to you. Three truly sad events. Had same sad event as your daughter and your family with our Coco in 2017. Coco had given the world 9 pups at one time, which were all lovingly adopted. We had her fixed and believe that’s necessary. The thing is she was going to give birth when she came to us many years before. She was maybe about 15 and pancreatitis led to her demise.

      Liked by 2 people

  2. the unit says:

    My distaste for Hillary was always bitter enough to support Trump from the beginning. Any republican then would’ve worked for me.
    I’m glad you and Dr. Krauthammer came to generally support Trump. For me during times of ridicule and sarcastic name calling with nicknames like Slick Willie, The Donald, G.W. Jr. (he wasn’t Jr. of course), that Charles’ nickname was Charles says a lot about his character as no one had a disparaging name for him. At least publicly, I’m sure libs did under their breath.
    You’ll perhaps remember in our blog commentary conversations I gave a reason to vote for Trump over Hillary. He would be impeachable, she not. Although he may not be, it’s obvious that sentiment is there in both parties. And like I thought, would probably begin January 20, 2017.
    As for my distaste for any Clinton and dems, it has been there since tasting Billy Beer! 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    • NEO says:

      Yep, he was a good ‘un. And yes, there was no real choice after the Demonrat convention, if your loyalty was to America rather than the Washington Cocktail Party.

      Only beer I can remember that didn’t taste good on a sunny 105 degree Nebraska afternoon. I don’t know what that horse had, but it was worse than dysentery!

      Liked by 1 person

      • the unit says:

        Goldwater water was good! 🙂

        Liked by 1 person

        • NEO says:

          I missed out on that, but it doesn’t surprise me. Barry almost never did anything halfway. 🙂

          Liked by 1 person

        • the unit says:

          It was canned too. Sold at ‘Young Republicans For Goldwater’ meetings back then. Had I can of it I saved for many years. Moved too many times to remember what happened to it. And maybe a hurricane took it out to sea to join all the plastic bags. But it wasn’t aluminum like now. So it’s corroded away by now. One of those cans we could show our manliness by being able to crush it with a powerful hand squeeze. 🙂

          Liked by 1 person

        • NEO says:

          Yep, and the reason my key ring had a church key on it! Couldn’t make a fish hook out of it though. 🙂

          Liked by 1 person

        • the unit says:

          No matter. Can’t reel in a “snowflake” to the right side with a fish hook anyway. So better to just pop a top ’til after the mid-terms and not waste time. 🙂


  3. the unit says:

    Oh, and I’ve read (not a lot of course ’cause I don’t circulate much anymore) of conservatives sick of tributes to Charles.
    One said never heard of him! Well, I guess too much of anything is too much. Still he didn’t kill himself like the cook whats-his-name from CNN who was tributized for what seemed like as long as CNN reports negatively on Trump.
    Maybe watch too much TV? 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Nicholas says:

    Here’s a link to a transcript of an interview with the late Mr Krauthammer about his thoughts on Israel.

    Liked by 1 person

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