The letter began “I have been uncharacteristically silent these past ten months,” sending a shiver of apprehension through the hearts of journalists, pundits, and the American public. With a collective deep breath, we braced to read the words penned by Charles Krauthammer, announcing his imminent death, from the scourge of metastatic cancer.
His absence from Fox News these past ten months was palpable. The network, lacking the caliber of his incredible intellect and ability to communicate, was missing their most powerful voice on the political front. And as we have all witnessed, in-depth and thoughtful analysis in D.C. politics have regressed to name calling and faddish, identity politics ideology.
Krauthammer is not that kind of game player. Friend and foe both appreciated, and at times were intimidated, by his style of engaging in a debate of issues—he is well versed on arguments from both sides of the aisle. As a younger political operative, he wrote speeches for candidate Walter Mondale and was a liberal ideologue. He became a conservative, in his opinion, due to the Democrat’s lack of foreign policy, especially concerning Israel and the Middle East.
Krauthammer, born in New York City but raised in Canada and France, has been in love with America his entire life, once stating:
“America is the only country ever founded on an idea. The only country that is not founded on race or even common history. It’s founded on an idea and the idea is liberty. That is probably the rarest phenomena in the political history of the world; this has never happened before. And not only has it happened, but it’s worked.”
He has tirelessly stood up for the principles this country was founded on, delivering his style of lesson with an abrasive sense of humor and razor-sharp criticism of The Swamp and all its toady inhabitants — Democrat or Republican. He was a champion for his America, strong and owning the world’s respect.
He also happens to be the only man alive who elicited an apology from Barack Obama’s White House. Who else but Charles Krauthammer could opine on Obama immediately removing the bust of Winston Churchill upon his first few days in office, be on the receiving end of a backlash from the administration, only to receive a public “my bad” for the attempt to drag him through the mud?
His letter continued:
“I believe that the pursuit of truth and right ideas through honest debate and rigorous argument is a noble undertaking.
I am grateful to have played a small role in the conversations that have helped guide this extraordinary nation’s destiny.”
Krauthammer’s role over three decades helped to shape our nation domestically and abroad. He is in all respects the true north for those who seek the truth. A superhero for journalists to emulate, who encouraged a fearless stance in bucking the system, when the system was fatally flawed.
For the casual onlooker, Krauthammer has not had an easy life. But in his eyes, it is a charmed life. From a tragic accident that caused paralysis to his battle with cancer, and now to face his death, his battles are ours now to embrace and conquer.
As he concluded his note to all, “I leave this life with no regrets. It was a wonderful life — full and complete with the great loves and great endeavors that make it worth living. I am sad to leave, but I leave with the knowledge that I lived the life that I intended.”
And he heads towards the light the same way he lived; with curiosity, conviction, and strength. Thank God I lived in the same time as this man. He will be missed.