It is with the greatest sadness that I learned of the losing battle Charles Krauthammer is currently facing against an aggressive case of cancer. In a letter sent to his readers, Krauthammer stated that his doctors estimate he has only weeks to live.
For those who aren't familiar with Krauthammer, he has been a syndicated columnist and respected voice in the conservative community for decades. Standing firm by the ideals of classical liberalism, Krauthammer argued eloquently for his stances on each and every issue, never indulging in ad hominem attacks against those with whom he disagreed. For the past while, Krauthammer has slowed down his pace of work, and now we know why. While it would be wrong to begin mourning a loss which has yet to occur, we should consider the impact of what losing a voice like his means for our society.
Vitriol, polarisation and a shrill pitch are what characterise the majority of public discourse today. That which gets the most views is valued over that which has the best substance. This is the intellectual tragedy of our time. Charles Krauthammer reminds us that standing by our beliefs is much better done in a calm, well-thought-out, and rational way. His long career as a columnist shows his ability to stand astride the fray and the noise of other political commentators and become an island of stoic sanity. For all those who find it difficult to separate daily life and political views, his life serves as an ideal to live up to.
His essays were masterfully written and widely read. He furthered the discussion on every topic he chose to write about and in doing so, challenged the other side to do the same. Krauthammer represents the best in our political and societal world; those who are able to engage in civil discourse. In keeping a sharp and steady mind even in the toughest of debates, Krauthammer has made a lasting impression on the world and reminded millions that polite conduct is not a luxury, but a necessity of a healthy society. I wish him all the best in his fight against cancer and hope that these last days are able to bring him peace and comfort from a life well lived.