One of the most intelligent journalists of our time was not formally trained in
journalism. Dr Charles Krauthammer was a practicing psychiatrist until his circuitous trail through life led him to a distinguished career in journalism.
Several weeks ago I watched Dr Krauthammer being interviewed on national television. When asked how he metamorphosed from a young liberal into a mature conservative his answer was brilliant."Empirical evidence repeatedly failed to support my naive assumptions as a young liberal. Since I was trained in science, conversion to a conservative perspective was inevitable. Better late than never."
My definition of a brilliant person is someone who agrees with me. Dr Krauthammer is one brilliant guy.
Last week empirical evidence of dysfunctional behavior in the White house was
presented in a blunt but compelling manner by one of my farm guests. John, who lives just over the mountain near Covington, was poking at a log in the kitchen wood stove.
As usual his thought locker was running at high speed. He’s a retired navy fighter pilot, a breed of mavericks known for their lack of tact and diplomacy but usually right on target when it came to defining problems created inside the Washington Beltway. Like Dr Krauthammer, John used empirical evidence to support his concern.
" Lefty." he said while continuing to poke at the log ," it’s kind of discouraging. The fate of my country is in the hands of the crew in the White house. For the first time since I had to bail out over North Viet Nam I’m really worried." John closed the door to the wood stove, turned toward me, and presented his case.
" The Japanese bombed Pearl Harbor in December of 1941. During the next three and a half years of World War II our government managed to train over sixteen million men and women in uniform, making them the best fighting force in history. We also produced 22 aircraft carriers,8 battleships, 48 cruisers, 349 destroyers, 420 destroyer escorts, 203 submarines, 34 million tons of merchant shipping, 100,000 fighter aircraft, 98,000 bombers, 24,000 transport aircraft, 58,000 training aircraft, 93,000 tanks, 257,000 artillery pieces, 105,000 mortars, 3,000,000 machine guns and 2,500,000 military trucks."
At this point John got up, put on his coat, and started toward the door. While putting on his cap he turned toward me and continued:
"In putting those 16 million men and women in uniform we proceeded, during that same three and a half year period, to invade Africa, Sicily, and Italy. We won the battle for the Atlantic, planned and executed D-Day, and proceeded to liberate France, Belgium, Holland, and the rest of Western Europe in defeating Nazi Germany. Simultaneously we fought across the vast Pacific, developed the atomic bomb and ultimately defeated Imperial Japan."
As John left the kitchen to get a breath of fresh air outside, he turned again and made the final point of his concern. " Now, during a similar three and a half year period, our White house leaders couldn’t build a functioning web site." With a touch of disgust in his voice he concluded: "When is John Q Public going to wake up?"
I don’t know John. I’ve been asking that same question for five years.
Retired Consulting Engineer and Farmer