In the midst of the season of poison, when the former first woman President hints darkly that a vote for her is a vote to save her opponent’s life, and the Republican scream machine keeps cranking out e-mails stating that Barak Obama is a radical Muslim who will not recite the Pledge of Allegiance, it is a joy to read something as simple and pure as Cal Thomas’ column in today’s edition of The State.
In his column, entitled “God Bless Ted Kennedy” he writes about his long friendship with an idealogical opponent that is almost inconcievable in the current atmosphere. He says: “I came to see Sen. Kennedy not as a symbol, but as a fellow human being who does not get up in the morning seeking ways to harm the country. I know of things he has done for the poor and homeless on his own time and in his own way without a press release or a desire for public approval. I know of other hurts and concerns about which I would never speak.”
Imagine. Our political adversaries are human. They have lives that are as full of joy and disappointment as our own. They are not possessed of some resident evil, but believe things with which we disagree. When we listen to each other, we just might find our ideas closer than we originally thought. Even when we can’t resolve our differences, following Cal Thomas’ genuine, human view of Teddy Kennedy, we can at least come to respect them for their efforts to make the world better.
I’m praying for Senator Kennedy, ashamed that I had to be reminded to do so by a writer who is neither my idealogical ally nor my friend. I’m saying a little prayer of thanks for Cal Thomas, too. And waiting for his next column.