American Exceptionalism and Mr. Charles Krauthammer
Thursday, June 21, 2018 at 5:52PM
David Arendale in History, Personal

Long-time Fox News panelist Charles Krauthammer, a psychiatrist, Pulitzer Prize-winner and bestselling author, regularly commented on issues great and small. He passed on June 21, 2018. Following are several of his quotations. I think he was the smartest and wisest person I ever listened to on TV. And also an overcomer of a physical challenge that most people never knew.

AMERICAN EXCEPTIONALISM 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. We are the most flourishing, the most powerful, most influential country on Earth with this system, invented by the greatest political geniuses probably in human history.” 

GO WHERE THE EVIDENCE TAKES YOU. “I was a Great Society liberal. I thought we ought to help the poor, we ought to give them all the money we can. And then, the evidence started to pour in. The evidence of how these grand programs, the poverty programs, the welfare programs--everything was making things worse. I didn't have a dog in that fight. I was willing to go where the evidence led. As a doctor, I'd been trained in empirical evidence. If the treatment is killing your patients, you stop the treatment.

INDIVIDUALS MAKE A DIFFERENCEIn our sophisticated historical analyses, we tend to attribute everything to these large underlying currents, to certain political ideologies, or social changes like industrialization or the growth of women's rights and all that. But that’s missing the obvious—there’s usually a person who influenced things in a way that all the underlying forces cannot account for. In American history, (there’s) Washington, Lincoln, FDR, Reagan--they all stand out. It’s a way of looking at history that's less abstract, and is more recognizing the individual, which we tend not to do.

FAITHFaith is something that one has or doesn't have; one doesn't construct it. The one thing I do believe is that of all the possible views of God, atheism is the least plausible. The idea that there's no meaning or purpose or origin--that the Universe is as it always was, is to me entirely implausible for reasons of physics, apart from faith. Because if you reason back to first causes, and if you’re an atheist, you get to a logical contradiction.”

Article originally appeared on David Arendale's Web Site: History Simultations, Peer Learning, Learning Technology, Academic Achievement, Postsecondary (
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