To the Editor:
In his finely wrought appreciation of Charles Krauthammer (“Krauthammer’s Final Point,” January), Andrew Ferguson is correct that “Krauthammer’s stuff was always worth reading, and … he was even worth watching on TV, something that can be said of only a very few writers.”
I recently reread Krauthammer’s 2007 column “Cardinals’ Virtue,” about a professional baseball player’s near-fatal mistake, and it brought a tear to my eye. Krauthammer understood that life always has more than one ending. He stated in his farewell column, “I leave this life with no regrets.” We recognize that this ultimate confidence comes from a man for whom the old Yiddish dictum of “der mentsch tract un Gott lacht” (man plans and God laughs) was not nearly sufficient. Krauthammer wrote that “what distinguishes us is whether—and how—we ever come back.”
Krauthammer wasn’t defeated by his own setbacks and became the preeminent columnist of our time. He once wrote, “Human beings need to tremble when looking at the universe. If not, they don’t understand what’s going on. That’s sort of the key: to understand how little we can understand.” So full of humility, Krauthammer understood so much, and we miss greatly this perspective that informed his work.