Monday, August 24, 2015

OPINION - Shields and Gerson 8/21/2015

"Shields and Gerson on Trump’s immigration politics, Carter’s cancer news" PBS NewsHour 8/21/2015


SUMMARY:  Syndicated columnist Mark Shields and Washington Post columnist Michael Gerson join Judy Woodruff to discuss the week’s news, including the response to Donald Trump’s immigration policy and his effect on Republican race, whether Hillary Clinton can defuse the attention paid to the investigation into her handling of email, plus bad health news from former President Jimmy Carter.

JUDY WOODRUFF (NewsHour):  Well, we saw this week someone who was President decades ago, former President Jimmy Carter, I think, very gracefully handled the bad news, the bad medical health news he got in terms of a diagnosis of cancer, melanoma that has spread to his brain.

Mark, this is somebody who’s been — he’s been out of the White House for 35, 40 years.  And yet — I mean, what do you make of this?  It was quite a remarkable performance, that news conference yesterday.


MARK SHIELDS, Syndicated columnist:  It was, in fact, Judy.

We’re in an era — I think Michael would agree — totally, aggressively secular, where church membership is in decline.  And yet, in the last couple of months, we have seen two examples of the value, the social value, as well as the individual value, of religious faith.

We saw it at the AME Church, the families, survivors of those victims forgiving the killer who was racially motivated.  And we see it in Jimmy Carter, who has devoted his post-presidency to improving the cause of those less fortunate, but showed such grace and courage and humor and faith in the face of this just daunting and dooming news.

JUDY WOODRUFF:  As somebody who covered the Carter White House a long time ago, Michael, I was struck by the humor — as Mark says, the humor.

He said he’d gotten calls from former President — both Presidents Bush and President Obama and Secretary — he said, “Of course, I hadn’t heard from them in a long time.”

MICHAEL GERSON, Washington Post:  Right, yes.

Well, we often get examples of how to live, live healthy, how to live successfully.  There’s a lot of emphasis on this.  But we don’t really get examples of how we approach death.  This is a really good example.

Now, he — it’s not imminent in his case.  He’s seeking treatment.  He wants to live longer and may well live longer.  But there is a calmness, there is a grace, and there is a courage about what he said that’s an example of how you deal with the end.

And he also dealt with it with gratitude, talking about how grateful he was for his life.  That’s a real model for all of us.

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