The George Shultz appreciation in the last post didn't get appreciated by some commenters. sfmike thinks George is a war criminal and missmarple believes he's a felon, saved from jail by a midnight pardon. sfdave4u doesn't seem to include George among the people he's 4.
OK, George and other powerful people generally have some reckoning with the past they have to do, whether it's community service spiking stray leaves for the day, truth commissions humiliating you with the truth or an ugly snap and tear at the end of a noose (upside down in Mussolini's case. But why the mistress?)
Still, let's not underrate the possibility of redemption. I believe in it. I have to. So should most people. The only one I can think of who didn't seem to need some redemption was Fred Rogers, and I didn't really know him. He's also dead, so it's not an issue anyway.
Maybe, in George Shultz's case, swinging from wires at Beach Blanket Babylon in an ill-fitting Superman costume for charity isn't enough. And, natty and tanned, he's not exactly the gaunt face of former Kennedy Defense Secretary Robert McNamara, haunted in old age by Vietnam (though he still didn't exactly seem to cop to it enough).
But George Shultz is looking to suggest cures to the social security nightmare, among other things, and he's still adding to public discourse.
Compare that with, say, Henry Kissinger. Kissinger may not be doing his bit for redemption. Even if you don't believe my friend Christopher Hitchens' provocative war criminal thesis about Kissinger, Henry may need to do a lot more leaf-spearing in a fluorescent orange vest.
I had bookend experiences with Kissinger. Back in the mid 1970's (how many blog readers stopped right there?), I was on the shoestring public TV nightly news show, "Newsroom." KQED still gets a few bucks in donations mining fond memories of that local (counter)cultural phenomenon.
This blog originally appeared on sfgate.com. To read the rest, click here.
Causes Phil Bronstein Supports
Good Ones; anything involving the possibility of redemption.