Saturday, September 04, 2004

Get well, Bubba 

Bill Clinton is awaiting some serious (is there any other?) heart surgery - a heart bypass to be precise - after a "significant" blockage has been found in one of his blood vessels. "Some of this is genetic and I may have done some damage in those years when I was too careless about what I ate," says Clinton, no stranger to appetites.

I hope Bill will pull through. For all his faults - being a Democrat a chief one (just kidding) - he is an interesting, colorful and charismatic figure. I agreed with him on some things, disagreed on many more, but it was all strictly business - I never hated him, or even particularly disliked him. If I had a chance I would enjoy a dinner with him. Or a beer. I wish him all the best and a speedy recovery.

If there is one important lesson I've learned in politics it's "don't hate." Or if you have to hate, reserve that sharpest of emotions for the real mofos like Hitler, Stalin or bin Laden, not your domestic opponents. They might be wrong, misguided, silly, they might real dickheads, sleazebags or snakes, but they're not evil. Fight them, by all means; fight them hard and fight them well, but don't let it consume you. And everyday remember to get down on your knees and thank God that around where you live, political differences are settled on the opinion pages and at the ballet box, and not through bullets and car bombs and inside torture chambers.

As Richard Nixon, the one man who should know, said in the farewell remarks to his White House staff, "always remember, others may hate you, but those who hate you don't win unless you hate them, and then you destroy yourself."


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