Toon & text by John Auchter
The topic for this week’s cartoon started with news of Michigan Republican legislators pushing for tax cuts ahead of Governor Snyder presenting a budget for the upcoming fiscal year. It seemed fairly irresponsible, given the challenges Michigan faces and the fact that they cannot ever seem to be bothered with identifying the budgets that would require corresponding cutting. The governor, to his credit, pointed this out:
But the inspiration came from a good friend of mine, Jim, who earlier this week shared an old Detroit News article about his great uncle, Jerry terHorst. Mr. terHorst was the press secretary for Gerald Ford who famously resigned his position when Ford pardoned Richard Nixon. From the article:
…tenHorst was “stunned” to learn the President was going to pardon Richard Nixon, before indictment and before trial. TenHorst recalls: “I wondered very briefly that afternoon whether there wasn’t some way I could serve my conscience and still stay on at the White House. But that period of consideration was very short. I knew I couldn’t.”
So even though President Ford was an old and dear friend, tenHorst felt he could not be a mouthpiece for something his values absolutely could not support.
But here’s the kicker: To find a new press secretary, Ford had head-hunters contact terHorst. Ford so respected terHorst he did not hesitate to go to him for advice.
Wow. Where have these people gone?
The thing is, I know principled, conservative, Christian Republicans still exist. My friend Jim is one, and he shares those very traits with his uncle. If I happen to run into him, I expect we’ll talk about the cartoon, and he’ll share his view, which will likely run counter to mine. (Note that I wrote “view” and not “side.” I’m positive we are on the same side: the importance of fiscal responsibility.)
But where the heck are the principled, conservative, Christian people in Republican leadership?
I was outed long ago as a Gerald Ford fanboy, so forgive me yet another indulgence, but consider:
- President Gerald Ford and press secretary Jerry terHorst
- President Donald Trump and press secretary Sean Spicer
Republicans all, yes. But could there possibly be a more stark contrast in personal integrity?