Wednesday, December 15, 2010

Life is Bigger than Politics

News was released today that former Alberta Premier Ralph Klein is suffering from chronic obstructive pulmonary disease. This is a horrible disease that has no cure and robs the body and brain of oxygen. It doesn't have good outcomes.

It got me thinking about people in politics, their legacy, and the way political biases sometimes get in the way of appreciating simple issues of life and death and family and loss.

When Richard Holbrook died my Twitter stream lit up with many comments. It was very polarized. Detractors were glad Holbrook was dead, accusing him of being a party to genocide and so on. People who liked Holbrook idolized him. Both sides were exaggerating and posturing. Politics as usual, and certainly an example of free speech that many elsewhere do not have. But the historical debate about Holbrook's effect on world events is not going anywhere. It will still be here next week.

My thoughts about Holbrook were not really political, just that he had a family who was devastated by his unexpected death. And to have to deal with that in the context of a furious public discussion seemed horrible to me. There are no relevant politics in the immediacy of death. Yet there is an unlimited future down the road to analyse and debate. Patience may be a virtue at these times.

Back to Klein. Premier Stelmach said some nice words about Klein. But he also said:

It is a wonderful time to reflect on Ralph’s wonderful accomplishments.

Actually, Mr. Stelmach, no it isn't. It's not a time for politics at all. And believe me that would be a highly charged, polarized reflection.

It's hard for me to refrain from saying something negative about Klein right now, but to be honest it's not all that important in the broader scheme of life and health.(I've written about Klein many times in the past. I was rarely very nice.)

There will be decades and decades to talk and argue about Klein's legacy. Maybe that time is not right now. Life is bigger than politics. Families and their grieving are important, and we should think about them too. Please recommend this post

No comments: