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Krauthammer Details Life of Political Writing in New Book

By Wanda Carruthers   |   Wednesday, 23 Oct 2013 01:59 PM

Conservative columnist Charles Krauthammer says he left medicine to pursue a life of political writing because it's the one enterprise "on which everything else depends."

"It's not the way of life, the enterprise with the most dignity, as we've seen over the last few weeks, it's the one on which everything else depends," Krauthammer, a Pulitzer Prize winner and syndicated columnist, said on "Fox & Friends" on Wednesday.

"If you get your politics wrong, all the things that matter, all the things of elegance and beauty can disappear. That's why I devoted my life to being involved in the political debate," he said.

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Krauthammer details his life of political writing in a new book that's a compendium of his columns titled, "Things That Matter: Three Decades of Passions, Pastimes and Politics."

Krauthammer gave up a career in medicine in his late 20s because he decided,"This is not exactly what I was cut out to be."

His writing career began at the left-leaning New Republic magazine, but Krauthammer said he embraced conservatism when he saw the results of liberal policies.

"I was a Great Society liberal. I believed in the war on poverty and all that. So, in the '80s and into the '90s, the empirical statistical evidence of the effects of the war on poverty on the poor began to come out.

"And, it turned out not only was the money wasted, the money and the new programs had developed dependency, and immiserated the lives of those it was supposed to help," he explained.

"I've come to the conclusion that it's limited government, which is the conservative idea. So, it wasn't that I woke up in the morning one day and I had an epiphany. We tried, I think, in good will. That was a liberal idea. It turned out it didn't work."

A continuing theme throughout his career, Krauthammer continued, has been an "abhorrence of the extremes." He offered as example Democratic Florida Rep. Alan Grayson's distribution this week of fundraising material likening the tea party to the Ku Klux Klan, complete with the image of a flaming cross.

"The one thing that has always been the center of my political thinking, and it goes back to when I was 19 and editor of my college paper, is an abhorrence of the extremes. Grayson is a classic example of the extremes," he said.

Krauthammer said at first he was worried about writing a weekly column, but was surprised to discover how easy it is most of the time to come up with good material.

"At the beginning I used to worry, 'How am I going to get a column each week?' But, it would turn out that by Wednesday, which is when I write, somebody would do something exceedingly stupid. And, I had my subject," he said.

Editor's Note: Professor Loses $1.5 Million in Market — But Bounces Back! (Here’s How)

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