Michael H. Smith

More important than politics

State Senator Emily Couric's disclosure that she had pancreatic cancer, and would therefore withdraw from the Virginia Lieutenant Governor's race, came as a shock for folks on both sides of the political spectrum.  Democrats were understandably upset at the life-or-death struggle one of their own now faces, as well as the loss of their front runner.

But one didn't hear cheers at last Sunday's Madison County Republican Women's Club first annual picnic -- only sympathy for Mrs. Couric.  All expressed heartfelt concern and the need for prayers for her healing.  That includes this writer— who has had great fun poking fun at her.  Not now.  All will be praying for her and her family.

Not to say Republicans will soften objections to her beliefs out of compassion for her — opposition is real and runs deep.  No, it is the value of the person that shapes Republicans stated beliefs.  The person demands respect regardless of status or party.  A genuine human concern for a fellow person's suffering shapes our humanity.  Some things are more important than politics.

Mrs Couric faces the toughest fight of her life.  The stakes (life itself) are higher than any political battle.  The power and prestige that go with public office are as nothing in comparison.  But in spite of any political disadvantage, Republicans would rather have her out there as a healthy adversary — to defeat politically. Get well, Emily.

Michael H. Smith

July 2000

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