I read this blog post “Dick Cheney is a great American hero” in the UK Telegraph today and the corresponding comments to go along with it. I admit I was pulled in by the title as I met Vice President Cheney in 2004 and while my time with him was ever so brief, a photo op, I have admired Dick Cheney from the beginning of what I would call “the modern Dick Cheney”.
I was too young to know the Dick Cheney of the Gerald Ford years. Based on what I read in Craig Shirley’s Reagan’s Revolution, where Cheney worked for Ford and was actively against the great conservative icon of our time, Ronald Reagan. But, just as Ronald Reagan had been a democrat, Dick Cheney eventually found the right side to be on.
When Governor George W. Bush chose Dick Cheney to be the choice for Vice President in 2000, I didn’t know enough about Dick Cheney to know what I thought about him or his selection. I instinctively trusted George W. Bush. Half way through Cheney’s remarks thanking Governor Bush, I made an unprecedented move and donated to the new Bush-Cheney campaign via the internet.
Then there was the RNC speech in Philadelphia. Dick Cheney had my attention after that speech for sure. This was a speech by the way, that I consider one of the top 10 speeches in my political life (that might make for a good blog post later). The media at the time chose the word “gravitas” when describing Cheney. He was a presence indeed. His speech in Philadelphia was serious, solemn and stirring. You may recall the great line about Clinton when Cheney said, “and now, as the man from Hope, goes home to uh, New York”.
But more vivid in my mind was the part of the speech where Cheney said the following:
When you make that trip from Andrews to the Pentagon, and you look down on the city of Washington, one of the first things you see is the Capitol, where all the great debates that have shaped 200 years of American history have taken place. You fly down along the Mall and see the monument to George Washington, a structure as grand as the man himself. To the north is the White House, where John Adams once prayed “that none but honest and wise men may ever rule under this roof.” Next you see the memorial to Thomas Jefferson, the third president and the author of our Declaration of Independence. And then you fly over the memorial to Abraham Lincoln, this greatest of presidents, the man who saved the union. Then you cross the Potomac, on approach to the Pentagon. But just before you settle down on the landing pad, you look upon Arlington National Cemetery its gentle slopes and crosses row on row.
I never once made that trip without being reminded how enormously fortunate we all are to be Americans, and what a terrible price thousands have paid so that all of us and millions more around the world might live in freedom.
And while I don’t intend for this to be a living tribute to Dick Cheney, there were plenty of great speeches from Vice President Cheney after the RNC speech in 2000. Then there was May of this year when the Real Vice President gave a speech at the American Enterprise Instituteeducating “acting” President Obama and America on matters of national security. Vice President Cheney, 4 months out of office, certainly knows more about national security than Herr Obama and Herr Biden will know combined in their 4 years as filling time at the White House.
The leftist media loved to portray Vice President Cheney as heartless and ruthless and always with a snarl on his face. They of course, all having graduated from America’s journalism schools where they attended wanting to “change the world” rather than “report events that actually took place”, prefer to have a guy with a nice smile. Herr Biden would fall into this category, but Biden is also someone who is an incompetent, bumbling idiot (witness his “we have to spend more to get out of debt” comment this past week).
The former Vice President is hated by the media. He forgot more information yesterday than they learned in their 4 years in journalism school. They had (and still have) no understanding of a brilliant mind and of a great American who understood the history of America and it’s role in the world.
I suspect, to the fools doing the reporting in this country, had Vice President Cheney looked like this more often, he would have received a little more respect, and he might have been a little less easy to label.
Thank you Vice President Cheney for your eight years of service to our nation, and to four more during the down times of Herr Obama.