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The Life and Passing of Don Rumsfeld

The Life and Passing of Don Rumsfeld

This week, America lost a patriot … and I lost a friend.  Don Rumsfeld arguably has the most impressive political resume of any political figure who was not a President of the United States. He was also a personal friend at many levels.

I first met Don Rumsfeld when he was sent to Congress by the people of the 10th Congressional District of Illinois – a diverse District that included the poorest minority communities in Evanston to the then wealthiest community in America – Kenilworth.

I worked for Rumsfeld when he headed the Office of Equal Opportunity in the Nixon administration.

After serving as a Navy aviator and as a member of Congress he became White House Chief of Staff for President Ford, who later appointed Rumsfeld Secretary of Defense.  George W. Bush appointed him to that post again.  In those two assignments, Rumsfeld has the distinction of being the youngest and second oldest person ever appointed to the office.

Don Rumsfeld oversaw one of the most successful military operations of modern times – the one-month war that toppled Iraqi dictator Saddam Hussein.  Despite the quick success in bringing down the Hussein regime, civil conflicts continued for several years.  What Rumsfeld won, America’s State Department and later Presidents lost. This resulted in the rise of ISIS and the loss in Syria and Afghanistan.

In between Government assignments, Don Rumsfeld was a successful corporate leader and a philanthropist.

Over the course of more than 50 years, I came to know Rumsfeld well – in many capacities.  I worked with him when he was the chief fundraiser for one of my clients – The American School of Music.  He was an active member of several civic organizations in which I was involved as clients or as a board member.  He was a contributor to several of my causes – political and charitable.

Don’s wife was even a customer of an antique shop I once owned in southwest Michigan – where the Rumsfeld’s had a vacation home.  Yes, I did operate an antique shop for several years.  But that is another story.

I would not be exaggerating to say that Don Rumsfeld has one of the sharpest minds I have every known.  Every visit with him was both educational and enjoyable.  Few could explain situations with such clarity and conviction – and with such personal charm.

Despite the unfair criticism hurled at him from the left, Rumsfeld rarely got angry.  He never retaliated to hate with hate. 

Don Rumsfeld was a witty guy.  When asked about term limits on members of Congress, he called it “a bad Idea that’s time has come.”  When a French student berated America for war crimes in World War II, Rumsfeld inquired, “Do you speak German?”  When the young man replied, “No,” Rumsfeld retorted, “You’re welcome.”

I do believe that it was his effectiveness that drew the ire of the left.  They never really knew Rumsfeld.  They only knew they hated him.  It became a soul-shattering hatred that knew no bounds of honesty and decency.

That hatred was in full view on MSNBC’s “Rachel Maddow Show.”  We first must understand that Maddow is among the most vicious and dishonest left-wing propagandists on television.  Her talent is to create and broadcast the most mendacious narratives imaginable to sell her radical theology. 

Maddow opened her show with a bizarre interpretation of Don Rumsfeld having purchased the Covey House where fellow Republican patriot Frederick Douglass was tortured in his slave days – intimating Rumsfeld was defiling the Douglass memory.  The house was never the Rumsfeld’s residence but was purchased to preserve it as an important part of both Douglass’ and America’s history. 

If condescending smugness and arrogance converted into dollars, Maddow would be among the wealthiest people in America.  And with a net worth of $30 million, her corrupt commentaries are getting her there.

As bad as Maddow is on a regular basis, her program following the death of Don Rumsfeld was a new low in decency and honesty.  Maddow used most of her hour to trash Rumsfeld as evil incarnate.  She interviewed Ron Suskind — who wrote three books critical of Rumsfeld – to pile on.   

It was without doubt the most one-sided, dishonest and vicious obituaries I have ever encountered.  Maddow could not have been more hateful if she was reporting on the life of Adolph Hitler.  But Rumsfeld was far from the malignant and maniacal character described by Maddow.

What made the entire show even more repulsive was the fact that it was obviously a pre-planned hit job. 

The array of out-of-context video clips and quotes – including the 18-minute segment on the Covey House —  suggested  there was an extensively pre-planned research effort to smear Rumsfeld when he died – which was anticipated for months.

Maddow’s mission was not to reflect on Rumsfeld’s life, but rather to assassinate his character posthumously.  Why?  Solely because he was not of her political ilk.  In the world of the left, anything which does not comport with their narratives must not be allowed to survive – including a good man’s reputation.

Don Rumsfeld spent a lifetime in service to his country.  He was a patriot when patriotism became unfashionable.  He was a wonderful human being. 

If there is a heaven, I feel sure Don is there today. And he has NO chance of ever running into Maddow any time in the future.

So, there ‘tis.

About The Author

Larry Horist

So,there‘tis… The opinions, perspectives and analyses of Larry Horist Larry Horist is a businessman, conservative writer and political strategist with an extensive background in economics and public policy. Clients of his consulting firm have included such conservative icons as Steve Forbes and Milton Friedman. He has served as a consultant to the Nixon White House and travelled the country as a spokesman for President Reagan’s economic reforms. He has testified as an expert witness before numerous legislative bodies, including the U. S. Congress. Horist has lectured and taught courses at numerous colleges and universities, including Harvard, Northwestern, DePaul universities, Hope College and his alma mater, Knox College. He has been a guest on hundreds of public affairs talk shows, and hosted his own program, “Chicago In Sight,” on WIND radio. Horist was a one-time candidate for mayor of Chicago and served as Executive Director of the City Club of Chicago, where he led a successful two-year campaign to save the historic Chicago Theatre from the wrecking ball. An award-winning debater, his insightful and sometimes controversial commentaries appear frequently on the editorial pages of newspapers across the nation. He is praised by readers for his style, substance and sense of humor. According to one reader, Horist is the “new Charles Krauthammer.” He is actively semi-retired in Boca Raton, Florida where he devotes his time to writing. So, there ‘tis is Horist’s signature sign off.


  1. Lisa

    Maddie is scum so that explains that.

  2. Ben

    *America lost a War Criminal.
    There Fixed it for you.

    • thinkr2

      War is Hell. For the most part, US military personnel have been the most restrained and compassionate in history.
      We don’t put downed pilots in cages and burn them alive on TV. Rumsfeld would not have tolerated that either.
      Do you speak German or Japanese?
      Or are you looking forward to kneeling to jihadists?

      • Dan Tyree

        Don’t worry about what Ben says. He’s an asshole

        • Ben

          Dan, I may be an asshole, but I’m not a war criminal and I’m not going to burn in hell for eternity for my actions on this earth.

          • Dan Tyree

            Ben there’s a lot of people considered assholes that’s going to Heaven. I hope that you make it. It’s not about if you’ve done good or bad. It’s about believing on Jesus Christ

        • Ben

          Dan, then I guess I will see Rumsfeld in hell. Wether you believe in the sky daddy or not, orchestrating the deaths of over 200,000 innocent civilians under false pretenses is not going to get you into heaven.

      • Ben

        Not thinking;
        Interesting take on America starting unnecessary wars for the profit of the Military Industrial Complex.

  3. David Devin

    Dear Larry, I am the reader who thinks you are the “new Charles Krauthammer.” I love many of your posts including yesterday’s post about the Life and Passing of Donald Rumsfield. I never met him like you worked closely with him for 50 years but I do remember when he was first appointed Secretary of Defense in 1975 and again under Bush in 2001 and I watched as most peopled did- glued to the tube during the 23 day take down of Iraq’s Army in March of 2003. I will never forget that after what many said would be a very bloody battle that could cost 20,000 US lives. I think we lost less than 100.
    I am an American from Seattle who has lived and taught English in Hanoi Vietnam for the past 12 years. If you are still interested in antiques I can supply you French, Chinese and Vietnamese antiques.
    If you could please give me your e=mail address I will send you a copy of the book I recently wrote on How I Reduced My High Blood Pressure Naturally Without the Use of Dangerous Drugs. If you don’t have high blood pressure then you can give my book to someone who does have the ”silent killer” Or If your doctor is managing but not curing your high blood pressure by selling you dangerous drugs I can help you kiss your doctor goodbye and perhaps save you from Alzheimer’s.
    Thank you for all of your very interesting Posts. I wish you all the very best.


    • Joe S Bruder

      Oh my, you just exposed yourself as a nutcase… Larry should take down your “Krauthammer” blurb. but I doubt he will (it’s one of the few compliments that he’s gotten)… I hope, at least, he’s not dumb enough to give you his email address!