I want to note the death yesterday of former Georgia Governor and United States Senator Zell Miller. The Atlanta Journal-Constitution looks back on his life in “Zell Miller dies at 86.” I didn’t know much about Miller before his appointment as Senator in 2000 following the untimely death of Paul Coverdell that year, but I came to admire him greatly. Initially attracted by the authentic wit and literacy I found on his website, I followed his good works in a series of posts I called “My favorite Democrat” that reached 22 in number. Unlike the contemporary variety of fake Democratic moderates, Senator Miller was the genuine article and an eloquent patriot to boot.
Senator Miller couldn’t stomach John Kerry as his party’s standard-bearer in the 2004 presidential election. He gave a memorable keynote speech endorsing President Bush (43) for reelection that year, in Madison Square Garden at the GOP convention. In the annals of presidential convention keynote speeches, it is exceptional. Years later, beyond the tumult of the moment, it is still very much worth hearing (video below) and reading (text here). Indeed, given the history lesson at its heart, one can still learn from it. This was a man. RIP.
Quotable quote: “For it has been said so truthfully that it is the soldier, not the reporter, who has given us the freedom of the press. It is the soldier, not the poet, who has given us freedom of speech. It is the soldier, not the agitator, who has given us the freedom to protest. It is the soldier who salutes the flag, serves beneath the flag, whose coffin is draped by the flag, who gives that protester the freedom to abuse and burn that flag.”