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Scott Simon: American Hero

Howell Hurst 2020 Presidential Election, Defining Trump, People, People Politics


If you do not listen to Scott Simon on National Public Radio’s “Weekend Edition,” you are missing one of the most admirable personalities America has ever produced. He is uniquely appealing: somewhat of a mix between Will Rogers and all the most sensitive souls the human race has ever produced.

Whether he is talking with some harsh politician possessing the soul of a cobra, or a sensitive artist, Scott seems capable of surfacing the best in the person he is interviewing. I suspect he might charm the socks (and nukes) off a guy like Kim Jong Un.

It’s almost as if he knows instinctively that even the most illiterate, brutal, crude politician was once a human being, and still holds a fragment of that characteristic deeply hidden inside himself.

His wit is down-to-earth and his hand seems always held out to all people with the hope that they will discover their better side. He is a stark contrast to the strident voices of today’s sour, grating, dissonant political hell.

Perhaps it is because his does not seem to be a political perspective. Scott is an unannounced philosopher, I would say. He leads his interviewee by example of his own basic human kindness to a new level of self awareness.

You can hear it in his voice. His genuineness is sterling. He never preaches. He rarely rebukes. He just seems to inspire truth. He opens some kind of intellectual door that permits his guests to stop striving to “one-up” anyone or anything.

Rather, he seems to motivate them all to a height of big heartedness. He carries himself with a sense of grace he would personally disavow. Just when he comments on a supremely delicate issue, he may pivot to a baseball metaphor.

He constantly diverts attention from himself to his interviewee. His big attention is always focused on his subject, not himself. Apropos, I recently added to his Facebook Page that he should run for the Presidency. He should.

This is a suggestion I doubt he would ever consider. However, such a philosophical personality is, I contend, exactly what America needs today. Instead, our present leadership is defined by ignorance, crudeness, intellectual brutality, and gross insensitivity to the condition of mankind.

I have acquaintances I doubt have ever heard Scott Simon. I know they do not listen to NPR. Most of their time is spent absorbing the acidic words of the fervently ideological Right wing of the political spectrum.

I don’t know why they are always trying to swing me to their Rightist views. In my world, any who do not listen to the ever-hopeful tone of NPR, which tries to accommodate all views, but clearly leans toward more sensitive opinions, are largely irrelevant.

A man like Scott Simon helps keep me on an even keel in a world I view as so far off the proper human track, that it is indeed frightful. Maybe this why I admire him. I shared the long past hopeful ideology of the 1960’ firsthand in San Francisco.

I too hoped that America might develop a philosophy that really reflected at least the social stance of its professed Christian belief. Instead, it has veered directly away from that, while hypocritically claiming to believe.

Scott Simon, whose parents were one-half Jewish and one-half Catholic, seems to have found a flexible place in-between these two philosophical poles. He is a rare unparalleled voice today.

If you’ve never heard him, I suggest you tune in to NPR’s “Weekend Edition” next Saturday morning and treat yourself to a live human being. In contrast to the loudest most dominant voice at center stage on the media scene today, Scott is the real McCoy.

He is a real Mensch, as his Jewish ancestors would state; a true believer, as his Catholic ancestors would assert. A real nice guy, I would say.

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