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Auchter's Art: Where are the principled, conservative, Christian people in Republican leadership?

John Aucter

The topic for this week's cartoon started with news of Michigan Republican legislators pushing for tax cuts ahead of Governor Snyder presenting a budget for the upcoming fiscal year.

It seemed irresponsible, given the challenges Michigan faces and the fact that they cannot ever seem to be bothered with identifying the budgets that would require corresponding cutting.

The governor, to his credit, pointed this out.

But the inspiration came from a good friend of mine, Jim, who earlier this week shared an old Detroit News article about his great uncle, Jerry terHorst.

Mr. terHorst was the press secretary for Gerald Ford who famously resigned his position when Ford pardoned Richard Nixon.

From the article:

...terHorst was “stunned” to learn the President was going to pardon Richard Nixon, before indictment and before trial. TerHorst recalls: “I wondered very briefly that afternoon whether there wasn't some way I could serve my conscience and still stay on at the White House. But that period of consideration was very short. I knew I couldn't.”

So even though President Ford was an old and dear friend, terHorst, a Democrat, felt he could not be a mouthpiece for something his values absolutely could not support.

But here's the kicker: To find a new press secretary, Ford had head-hunters contact terHorst. Ford so respected terHorst he did not hesitate to go to him for advice.

Wow. Where have these people gone?

The thing is, I know principled, conservative, Christian Republicans still exist.

My friend Jim is one, and he shares those very traits with his uncle. If I happen to run into him, I expect we'll talk about the cartoon, and he'll share his view, which will likely run counter to mine. (Note that I wrote "view" and not "side." I'm positive we are on the same side: the importance of fiscal responsibility.)

But where the heck are the principled, conservative, Christian people in Republican leadership?

I was outed long ago as a Gerald Ford fanboy, so forgive me yet another indulgence, but consider:

President Gerald Ford and press secretary Jerry terHorst

President Donald Trump and press secretary Sean Spicer

Could there possibly be a more stark contrast in personal integrity?


John Auchter is an editorial cartoonist. Views expressed in his cartoons are his own and do not necessarily reflect those of Michigan Radio, its management or the station licensee, The University of Michigan.

*Correction - an earlier version of this commentary said "Republicans all..." when referencing Ford, Trump, Spicer, and terHorst. terHorst was a Democrat. The reference was removed above.

Since 1995 John has created Michigan-based editorial cartoons for the Grand Rapids Business Journal, the Grand Rapids Press, and MLive Newspapers. His cartoons are currently featured at MichiganPublic.org and are syndicated to newspapers through the Michigan Press Association. John is an active member of the Association of American Editorial Cartoonists. You can view an archive of his editorial work and other cartoons at Auchtoon.com.
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