“Bye, Byyye” John Mclaughlin
I noticed last week when John was missing from the show that bears his name. The Mclaughlin Group was on the air for 33 years, and last week was the first show that John missed.
I became a reluctant fan of the show, and eventually it became part of my Sunday ritual like millions of Americans.
My father has always been a political junky. We moved from Canada to the United States in 1983, a year after The Mclaughlin Group began and my dad starting tuning in every Sunday.
I remember watching my dad when I was 13 yell at the screen every Sunday. A show it seemed to me to be a bunch of old people arguing and speaking over each other (about really boring shit), until an even older man yelled at all of them, and then moved on to the next point of contention.
For many years, after I moved out of my childhood home, and no longer was watching TV on Sunday mornings with my Dad, I did not watch The Mcglaughlin Group.
At some point I returned to the Sunday routine of watching John and the gang. Like my dad, politics was increasingly something I was interested in, and when I saw John on TV it reminded me of my dad — both the memories of watching with my dad, and the fact that my dad, like John can be a pretty cantankerous guy when it suits him.
On and off, John Mclaughlin has been in my life for 33 years. And while we would not have agreed on politics as he was a republican and I am a progressive liberal, I think we would have gotten along. I respected John and I am convinced that he would have respected me. The Mcaughlin Group’s show was about providing intelligent discussion about political issues from both the perspective of the right and the left. I learned a lot from watching that show.
I think that is what is missing today. Intelligent discussion about the issues from both sides, and respect. John Mclaughlin came from the Republican Party of the past. A party with members not only willing to work with the “other side” but were life long friends with them as well.
John Mcclaughlin reminds me of a time when politics still meant working together to find the best way forward, and he reminds me of special moments of spending time with my dad.
I’ll miss you John Mclaughlin. As he signed off every week….
“Bye — Byyyye”