This post was originally a column of mine from June 15, 2015. It was written the day after I learned Senator Isakson was battling Parkinson’s Disease. I was reminded of it earlier today having a Facebook conversation with a high school friend, who recently lost his dad after a long battle with Parkinson’s. I think it’s worth sharing again.
We’re almost a year and a half past that announcement, and three weeks away from the election. Senator Isakson still has my full support. He earned it long ago, and has never made me question why he had it in the first place.
Last Wednesday, Senator Johnny Isakson announced that he is suffering from Parkinson’s disease. He simultaneously released a statement from his doctor, and a detailed Q&A about the illness and his specific condition and prognosis. He made it clear that he intends to win re-election next fall and remain Georgia’s Senior Senator. I believe him, and continue to fully support him.
To be blunt, questions about Isakson’s health have followed him throughout his second term, as he suffered from a blood clot and a serious bacterial infection during his 2010 campaign. Some have been asking those questions out of genuine concern. Others, candidly, appear to have been motivated by not so thinly veiled political ambition.
My answer to those that have asked about his condition and whether he’s “really” running for re-election have been the same for years. This is Johnny Isakson we’re talking about. As long as he says is, he is.
That’s not being cute. Republicans are supposed to be the party that doesn’t question the meaning of the word “is”.
I believe Isakson is running without reservation or second thought because I’ve known him since the 80’s when I was in college. I’ve supported him for Governor, for Congress, and for Senator. I’ve held a fundraiser for him in my home. In political parlance, “We’ve met.”
In all of his races, and in all the positions he’s been elected or appointed to serve, he’s never given the easy answer. He’s always given his answer, and left it to the voters to decide if it is the right one. Even when his answer was unpopular. Especially when his answer was unpopular. Continue reading