Mark Shields - very  straightforward

Mark Shields - very straightforward

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Mark Shields has been the long-time political commentator on PBS-News Hour, the respected daily evening news program

At the age of 83, Mark Shields is retiring (sort of… he will be back…)

Asked by anchor Judy Woodruff to share his thoughts about American politics and about the country, Mark Shields only needed a few words to answer


I grew up when a man was in the White House who said very simply, the measure of our progress is not whether we add more to the abundance of those who have much, but whether we provide enough for those who have too little.

It's very straightforward — it was Franklin Roosevelt.

And the other kind of guidepost for me in politics that I guess I learned from my mom and my dad, was that every one of us has been warmed by fires we did not build, and every one of us has drunk from wells we did not dig.

And, together, we can't do less for those who come after us. And, together, we can do so much more.

And it's as straightforward as that.


Sharing the program with Mark for 19 years, David Brooks, political and cultural commentator at the New York Times, knew to put  Mark's deeply seated values on paper

Mark comes from a generation that highly prized egalitarian manners: I’m no better than anyone else and nobody is better than me. Like Biden, condescension is foreign to his nature. As everybody at the “NewsHour” can attest, he treats everybody with equal kindness. He also comes from a generation in which military service was widespread, along with a sense of shared sacrifice.

I look at Mark’s constellation of values and worry that they are fading away. He doesn’t buy that decline narrative: “I’m more optimistic than I have been. We have to do a little better at celebrating our successes.”

As straightforward as that...

Mark Shields (left) and David Brooks - on PBS News Hour - credit PBS