Things That Matter
Charles Krauthammer
Contributed by Nina Calhoun
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Chapter 8

In this chapter, the author starts by giving his stand on capital punishment. He sees it as a cruel action that deserves abolition. He supports his argument by saying that the approach is not the answer to bringing the cases of murder down, as it seems to offer no or little help (Krauthammer 114). He also gives an opinion of the issue of motherhood. It seems that many women choose to live first then start desiring children at an age beyond childbearing. This is a common issue affecting most celebrities and public figures, most of who think that a child might make them miss their possible achievements in life (Krauthammer 116). However, Krauthammer believes that having a child is a good thing and people should not trade the opportunity for fame. Further, Krauthammer sees the Affirmative Action as an ambiguous action that makes no sense. He argues that enacting some laws does not have any great impact since without them, people will still co-exist indifferently (Krauthammer 118).

The issues of mass killing and massacre also receive some attention in the chapter. The author says that the site of a massacre has three elements. The elements are the killer, the weapon, and the cultural climate (Krauthammer 120). Therefore, the government should keep in check these elements if such incidences are to end. Another issue under discussion is polygamy. Krauthammer says that the issue should be made legal just as the same-sex marriage concept. He also claims that the number of individuals one marries is ambiguous as long as gender is irrelevant (Krauthammer 122). He also finds a way of defending gay marriage by saying that it can be through empathy or making it a right. This leaves no justification for the states to decide the way forward solely (Krauthammer 124). Finding a permanent solution to immigration in America also baffles the author, as every action made seems to have brought more illegals into the country. Lastly, Krauthammer gives his opinion on global warming saying that the informants of the issue may be mistaken or misguided. He claims that predictions of catastrophe depend on models, and the involved models are beyond a full human understanding (Krauthammer 132).


Thinking of capital punishment without an external influence leaves many people standing against it. However, given a chance to make a judgment after one commits a murder crime, the punishment may seem fit. Nonetheless, taking the action of executing murders is not the solution to ending murder cases. Therefore, instead of ending more lives, the nation should find other punishments that fit the crime such as life imprisonment. The author gives the case of Henry as a way of giving the reader a stand before he makes his opinion on the issue. The case of Greer is the author's way of showing the importance of having children when one can, as it helps avoid future regrets to the individual (Krauthammer 116). These and the other cases presented in the chapter seem to be the author’s way of giving his stand on various concepts and issues. Each concept receives a proper and clear explanation to ensure that his arguments have enough support in a realist way.

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