John Berthoud died — suddenly and unexpectedly. Our span is always too short but John’s was far shorter than all of us had hoped. John was a blend of movement leader, creative advocate of economic liberty, and friend.
Under his leadership, NTU had become one of the consistent and effective allies of the movement and his death weakens us all. But he was also a friend and wonderful adocate to all seeking allies in the multiple battles that must be fought against those seeking to expand the power of the state. He insisted and readily understood the reasons why NTU support would be both consistent with those of taxpayers and all the peoples of the world and quickly put his organization in support.
The oft quoted refrain of John Donne is fully applicable to his death.
No man is an island,
Entire of itself.
Each is a piece of the continent,
A part of the main.
If a clod be washed away by the sea,
Europe is the less.
As well as if a promontory were.
As well as if a manner of thine own
Or of thine friend’s were.
Each man’s death diminishes me,
For I am involved in mankind.
Therefore, send not to know
For whom the bell tolls,
It tolls for thee.
John was far more than a promotory or a mountain and certainly no island — he was and still is, through the organization he led, a link to all of us. We should and do mourn his passing.