brotherpeacemaker

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Senator Edward Kennedy Passes

USREPORT-US-KENNEDY

Massachusetts Senator Edward “Ted” Kennedy passed away last night, the victim of his inoperable brain cancer.  It was the first thing when I went to read the news reports on the internet this morning.  It has been all over the radio.  The last Kennedy brother joins his brothers John and Robert and Joseph in the hereafter.  His older sister Eunice Kennedy Shriver died just two weeks before.  Mr. Kennedy’s death leaves only their sister, Jean Kennedy Smith, as the last Kennedy sibling.

In all the broadcasts I heard today, and am hearing, Mr. Kennedy was the lion of the Senate with a boisterous voice that boomed through the Senate chamber whenever he gave his oratory.  He was a firm advocate of universal healthcare and worked hard to champion the subject.  According to the articles even though he was a staunch liberal he worked with people on the other side of his political fence, forging coalitions with his conservative opponents.  President Barack Obama called him the greatest Senator of all time.  His family called him irreplaceable, as if the other people in the Kennedy family could be replaced at the drop of a hat.  He was the third longest serving Senator in history behind Senators Byrd and Thurmond.

Everybody who talked about him talked about his ability to stick to his principles and to work with integrity.  He was often referred to as someone who was honest and someone with whom you knew where you stood.  A very steadfast liberal he was never one to stoop to demagoguery.  He honestly believed it was his calling to help the little people.  Because despite his best attempts to alleviate poverty and to provide education and other social services for all, we will still have an abundant supply of little people that needed help.

With all the special broadcasts intended to pay tribute to this fallen hero of the American people, the last brother of a true political dynasty, it really is difficult to find a sense of loss with his passing.  This was a man who came from a place of the utmost privilege and entitlement.  Even after all the disastrous scandals that plagued his past, due to his own poor choices, he was always quickly forgiven by the American people and we always moved on.  There is so much talk about the difficulties associated with the Irish heritage and the Catholic religion of the Kennedy family.  But it couldn’t have been too difficult considering the status and the wealth that they enjoyed even way back before John F. became a congressman.

And everyone has nothing but nice to say about him.  Even the people who were trying hard to end his career are talking about how much they miss him these days.  People who no doubt celebrated the fact that his brain cancer was terminal and his days as a political foe were numbered are trying to say how much they miss their friend.  It’s kind of like the Joker telling everybody how much he missed the Batman after the caped crusader met his demise.  In most respects it would be totally insincere, coming from someone who worked harder than anyone else to put Batman out of business.

I am grateful to Mr. Kennedy and the Kennedy family for what they were able to do.  Mr. Kennedy learned a lesson about the benefits of hard work and preparation.  He is remembered as someone who came to the Senate well aware of the political stakes of any bill that crossed his desk.  But I also know that the political maneuverings and strategies that he made on behalf of the American people were no threat to his own family’s sense of privilege and well being.  It is a matter of fact that the Kennedy family lived life a little larger than most at the very knife’s edge of high society.  They would never sacrifice that high living for true equality with a life a little more comparable to the masses.

So this morning, while people are still deep in the throes of remembrance of Mr. Kennedy and paying tribute to his past accomplishments, there is still a lot of work that has yet to be done.  Certainly the lion of the Senate would prepare a cub for his eventual replacement.  Otherwise, it would look more like everything was all for the benefit of the lion’s reputation instead of everything being about the benefit of the entire pride.

Wednesday, August 26, 2009 - Posted by | Life, Politics, Thoughts

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