Tuesday, September 1
Remembering Ted Kennedy
My mother once met Ted Kennedy on a flight to NY.
She called me when she landed and said 'guess who I was just on an airplane with?' It was so cute. Considering everyone she had worked with in the music business that was the first time I ever heard her sound like she had just met a rock star.
It's sad to lose him at a time when he was still so passionately involved in the current issues and when he still had so much work to do. Nancy Reagan had some wonderful things to say about him, which I think is rather appropriate and very telling about the true spirit of the man. He did defeat Reagan's attempts to reverse his personal labor of love, the Civil Rights Act, that polarizing issue that got Reagan elected in the first place (and that still seems to be at the heart of the animosity between the 2 parties almost 30 years later).
Regardless of how far we have come in our fight to make this country truly equal for all of its citizens, the fact is that there is still fear of racial equality being dramatically served up to the masses and a portion of the population who want to believe it and who thrive on drama and reactionaryism) and yet he never allowed politics to prevent him from being there when his support was needed.
I worry now about who will take his place. Whether you loved him or hated him it cannot be denied that he was the embodiment of pertinacity. He never gave up when he thought a cause was worthy and he had no fear of taking heat. His outspoken opinions and his willingness to fight the long battles made him a key component in keeping a certain equalibrium when the scales were tipped dangerously close to Orwellian paranoia. He was never politically correct, yet he was correct in his politics. All Americans should have a voice in our political system, and when they did not he could be counted upon to be their voice. And he would never back down in the face of attack.
No matter what personal faults and flaws he had as a man, he truly was a man of the people. All people.
"Yes, we are all Americans. This is what we do. We reach the moon. We scale the heights. I know it. I've seen it. I've lived it. And we can do it again."
--Democratic National Convention, August 2008
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