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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MKL said...

He truly was an institution in US politics and probably the rock for many liberals (as myself). I am not American, but if America progresses, the whole world benefits. So I was always paying close attention to US politics. And Ted Kennedy was always my role model. May he r.i.p.

T said...

MKL, A political role model only I hope ;)

His life outside of politics was hardly to be admired. He had his demons and they were many. But then there have been others in our history who have been just as contradictory. For example, Thomas Jefferson fathered 7 children with one of his slaves and Ben Franklin was said to be quite the ladies man. Just a reminder that they are men and human.

I loved Ted Kennedy for his politics. He changed the way people live today. Everything from voting age to Civil Rights, this country would not be the same without him.

And we need him now more than ever. To be the voice of the voiceless. I think he would have helped us get beyond the partisan issues we're facing and eventually find the true heart of the matter, a solution that leaves no one out.

I can't believe he's gone.

MKL said...

Yes, role model for how a politician should be. He fought for those who were not heard and with such honesty, that you hardly find these days. I think Obama comes close to this sentiment, but he's new and has yet to prove himself. Ted Kennedy saw America transform and was part of it like no other current politician. I also can't believe he's dead. He was born same year as my grandpa and both died in 2009. I guess I won't forget both of them.

T said...

I'm waiting to see who'll fill his seat with anticipation and dread. I'm not even bothering to speculate on that.

Michael Manning said...

T: My oldest brother shook hands with John F. Kennedy! I too posted a memorial, and let people from both parties who knew Senator Kennedy share their thoughts. I am into dialogue.

Love and (((HUGS))) to you! :)

T said...

Michael, good to see your face!

That's a great idea. I'll have to come check it out. JFK watched over our dinner table when I was a kid. Can't wait to see what everyone said.

rage said...

He certainly was an inspiration to all whether you like him.