Aug 27 2009
Update: I was clearly not the only one who saw the passing of Senator Ted Kennedy as the end of a myth. - end update
My family and myself are great admirers of John Kennedy for obvious reasons. For one, he launched mankind to the Moon to begin our exploration of the universe. That alone should give him a special place in history.
John Kennedy’s younger brother Bobby Kennedy lived a more tragic, less inspiring life. I would shutter to think how President Bush would have been greeted if he had placed younger brother Jeb Bush as the US Attorney General of the country. The cries of nepotism, while guaranteed to be over the top, would still have a valid core of concern. One wonders what rules were bent for his older brother. But his life was still exemplary, his death a horrendous crime.
Ted Kennedy, on the other hand, was the misfit disaster of the Kennedy clan. He enjoyed the play of the Â ‘powerful’, but rarely displayed respect for that power early on. He was the playboy to the older two ‘statesmen’. While people remember this man they should also remember the young lady he left trapped in a car to drown. Mary Jo Kopechne might have been the victim of a tragic accident, but they way Ted Kennedy was not even given a slap on the wrist for his criminal irresponsibility was despicable:
In July of 1969, Kopechne’s body was discovered inside an overturnedÂ Oldsmobile belonging to SenatorÂ Edward “Ted” Kennedy ofÂ Massachusetts under water in a tidal channel onÂ Chappaquiddick Island, Massachusetts.
After the body was found, Kennedy gave a statement to police saying that on the previous night he had taken a wrong turn and accidentally driven his car off a bridge into the water. Later, he pled guilty to a charge of leaving the scene of an accident after causing injury; he received a suspended sentence.
Anyone else who caused the death of another person using a car would face serious charges and punishment. This incident has become grosser over time, as we all have come to despise the actions and attitudes of drunk or wild drivers and the carnage their indulgence can produce.
This incident alone puts Ted Kennedy in the class of human that cannot be admired or respected – ever. He never paid for his crimes. He used his family’s power to get himself off even mild punishment, instead of being an adult and standing in front of our judicial system just as anyone else would have to. He failed the life test of responsibility.
Ted Kennedy was an indulger. He was not an evil person, but he surely was not admirable. His liberal views are not romantic, they were clueless. He took a shot at the Presidency, assuming all was forgiven, only to find that one must pay his dues to society to BEGIN to gain back respect. He never really showed that he understood that his ‘power’ was really bequeathed to him because of the tragedies that befell his older brothers. He seemed to never be able to see beyond the Kennedy compound and understand the real world. At least that is my view.
I grew up nearby Kennedy properties in Northern Virginia. I went to school with many of the Camelot groupies and the DC power families. These people are just normal people who had a lot of media glow around them, which gave them license to do things others could not or would not. The whole Camelot facade is a media driven, groupie mesmerized public relations gimmick. There were no super human saints, no Arthur’s or Merlin’s or Lancelot’s. It was all a myth. These people were not intellectually superior or better or more morale. At the core, the Kennedy, Nixon, Reagan and Bush administrations were just Americans trying to deal with problems large and small. None were more evil or pure than the others.
In fact, you can see how the ‘myth’ was simply used to dupe the masses by the way some are trying to dust it off today to pass the liberal disaster of government rationed health care for all:
Democrats are hoping that the memory of Sen. Ted Kennedy will revive the Democratic Party’s flagging push for health care reform.
In other words, liberals are hoping they can use this man’s death to guilt people into thinking government rationed health care – where panels of bureaucrats decide who is worthy of saving – is something they should just let happen. This ploy is cynical, opportunistic, vulture-like and sick.
Instead of worrying about how much this black sheep of the Kennedy clan wanted to inflict another disaster on America, we should be focused on the millions of average Americans who want to keep their current health care, pay less for it, cover those who need and want insurance, and remove barriers to choice (i.e., no pre-existing conditions, insurance pools for individuals and small businesses, the ability to sell insurance across state borders, etc).
Anybody who runs around singing “Ding dong, Ted is dead/ Let’s discard our healthcare instead!” is truly an inside the beltway fool. Why would we all throw away our life saving, quality of life enhancing health care simply because Ted Kennedy passed away (God rest his soul)?
We can remember and mourn the fact that the good die young (especially in Camelot), but let’s not get out of control.
John and Robert Kennedy’s lives were snuffed out way to early by someone else. So was Mary Jo Kopechne’s life. We need to keep the entire life of Ted Kennedy in perspective as we remember him, and it has nothing to do with health care reform.