And Then There Were None…

Okay, obviously that is not nearly true… The Kennedy clan is huge… But when one thinks of the Kennedy name, it is Jack, Robert and Ted that most immediately come to mind, and now all three are gone from this earth.

It is sad, deeply sad… only partly because the entire history of the family comes rushing forward… John in Dallas, Robert in LA and now Ted.

These men were all flawed in some way, and they certainly had as many detractors as they did supporters, but so are we all… each and every one of us.  I might go crazy if I had to list all my flaws.  Being a human being is hard, it is.  Really, really hard.  We all try to follow the straight and narrow… do what is right… And obviously to rise to that much power takes a certain, well… tenacity and temperament and a few other things that shall remain nameless…

But the key is to not abuse that power once you get it… To use it for the good of the people… I don’t want to get all political here, as I really think that Ted’s passing goes way beyond partisan politics, as you’ll see at his funeral and the way “both sides” will talk about him… but unfortunately, we are coming out of a haze in this country, where our leaders’ abuses are only now coming to light.  I can rest a bit easier putting my list of flaws up against those of Bush and Cheney.

To quote Spiderman and I’m sure many others, “With great power comes great responsibility…”

I remember when I started to read some of the Dalai Lama’s writings, my mother said how simplistic it was… and perhaps it is.  But is it really that simple to follow?

“Love and compassion are necessities, not luxuries. Without them humanity cannot survive.”

True, total and uncompromising love and acceptance  is crazy hard.  Not simple at all.  Hmmm…

I do not dismiss some of the things the Kennedys supposedly did… adultery, back room dealings, manipulating people and power and yes, whatever really happened at Chappaquiddick… but look at the whole picture.  Look at the sacrifice one family made for this country… Look at what Ted had to endure… one tragedy after another. And look at what they accomplished!  The fights for human rights and equality.

If you have not seen the HBO Documentary, Teddy: In His Own Words, rush out and find it.  Although I am sure it will be back on the air soon.  It is a revelation… and it makes you appreciate the man.  Even on what turned out to be his death bed, he was working to make sure his replacement could be filled sooner than later, so the balance of power would not be lost and the debate on health care could be fair.

The vitriol and hatred going on in these public forums is disgusting.  The tactics being used are abusive… The yelling and cursing and that one woman even yelling “heil Hitler” to a Jewish man who was pro-Health reform…  We need a dialogue in this country, of course, but one that is civilized.  When did health care reform become as taboo as abortion?  We’re not socializing or becoming communists.  We are trying to make this sick country of ours healthier.  We are trying to help people have access to doctors and medicines.  Where we are in relation to other countries is appalling.  Infant mortality rates… obesity… disease… quality of life… We are the United States of America for G-d’s sake.  And Ted Kennedy, up until his last breath was fighting for causes like that…

Health Care Reform…

Equal rights…

Education…

This was a man with more money than most, but unlike most, he always fought for the people, for the underprivileged, for those without.  In a way the Kennedys remind me of Bruce Springsteen.  Too often when success becomes so huge, it is easy to lose site of where you came from, or not be taken seriously when you are championing a cause for the people and acting as if you are the people.  How can someone so rich possibly and truly understand or care.  But people like Teddy and Bruce did and do.  They never lost sight of that.  And Bruce may live in a mansion on the hill, but he wears the union coat he so often sings about.  He was baptized in the river and he is and will always be looking to lead common folks to the promised land.

The Lion is dead… Long live the Lion… But now let us find another… We need another.  Washington is filled with too many politicians who are too busy working on staying elected and not on real, effective, meaningful policy.  We need a “Mr. Smith” to go to town and to the mat for the people.  Perhaps his name will be Kennedy.

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Filed under Marc's Mixed Bag - A Little Of Everything, Pretty Pretty Politics, The News Blues

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