Sunday, August 30, 2009

teddy! we hardly knew you

My favorite bit of Ted Kennedyísm is where he confronts then Secretary of Defense, Donald Rumsfeld, and asks for his resignation. Few would have the gumption to do that. One forgets the influence of the Senator until reminded during the numerous tributes that have run this week. Some of them have been quite moving such as his helping of the littlest refusnik and her family or his work with a family to provide better armor for vehicles in Iraq, work that has saved hundreds of lives and thousands of wounded. Kennedy was a powerful man and he used that power, at times to help people in ways that few others could.

We do wonder though if any of those who talk about the Kennedy penchant for helping those less fortunate ever ponder the fact that no one can attain great wealth without taking advantage of others in some way(s). And even if your wealth, as in the case of Ted Kennedy, has largely been handed to you, the maintenance of such wealth has consequences for others, some of whom are less fortunate. I raise this only as an ethical question that we must all address, where should our wealth end and that of others begin?


Anonymous said...

Teddy Kennedy is the best case study of Christian Forgiveness in modern America.

Not smart enough to graduate from Harvard and go on to Harvard Law school like his brothers,(and a legacy grad with several buildings and programs endowed by his family and carrying the family name,)He is enrolls in the Law School at University of VA, where he gets caught cheating on Exams. Picking through the leftovers of his brothers sex partners, he drunken drives a twenty year old girl into a pond on Martha's Vineyard and instead of getting help, goes home to sleep it off before remembering: "O yeah, that girl of Bobby's, she must be in the submerged car still." His connection to the IRA, highlighted by the mysterious loss of two 60 caliber machine guns from a Massachusetts Armoury that suddenly appear in the front of an IRA march in Belfast and his immigration bill of the 1980's that for a decade set reverse quotas for a hundred thousand immigration visas for Irish Nationals and a pitiful few thousands for other nationalities. His legacy of drunken escapades with his kids and nephews after his brothers died. His pro-life political stance at complete odds with the Roman Catholic Church, but never criticized by bishop, Archbishop, Cardinal, or Pope.

All forgiven, one at a time, throughout the years.

How much wealth is too much? All I know is poorer men would have served their time in a cell rather than the United States Senate. This is the American hypocrisy: Champion of the poor, the segregated, the disadvantaged, and just a little bit more for himself, his family, and his senatorial pals!

Warrior Ant Press Worldwide Anthill Headquarters in Kansas City, Missouri, USA. said...

Forgive him he knows not what he does? I hope you saluted at the end.

One thing about the Kennedy's they certainly know how to scipt public opinion. It's interesting watching the interplay between spontaneous public sympathy and grief and the family's atttempt to carefully guide and cement the legacy. Now the Edward M. is safely buried in Arlington, adjacent to has slain brothers, he will forever be part of Camelot.

The last family to script the burial of one of their own to such extent was, well, come to think of, the Jacksons.

If the Kennedy's had a sense of irony, the young cousin saluting the coffin from the car, itself both charming and overreaching, would have occurred with a rhinestone-gloved hand. Now that would have been an American tribute fit for the fairy tale.