Wednesday, August 26, 2009

Camelot Has Closed

My co-worker told me today that Ted Kennedy died. She said she had been crying, and when she heard that he will be buried with his assassinated brothers in Arlington National Cemetery, she started crying again.

Ted, arguably the most scandalous of the political powerhouse of Kennedy brothers, was the one we got to keep. His long reign in the U.S. Senate ensured that some small piece of that glamorous brand of Kennedy liberalism was always lingering in U.S. government. He was a tangible, breathing legacy of his two brothers that were broad daylight while serving their nation. "How perverse," said Brian Williams on MSNBC news, referring to the inconsolable amount of tragedy that has become synonymous with the Kennedy family.
   Before last year's announcement of Ted's malignant brain tumor, John F. Kennedy Jr.'s plane crash had been the most recent family devastation. My aunt Jackie said she was driving when she heard the news of the crash, and she had to pull off the road because she was crying so hard.
   Keith Olbermann described Ted Kennedy as, "The very definition of the word democrat." He cited Kennedy's political influence over the years, which included championing programs that help provide nutrition for lower income families, aided people with disabilities, ensured voting rights for minorities, provided rights for immigrants, and gave women the opportunity to play collegiate sports.
   Senator Kennedy never saw his long-time wish for universal health care come to pass, but he did manage to give a riveting endorsement last year to the presidential candidate who believed in "the cause of my life," (Kennedy's own words.)
Health care should be a right, not a privilege.

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