The Great Depression Online




Great Depression Online Archive Issue:

In Celebration: Teddy Kennedy

Great Depression Online
Long Beach, CA
August 28, 2009

Inside This Issue You Will Discover…

*** Herding Cattle
*** Living the Kennedy Curse
*** In Celebration: Teddy Kennedy
*** And More

Herding Cattle

Let it be properly footnoted by historians that Edward Moore Kennedy’s last secular act in this world of sin was herding cattle.  His cattle, of course, were not Bos primigenius but Homo neanderthalensis

For forty five years he drove cattle with bellow and bluster, up and down the halls of congress, in the name of the common man, and a declaration that “the dream shall never die.”  That dream, regrettably, for those earning a paycheck, was a long and expensive nightmare.

“One of the most influential and longest-serving senators in U.S. history,” described Reuters, and “a liberal standard-bearer who was also known as a consummate congressional dealmaker.”

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~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

So it was on the range, in the halls of congress, where, in his last secular act, Teddy was herding Congress to enact what he called “the cause of my life,” providing health insurance to all Americans.

Auspiciously, perhaps, in his last cattle drive, a couple stray votes got away from him.

Living the Kennedy Curse

There is something peculiarly fitting in the fact that by the time Teddy came to be, his father, Joseph P. Kennedy’s wild oats had been watered down to common cattle feed.  The last of kin of nine, and fourth male brood, he was lacking in all characteristics that made his elder brothers great and abundant with all those that didn’t.

A war hero.  A charismatic leader.  And a sharp intellect.  Those were Joe Jr., John, and Robert.  Teddy was neither of these things.  When the Kennedy Curse claimed his brothers…the greatest of expectations fell to Teddy.  On cue, he stepped center stage, pounded his chest, let out a bellow, and failed spectacularly.

All hopes for another Kennedy presidency vanished when, on July 18, 1969, while on Martha’s Vineyard’s Chappaquiddick Island, Teddy got snockered and drove off Dike Bridge.  He swam to safety and left the scene.  His passenger, Mary Jo Kopechne, was left behind to drown.

Still, to aging New Englanders, the Kennedy dynasty was the dream to never die.  When the glare of the light was just right they caught a glimpse of John.  And when his voice bellowed high, for a moment, they heard Robert.  Thus they mindlessly elected him to Senate over and over again like happy pigs in mud.

But for the rest of the nation the gods had a perverse sense of humor for the Kennedy Curse.  For while his brothers died too early, Teddy seemed to never die.  Instead, he kept on living…until now.

In Celebration: Teddy Kennedy

So now that Teddy Kennedy has died.  It’s time for celebration. 

We make no reservations about it.  We celebrate with hats and bells on, and a bow tie.  We do so, however, not to celebrate his life; but rather, to celebrate his death.

At Robert’s funeral, Teddy concluded the eulogy by quoting George Bernard Shaw: “As he said many times, in many parts of this nation, to those he touched and who sought to touch him, some men see things as they are and say ‘Why?’  I dream things that never were and say, ‘Why not?”’

For Teddy, he dreamt things that never were, and for nearly a half-century passed laws to make them so.  Along the way he never paused to consider that he was intruding in the lives of millions.  Or that those he alleged to help, he hurt.

So in the late night hours, long after the kids have been tucked in, and the day’s work has faded into the vista of the mind, step out on your back stoop and howl at the moon…

Teddy Kennedy is dead.  The world is a better place.

Sincerely,

M.N. Gordon
Great Depression Online

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