Wednesday, August 26, 2009

The Death of Ted Kennedy

This is the blog I posted on learning of Ted Kennedy's brain tumor diagnosis.

Wednesday, May 21, 2008
Ted Kenedy

The news of Ted Kennedy's brain tumor is devastating news for those of us who live in Massachusetts. I know he is the butt of jokes about his drinking and is probably not taken seriously by many people but I love the man, though I've never laid eyes on him.

I love him because he was the ne'er do-well Kennedy brother. After the WW II death of the oldest brother, Joseph, the family hopes came to reside in Jack Kennedy and Robert. Not much was expected of Ted. Yet, after the murders of JFK and RFK, Ted Kennedy, to everyone's surprise, took up the burden of the family mantle. While the drowning of Mary Jo Kopechne on Chappaquidick Island while in Ted's company ended any chance of him ever becoming president, he became the unstinting, unswerving, uncompromising, and often, only voice of political liberalism in America.

Practically every other Democratic Party politician ran when Republicans turned the word "liberal" into a pejorative. Not Ted Kennedy. He was a liberal and was proud of it, and his compassion for that other America of poverty and joblessness never weakened.

To face his death is like contemplating the death of a close family member. For those of us in Massachusetts, Ted Kennedy has always been there. It is impossible for me to imagine the political landscape without his presence.

Well, I know this much. After he dies, and I pray that won't be before his present term ends in 2012, if his name should happen to appear on the ballot for re-election to the U.S. Senate, even dead, he would win in a landslide. A dead Ted Kennedy would be better than a lot of politicians I could name who think they're alive.

© 2008 by Julius Lester


Anywhen - At any time.

This is a great word. We use anyhow, anywhere, anywise, why not anywhen?

I'll take Ted Kennedy anywhen over anybody else.