Wednesday, August 26, 2009

THE TEDDY MOST NEVER KNEW

But for Chappaquiddick, he most certainly would have been a President of the United States. What kind of President? Ultra-liberal to be sure. Heavy on civil rights, human rights and on social programs, much in the same manner as his brothers.
What the name Teddy Kennedy will conjure up is largely a manifestation of your political views. For conservatives, Chappaquiddick will overshadow everything. For liberals, their post-seventies memories will focus on a lifetime of public service and as the family patriarch of the Kennedy family; the glue that held them all together, through unprecedented heartaches.
What many do not know is the childhood young Ted, the youngest of the clan was subjected to by a family obsessed with over-achievement and perfection. A childhood spent in the shadows of brothers smarter and more handsome, and ultimately more successful. Ted was the victim of parental low expectations from early on, and how could he not be considering the powerhouse siblings he followed.
Ted was never an outstanding student (he received numerous letters from his mother Rose in regards to his proper use of English), never as driven as his other family members, and perhaps his biggest Kennedy cross to bare...pudgy. As driven as the Kennedy family was to perfection, they were equally driven to paint a picture of a happy, healthy athletic family, and Ted just never fit the picture in any way.
So when I think back towards the perils of Uncle Teddy, and there were many......I like to think of his troubled childhood, the monumental grief and loss he experienced, and the total tonnage of expectations that were heaped upon him. Expectations and a troubled childhood that were the precursors for his bouts with drugs, alcoholism and womanizing that were made on a very, very public stage.
When I think of Teddy Kennedy, I choose to remember a lifetime spent in the Senate championing the causes of the little guy and the disadvantaged; health care for all, curing education issues, and fighting for equal rights for all minorities, despite the pressure he surely received back in his lily white Massachusetts. This is especially true for his work on immigration, not a favorite topic with the Irish Catholics in the boroughs.
Remember what you will. I choose to remember one of the larger than life figures in the history of the United States Senate, and someone who made a demonstrable difference in the lives of millions.

5 comments:

Papa Giorgio, M.A.T.S. said...

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Again, this is where JFK failed and conservatives argue where Ted continued to fail:

"But it was the southern democrats who formed the line to defend Jim Crow. Georgia governor Lester Maddox famously brandished ax handles to prevent blacks from patronizing his restaurant. He was a democrat. Alabama governor George Wallace stood in front of the Alabama schoolhouse in 1963 and thundered, ‘Segregation now, segregation tomorrow, segregation forever.’ He was a democrat. Birmingham Public Safety commissioner Eugene ‘Bull’ Conner sicced dogs and turned fire hoses on black civil rights demonstrations [that were manned primarily by Christians]. He was a democrat. In 1954, Arkansas governor Orville Faubus tried to prevent the desegregation of a Little Rock public high school. He was Democrat. President Eisenhower, a Republican, sent in federal troops to prevent violence and enforce a court order desegregating the school. As a percentage of their respective parties, more republicans voted for the passage of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 than did Democrats! A Republican president, Richard Nixon, not John F. Kennedy or Lyndon B. Johnson, instituted the first affirmative action program with goals and timetables…. And it was during the Kennedy administration that FBI head J. Edgar Hoover sought and received permission to wiretap Martin Luther King. The person granting him permission? Attorney General Robert F. Kennedy."

(Larry Elder, Ten Things You Can’t Say In America, 14-16)


“President Kennedy avoided engagement with the civil rights movement for as long as possible.... Tellingly, it had been Vice President Richard Nixon who fought for the 1957 Civil Rights Act in the Senate, not Kennedy.”

(Kenneth J. Heinman, God Is a Conservative: Religion, Politics, and Morality in Contemporary America, 34-35)



And the book by Thomas Sowell:

Civil Rights: Rhetoric or Reality?

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Kim said...

Teddy, or his bro, dude?

Papa Giorgio, M.A.T.S. said...

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The Republicans were for Civil Rights, the Dems were still holding onto their segregationist past (because they finally shed their slavery past).

As you said, "Heavy on civil rights, human rights and on social programs, much in the same manner as his brothers." So I pointed out that JFK failed in the civil rights actions and so did Ted: "this is where JFK failed and conservatives argue where Ted continued to fail." Put another way, Ted was a man-slaughtering nincompoop.

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Kim said...

And there it is. Chappaquiddick. Clinton got a blow job, and Teddy and his "friend" got shitfaced and hopped into a car. And there is no pennance, nothing that he could have done to erase those memories. No lifetime of service, nothing. The only thing he could have done to make the conservatives happy would have been to die with Mary Jo. And now that he is dead, you (and when I say you, I mean so many people in the conservative sector jumping on the "ding dong, Teddy's dead" train) celebrating by cursing his name. Dude, the man is dead.

The only difference between drunk Teddy and drunk George was George got lucky (and his dad was the CIA chief).

There were times in my teens and early twenties when I was a breathalizer away from jail, or a split decision on the road away from hurting someone too. A little tolerance, a little understanding. The dude is dead.

Papa Giorgio, M.A.T.S. said...

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I would give it to him... however he never "stepped up to the plate." Did you see the Jim Carrey movie, 23? At the end he did the right thing, he served his time. If Ted had done that, then my whole tone and tenor would be different. Alas, however, "here I stand I can do no other."

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