Friday, August 28, 2009
First, there is a Mountain, then there is no Mountain, then there is
The impact Ted Kennedy had in this country and Massachusetts is poignantly expressed in the opening lyric of the song by Donovan, the great English rock poet/singer of the sixties. Teddy Kennedy, the last Kennedy brother has died and I, like thousands of others, feel like I lost a family member. He carried the mantle of idealism that Jack and Bobby established in the turbulent sixties. The family had an effect on the history of America like no other family in our history. Even the average man or woman today feels like he has suffered an irreplaceable loss. The hole has fallen out of the center of gravity. At times like this, people feel leaderless, like children looking for answers or guidance. They look for the leadership that Ted Kennedy provided as the champion of education, civil rights, disability rights, immigration, and health care. He fought for a better world for everyone, especially the downtrodden. That's where he took up Jack and Bobby's cause. That's why people feel empty now. They look around and wonder who will do it for me now? And the answer is no one. People have to do it for themselves. Fight for what you believe in and don't be dissuaded or influenced by political labels. Idealism does not have to die. If nothing else, that is what the Kennedy legacy can teach us.