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End of an Era: Thank Heavens

Let me preface this post with the clear statement that I don’t believe in granting sainthood to someone just because s/he dies. We are what we are and what we’ve done is done. Let’s be honest about it even when we’re gone.

I was born just after John F. Kennedy was shot, so I grew up hearing how amazing the family was. It’s something I never understood. And hearing the flaming adulation over Ted Kennedy that’s running rampant this week since his death is another baffling moment.

The Kennedy’s got their money from bootlegging. That’s honorable. I think they are canonized more for dying untimely deaths than anything else like Marilyn Monroe (just one of JFK’s many mistresses, that’s honorable) and James Dean.

I don’t see the political brilliance in any of them. (Bay of Pigs, Cuban Missile Crisis, anyone?) I see those whose “caring for the underprivileged” generally consisted of taking money from working class folks to give to non-working folks in the form of bloating the power in government (i.e. bloating their own power). There were exceptions, but certainly not on par with their ability to contribute.

Instead, I see womanizing, serial adultery (except Bobby), ill-gotten wealth, dealings with shady characters, excessive use of pills (John) and alcohol (Ted) to manage, paying their way out of responsibility (drowning, the rape trial, etc.), and one train wreck after another.

Instead, I see a guy who had a pregnant wife at home, was out partying with women other than the pregnant wife, who runs off with one in a drunken stupor, and takes a dive in a river. Then he runs home to his “honorable” family, who sobers him up, concocts a story, and “reports” the accident 10 hours later approximately 9.8 hours after Mary Jo Kopechne drowned. And who gets a suspended sentence because his family has power and money.

I don’t wish the Kennedy family ill will. But neither do I think these are the people who should be forming the course for our country. They aren’t leaders and they aren’t heroes.

{ 13 comments… add one }
  • Tinkerbell August 27, 2009, 9:41 am

    But Obama said Kennedy is the greatest senator of our time. So it must be true.

  • facethemusic August 27, 2009, 7:47 pm

    Amen and amen! You said exactly what I’ve been thinking with all the blathering over Ted Kennedy’s death.
    Of course it’s sad that he had to suffer with brain cancer before his passing, and surely his family is suffering now and deserves our sympathy, as ANYONE who’s lost a loved one does. But this man, in his personal life, was NOT someone to admire or adulate. Quite the contrary. And his political life, (as much as people want to swoon over him for his professed altruistic service to the poor and underprivileged –which I believe was actually just a scam for POWER over them), was filled with the same hypocrisy as the Pharisees, scribes and Priests that the Savior was speaking of in Matthew.
    I was JUST reading this again this morning– no kidding– while I was waiting for the boys outside of Seminary. The JST adds SO much more insight to that passage than what the King James left us with.
    And Kennedy kept up that hypocrisy right up to his dying breath. His “last act” as a Senator, just within the past few weeks, was to propose that the law passed in 2004 that prevented a sitting Governor from choosing an “emergency interim Senator” should be lifted, so that Massachucettes Governor Patrick could pick Kennedy’s replacement. The law currently requires a special election “no sooner than 145 days and no later than 160 days after a vacancy occurs” and it bans an interim appointee. In this case, the election must be held either the last two weeks of January or the first week of February. Kennedy said, “the special election law should be changed to allow the governor to appoint someone to serve in the Senate during the course of the election…It is vital for this Commonwealth to have two voices speaking for the needs of its citizens and two votes in the Senate during the approximately five months between a vacancy and an election,” Kennedy wrote.
    Well guess who MADE the law that banned an interim appointee? Guess who was it’s biggest proponent and who gathered all the support for it back in 2004 when it was passed. TED KENNEDY!!!! At the time, Mitt Romney was the governor and the law ALLOWED the governor to choose an interim Senator in case of vacancy. So when John Kerry was running for President and needed a replacement, Kennedy didn’t want a REPUBLICAN governor, who would probably choose a republican, to appoint Kerry’s replacement. So KENNEDY fought to change the law in order to STOP a (republican) Governor from making that appointment.
    Fast forward 5 years—- Massachucettes now has a DEMOCRAT Governor, Kennedy knows he’s about to die and will need to be replaced, and suddenly he has a change of heart. When Romney was Governor, Kennedy fought to STOP the Governor from picking a replacement and insisted that the people needed to be able to VOTE for one by a special election they had to wait 4 1/2 to 5 months for. But now that there’s a DEMOCRAT in the governor’s seat, who will choose a DEMOCRAT to fill a senatorial vacancy, he wanted to UNDO what he did 5 years ago.
    The hypocrisy is flagrantly obvious and intensely disgusting. I think I need a vomit bag.

  • Alison Moore Smith August 28, 2009, 4:25 am

    I sincerely long for the day when our politicians are actually serving us instead of themselves. Maybe that’s too much to ask when you get into the realm of such power. I’ve never been a proponent of term limits, but when it seems our “leaders” are so weak, maybe it would be a good thing.

    To me the “Kennedy mystique” makes about as much sense as the “Jacko mystique.” The people American’s choose to idolize is beyond baffling to me.

  • jennycherie August 28, 2009, 7:38 am

    Posted By: Alison Moore SmithI sincerely long for the day when our politicians are actually serving us instead of themselves. Maybe that’s too much to ask when you get into the realm of such power.

    Somewhere I have a quote that is something like “if you want to really see what a man is made of, give him a little power.” I’ll have to look for the original – it is stated much better but you get the idea!

  • ldsmusicwriter September 6, 2009, 11:27 pm

    I agree, Alison. Could we stop making idols of people who are “powerful” and start admiring and emulating people who are “moral?” I was flabberghasted to see all over Utah for the entire week, flags flying at half-mast, apparently for a Senator from Massachusetts. Did we fly flags at half-mast for SenatorCraig Thomas of Wyoming who died in office in 2007? Of course not. He was not our Senator. This admiration for Edward Kennedy is disgusting considering his lack of morality and his part in the destruction of the U.S. Constitution. It is wrong, wrong, wrong!

  • Alison Moore Smith September 7, 2009, 8:48 am

    Great point. I saw the flags, too, and couldn’t for the life of me figure out what the purpose was.

  • kiar September 9, 2009, 8:57 pm

    Ha, and here, I thought they were flying halfmast for the firefighter that were killed in a wildfire. who knows. Stupid Kennedys

  • Tinkerbell September 9, 2009, 10:31 pm

    I’m reading in Alma about the kingmen right now. I see a lot of parallels to our time. The nobility who wanted a king so he would grant them power and authority over the people reminds me of dynasty-type political families in the U.S. (ie. Kennedys)

    I also thought it is interesting that this is the only part of the BofM that starts referring to the Nephites as a “country”.

  • Tinkerbell September 9, 2009, 10:31 pm

    And the Clintons. And the Bushes.

  • Alison Moore Smith September 10, 2009, 7:08 am

    The links that show up on the page are derived from content. Google scans a page, looks for matches, and dynamically generates links.

    Right now the first two links on this page are:

    Robert F. Kennedy
    Free Sex Offender Report

    Hah!

  • spande2 September 12, 2009, 9:54 am

    Well, that seems perfectly appropriate, to me.

  • Alison Moore Smith September 12, 2009, 2:24 pm

    Yea, except the Robert was the only Kennedy unlikely to be involved in offensive sex!:surprised:

  • spande2 September 12, 2009, 3:35 pm

    Ah. Well, when you run with that kind of crowd…

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