the past and the future

Forgive me my absence —– I was away for a week but only in body, not in mind.

I was very sad to hear about Ted Kennedy’s illness. It hit me hard and I think there are a couple of reasons for that: his public impact and his personal responsibility, his awesome accomplishments and his important legacy.

Ted Kennedy was raised in a family of entitlement. However, that scoundrel of a father, Joseph Kennedy, inculcated in his children the duty and honor of being public servants. During Ted’s tenure in the Senate, there has been a certain “comraderie”, a cohesiveness, among the liberals and progressives. Ted became their leader. He came to embody the ideals of this faction and ultimately, over a 40 year term of service in the Senate, fought like hell to see many of those ideals legislated. He found his place, he accepted his place and when he is gone, there will be a tremendous vacuum in the progressive side of the Senate.

Teddy’s illness, in conjunction with Obama’s rise, is a stupendous event. The collision of these two occurences, which MUST be taken together, are extremely significant for the future of the Democratic Party and human decency in government. Many politicians labelled Teddy a “liberal” —– even a “fat liberal”—–and left it at that, letting their partisanship override the meaningful legislation Teddy worked on. But Teddy was always true to his causes. Just as his brother Bobby was devoted to civil rights, so was Teddy dedicated to health care. Despite his privileged upbringing, he became a long-standing leader who fought for all of us, especially those with less.

Teddy’s personal responsibility to his extended family has been nothing short of fantastic. After losing his three older brothers, Teddy was the only brother, surrogate patriarch, left. And yes, he stepped up to the plate in a huge way. There must have been at least 20 nieces and nephews, not to mention his own children, who depended on him. And he was there. Kudos to Teddy for taking care of the children. Ultimate altruism, ultimate responsibility. Period. So thank goodness for Ted Kennedy, that his public and personal dedication to service won out over scandal.

Even before we knew of Kennedy’s illness, Barack Obama was telling us that it is time for change in America. I have heard news reports that Kennedy was thrilled by Obama’s ascension and was like a giddy child campaigning for him. I hope Kennedy gets to see Obama as our next President. The gridlock of our current government, the abyss of existing ethics and the blatant support for the economic elitism of the very few at the top of the financial ladder underscores the fact that it is not only a crying shame to see Kennedy’s tenure cut short, but also that there is a vacuum in the Senate for youthful, educated and honest newcomers. Ted’s illness coupled with Obama’s rise can turn out to be a true “passing of the torch”. Both domestically and internationally, our country is screaming for this opportunity.

After Kennedy made public his diagnosis, I see McCain and I see an old man. He is a person who represents the status quo of the last 30 years. He looks tired, a bit spacey, but most important, he is out of touch with what this country needs NOW. And Hillary Clinton, what can I say? Her math skills stink (“I am ahead in the popular vote, but I am not including the caucus states, the pink states, the yellow states, etc. I am counting only those states that I want to count. I can do that because this nomination should have been mine, MINE!!”). Despite her protests, it is not Clinton’s gender that is blocking her nomination; it is HER. Both McCain and Clinton are history regarding what America needs to turn it around economically and internationally, in the eyes of each one of our citizens and in the eyes of the world. The people of the United States want something different, much more basic and honest, and this shall be a true changing of the guard.

Obama’s nomination as the Democratic candidate for the President of the United States is imminent. Do not falter with your time and money. Symbolically, let us sing Ted Kennedy’s praises and thank him for his unfailing service. We can do this by working tirelessly for Obama for President.This fight is not only a battle to take back our government for the people by the people, but also a living testimony to the accomplishments and ideals of Ted Kennedy. And the confluence of Kennedy’s sunset and Obama’s sunrise is an event we get to see maybe once in a lifetime.  Serendipity.  Get on it.

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