Sunday, August 30, 2009

End of an Era

Gen-Xers probably get tired of hearing Boomers talk about the Kennedys. I’m sorry, but: too bad. I don’t think Gen-Xers have any political heroes, at least not at the moment.

You certainly didn’t have to agree with Kennedy politics to be captivated by the power and mystique surrounding that family. It was a generational ‘changing of the guard’ that began with John Kennedy’s election to the presidency in the early 1960s and continued with Robert Kennedy’s presidential campaign of the late 1960s. If Bobby hadn’t been assassinated, he probably would have become President. Ted Kennedy had personal demons that ultimately ended his bid for President before it really got started, but clearly he continued the political dynasty with his 47-year tenure in the Senate.

Ted Kennedy was unabashedly liberal but he also respected and was respected by conservatives. The best eulogy at his memorial service a few nights ago came from political enemy and personal friend Senator John McCain. They rarely agreed on political matters, but McCain pointed out that Kennedy knew when to give certain things up in the name of acceptable compromise for the betterment of our country. Isn’t that the way it should be?

I won’t idolize the Kennedy clan, but I certainly will say that I had respect and admiration for them and what they accomplished. Ted’s death is the end of an era.

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