26 August 2009

4 Videos: Remembering the Lion of the Senate Ted Kennedy

From Denny: It's an end of an era and the beginning of a new one with the passing of the torch from Senator Ted Kennedy to the next generation. The man certainly paved the way for the next generation of liberal social issue politicians who are as concerned for creating a better and more equal society for all.

The Kennedy legacy is well known worldwide as theirs was a wealthy family strongly involved in politics. They put their money - and their daily work - where their mouth was.

Kennedy's character stain upon his name and legacy came during his alcoholic years and crescendoed with the drowning of an aide in a car accident from which he fled. Much of the public figured he drank so heavily because of the not one, but two assassinations of his political brothers: one, President John Kennedy, killed in 1963, and two, Robert Kennedy was killed as he was running for President in 1968.

What exacerbated his alcoholism was a plane crash in the early sixties where he broke his back and was forever left with extreme pain and that "hunch and shuffle" kind of walk that became so distinctive. Back then there were not the pain relievers available today and many people chose to self-medicate through alcohol. Unfortunately, too much alcohol and eventually a person tips over into alcoholism as did Ted Kennedy.

To his credit, trying to sober up and do right again, that sad accident and tragic death of a young woman startled him into getting his act together. He went hard-charging into social reforms across the board. He led on education and health care reform right up until his death, fighting for better health care for twenty long years. Kennedy fought to shape America's political future for 50 years, leaving a longer-lasting legacy than both of his equally popular brothers combined. He was the brother of which the least was expected and he ended up doing the most for his country.

The lion-like Kennedy championed workers' rights, pushing to constantly raise the miserable minimum wage. He demanded civil rights and voting rights for African-Americans. Kennedy championed womens' rights and helped pushed the womens' movement into the public spotlight and into the heart of the Democratic Party. Lately, he was working on immigration reform in a more positive vein than the Republicans.

For decades his life was threatened by Republican supporters who constantly issued death threats if he ever dared to run for President. Even the military threatened to kill him if he did so. Such was the sixties and early seventies. To his credit, Kennedy ran anyway. He lost to unexpected dark horse Jimmy Carter who later became President Carter. Carter was doomed to become a one term president because he was outmaneuvered by Reagen. Behind his back while he was still President, it was candidate Reagen who traded guns for those American hostages in Iran. President Reagen created the Iranian Revolution and terrorist mess in Iran today from this foolish action. Reagen may have won the Presidency with his back-stabbing of a current sitting President but it's the next generation who had to deal with the consequences.

Senator Ted Kennedy's goodbye words were defiantly declared after that fateful loss to Carter and are appropriate all these years later as his epitaph: "The Work goes on, the Cause endures, the Hope still lives, and, the Dream never shall never die."

Kennedy was 77, passed away on Tuesday night from an extended illness with brain cancer. He will be greatly missed but his work was done. Now it is time for the next generation to lead. Thank you for your service, Ted, thank you, from a grateful nation...

President Obama bestows the Medal of Freedom upon Senator Ted Kennedy

Larry King interviews Kennedy about his life in the Senate back in 2006

Kennedy stood up for Obama when others were hesitant in the Democratic Party. Senator Edward Kennedy, the patriarch of the first family of Democratic politics, died at his home in Hyannis Port, Massachusetts.

alcoholism, President Jimmy Carter, civil rights, college education, health care reform, Senate, Senator Ted Kennedy, voting rights, womens rights, Robert Kennedy, President John F. Kennedy


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