Thursday, August 27, 2009

Ted Kennedy’s Legacy (Part 1)

There will be a lot in the media about Ted Kennedy now that he has died. Let me add a few thoughts of my own.

He came from a family that clearly wanted to create an American dynasty. When Joe Junior was killed during WWII, the baton was passed to Jack. He did, in fact, become president, although his presidency was tragically cut short by an assassin in 1963. Bobby ran in the primaries in 1968, but his run was cut short by an assassin. Finally Ted considered running but his scandals precluded him from doing do. I’m glad he didn’t run, because I don’t think he had what it takes to be president.

As the last male survivor of that generation of the Kennedys, Ted ran for the Senate. In reality, he may have had more power and influence for a longer period of time in the Senate than he ever would have had as president. It was a good move and from his safe seat, he could pursue his liberal agenda.

Unfortunately his lifestyle was not a good example for his children, extended family, and the nation. He chased women (despite being married to a beautiful woman) and drank too much. He apparently inherited the Kennedy sex drive gene, and it got him in trouble. As a Kennedy, he could do no wrong in Massachusetts, so his Senate seat was always safe, no matter what.

While I didn’t agree with much of his liberal agenda, I do believe that he sincerely wanted to make the world a better place, which is commendable. The problem I have with liberals, in a nutshell, is not so much their objectives, but their means of achieving them. Often their programs do more harm than good because they don’t consider the unintended consequences of their programs.

Hopefully the retrospectives of Kennedy’s life will provide us with a nice history lesson concerning the last 50 years. Some of that history was influenced by Senator Edward Kennedy, and he deserves credit for doing his best to achieve what he believed in.

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