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The Northerner

Web Exclusive: Last Thoughts on Ted Kennedy

Brandon Barb

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Chuck Kennedy/MCT Campus

Wednesday was a sad day in politics.’

The last line of defense for what is right has died. The last Kennedy brother has died at the age of 77. Senator Edward Kennedy is dead, and so is the Kennedy flame. Camelot is no more – where is the Kennedy I can look to and see a ray of hope?’

Ted Kennedy wasn’t brutally gunned down, but lost his battle with brain cancer. Like his brothers, Ted fought for what was right and tried to make this country a better place. And he succeeded by helping President Obama into the White House.’

I didn’t live during the eras of John Kennedy or Bobby Kennedy, but I recognize a great man no matter what decade it is. I wasn’t here to see his brothers, but I have lived through Ted’s last years. I have watched his speeches, and I see his brother John and I see Bobby, like an old black and white film reel. I wasn’t alive for his 1980 speech at the Democratic National Convention, but I did watch his speech at the 2008 Democratic Convention, and that night I saw a man with passion, with hope, who still had faith in this country. I saw a man giving his heart to a cause he had been fighting for his whole life – a changed country.’

I am not into politics, but when it came to the Kennedys I saw three men who knew what the people wanted, and how to get those things accomplished. What would’ve happened if John and Bobby hadn’t been killed? This would’ve been a better country. And although Ted didn’t make it to the White House, he still found a way to make a difference – the Senate.’

Through he Senate, Ted was able to get things done, and started what his brothers were pushing for during their respected campaigns.’

Ted was fighting for health care reform all his career. All the way back to the plane crash that nearly crippled him, he was campaigning for the Senate on a health care reform platform. He was making progress in the new reform push.’

So the question arises – what now?’

Now that a leading warrior in Health Care is gone, who is going to pick up where he left off? I don’t know, but I hope it happens soon because I am supporter of the reform plan. I’m a Democrat, what can I say? Don’t take this as The Northerner’s opinion – this is mine. With Ted gone, I fear the worst is coming. He was a fierce Senator who stood up for what was right, and what he believed in. I fear who, if anyone, is going to follow in his historic footsteps. I fear whether President Obama can continue without the help of Ted. I know deep down Obama can turn this country around, but just how long is it going to take?’

How long can he keep the wolves at bay without the lion at his back?’

The youngest of the Kennedy brothers, he was in line to be a power in politics. One brother became president, the other, attorney general. He too threw his hat into the presidential ring during the 1980 presidential race. But probably his biggest mistake and career red flag, was Chappaquiddick. Those who do not know of this incident, a car driven by Ted Kennedy went into the water while trying to cross a bridge. Kennedy’s passenger was not able to escape the car and drowned. There were speculations that Ted was drunk and didn’t want to call the police. To me, a man shouldn’t be judged on the things he has done in the past. The past is the past and it should be left alone.’

It is a sad time. I wonder what is going to happen next. The last brother in the political dynasty is gone, leaving behind a legacy as great and vast as his brothers. The last brother is gone and Camelot is crumbling. I fear what is to come, because the last lion is gone from the plain.’

My faith in politics is lessened, if only a little. What is next?

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The Independent Student Newspaper of Northern Kentucky University.
Web Exclusive: Last Thoughts on Ted Kennedy