Our time in Boston was beautiful.
The highlight of the trip for me was really getting a handle on my Kennedy fixation.
Outside of the historical significance the family holds- my ingestion of the subject has taken up a space in my mind and an affection in my heart.
I’ve been slightly baffled by my mini-obsession.
The trajectory of the Kennedy family fits into a prescribed model for people who wind up successful. One of the distinguishing characteristics of determining success being socio-economic status.
This creepy truth about Western Capitalistic society is that- the seemingly arcane question of why so few have all the loot- and so many just “get by”, is really no mystery at all, rather it is simply a matter of a different kind of caste system at play.
It’s been this way for a while. And it disgusts me. So, you can see why there might be some conflict in relation to my Kennedy thing, as they are a potent example of the upper crust society type (if only from the sheer ambition of their parents to achieve status)- and it kind of makes me want to barf.
I suppose the distinction I discovered or have been able to articulate better is that I love them for the same reason so many people love them: despite the money, despite the power, despite the scandals, and the ambition their evolving sense of duty and service IS something big.
There is something hopeful about those Kennedys.
Joe Jr. dies in WWII, Kathleen dies in a plane crash, Rosemary is mentally retarded (her condition exacerbated by her father agreeing to a lobotomy),
Jack is assassinated,
Bobby is assassinated,
Teddy looses his mind (Chappaquiddick) due to grief and booze accidentally driving his car off a bridge his passenger, Mary Jo Kopechne, drowning (very sketchy).
Really, the conflict I experience in championing a guy that was a known philanderer (Jack),
and being a fan of Teddy and all of the crap attached to him, is real. It’s nuts… Ok, fine, life is a contradiction. And, I’m trying to make sense of it.
This is what I DO know:
I know I am interested in the EVOLUTION of these people.
JFK’s sister was mentally retarded. During his administration he developed “A National Plan to Combat Mental Retardation”.
His life informed his policy. Throughout their careers both he and his awesome sister Eunice, (Bobby too) brought attention, federal funding, etc. to the cause of treating those with mental retardation and intellectual disabilities humanely- not to mention the research funding.
The Special Olympics(!) is HUGE. Eunice Shriver was a good woman, there is no debate to be had on this one.
Also, back to Bobby:
Bobby Kennedy speaking to the crowd in Indiana, after Martin Luther King had been shot was a beautiful moment. This man’s tragedy, in the death of his brother, had informed him and transformed him- it in fact transformed that crowd.
It transformed everyone really.
Despite rioting in other major American cities, Indianapolis remained calm that night after Kennedy’s remarks.
There was real momentum behind Bobby. There was hope. Despite the hardship- he still persevered, he kept on. He was fighting the good fight. Until he too died.
I have a lot of sympathy for Ted Kennedy. Considering.
These people were compassionate, they were real and they were compelled to act on their compassion.
Yesterday, as the Supreme Court (Justice Roberts) found and ruled on the constitutionality of the Health Care Mandate- I could not help but think of Teddy Kennedy, who made his life’s work the issues surrounding health care:
“What we face is above all a moral issue; that at stake are not just the details of policy, but fundamental principles of social justice and the character of our country.”—- Ted Kennedy.
He’s right. It is a social justice issue. Regardless of the BS Washington protocol, in the end- I feel like there is progress had and progress still to be made. Despite all of the tragedy in the world, I have hope… Like Bobby, like Eunice, like Teddy
I wouldn’t be going into education if I didn’t. I still believe.