Thursday, August 27, 2009

Quote of the Day

art by R.J. Matson, St. Louis Post Dispatch

"There are good ships, and there are wood ships, the ships that sail the sea.
But the best ships are friendships, and may they always be."

Ted Kennedy's oft spoken toast.

Who was Edward Kennedy and why do we care? the end, moving eulogies and teary speeches are insufficient to truly honor the memory of the man. Ted Kennedy isn't worthy of all this praise simply because he was a nice guy, or because he'd been in the Senate for nearly 50 years, or because he was able to get along with Republicans, or even because he was a Kennedy. No, Kennedy's death hits home as hard as it does because of his unparalleled work to ensure that the basic social compact of his generation -- the generation which came of age in the New Deal -- would continue to be honored, even after the depredations of Reagan and Bush. That simple compact, which is as American as baseball and hot dogs, and which resonates today despite every attempt by the reactionaries to kill it, pledges: if you work hard and play by the rules in America, you have earned a decent life for you and your family.

There are a shocking number of people in America today who don't believe in the terms of that compact. They are heirs to an ancient tradition that the New Dealers and the Kennedys sought to extinguish, but which survived and reseeded and grew roots under Reagan and flowered in its majestic hideousness under Bush. And their compact is simple, too. Its terms are: "I've got mine. You get yours -- if you can, since I've got my boot on your throat." And the emptiness of so many of the words being spoken about Ted Kennedy today is highlighted by the fact that so many of them have emitted from people who fervently embrace this latter, soulless compact, rather than the humane compact which Ted Kennedy lived every day of his public life.

This piece is the best of several I've read, and that is its core. Please read the rest when you can.

But there is another quote of the day that we must take to our hearts, not just for today, but for all days...

"For all those whose cares have been our concern, the work goes on, the cause endures, and the dream shall never die"

Ted Kennedy

1 comment:

  1. Great post and excellent reminder of the core of his life in our country. Very big deal!