Wednesday, August 26, 2009

Teddy

I was going to blog on something else, but I suppose I have to blog on Teddy. I was born in 1954, and I have been trying to remember recently when I first gained an awareness of the news and world events. I clearly remember sitting in a barbershop in the Bronx with my friend Bruce and several disappointed Italian gentlemen on the afternoon of October 13th, 1960, watching Bill Maskeroski’s, home run clear the vines at Forbes Field, as the Yankees lost the 7th game of the 1960 World Series. A few weeks I remember watching, entranced, the coverage of the 1960 presidential elections, as the numbers were changed, and predictions were made.

However, I did not really start to follow the news at age 6, and only bits and pieces filtered into my awareness. I have no memory of the Bay of Pigs, though I remember Moise Tsombe and the breakaway province of Katanga (though I have no memory of Patrice Lumumba, or the death of Daj Hammarskjold) and I remember the Indian takeover of Goa in December 1961, (and Roger Maris hitting his 59th homerun a few months earlier.)
But 1962 is the year when my memory and knowledge of the world really started. I remember the Cuban Missile Crisis clearly. And I remember, at the beginnings of my horizon as someone who cared about the world I lived in, the controversies over the election of Ted Kennedy to the senate in the fall of 1962. As long as I have around or cared to notice, Ted Kennedy has been a senator, and for many decades he has been the standard bearer of the ideals of liberalism. I don’t have much to add to what has been and will be said. Granted a longevity denied his brothers, he is probably the most important of the three Kennedy’s in terms of his accomplishments (the Cuban Missile Crisis and Bay of Pigs aside.)

There has been much talk about the revival of liberalism under Obama, though the jury is still out on whether Obamism will be vigorous in its pursuit of needed change as Democrats accomplished in the Kennedy-Johnson years or under FDR. All that is clear is that the Democrats will have to accomplish without Teddy Kennedy.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Yes, Peter, a real loss, especially with the health care debate raging. I think Ted Kennedy in full form could have been a difference maker, bringing over the conservative dems and possibly even a few republicans, but we'll never know. Sen. Kennedy had many failings and was privileged in ways most of us will never know, but his legacy in the Senate is undeniable and the way he responded to adversity is a true lesson in life.

Steve Zurier