Up to now, I have maintained my silence about the late Senator Ted Kennedy. I have been torn between my “sainted” mother’s advice that if you cannot say something nice about someone, say nothing at all.
I also remember a quote from Abraham Lincoln who reportedly said, “The wise man speaks because he has something to say. The fool speaks because he has to say something.”
So, you see my quandary.
But, as I listened to the praises being sung about some senator I have never heard of - and do not know, it has become impossible to maintain my silence.
Count me among the fools, if you will, but down here, in the south land of America, the senator from Massachusetts was not well thought of - except by a handful of ultra-leftists and those transplanted northeasterners who have recently invaded our holy land, Dixie.
I was, and remain, a great fan of the late Senator Jesse Helms. Many years ago, when we were both broadcasters, I knew the senator and grew to admire him as someone who, when asked a question, told you the truth as he believed the truth to be, and never wavered. You might not like the answer he gave to your question, but it was an honest answer, nevertheless. I grew to admire Senator Helms long before he became the senator from my state of North Carolina.
The Kennedy family, on the other hand, was an altogether different animal, if you will. I began to investigate that family when Jack was a candidate for President. I did not like what I learned. After Chappaquiddick and the absolute mess Ted made of that incident, and the efforts his family made to save his behind, told me everything I ever needed to know about Ted, himself, and the family.
True, I hail from a long line of proud southern bootleggers, but I never ran for Congress, either.
To this scribe, Ted Kennedy never got past the drunken, slovenly, not very bright, court jester image that he seemed to polish continually. Frankly, I never trusted him to do, well, anything, very well, at all. Except one thing, that is. That one thing was to push his favorite socialist program, as best he could, through the Senate. That he seemed to do with great gusto.
Ted Kennedy had as much to do with Jesse Helms going back to the Senate for all those years as the voters in North Carolina had. Jesse was our answer to Ted. Jesse was the counter-weight, if you please.
So, forgive me if I do not join in the left’s deifying of Ted Kennedy. For unlike my friends on the left, I am unable to suspend my disbelief for the few days it will take for the left to bury the man.
As I predicted, it only took hours for the Democratic Party to take advantage of his death and attach his name to the ObamaCare bill before Congress. As we have come to know, such tasteless behavior is certainly not beneath the left when their power is being challenged by the conservative movement in this country.
ObamaCare began “for the children.” It will end “for Teddy.”
If one really wanted to remember someone at this funereal time, I would suggest we all take a few moments to remember a young lady named Mary Jo Kopechne and the date July 18th, 1969.
J. D. Longstreet