Since Senator Edward Kennedy, 77, recently passed from brain cancer, many stories have emerged extolling the man’s greatness and many good deeds. Undoubtedly Kennedy used his position of power to do good for others, following the Kennedy family mantra that with great wealth comes great responsibility to help others.
Kennedy, who held a liberal ideology, was ranked the most bipartisan democratic senator in the country, and was referred to as the “last lion” of the Senate. He wrote bills to ensure fair wages and equal opportunities for all Americans, in addition to over 2,500 other pieces of legislation to benefit the public good. Ted Kennedy was a man that treated everyone with dignity and respect, and was efficient at bridging gaps to reach compromises.
“He was the most effective senator of his generation and the four generations before him,” President Shalala said yesterday in a press conference.
The senator’s most recent project was lobbying for a universal healthcare system. As he was one of Obama’s greatest supporters, the president has not only lost an eloquent backer but also the 60-40 majority in the senate, which he needs to pass bills without opposition.
Therefore, this places Obama’s new healthcare proposition on even more uncertain grounds.
Realizing they were losing the upper hand in the senate, Democrats called for Americans to support the bill and ensure its passage in memory of Kennedy almost immediately after his death. They are capitalizing off Kennedy’s passing, using it to further their own means.
If anyone knew Ted Kennedy at all, with his high morals and principles, he would never have made such a disrespectful move. Just because the timing of the man’s death is convenient does not mean politicians should go down that path.
Though Kennedy publicly endorsed Obama, metaphorically handing over the Kennedy legacy to this young, new leader, the president’s numbers have been slipping. Times are changing. The public has begun to think for themselves and communicate how they feel about issues, like universal healthcare.
While not all Americans are dissatisfied with the proposed changes, the fact still remains that healthcare is an important issue. It affects each individual person differently, depending on the situation in which they find themselves, but undoubtedly in a very personal way.
Not agreeing with the proposed handling of the healthcare issue is in no way dishonoring Kennedy’s memory, and it is absurd that Democrats are suggesting this. Regardless, it is disappointing that the life of this great man, who did so much for so many people, cannot be simply respected, instead of being used as a tool to further a political agenda.