For those of us who came of age in the 1960's we have suffered a grievous loss. We have lived our political lives knowing that we were protected by the Kennedy family. We started with John and then came Robert and then came Teddy but we have always had a Kennedy in our political hemisphere. Much of what John and Robert accomplished in their short stay with us was through their deaths. Much of what Teddy accomplished was through his life. And yes, Teddy had flaws -- Lord knows Ted had his flaws. But who among us does not? He was a giant among us and his flaws seemed to be larger than life but his accomplishments also were larger than life. Nothing ever got through the senate without his mark on it and rarely if ever did he take credit, Ted was the "go to guy" for the last 40 years. But there is an intangible that I wish to remark upon.
For many of us liberalism was a cause. From the War in Viet Nam to the Great Society to Civil Rights to the Patriot Act and the War in Iraq we would drift in and out of the cause for a period of time or until we tired of the issues and returned to our BMWs and our Yuppie lifestyles. For Senator Edward Kennedy liberalism was not a cause it was a lifestyle. Yes, in many respects he symbolized for us what Matthew 26:31-46 was all about. He put into practice in a very real way the concepts of clothing the naked, feeding the hungry and visiting the sick. Liberalism was not a cause to be championed it was a means to bringing to life the gospel of Jesus Christ. No one was more inclusive, more compassionate nor more productive in legislation for those less fortunate than Senator Kennedy.
What is worse is that there is no one in the House or Senate than embodies the same characteristics as Senator Kennedy. There is no one on the horizon to pick up where he has left off and no one to champion the causes that he championed. We may very well be lost -- we may never see again quite the likes of Ted Kennedy and we will be worse off for it. The love of humankind, the generosity of the body known as the Senate, the compassion of and for and through legislation has taken a severe blow.
For those of us that remember, there must be a grand touch football game going on right now in heaven.
I end with a piece of Music that strikes me as erriely appropriate for this moment. Yes, I am a product of the So. California 1960s.