Monday, September 7, 2009

Does The Dream Live On?

Recently, we witnessed the death of the last Kennedy brother. Progressives of the world wept while others cast a skeptical eye toward the legacy of the last great warrior of Camelot.

The fawning of the popular press is a good thing. It keeps analysis of any event within certain boundaries. Certainly, nothing less than honesty will do as history looks to the past and judges just who were the Kennedy’s and what did they bring to our great nation?

First, we must start with wealth. The wealth of the Kennedy family was accumulated in the days when resources were plentiful and efforts to “get all you could get” were not a comment of degradation. Interestingly, many on the right still profess that same philosophy with regard to shrinking resources of the present day.

Although an exponentially expanding population commands the exercise of responsibility in the utilization of what remains on the banquet table of civilization, there are those who decry the necessity for cooperation as humankind moves forward to (to borrow a phrase) a “new frontier” in the evolution of how we live and how we interact with one another.

Times are always changing as the circumstances of existence shift. Today, some are heart broken at the death of a man who, in days of yesteryear, lived much of his early private life in a manner that was already outdated and never in accord with the strictest standards of public approbation. Yet, this same man sought to bring others to the bar of public accountability. Some examples include his opposition to a former president who eschewed a respect for constitutional rights of the individual, including attempts to place unsuitable persons on the Supreme Court. Yes, the opposition of might and right to that former president and some later holders of the presidency appeared in the unlikely fa├žade of a warrior with feet of clay. The silver haired “lion of the senate” rallied the media and public attention to these threats of danger to the republic. He continued to fight similar battles as the years passed. He never faltered in his efforts to provide the counter balance to certain conservative opinion, a counter balance so essential for the survival of a viable democracy.

All of which raises the question: Do we disregard the evil some would do to all of us? Do we disregard evil simply because he who defends us against that evil is not without sin? In my mind, we leap over the horns of the dilemma and save ourselves in response to the clarion call of the defender. We do not sleep silently while the storm rages destruction simply because the “wake up” call comes from one, who in his earlier personal life, practiced a life style which we could not endorse. No, we proceed to the ramparts to preserve that which is best in our society. We repel those who intentionally or mindlessly seek the downfall of all in favor of individual greed. Notably, it is a circle come to fruition as we observe that the valiant watchman and defender, whose altruistic actions saved us, originally came himself from wealth accumulated as a result of values outdated in our world.

So, in a maudlin way, good does triumph over evil. In the words of the late senator, “the work goes on, the cause endures, the hope still lives, and the dream shall never die.”
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1 comment:

Dale said...

John Donne's "For Whom the Bell Tolls":

No man is an island,
Entire of itself.
Each is a piece of the continent,
A part of the main.
If a clod be washed away by the sea,
Europe is the less.
As well as if a promontory were.
As well as if a manner of thine own
Or of thine friend's were.
Each man's death diminishes me,
For I am involved in mankind.
Therefore, send not to know
For whom the bell tolls,
It tolls for thee.