Sunday, August 30, 2009

Ted Kennedy's Legacy

The country has said its goodbyes to the last of the Kennedy men. Eulogies regaled his legacies:

  • The Immigration Act,
  • His efforts to deregulating the airline industry,
  • Chairman of the Senate Committee on Labor and Human Resources, in order to focus on the issues relating to jobs, education, and health care,
  • His support of a minimum wage increase and also the Welfare-to-Jobs Incentives,
  • The Americans with Disabilities Act,
  • The 1991 Civil Rights Act,
  • The Family and Medical Leave Act and the School-to-Work Opportunities Act,
  • He sponsored the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act, which guarantees the continuation of health insurance coverage for Americans who change jobs or lose their jobs,
  • The Work Incentives Improvement Act, which increased job training opportunities for unemployed and at risk,
  • In 2007 Senator Kennedy again led efforts to pass the first increase in the federal minimum wage in more than 10 years,
  • And his pet project, championing the health provisions to expand access to unemployment insurance and to help those who lose their jobs to keep their health insurance, and investments to improve the quality of health.
He did much to help American families in addition to being father.

But none of that is why I am calling attention to this statesmen here. It is for the blemish in his career that he did not let defeat him. Not a biographical tale is told of him without the mention of his poor judgment in the death of Mary Jo Kopechne, a former campaign worker for the assassinated U.S. Senator Robert F. Kennedy of New York when he, a young man of 37, he
drove his car off a bridge on Chappaquiddick, off Cape Cod.

He made a mistake. he did something bad. He made poor decisions.

But he didn't let that flaw ruin his life and went on to great things.

THAT makes him an excellent role model for all of us with dark clouds and skeletons in out closets. We CAN overcome diversity and shame.

We once sang "We Shall Overcome" -- Today we shout: We CAN Overcome!

1 comment:

maryanne said...

Our country has lost a great man. Yes, he had flaws and made terrible mistakes, but the good he did for so many of the poor and vulnerable far outweighed the bad. I watched all the funeral services and was so moved by the outpouring of grief from great and common people, and the grace and kindness of the Kennedy family in reaching out to the public. Rest in Peace, Teddy, and may your work for fair health care and justice be carried on.

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