I never met Ted Kennedy. I voted for him in my first election after moving to Massachusetts and every election after that until I moved out of the state forty years later.
As my senator, I was always proud of his stand on the issues. I was less proud of his private life when he was younger, but I saw him grow and mature into a person I could admire and respect in all ways.
He was a champion of the common man even though he had no reason to be and a hard worker though he had no need to be. He was the surviving son in a wealthy family who could have easily spent his life dabbling in business, playing polo and sailing on the family yacht.
I never understood the hatred that many conservatives had for him. It was like he stood for everything that was wrong with the federal government, politicians and America in general.
I still remember a bumper sticker I saw on an Arizona pickup truck in 1989: “The only good Kennedy is a dead Kennedy”. The driver didn’t look like he was into punk rock bands.
We would all be more fortunate if there were more politicians on both sides of the aisle in the Senate who were as committed to American democracy as Ted Kennedy.
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