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Reflections on the Kennedy Memorial (It’s Not Too Soon, Is It?) August 30, 2009

Posted by FCM in liberal dickwads, politics, pop culture, thats random.
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Sen. Edward Kennedy

Sen. Edward Kennedy 1932-2009

we have been watching the teddy kennedy memorial on and off all day, and i had a few thoughts.  its not too soon, is it?

first of all, i am far from a kennedy historian, and i know you can look that stuff up if you want to.  someone else can analyze the problems of william kennedy smith and mary jo kopechne, etc., etc.  i have just a few things to say about the memorial itself.

now, it was striking to me that the kennedy family is not just rich, but have successfully amassed elitist wealth.  not that profound an observation, i know, but it was striking nontheless.  the memorial service was moving, as it was meant to be, but i wonder whether the family realized how they looked, to an ordinary, educated, working american democrat who was an absolute outsider, and not a part of the american aristocracy?

case in point.  if they had mentioned the beloved family pastime of sailing in nantucket bay one.  more.  time.  do they not know how fucking elitist that sounds?  that they considered it so endearing that teddy’s favorite hobby was…something only a rich, white man has access to, and a virtue that he was so privileged, and had so much leisure time that he could just drop everything without any consequence, and go sailing to satisfy his elitist craving for the sea – was repugnant, on many levels.  i was shocked that they kept referring to it, and how insensitive it sounded.

next, the memorial service itself was held in a catholic church, and a beautiful one.  i noticed over and over that the priests were all white men, as they usually are.  but this time i noticed something…interesting.  to me, it was so very obvious that that sea of rich, white faces were looking to the priest as an authority figure, and that they really felt that he was in control.  and that the sense of authority, and that someone was in control of a potentially out of control situation, was profoundly comforting.

now, i am not a mindreader, but thats just the sense i had.  and it really made me feel…alien.  absolutely alien.  and absolutely like i was an outsider looking in on a rich, powerful family’s life that i will never, ever experience, and therefore never understand.

it made me wonder, why are the wealthy liberal elite so charitable, in the first place?  not a single person in that church would have had any real clue about what it is like to be poor.  far, far from it in fact.  not a shred of a hint what its like to not have a perpetual and unlimited “social safety net”.  not the tiniest sliver of a clue.  and yet…they champion the cause of the poor.  i cant help but wonder, why? 

teddy’s legacy and his life’s work was mentioned over and over, as is to be expected at a memorial service with so many family members present, and so many that were scheduled to speak.  and every time his being a champion of the poor was mentioned, i felt admiration for him.  and it made me wonder, is it this final — and admirable — summation of a person’s life’s work that these elitist liberals work so hard to achieve?  and if thats the goal, why?

i dont get what makes these elitist liberals any different, at all, from the elitist republicans.  the kennedy family is more like the aristocratic prescott-bushes than they are like myself, or any of the poorest clients i have served.  neither family will ever know what its like to be anything other than absolutely privileged.  and yet, one side champions certain causes, to varying degrees of success.  and the other side champions…themselves.  why are these decisions made?  what fuels their demonstrated passions for their respective causes, when their backgrounds are nearly identical?  i really dont get it.  maybe when i have had a few days to reflect, i will post an edit.



1. femspotter - August 30, 2009

I agree that the Kennedy family has amassed elitist wealth, as you observe, but I think the celebration comes because of the fight they’ve collectively made for those you haven’t been as fortunate. I am no Ted Kennedy fan, mind you…I’m one of those judgmental folks who will never get over Chappaquiddick. But I can still appreciate that, unlike some of the other wealthy elite, the Kennedy family, for the most part, have devoted themselves to public service. In other words, they have done more with their elitist wealth than other elites. I am especially appreciative of Eunice Kennedy Shriver and her work to found the Special Olympics.

How many days did former President Bush spend on vacation per year, on average?

Whatever obscene amount it was, it was probably less than Kennedy spent on his boat off Nantucket.


2. factcheckme - August 30, 2009

In other words, they have done more with their elitist wealth than other elites.

this is exactly right. if GW died tomorrow and his whole family was there and scheduled to speak and sum up his “lifes work,” what would they say? this is a serious question. same with all repubs that i can think of. they championed…what? their own self-interests? small business owners? what? a catholic friend suggested that its a religious difference between old-money libs and repubs. that the libs are largely catholic, and think they can buy their way into heaven. i thought that was an interesting observation.

Whatever obscene amount it was, it was probably less than Kennedy spent on his boat off Nantucket.

mmmm…not so sure about that. i think theres probably no real difference in the amount or manner that these endlessly wealthy elitists spend their money in pursuit of leisure. theres no shame in admitting that the elitist libs arent any better than the elitist repubs in that regard.

3. femspotter - August 30, 2009

The difference between an elitist liberal and an elitist conservative is good or bad PR. LOL

I guess that’s why I’m in favor of a sales tax as opposed to an income tax. If somebody wants to buy big boats, they’d be taxed accordingly. There would be such a wee tax on the plastic boat I’d play with in my bathtub!

Is an elitist Libertarian any better than the other two?

factcheckme - August 30, 2009

well, i personally find the elitism of the dems to be worse than that of anyone else, because they claim to be the ones that care about everyone else. the repubs make no such claims of altruism. most obviously, if the kennedys wanted to lift up the poor, they could have literally given away some or most of their money, for example. but they didnt. there are also racist, sexist, classist and homophobic tendencies in all privileged people, and the dems dont seem as interested in examining their own biases as they are in criticising everyone else.

this is a personal crusade i have taken up the last year or so, when self-identified liberal progressives (i call them o-bots) outed themselves as the racist, sexist, classist and homophobes they are (obamas voters pased prop 8 in CA; still think of women as whores etc). the kennedy family are problematic in the same ways (serial womanizing; elitism).

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