Utter the name Kennedy in Massachusetts and you will generally be met with a glowing response, nostalgic memories and fond feelings pouring out from the locals. For whatever reason the family whose presence is eternally memorialized in virtually every town of Massachusetts has become the closest thing to a monarchial dynasty America has ever seen. Whether you are traveling down the Rose Kennedy Greenway or visiting the JFK Library or planning your visit to the soon-to-be Edward M. Kennedy national institute the reminder of Kennedy adoration can be perplexing and mystifying to a younger generation of Bostonians. While I appreciate the public service performed by the family and the sacrifices they have made to this nation as a result of their commitment, I fail to understand how this translates into a blind cult following of everything Kennedy. When I hear stories of JFK's portraits hanging in the homes of Americans I inevitably am reminded of walls adorned with pictures of Mao, Stalin and other totalitarian figures. Slow down, I am in no way suggesting that the Kennedy family members have any resemblance to totalitarian leaders, far from it, but they enjoy an eerily similar cult-like following.
I am of the opinion that the original framers looked at politics as a means to accomplish certain tasks and beyond those tasks their involvement was not only unnecessary, but downright detrimental. George Washington left his presidential role and welcomed the privacy and quiet he could finally enjoy. Modern politics behave starkly differently and apparently three days of non stop funeral coverage does not satiate the appetite of mourners clamoring for more Kennedy. Incidentally we are also ostracized for attempting to discuss Teddy Kennedy's legislative record or really question whether or not his work has truly benefited America as a whole. There is no willingness to honestly explore contributions of long time senators, yet there is willingness to continue a legacy for the sake of a legacy because doing so, makes people feel better and reminds them of "better times"?
In today's Herald, we learn that Vicki Kennedy - widow of Edward has rejected the idea of being appointed despite family and friends urging her otherwise. Perhaps she is indeed as smart as they say they are and realizes that she simply does not have the credentials to run. No problem, as Boston Globe points out, all eyes turn to Joe Kennedy II. Really? Am I not aware of some biological condition that points all residents of Massachusetts to gaze at the closest Kennedy? Joe Kennedy has already served in Congress and I am sure he has accomplished that feat because of his innate abilities and nothing having to do with his surname. He allegedly left Congress on a bad note and returned to his organization (Citizens Energy Corporation) providing energy for low income families. Whether Joe Kennedy is a suitable candidate is outside the scope of this article, but we should be cognizant of the fact that many Democrats believe Joe Kennedy is a virtual shoe-in, a wonderful addition to return their filibuster proof majority.
Have Massachusetts residents really devolved to such a point where the name Kennedy is enough to acquire such a critical position in US Politics? Should our state roll over only because high ranking Democrats are interested in pushing their personal agenda ignoring at the same time devastating consequences to the rest of the nation? I somehow figured that a place considered to be an origin of the American Revolution would exhibit a bit more moxie and not heed the instructions of out of touch politicians. No such luck fellow citizens, we are instead as predictable as Pavlov's dogs reacting ever so programmatically to the utterance of the name "Kennedy".
If you prefer to spend your political effort praying to the shrine of family whose era has passed, then continue doing so. But if you are interested in questioning the expansion of government, one party rule and reliance on government for all life's problems then join me in selecting a politician that truly reflects the will of the people. If analysis and research suggest Joe Kennedy is the best man for the job then proudly cast your vote and continue the dynasty, but do so based on credentials, not lineage because the direction of America depends on it.