Tuesday, August 26, 2008

Unapologetic


I would like to write something about Michelle Obama's speech last night but I fell asleep. Rather, let me say that I watched Ted Kennedy's speech with Lotta, who is 7. I tried to watch and answer her questions all at the same time. She wanted to know who Kennedy was. I answered that he has been a senator for over 40 years, that he had three brothers all of whom gave their lives for our country.

Is he a hero? she asked.

Yes. I answered.

Ken Burns put together the tribute to Kennedy. It opened and closed with images of the Kennedys sailing. A timid democratic party would probably shy away from that, given their sensitivity to the utter ridiculousness of the rightwing claim that Obama is elitist.

You know what I loved about it? Kennedy is elitist. And yet the Kennedys never ever have been accused of not having the best interest of the people at heart in all their signature legislation.

In short: Noblesse Oblige. Or, the Kennedy motto: "To whom much is given, much is expected" [Luke 12:48]

This is in complete opposition to the blue-blooded Bushes of Connecticut, who have always acted under the free market modus operandi "To whom much is given, much is never enough".

13 comments:

CDP said...

Outstanding...my first thought of that film was that I was so glad that they didn't shy away from Kennedy's background, because it's honorable to have been born to wealth and privilege and then to have devoted your entire life's energy to helping the less-fortunate.

thailandchani said...

I watched her speech also.. and fell asleep! :) It just didn't really pack a punch for me.

Very good observations on Kennedy and Noblesse Oblige.


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FranIAm said...

Brava brava! This post says it all.

And your use of Luke is most appropriate. Without sounding like a complete asshat, I think you know what I am saying when I write that the underpinning of this is the foundation of good Catholic social justice teaching and theology.

A good deal of which is lost lost lost in the RC church and in our society today.

Ted Kennedy may have never become president, but he achieved greatness beyond in so many ways.

And it shows in the demand for justice, even now.

DCup said...

What a great post. It's a ream reminder of the difference between truly wealthy people who understand that it comes with responsibilities and those who consider their wealth an entitlement to be horded.

no_slappz said...
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Little Merry Sunshine said...

Great post! I agree 100%. The Kennedys have always had it all and their belief system is exactly in line with that quote from Luke.

Does that mean they are all perfect? Nope. And they don't claim to be. They've all made mistakes. They've all lived larger than life and 4 of them have given their lives (if you count John Jr.) for living that way. But 3 of the 4 (John Jr. died too young), died serving their country and if John Jr. had lived, I can only imagine what he would have contributed.

Michelle Obama's speech was moving and brought me to tears, as did Kennedy's. And I'm beyond excited that today is the 88th anniversary of women getting the right to vote as we celebrate Hillary Clinton tonight. Perfect.

M.Yu said...

This is in complete opposition to the blue-blooded Bushes of Connecticut, who have always acted under the free market modus operandi "To whom much is given, much is never enough".

Boy is this the truth!

no_slappz said...
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dguzman said...

Amen, Jess. Nice post.

Dr. Zaius said...

That's unfair. The blue-blooded Bushes of Connecticut make their money the old fashioned way. They steal it.

Comrade Kevin said...

That whole elitist controversy has always seemed like a media attempt to make sense of a very simple fact---the Clinton name among many is far more potent than the rise of a newcomer named Obama.

Dean Wormer said...

Wonderful sentiment.

It's kind of the same thing when Prince Henry through a fit when the British army was going to send his unit into a combat zone without him and he insisted he be allowed to go along.

I love the Kennedy's.

Mauigirl said...

Well said. He joins others like FDR who also came from wealth but championed the poor.

Re: Michelle Obama's speech, I thought she was quite compelling!