Comments on: “The dream shall never die:” Edward M. Kennedy, 1932-2009 http://www.historiann.com/2009/08/26/the-dream-shall-never-die-edward-m-kennedy-1932-2009/ History and sexual politics, 1492 to the present Sat, 20 Sep 2014 19:32:02 +0000 hourly 1 http://wordpress.org/?v=3.9.2 By: Amnah Khan http://www.historiann.com/2009/08/26/the-dream-shall-never-die-edward-m-kennedy-1932-2009/comment-page-1/#comment-896280 Sun, 30 Oct 2011 14:21:10 +0000 http://www.historiann.com/?p=7060#comment-896280 Those people who are saying that Robert F. Kennedy did not run until he saw an opportunity of winning, well then what else he could have done? In politics, one can only mould society according to one’s ideals if one is at some high position. What he wanted to do required the seat of presidency. Why was he killed? Because he was a threat to those who were stealing from the poor and dividing America. He ran when he thought was the right time.

About his womanising, there are no confirmed records or authentic sources. Don’t go for the rumours about Monroe, or Jackie or any other actress or of any worker, Bobby was really a decent husband who only loved his wife. Those are plots for his character assassination. I think with the media spinning stories any which way they want people should know what is the truth. One more fact about Bobby, his arch-rival was not only Lyndon Johnson, but Edgar Hoover as well. They spread those stories to end his political career.

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By: A Woman’s Place Is. . . : Historiann : History and sexual politics, 1492 to the present http://www.historiann.com/2009/08/26/the-dream-shall-never-die-edward-m-kennedy-1932-2009/comment-page-1/#comment-454860 Thu, 08 Oct 2009 21:08:31 +0000 http://www.historiann.com/?p=7060#comment-454860 [...] in Ohio. I remember watching a debate in the Senate from the visitor’s gallery, and seeing Senator Edward M. Kennedy make an impassioned argument about noise restrictions to protect people who lived near Logan [...]

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By: James Stripes http://www.historiann.com/2009/08/26/the-dream-shall-never-die-edward-m-kennedy-1932-2009/comment-page-1/#comment-419117 Fri, 28 Aug 2009 12:53:19 +0000 http://www.historiann.com/?p=7060#comment-419117 More than “it would be nice”: we should demand better behavior. OTOH, my father was correct when he castigated a vote I cast for Nader as “wasted on an innocent.” My father never suffered any illusions concerning Nixon’s character, but his crookedness was part of his appeal as a politician if you liked his direction. Unlike Nixon, the Kennedy’s all sought to move this nation in a direction that would be beneficial. Ted Kennedy will be missed, despite his flaws, just as his brothers are missed despite theirs. We need a few more committed liberals, but let’s vet them before they get promoted to the national stage.

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By: Chappaquiddick y Mas « Like a Whisper http://www.historiann.com/2009/08/26/the-dream-shall-never-die-edward-m-kennedy-1932-2009/comment-page-1/#comment-418866 Fri, 28 Aug 2009 07:18:07 +0000 http://www.historiann.com/?p=7060#comment-418866 [...] one riddled with women’s violated bodily integtrity. Read more about Kennedy and women @ historiann’s. Posted in current affairs, sexism. Leave a Comment [...]

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By: Historiann http://www.historiann.com/2009/08/26/the-dream-shall-never-die-edward-m-kennedy-1932-2009/comment-page-1/#comment-418464 Thu, 27 Aug 2009 19:55:26 +0000 http://www.historiann.com/?p=7060#comment-418464 Ignatz–that is true! I bet John Edwards wishes he could go back in time…

I personally don’t care about marital continence (or lack thereof) in my political leaders–it’s more when the behavior strays into criminal and/or deadly risk-taking. I don’t think FDR is someone who needed to “redeem himself,” or, at least not for having a girlfriend on the side. (Maybe for turning away those Jewish refugees before the war started?)

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By: Ignatz http://www.historiann.com/2009/08/26/the-dream-shall-never-die-edward-m-kennedy-1932-2009/comment-page-1/#comment-418451 Thu, 27 Aug 2009 19:11:35 +0000 http://www.historiann.com/?p=7060#comment-418451 I just thought of another example of an aristocrat who amply redeemed himself: FDR. And yet he had at least one affair too. (By the way, an excellent new biography by Kirsten Davis just appeared about Frances Perkins, his secretary of labor, whose ideas and work lay behind most of FDR’s innovations.) And I hear that Gandhi slept with underage women. Ugh.

I might qualify Kathleen’s statement: men in power may be dangerous, especially to women. Privilege provides easier access to power (and women)–but I think privileged families often pass on a sense of noblesse oblige that may stop their kids from screwing up.

One more point, in response to one of Historiann’s: privileged men used to be more able to sanitize the public record (think FDR and JFK). Tabloids and the mainstream media expose some of their misdeeds now.

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By: Historiann http://www.historiann.com/2009/08/26/the-dream-shall-never-die-edward-m-kennedy-1932-2009/comment-page-1/#comment-418168 Thu, 27 Aug 2009 14:27:24 +0000 http://www.historiann.com/?p=7060#comment-418168 polisciprof and perpetua–thanks for the additional information & corrections. I’m really glad to hear that the Bessettes have another daughter, and I hope she lives to a happy and healthy old age.

I hear what you’re saying, polisciprof, and you’re right that public service is a broader category than politics. I too teach at a public uni, and have taught at elite private schools, and you’re right that there is a social consciousness on some Eastern private campuses that I don’t see as prominently at my Western Aggie school. (It’s there, but it’s such a big school and there are so many other organizations/affiliations that compete with each other here.) But as you point out, sometimes liberal public service grooviness is more about fitting into campus culture than it is about a genuinely held set of values.

I remember what a high school teacher of mine said about the 1960s once, when some of us 1980s high schoolers were complaining about our era and generation and romanticizing the political commitments of the 60s. She said, “it wasn’t all that noble. It was just what was fashionable, and most of us were just trying to fit in.”

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By: polisciprof http://www.historiann.com/2009/08/26/the-dream-shall-never-die-edward-m-kennedy-1932-2009/comment-page-1/#comment-418158 Thu, 27 Aug 2009 13:50:13 +0000 http://www.historiann.com/?p=7060#comment-418158 I think we need to hold our judgement about the next generation of privilege. I have taught at several private colleges whose students are committed, at least for now, to the ideals that Sen. Kennedy espoused. Do they often have flaws (womanizing, partying)? Sure.

One area of difference with the Kennedy generation is that my students don’t equate public service with national government service. To many, politics is “tainted” (I was hoping Obama might be able to change that a little), so they look to serve with NGOs, local governments, community projects. This may not be so bad, either. State and local governments need talent to remain viable.

I now teach in my state’s public university system (and not the Research I). Students here are also engaged in service to their communities but in far smaller numbers than at my previous institutions. However, the campus is far less conscious of social justice issues. I asked my students if the bookstore sells clothes made in sweatshops or if the coffee shop offers fair trade options. They didn’t know. At my previous schools, there were student protests over these issues.

I can’t say for certain that the values these young people have now will hold once they begin collecting paychecks. The cynic in me says that there is quite a bit of “following the leader”. Social justice is cool right now. Maybe some of it will stick.

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By: perpetua http://www.historiann.com/2009/08/26/the-dream-shall-never-die-edward-m-kennedy-1932-2009/comment-page-1/#comment-418156 Thu, 27 Aug 2009 13:47:00 +0000 http://www.historiann.com/?p=7060#comment-418156 This isn’t a contribution to the interesting discussion here, I just wanted to gently point out to historiann that the Bessettes actually had three daughters. The third, who I believe was the killed SIL’s twin, was not on the plane, and survives. Of course that fact in no way minimizes the tragedy to the Bessette family.

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By: Historiann http://www.historiann.com/2009/08/26/the-dream-shall-never-die-edward-m-kennedy-1932-2009/comment-page-1/#comment-418101 Thu, 27 Aug 2009 12:54:07 +0000 http://www.historiann.com/?p=7060#comment-418101 Vance and LadyProf–good points. I didn’t mean to “refute” Ignatz so much as qualify my read of Kathleen’s earlier comment. But I might suggest that we may know know all of the damage that privileged men do to others–because one element of their privilege is that they can make evidence and information disappear from the public record.

Vance asks how many aristocrats redeem themselves. I think that’s a great question, and my answer is “probably not many.” The Kennedys of JFK, RFK, and EMK’s generation came of age when it was “cool” to go into politics and public service. Now, it seems like so many of our “leaders” are the sons (and occasionally, the daughters) of that generation. It’s no longer the thing to do public service or politics–it seems like the Reagan era opened the door for the rich to be merely rich, and hang the rest of us!

So, I gotta hand it to the Kennedys, even if much of their service was impelled by their corrupt old dad’s ambitions. They gave a lot back, which I don’t see a lot of Ritchie Riches from Richistan doing now. Most can’t even be bothered to pay fair taxes, let alone risk scrutiny and failure on the campaign trail.

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