Recently, Chirs Daniel, of KMJ580 Radio in Fresno CA asked his audience if Edward Kennedy was a great American. I couldn't call in that day Chris so here is my answer.
First, let’s define a “Great American."
To be considered “great” one must distinguish oneself from the rest of the population. For example, a football player who stands out with regard to outstanding stats, strong leadership skills both on and off the field, might be considered a “Great Football Player."
So what could we use to define a “Great American?" Well what is a “basic American?"
Let’s define a basic American as any individual who currently holds the status as a, legal, American Citizen. Beyond that status we can begin to distinguish great Americans from average Americans.
So, was Senator Kennedy an “American?” yes, we all agree on that point. So what did Mr. Kennedy do, during his lifetime that might distinguish him as something more than the basic American we described above? We’ll he “served” as a Senator for over 40 years. OK, that’s definitely something that would cause him to stand out from the “Basic” American we described; let’s face it, the vast majority of us never server in any public capacity let alone as Senator or much less for over 40 years.
So, we can certainly agree that Mr. Kennedy distinguished himself as a Senator. But, it’s a very different thing to say that a person was “a great Senator” than to say “he was great at being a Senator."
I would certainly think we can all agree Mr. Kennedy was great at being a Senator. His political skills should be apparent by the sheer longevity of his career. But does longevity automatically translate into “greatness"? As a Senator he would have needed to distinguish himself as a man who could lead the American people from dependence upon the government to indepence and self reliance. But that is not Mr. Kennedy’s legacy. His idealistic policies took a much darker path.
Consider, for a moment, the following men: Fidel Castro, Sadam Hussein and Osama Bin Laden.
Fidel Castro “served” his country for over 50 years. Did his presence increase the living standards of his people? Should he be considered “a great Cuban?” No, clearly not. Why, because his actions systematically led to the inability of the people of Cuba to live free and make their own decisions about what’s best for them; Fidel Castor served himself and no other!
Sadam Hussein was “president” of Iraq for 23 years. Would anyone say he was “a great Iraqi?” I think not! He was “a great dictator for sure” but “a great Iraqi” I don’t think so. He killed his own people for political power and gain. He was a mad man, but yet he “served (himself) for 23 years” as a "politician".
Osama Bin Laden has been a terrorist for most of his life. Can we say he is “a great terrorist” sure, he has distinguished himself in that area, I mean his stats are second to none when it comes to the number of Americans killed in a single day and on their home turff. So we can say he’s a great terrorist, but “a great Saudi” I would think the Saudi’s would disagree( well some of them would, OK you got me, they might actually like the guy).
So the point is, longevity does not make a person great it just makes them old.
So the fact that Mr. Kennedy was a US Senator for over 40 years in no way, in and of itself, means that he should be considered a “Great American”.
In order to determine his “greatness”, as an American, we need to examine how his life and his work made the lives of other Americans great.
Let’s consider the life of Mary Jo Kopechne; having known Ted Kennedy certainly did not turn out so “great” for her.
How about the American people in general? What did Mr. Kennedy do for them over those long 40+ years in the Senate? We’ll he spent, their money, like a drunken sailor; well at least a drunk with a yacht. His spending has led to ( he is certainly not single handedly responsible for all the spending, he had help from the rest of the Socialists ) the largest deficits in American ( and world for that matter ) history!
Since Mr. Kennedy ranks third on the all time length of service list, we can say this about him, he certainly did more than most Americans, and even most Senators to move America further away from it’s founding principals than any other before him. His policies have enslaved millions of Americans into lives of reliance on the State. His “compassion” for the masses has resulted in more misery and suffering, of Americans, than all but two other members of Congress. He taught generations of Americans to “ask not what they could do for their Country, but to ask what the Democrat Party could do for them!”
His final act as a Senator, was to request that the Democrat Governor of the Common Wealth of Massachusetts, repeal a law that requires a special election to fill a vacated Senatorial seat in that State so that the Democrats could maintain a filibuster proof majority in the Senate and push onto the American people, even after his death, the most despicable form of socialism known to man; socialized medicine.
No Chris, Mr. Edward Moore Kennedy was NOT a “Great American”, he was an outstanding socialist, a skilled and shrewd politician, but as an American, there was nothing great about him.