As I'm watching the memorial service for Ted Kennedy at the John F. Kennedy Library, I have been impressed with John McCain and Orrin Hatch, who disagreed with him on almost everything politically. Their eulogies showed grace, genuine respect, class, humor, and compassion. This is one of the reasons they were able to pass so much legislation and as Senator Hatch said, "argue publicly and joke privately." I wish more of our legislators could do this.
Listening to McCain and Hatch, I thought about Sarah Palin, who makes and takes everything personally. She could never deliver a speech like they did, and it's sad. She attacks spitefully and is one of many who are inciting crowds that I sincerely hope do not commit violent acts. When there were people at their campaign events who shouted insults, epithets, and lies about Obama, Senator McCain tried to calm them, corrected their lies, and explained situations. This needs to happen at the town hall meetings. There can be no reasonable debate or productive discussion when people shout and interrupt. As Senator Chris Dodd reported, Ted Kennedy called him after he had surgery recently and said, "Between having surgery for prostate cancer and attending town hall meetings, you made the right choice."
Joe Kennedy, II, and Caroline Kennedy gave touching tributes laced with childhood memories. Joe Biden, John Kerry, Chris Dodd, and John Culver delivered speeches with touching and funny memories. They are online if anyone wants to read or watch them.
There were people at that service who disagree without being disagreeable. It's easy to get discouraged and depressed by disruptions and craziness, but right now I want to think about those who try to make the world better and who aspire to be the best they can be. There are good people in the world who are making it better one person at a time and others who are on a larger scale. The Kennedys were brought up to devote their lives to public service. Yes, they were and are flawed, but they have definitely improved the lives of people. Besides, there are many of them, and we'll keep hearing from Kennedys for a long time. Wonder which ones will be in Congress, and if we'll have another Kennedy president?
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