The whole point of free speech is not to make ideas exempt from criticism but to expose them to it.

Wednesday, October 28, 2009

The eulogy that should have been

Fleming's post in praise of the sodomized religious virgin exception is just the beginning of what we'll see in what I hope is a vigorous run for governor by Bill Napoli. Bravo!

Along the same lines, something has occurred to me regarding the deaths of two cultural icons this past summer--Michael Jackson and Ted Kennedy. Both received extensive media adulation, although those who eulogized Jackson at least had the good sense to distance their praise from some of his, uh..., eccentricities. I saw no such exercise of good sense regarding Kennedy.

Most Foruminants have noticed a distinct lack of original thought on my part, and I plan not to vary from form here. I excerpt from a column by culture critic non-pareil Stephen Cox in the November issue of Liberty magazine. (Read the entire column here.)

Kennedy's father was a goatish pro-fascist crook. His mother was a twisted religious bigot. Teddy got Cs at prep school but was admitted to Harvard because he was rich. He was expelled for cheating. At the U. of VA he was ticketed for reckless driving four times, receiving the kind of punishment given to the children of wealthy fixers. He was elected to the US Senate at 30 because his brother was president.

Seven years later he drove a car off a bridge and fled, leaving a girl to die in it. He went on TV to deliver a series of speeches in which he urged people to support him because his brothers were dead. Mass. voters reelected him eight times, which prompted him to run repeatedly for president, quitting that only after discovering that as incompetent a personage as Jimmy Carter could whip him handily. He devoted the rest of his life to things he was good at--womanizing, drinking, eating, and pushing people around, playing the demagogue to audiences of poor people and Hollywood liberals, making violent speeches in which he denounced opponents as racists and sexists.

Kennedy's constant desire was to increase the power of government. He could not be troubled to read a book, consult experience, or consider the ramifications of the things he wanted. He had money, so he wanted power. He was a thousand times more wicked than the man who holds up the 7/11, wanting only the cash in the till. At his funeral, President Obama called him "the soul of the Democratic Party."

This is all embarrassing to contemplate. But the biggest embarrassments are the teachers and commentators, the political leaders and self-proclaimed idealists who created E. M. Kennedy in the image of their highest aspirations.

Not my words, but certainly parallel to my thoughts.

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