Letters on the death of Kennedy

29 August 2009

On “Ted Kennedy and the decay of American liberalism

It's amazing to hear the lionizing eulogies coming from people who don't even know what a hackish farce this man's career became.  I saw and heard him speak at a "get out the vote" rally for Walter Mondale at the downtown carpenter's hall here in Seattle back in the fall of 1984, and a more stilted, hollow and over rehearsed piece of oration would have been difficult to come by.  My favorite moment that afternoon came when his handlers announced he was going to “work the room.”  He came in at the front of his entourage with his hand held high, and I swear, he must have been on a dolly, because it seemed as though he was pulled through the same door backwards.  It was funny.

Two weeks after his performance of the speech here in Seattle, I heard a radio broadcast of him delivering the same speech word for word in Portland, Oregon. The man was pathetic.  I suppose he'll be missed by people of my generation just because he was always there on the US political scene, but I can't think of anything memorable or important he did that was worthy of all the tearful performances we're auditing now.

Michael H
Washington, USA
27 August 2009

***

It would have been easy to write this as a hack piece that either demonized the man or used the social conditions of his time to whitewash him. Instead what we have is a nuanced and poignant analysis of how “good intentions” aren’t enough. Nowhere in this article are the “intentions” or “feelings” of Mr. Kennedy maligned—as I'm sure they shall be in other ostensibly leftist papers with no deeper analysis than “capitalists are BAD.” Also, kudos for not downplaying the role of the dual Kennedy assassination in public consciousness. The Kennedys were, and I suspect shall continue to be, an important political family, to whom many working people will have emotional attachments. This article does an excellent job of explaining their context, and at the same time, their limitations. I doubt I shall see such a nuanced and intelligent presentation from the propagandists of capital.

Nick P
27 August 2009

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You left out the fact that Kennedy voted for all war appropriations, including for the American military base called Israel.  You also left out the fact that Kennedy supported deregulation of the trucking industry, resulting in massive pollution at all ports where the trucks line up to transport goods to and from market.  And most importantly, you left out the fact that no millionaire can represent the working class. This is the lesson that must be stated constantly so that the American working class finally learns to stop voting for the Democrat-Republicans.  If you run another article on this parasite, please list all of his reactionary votes so people can see how rotten the Democratic Party is.  People need to have this lesson repeated loudly, daily.

WC
27 August 2009

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What you fail to point out, not surprisingly, is that JFK and RFK (as well as MLK) were killed by the warmongers. Ted must have known this, but after the Stone film came out he commented re JFK’s assassination, “I think you'll find the Warren Commission was the most responsible party.” “Responsible,” of course, can be interpreted as you like, but since 9/11 it is clear that the US military is in command. Pepper’s Act of State spells out how it is done in great detail. I am a great admirer of wsws.org, and sometimes you come very close to telling it like it is, but other times, as in this article, you seem to shy away from the stark reality, which is that we live in a military police state that has about half the population completely befuddled. To unbefuddle them without including the argument that the assassinations, 9/11 and much else (e.g., AIDS, swine flu maybe) are “inside jobs,” which is what you (and many others, like Noam Chomsky et al.) would like to do, is a tall order. Don't you think it would be easier to finally call a spade a spade? Yes, of course, these were conspiracies! Of course it is just the ruling elite shooting at us, again and again, but you could help put this in context. 

You are still my No. 1 Web site. Keep up the great work. 

Michael M
27 August 2009