I was only five when JFK was assassinated, but I remember my mom’s tears that day, and those television memories are among my earliest recollection of any political awareness. I didn’t know what it meant, but I knew it meant something. It created an awareness for me of the world of adults and how different it was from my world as a kid. When RFK was assassinated, I was ten so more aware, and I followed the news pretty closely then. But it still seemed like something the adults had to take care of, not me. It really wasn’t until I was a teenager that I increased my awareness, had a POW bracelet, and dreaded thinking my brother might have to go fight some stupid war we shouldn’t be in. I was really glad we weren’t more personally affected by it all. Watergate came along and just disgusted me, and turned me against party politics so much that when I did cast my first vote it was for John Anderson. I’ve been pretty disgusted with politics ever since, and registered Independent or Libertarian ever since, voting for whoever was making the most sense to me at the time. That’s varied all over the map, from Reagan to Clinton, as my own awareness has changed and as America has changed. But until Dubya was elected, I guess I still really felt like whatever I did as an individual, it didn’t really matter so much. I suppose most people feel that way. Since then I’ve been more politically active, often in ways I would never have expected, even becoming a poll worker for the elections.
It took me a long time to learn as an adult that we are all the adults, and what we do makes a difference, no matter how good or bad, how large or small. What we do as individuals is important for all of us. Edward Kennedy had to learn that lesson early in life, as did all the Kennedys, and their political dynasty has written itself deeply into the history of this country.
The Kennedy family has always been large in my lifetime. But indeed, they are only human, and whatever you might feel for Edward Kennedy, this is a sad day for their family, and will lead in a short time to the end of an era in American politics.
I can only hope some of the other political family dynasties will note that they, too, are after all only mortal. Whatever they might want for their own families, they need to consider what the rest of us want for our families too. Endless war will not provide us with those things we all want. Dependence on foreign oil will not provide those things, no matter how much it might enrich their political families and friends. Idealism about how great America is and how everyone ought to fear us and our military might does not provide those things.
What we need is stability, jobs, strong economic growth that benefits everyone, not just a few, and a future course we can all believe in and rely on together. Whatever else one might say about Edward Kennedy, and believe me if you want to say those things, they better be positive in my space right now so take your negativity elsewhere if you come across this post and are just wanting to get snarky here, he believes in the American people and has worked hard to make this country a far better place than it would otherwise be. I wish him and his family all the best. I hope his remaining time with us will be productive for him and for us all.
Sen. Edward Kennedy has malignant brain tumor – Yahoo! News
A cancerous brain tumor caused the seizure Sen. Edward M. Kennedy suffered over the weekend, doctors said Tuesday in a grim diagnosis for one of American politics’ most enduring figures.
Doctors for the Massachusetts Democrat say tests conducted after Kennedy suffered a seizure this weekend show a tumor in his left parietal lobe. Preliminary results from a biopsy of the brain identified the cause of the seizure as a malignant glioma.
His treatment will be decided after more tests but the usual course includes combinations of radiation and chemotherapy.
“I’m really sad,” former Sen. Bob Kerrey, D-Neb., said when told in a Senate hallway about Kennedy’s condition. “He’s the one politician who brings tears to my eyes when he speaks.”
The 76-year-old senator has been hospitalized in Boston since Saturday, when he was airlifted from Cape Cod after a seizure at his home.
“He has had no further seizures, remains in good overall condition, and is up and walking around the hospital,” said a joint statement issued by Dr. Lee Schwamm, vice chairman of the Department of Neurology at Massachusetts General Hospital and Dr. Larry Ronan, Kennedy’s primary care physician.
The doctors said Kennedy will remain in the hospital “for the next couple of days according to routine protocol.”
“He remains in good spirits and full of energy,” they said.
Kennedy’s wife and children have been with him each day but have made no public statements.
Malignant gliomas are a type of brain cancer diagnosed in about 9,000 Americans a year — and the most common type among adults. It’s a starting diagnosis: How well patients fare depends on what specific tumor type is determined by further testing.
Average survival can range from less than a year for very advanced and aggressive types — such as glioblastomas — or to about five years for different types that are slower growing.