Bud Fox: I guess you’re a decorator?
Darien Taylor: You got it. A great spender of other people’s money.
To me, there exists nowhere a more apt description of the legacy of modern-day, left-wing “liberalism”, statism (H/T: Mark Levin), as preached by the late Ted Kennedy than in this quote from Oliver Stone’s Wall Street. Whether he was personally generous is something I don’t know, although we know he was born into massive wealth, and lived and died as a massively wealthy man. Yet as the “Liberal Lion” of the Senate, Kennedy was one of the long-time political leaders of those whose job seemed to be a steroids-enhanced version of Stone’s fictional decorator.
For decades, Kennedy insisted that he did what he did in the name of “compassion” for the “poor” and the “downtrodden”. But how is it compassionate to forcibly take the property of one individual, in violation of the 5th Amendment, and give it to another; yet, he attempted, and many times succeeded, to do this regularly. As a result, Kennedy helped create a government that enabled those same “poor” and “downtrodden” to be dependent on the government instead of giving them a chance to succeed. What’s worse, a huge share of Kennedy’s governmental legacy was his false belief that politicians like him have provided what we as Americans have today, and that includes the liberties we enjoy. Disabled Marine veteran David Hedrick said it best in a recent town hall meeting hosted by Rep. Brian Baird (D-WA):
I also heard you say that you’re going to let us keep our health insurance. Well, thank you!!! It’s not your right to decide whether or not I keep my current plan or not.
This is something that Kennedy needed to have drummed in his head, although I have no doubt it would have fallen on deaf ears.
My biggest problem with Ted Kennedy’s public life was that he let the government enable him as he wanted the government to enable everyone else. As I mentioned, he was born to great wealth. But it doesn’t look to me that he ever earned anything on his own, riding on the coattails of his family wealth for everything. Even Ted’s stint in the military was controversial as his father kept Ted out of the Korean War and manipulated the system to cut Ted’s 4-year enlistment in half. He had no concept of the real world, of how people earn their own keep. Worse, he rode on his brothers’ coattails to get into government back in the early 1960’s, where he remained until he died. It is from there that Kennedy, along with too many other statists, applied the enabling mentality that had governed his life into the huge bureaucracy of the federal government.
To the end, Ted Kennedy showed himself to be nothing more than a Democratic Party hack. During the early days of the Nixon Presidency, Nixon, being nearly as much a statist as any “liberal”, proposed universal health care; yet, Kennedy opposed this because Nixon was a Republican. Being a “good” Democrat, he used his power to slander Robert Bork during that judge’s confirmation hearings for a seat on the Supreme Court; I suppose we can thank Kennedy (in a left-handed manner; pun intended) for giving the English language a new verb. And most recently, Kennedy sent off a letter to the Democratic governor of Massachusetts, Deval Patrick, to have that state’s legislature change its law regarding how the next Senator from Massachusetts would be selected to finish off Kennedy’s Senate term in the event he would be forced to resign due to ill health or his own death; for now, the people would get to decide in a special election, but Kennedy wanted his fellow Democrat Patrick to be able to make the selection in order to keep the seat in the hands of someone in the Democratic Party. In the end, that is what was most important to Kennedy.
All of these things point to one conclusion; Ted Kennedy was a poster child for the need for term limits of elected federal officials. Kennedy lingered far too long on the scene, making his outdated and failed ideas too long at the forefront of this country, allowing those ideas to reduce the freedoms we as Americans and blessed by God are supposed to enjoy.
There have been some wild and nasty things said about Kennedy from conservatives who opposed Kennedy’s policies and beliefs; and in many respects, they are quite appropriate considering what Kennedy has managed to get away with throughout his life. But regardless of how those things are said, nothing is more egregious than shameless Democrats, in mirroring how Kennedy lived, riding on Kennedy’s coattails to pass a horrible and unconstitutional health care bill that will further push the federal government towards insolvency in the name of “compassion”. It is for us to continue to remind these statists loudly and frequently that the vast majority of us aren’t here in this country to be enabled, and by extension controlled, by them.