Thursday, August 27, 2009

Editorial: Kennedy's death ends a dynasty

Everyone in the media seems compelled to write their own obit on Ted Kennedy, even our little local paper, which has done nothing but spit on the principles the senator espoused and advanced. It's silly. But it's also revealing.

The unnamed Courier editor's key concept is dynasty. He relies entirely on the standard media mythos, writing a little paean to what can only be read as a dead king.

Authoritarians -- what this country calls 'conservatives' -- love kings. The editor is harking back to his ideological roots in the 18th-century Tories who would have happily continued to labor under the yoke of inbred European aristocrats. So it's no surprise that he focuses on the celebrity and makes only passing reference to what the man accomplished for his country.

What has made this man remarkable is not his tabloid life, but rather what he did and how he did it despite his wealthy, aristocratic background and his unassailable, arguably hereditary, seat in our own House of Lords. I appreciate that the editor is trying to say something nice. But what made the man great was his dedication to public service and his ability to bring people together for the good of all. That's the sort of work that makes this country great, and we need to teach our young people that anyone can do it.

I hear that Mitt Romney may make a run to replace Kennedy in the Senate. Could there be any doubt that the editor would jump up and salute another scion of political dynasty? Of course not. He just loves his kings.

No comments: