This an excerpt from my Facebook feed last night. It started as a reply to some of my friends and has been adapted for this post.
After listening to the inspirational Democratic response to last night’s state of the union address by Representative Joseph Kennedy III, I knew that with the praise, would also come the criticism in looking for the perfect democratic candidate for future presidential elections. I knew it would come from both parties. “Here we go…another Kennedy!” “Another Dynasty!”. “Can’t the Democrats come up with someone who’s not a Clinton or a Kennedy?” The answer is “yes we can”. See what I did there.....? 😆 Anyway... I understand the criticism and the reasoning behind it. I also understand that it can be turned into an powerful yet empty sound bite from the right, and an infectious, catchy one at that. If we’re not careful we won’t notice that there’s something much more important than your purity, pedigree, family name or celebrity in this contest, and that is character. For the record, I don’t I know enough about Joe Kennedy and I’m not sure that he’s ready yet, but I am excited. I’ve also been very excited by Elizabeth Warren for a long time. In Joe Kennedy III, I see a the makings of a young man with all the right stuff, the makings of a future American president. There are going to be a lot of people within both parties who will, for lack of a better word, “demonize” or at the very least criticize Joe Kennedy III for being part of a dynasty. I like to look at this another way.
Historically, a dedication to the service of others is something we praise in this country. It is one of the criteria we hold so high as being essential in the character of our elected officials . I think we could all agree that we wouldn’t disparage a family that had produced three generations of fire fighters, or military personnel, or doctors. Instead, we would say that whole family has “a tradition of service”. Families like that have usually sacrificed and suffered greatly as a result of that kind of tradition. I would suggest that we Democrats and progressives not waist any energy undermining Joe Kennedy III or the Kennedy family with attacks on their family’s name, fame, legacy or historic dedication to the service of others. The "others" being all of us. It’s counter productive , and you could even argue it’s a little petty, disrespectful, even unpatriotic, especially when you consider the Kennedy family's record of success in service to the nation and the incredible sacrifices that the Kennedy family made. More women need to be in government. That’s indisputable. I would love nothing more than for my party to nominate the first female president of the United States. Let’s hear it for progress and milestones. i have no doubt that it’s not far off. However, I didn’t vote for Senator Obama because he was a black man, because he looked like me, and was going to make history and validate the struggles and success of my people, and this country. All of that was a bonus. It was his character that convinced me. His character and his history of a life dedicated to service. I voted for him because he best represented my values, my party’s values and what I wanted my party to be, and I felt he was absolutely qualified and electable. He had in my opinion, the “right stuff”. Let’s be careful about seeking “perfection”. The perfect pedigree, just enough freshness, not too much dynasty…..as my dad likes to remind me, “the enemy of the left is not the right, it’s the extreme left.” “Perfection is also often the enemy of progress”. This is coming from a songwriter who often takes forever to finish seeking perfection, but I digress....Let’s remember how we got into this mess, in the first place. We have a president lacking in character, with no history of service to others.
I know a lot of the people reading this are all on the same team here and that’s my point. Let’s put the team first. Let’s be grateful that there are entire families that keep passing on the tradition of service to our nation. Yes, we can, again.
WATCH REPRESENTATIVE JOE KENNEDY III GIVE THE DEMOCRATIC RESPONSE TO THE STATE OF THE UNION ADRESS
LET ME KNOW IF YOU THINK HE'S GOT THE RIGHT STUFF