The Baystate Objectivist

The Baystate Objectivist

Friday, January 22, 2010

Camelot's End

A Backward Glance

Damn, like I'm sure many of you I've grown weary of the tsunami of verbiage about Scott Brown's victory in the race to replace Ted Kennedy. Sheesh, Brown hasn't even been sworn in yet! Can we give the guy a chance to serve at least one minute in office before we declare him the national savior or the spawn of satan?

However, in all the commentary about the Brown victory, too little attention has been paid to one aspect of the election - the official end of the Kennedy era. No one who was raised in Massachusetts can be completely untouched by the myth of Camelot, however overly romanticized it may sometimes have been. Whenever I would go visit my relatives in Texas, people used to ask me the same question, "Why do you people keep electing that Teddy Kennedy?" It was never easy to explain it. Teddy was in fact more to the Left than our state's electorate really is. Therefore it is not that big of a surprise that he was replaced by someone further to the Right. We tolerated Teddy's liberalism more than embraced it because of who he was, and the link he represented to his lost brothers.

John was the best of the three brothers, and the least liberal. His taxcut policies, which brought the nation out of a recession in the 1960's, was copied successfully by Ronald Reagan to bring the country out of a recession in the 1980's. President Obama might be wise to notice that pattern. John Kenendy was also willing to bring the world to the brink of nuclear war to thwart the socialist regime in Cuba. Robert was less the cold warrior and fiscal hawk his older brother was, but had passion and idealism to a degree that is rare in politics and that may have made him as good a president as John - but we never got the chance to find out.

The youngest brother Teddy was deeply flawed, but we never seriously considered the possibility of throwing him out of office, even after the incident at Chappaquiddick. Whatever he did to embarrass Massachusetts over the decades he was still Johnny and Bobby's brother, and for that reason we could never bring ourselves to remove him from office, even though he was involved in a series of scandals that would have destroyed the political career of anyone else with a different last name.

Now for better or worse, whether one was a fan or a critic, the Kennedy era is officially over. We will never see a dynasty like that again. The times have changed, with a new era now dawning where small is beautiful, and the big government programs championed by Kennedy Democrats are falling into disrepute. Most of the Kennedy's legislative legacy, especially Teddy's, will no doubt be repealed in the coming years.

But that's almost irrelevant. If you're a son or daughter of Massachusetts, or one who adopted our state by choice, and you felt an emotional bond to the Kennedy's, however irrational that attachment seemed at times, then you can't help but feel a certain twinge of sadness to read this final verdict yesterday by Mark Kriforian in the National Review:

Air America and Camelot snuffed out in the same week! So maybe the work does not go on, the cause does not endure, the hope does not live and the dream really can die.

Or maybe we're just in the process of redefining that dream in a way that's appropriate to this new revolutionary age. So as we head into the future with new leadership and new ideas based on the libertarian principles now suited to our times, it's okay if we pause for a moment to look back at Camelot one last time, perhaps even with a tear of nostalgia in our eye.

Undressed for Success

Gee, I never thought of John Mayer as a sex symbol until I saw the latest Rolling Stone.

Have you noticed how almost no one gets on the cover of the Rolling Stone anymore unless they're willing to get at least half undressed? Not that I'm complaining.

Remembering Tech

Mark Alamed has a great post about the history of Springfield's Techical High School, which was foolishly closed over 20 years ago for political reasons. My mother was a Tech graduate, and my father attended there for a time before dropping out to join the military.

Above is a rare image of the Spring Street side of the school as it appeared around 1940. That section has been torn down, but the front part is still standing. To read Alamed's writing and see the historic photos click here.

Today's Music Video

A rare look at the tender side of the Captain.


Mark T. Alamed said...

Thanks for the plug, Tom!

Anonymous said...

Nice story & photos of Tech.