Reflections from under the Derby

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a new Kennedy!
Joseph P. Kennedy III gave a speech at the Massachusetts State House in honor of his great-uncle Jack's inaugural address in January 1961. You can watch the video here.

Joe the Third is currently an assistant DA on Cape Cod. He clearly has the Kennedy gift of oratory and he looks eerily like his grandfather Bobby.

For experience had taught him (JFK) that America's is at its best when instead of putting up fences we lift up each other. When our leaders unleash the power of the human experience rather than exploit its limitation. When we combine the qualities that belong not just to the Yankee or the immigrant, the farmer or the fisherman, the businessman or the laborer, but to every American. When out of many we are one. This was the America that President Kennedy championed.

And for what he represented he was taken away, as was Dr. King, as was my grandfather Robert.

Something happened last weekend and it’s time for a change. For too long the rhetoric in Washington has been toxic. Anti-war protesters holding up signs saying ‘death to terrorist pig Bush,’ Tea Party protesters shouting out racist and anti-gay slurs to members of Congress. Protesters shouting out, ‘Death to Cheney.’ Radio talk show hosts calling President Obama and members of Congress communists and traitors. Images of both political parties showing opponents in the crosshairs of a rifle scope.

This isn’t what President Kennedy stood for. It isn’t what Dr. King or Robert Kennedy stood for. They took on the big problems of our world. They looked to those common threads that unite us rather than diving into the identity politics to find those that divide us. This rhetoric creates an atmosphere of hate in particularly difficult times. Our armed forces and their families are bearing the terrible burden of a decade of war. Our economy is struggling to recover. Unemployment rates remain high, while confidence in the American system is at all time lows. Yet in times such as these our commitment to each other and to our country cannot dim but is more critical than ever drawing us once again to something greater than ourselves, to lives of service and sacrifice, courage and judgment, integrity and dedication. These are the ideals that ought to endure rather than partisan rancor, naked self-interest, and other corrosive effects of promoting social divisions, a kind of moral gerrymandering that saps our spirit and degrades our collective will.

I like his speech. He has the potential to carry on the Kennedy torch of service to country and dedication to those less fortunate.

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