Archive for August, 2009
“The dream shall never die.” But the man behind the dream passed away today after a valiant battle against cancer, Sen. Edward Moore Kennedy.
For my entire life, “Ted” Kennedy was the senator from Massachusetts and a true lion of the senate and for many of us called to public service, both an example and an inspiration. As the icon of a legendary and tragic Irish-American family, Kennedy fascinated me from an early age.
His death this morning, although expected for some time now, hit me hard and in a deeply personal way.
Make no mistake, Kennedy was a flawed man — although few of us could live through what he lived through without losing touch with reality — it is his public life that we celebrate today.
When someone asks any of us why we are Democrats, invariably, it is because of the issues that Kennedy often spotlighted and championed — including more than 30 years of fighting for affordable and universal health care coverage for Americans. He fought for those who had little voice and little power, the average person struggling to get by. In the end, he fought for us.
He fought for voting rights — something still under attack here in Chester County, as we saw in Lower Oxford Township in 2008 — he fought for civil rights, workers rights. education reform and immigration reform and issue after issue that matter to all of us and he strove tirelessly to improve the lives of average people. Read the rest of this entry »
“The United States is in no sense founded upon the Christian religion.”
Back during World War II, the brilliant director Frank Capra created a series of films — Why We Fight — to educate Americans about why they were fighting the war — and the perils that Fascism represented to America.
And maybe in politics, we tend to forget why we fight for the things that matter, being caught up in the heat of the moment.
What really are the things that matter? Home, family, friends and our way of life. And each of us define those things slightly differently. That sort of diversity of opinion is what makes America great.
Unfortunately, there is a small but noisy minority of Americans who want to tell you what to think, how to act and expect you to live within a narrow, rigid framework of their sense of right and wrong. There is no room for debate, discussion or moderation: you agree with them or you are evil. Read the rest of this entry »
I’m running for Chester County Clerk of Courts and it seems like every other question I get from a prospective voter is about health care or abortion, which strikes me as a bit odd.
I’m all ready to talk about what I’d like to do with the office, improve processes and find ways to make it run more cheaply and efficiently and then I find myself caught in the middle of this debate. Thankfully, the abortion discussions are very short — and if people are making their county row office decisions based on that issue, there’s not a lot I can say or do to change their minds.
But the health care thing is a lot stickier. Already, it’s personal, as my wife is a dentist and lives on the front lines of the current health care crisis. It got more personal this past week when one of her older relatives started spouting some of the propaganda talking points of the anti-reform group and when he started talking about swastikas, I knew it was going to get ugly, quick. And it did. Read the rest of this entry »