I heard the NPR eulogy of Ted Kennedy as I drove in to work this morning, and I thought: if ever there was a flawed human being, it was Ted Kennedy.
The NPR eulogy was largely positive. It noted that Kennedy served for 47 years in the U.S. Senate and achieved a number of legislative accomplishments for his political constituencies. He was an eloquent spokesman for the liberal agenda, and a lion of the Senate with many friends in that body.
And yet . . . . My grandmother despised Ted Kennedy. Her view, undoubtedly old-fashioned, was that human beings reveal their true nature in times of stress. She felt that his behavior after the incident at Chappaquiddick was indefensible and inexcusable and spoke more about the inner man and his true qualities than any scripted speeches or agenda-driven legislative accomplishments ever could.
It doesn’t matter now, because Senator Kennedy has gone on to his great reward, whatever it may be. Whatever judgment awaits Edward Kennedy will be developed in the fullness of time. In the meantime I wonder, however, whether we do people like Senator Kennedy any favors by treating them as anything other than flawed human beings like the rest of us.