Wednesday, August 26, 2009

And Now We Are Sad

Once I heard Senator Ted Kennedy had brain cancer, I ignored the ticking clock that came with the diagnosis. Ted Kennedy always represented the best of what a Senator, a Democrat, a politician (used in the true Greek sense of the word) could be. He had flaws, he had scandal, he had tragedy, but I think out of that crucible came a man who inspired, who led, and who cared about his country.

He has been leading all my life. For me, the Senate has always had Ted Kennedy to champion and help pass legislation that changed the way our country cares for its people. He believed in equal rights, equal access to care, equal pursuit of the American dream.For someone who was raised in privilege, he seemed to genuinely understand what it meant to be poor and disenfranchised and he worked hard to alleviate the suffering of those who needed it.

I knew how very ill he was, but was still keeping that little fantasy of seeing him brought to the Senate on whichever day they finally were to vote on a real health care reform bill. I wanted to see him smile as he cast his "yes" vote. Losing him as we fight for TRUE health care reform saddens the fight, but I can only hope it will also rally the fighters.

I can only hope that Ted Kennedy's death will be the lightning rod that propels the Democrats to create a real tribute to his legacy by creating and passing a truly great example of reform in health care.

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