Friday, August 28, 2009

Admiring Ted Kennedy

While I can't say anything about Sen. Ted Kennedy that hasn't already been said since his death, I want to take the time to say I admire and appreciate all the work he has done and everything he has accomplished in his career. Truly sad that he can't be here to see health care reform through.

I thought this political cartoon by R.J. Matson summed it up well (you need to click to see the entire image):



Not only does it summarize a good portion of Kennedy's career, all the issues listed serve as a good reminder of why I'm a liberal in the first place -- because people come first, and everyone deserves to be treated equally.

Matson describes how he came up with this concept:

"I don't like doing obit cartoons because they are very hard to do without being sappy. There are all the famous images surrounding Ted Kennedy, but I didn't want to do that. So I tried to come up with something that was a little more contemporary but still acknowledged his career in the Senate."

For Matson, the inspiration came from Shepard Fairey's now iconic "Hope" painting of Barack Obama, seen across the campaign trail in 2008. "I decided that this would connect Kennedy to the famous Obama painting. I used 'Liberal' for the big image because Kennedy was the most proud liberal in American politics. From there it was sort of just a process of figuring out what else worked."

So many people seem apologetic about being a liberal. It's time to be proud. Wear it on your sleeve. It isn't a dirty word, no matter how many people try to make it such. Own it.

I know it's been all over every story since his death, but Kennedy's quote from his 1980 speech at the Democratic convention is one of the most poignant quotes from a politician that I can recall:

"For all those whose cares have been our concern, the work goes on, the cause endures, the hope still lives, and the dream shall never die."

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