Sunday, June 05, 2005

Seven of Nine

Thirty-seven years ago the nation was painfully divided by another war far away. A young anti-war candidate who surely would have become President of the United States declared his candidacy in March. Had he been elected the face of the country would be different in ways we cannot know. But that was not to be.

"Few men are willing to brave the disapproval of their fellows, the censure of their colleagues, the wrath of their society. Moral courage is a rarer commodity than bravery in battle or great intelligence. Yet it is the one essential, vital quality for those who seek to change a world that yields most painfully to change."

Thirty-seven years ago today the 42 year old candidate Bobby Kennedy was shot four times in the kitchen of the Ambassador Hotel in Los Angeles. He had just won the California primary and was moving through the kitchen on his way to a press conference. He died the next day.

"We will find neither national purpose nor personal satisfaction in an endless amassing of worldly goods... The gross national product measures neither our wit nor our courage, neither our wisdom nor our learning, neither our compassion nor our devotion to country. It measures everything, in short, except that which makes life worthwhile."

Take a few minutes to remember Bobby. Or if you are too young to remember, to learn about one of our own who may become lost in the shadows of time. PBS' American Experience has a brief discussion and has a more extensive set of links. And Arthur Schlesinger's biography is still available.

"The future does not belong to those who are content with today, apathetic toward common problems and their fellow man alike, timid and fearful in the face of bold projects and new ideas. Rather, it will belong to those who can blend passion, reason and courage in a personal commitment to the great enterprises and ideals of American society."

All of the above quotes are from Bobby Kennedy. It is about time we have another Democrat with values who isn't afraid to speak his or her mind.

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