The Sweetie Chronicles

Fill your paper with the breathings of your heart. ~William Wordsworth

Senator Ted Kennedy Dead at 77

The last of the legendary Kennedy brothers has died of a brain tumor. Even as one who doesn't tend to follow politics too closely, I know that you can't deny the impact the Kennedy's have had on American politics. There were originally four Kennedy brothers. The oldest, Joe I think? Died fighting in World War II. People say their father intended for Joe to run for president, but after he died so young, their father's sights turned to John, the second boy.

As we all know, John F. Kennedy was elected as the 35th president of the United States, but only served a few years as he was brutally assassinated in 1963. When he died, he was one of America's most beloved presidents, but I have to admit that I don't really know much about him other than how he died. His younger brother Robert was appointed his Attorney General, and was also assassinated in 1968.

That left Ted Kennedy, the youngest of the four brothers, who ran for John's vacated seat on the Senate and won. For the past 40 years Senator Kennedy has been at the forefront of the Democratic Party, continuing to be re-elected every single term without fail. I personally have always had a bad taste in my mouth when it comes to Ted Kennedy. Part of it probably has to do with some of the Democratic Party's ideals that I honestly despise. But a lot of it has to do with the Chappaquiddick incident and just feeling deep down that more happened that night than Ted Kennedy ever admitted.

Of course, I'm not an expert and the only things I know about Chappaquiddick are the things I have read about it or heard about it from other sources. If you aren't familiar with it, I'll give you a brief rundown.... In 1969, Ted went to a party hosted by some people who had worked together on his then-dead brother Robert's presidential campaign. Even though he had a chauffeur who drove him to the party, he insisted on driving himself home. A young woman named Mary Jo Kopechne left the party with him. No one remembers seeing them leave together and even though Ted later testified that Mary Jo asked him to take her back to her hotel, she left her purse and hotel key at the party. On the way home, Ted 'missed a turn' and the car veered off into the water. Ted swam free, but could not get to Mary Jo to help her. She drowned in the car that night, but was not discovered until the following morning.

The incident always sticks out in my memory, because it's so hard for me to believe that Ted Kennedy actually did something like that and continued to be re-elected and revered in this country. I suppose no one but Ted and Mary Jo really know what happened that night, but the facts of the case seemed to never totally add up. If the girl wanted to go home, why did she leave her purse and hotel key at the party and not say goodnight to any of her close friends? Later, an eyewitness claimed to see Kennedy's car an hour after he supposedly left the party, so what took him so long to get her home? Also, after the car went into the water, why was it so easy for him to get free and so difficult to get her out? There was a house just 150 feet from the bridge. Why didn't he run there and telephone for help right away? Instead, he walked all the way back to the party, got two friends, and went back to the bridge to dive in and see if he could help Mary Jo out of the car. Then, when they couldn't get her, Ted swam all the way across the river to get back to his hotel without once calling the cops or emergency services.

The next morning at 7:30, someone said he was chatting to people at the hotel like nothing happened. How cold do you have to be? He never called to report her missing or anything. Some fisherman saw the car in the water and called the police. It was later reported that Mary Jo was possibly still alive in the car for several minutes after it went into the water, as her body was found pressed against a spot where an air bubble would have formed. If he had just gone to that nearest house and called the police, Mary Jo Kopechne might have lived.

I know it was a super long time ago and that Senator Kennedy has left a legacy far beyond what happened that night in 1969. I just wonder how some people might have spent years in jail for manslaughter while Ted continued to be a respected Senator for another 40 years. He lied about what happened that night, saying the house nearby had no light on (when the owner says she always left the light on when she went to bed). He left that poor girl there to die without once calling the police, then got up the next morning and acted like nothing was wrong. How can our country have respected and loved a man who could do such a thing and never truly own up to what he'd done? I just have never been able to understand that, and therefore never like Ted Kennedy.

Of course, they say it is wrong to speak ill of the dead, so I will just end this blog by saying he had an important and influential life and I'm sure he will be missed by many. Rest in peace, Ted Kennedy. It is truly the end of an era in our country's political history.

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Sarra Cannon

Young Adult Indie Author

I always secretly wanted to be a cheerleader. And a witch. Now, I write about both. The first five novels in my Peachville High Demons Young Adult Paranormal series are available now in ebook!

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