American Politicians; The Good? The Bad? The Ugly?
Do most Americans have any conception how despicable, how ugly their politicians are and have been? In what is called “the Age of Trump” reminders are needed.
Here’s what happened after Ted Kennedy drive off a bridge near Martha’s Vineyard and let a young woman, Mary Jo Kopechne drown: “The Kennedy political operation went into high gear, spiriting the party attendees off the island before reporters could find them, and forming a hedge around Kennedy himself. He secluded himself at the family compound in Hyannis Port while an army of advisers and lawyers spent days plotting how to respond.” [Camelot’s End, p. 69]
Then Kennedy addressed the nation and made himself out to be the victim: “I was overcome, I’m frank to say, by a jumble of emotions: grief, fear, doubt, exhaustion, panic, confusion, and shock.” Poor guy! “All kinds of scrambled thoughts - all of them confused, some of them irrational, many of them which I cannot recall, and some of which I would not have seriously entertained under normal circumstances - went through my mind during this period.”
Thoughts, many thoughts, he can’t recall but knows he had! All his thoughts “confused”! Some “irrational!” Poor guy! So victimized by letting a young woman drown! Has Trump ever surpassed this sniveling, whining, self-pitying statement by Ted Kennedy? He probably has. But let no one say Trump, although thoroughly despicable, was our first major politician to be so.
Americans, like other human beings, can turn away from how ugly their society has become. So it is good to remind them of this ugliness, to remind them there is nothing, absolutely nothing extraordinary or exceptional about them or their society.