Is it just me or has it been a bizarre summer for celebrity deaths? Some major personalities have left us this summer - Farrah Fawcett, Michael Jackson, John Hughes (or maybe it just feels like a lot because I'm a child of the 80's?). But none of those hit me like the death of Ted Kennedy. I simply can't imagine a world without Ted Kennedy in the Senate. What's kind of weird to me about that is that it's not like I've ever followed Kennedy's career all that closely. Of course, I didn't really have to, when his name was simply always around, attached to some of the biggest and most influential pieces of legislation of my lifetime (and especially since I do work in education policy). And of course, he IS a Kennedy. But I think the reason I'm particularly affected by his passing was summed up best by Robert Reich:
America has had a few precious individuals who are both passionate about social justice and also understand deep in their bones its practical meaning. And we have had a few who possess great political shrewdness and can make the clunky machinery of democratic governance actually work. But I have known but one person who combined all these traits and abilities. His passing is an inestimable loss.btw, I thought it was particularly fitting (or perhaps, ironic) that today is the anniversary of the day that the 19th Amendment was passed, giving women the right to vote (hat tip to Mixed Race America).