One of the stories of my childhood involved John F. Kennedy. I grew up in greater Boston, so that shouldn’t be a big surprise. Still, the story has stayed in my mind for 50 years or more.
My mother was a young, innocent, beautiful woman living in one of Boston’s big housing projects back in the late 1940’s. One afternoon she and a friend were approached by a handsome, blue eyed young man who introduced himself as Congressman Jack Kennedy. He asked for the address of one of my Mom’s neighbors. She and her friend flirted for a few minutes with the charismatic young man, then told him where he could find the neighbor.
Mom bragged about that story for decades.
We were Kennedy people. We believed in the liberal idea that a rich family could support the needs of the poor.
While that view has become a bit more complex, and far less clear, there are certain characteristics that those Kennedys still seem to share.
Take young, handsome Congressman Joe Kennedy III (D-Ma), for example. The red haired, freckle faced progressive was elected to Congress back in 2012 and has made his quiet presence known as a progressive voice since then.
In the past few weeks, though, the great nephew of John F. Kennedy has emerged as an outspoken opponent of President Donald Trump and his policies.
The Congressman has focused in large part on the GOP attempt to repeal the Affordable Care Act (ACA), and has gained a great deal of media coverage for his work.
When House Speaker Paul Ryan claimed that replacing the ACA was an “act of mercy,” Kennedy was not about to stay silent. His response on the House floor went viral, and gained the young Congressman even more notoriety. Kennedy said:
“With all due respect to our speaker, he and I must have read different scripture. The one that I read calls on us to feed the hungry, to clothe the naked, to shelter the homeless, and to comfort the sick. It reminds us that we are judged not by how we treat the powerful, but how we care for the least among us. This is not an act of mercy. It’s an act of malice.”
An act of malice.
With those words, young Joe Kennedy declared himself a firm opponent of President Donald Trump and his Republican colleagues.
When the time comes for the left to look for a new, charismatic, progressive leader, I would personally put Joseph Kennedy right up there as one of the most interesting prospects.
Watch this, and see if you agree.
Featured image via YouTube Screengrab.