The nation must finally be over its near-pathological obsession with the various mediocre offspring of a shamelessly self-anointed and self-promoting “royal family.”
On previous occasions there would be much hoopla leading up to Der Tag memorializing RFK’s assassination while transiting the kitchen of a San Francisco hotel. There would have been memorials in dance or music or other theatrical performances. Still-vertical Camelot courtiers would have been shot up with vitamin B and bee pollen and then trotted out on the talking-head shows and allowed to gush and babble on about some “rich legacy” or some “unfulfilled promises.” People with poor memories and little else to do would gather and hold flickering candles in symbolic remembrance of…exactly what?
This time around, the fortieth anniversary, despite the de rigueur reminders from the still-loyal media hacks, there seemed to be little real interest in the event outside of the family and a few aging New Frontier wannabes. It would seem that the previous collective urge to gash ourselves emotionally and fling ourselves under the wheels of the juggernaut bearing a Kennedy image had finally succumbed to rational behavior.
There are at least two reasons why the collective consciousness is returning to reason – age and the inexorable revelation of time as to what really lay behind the facade of the so-called “best and brightest.” The so-called “style and class” of the Kennedy clan was 98% hype and drivel and – thank Heaven! – has finally been largely consigned to the trash heap.
RFK was a bully, a warmonger, a would-be assassin and a political coward. He spied on people, tried to destroy people, tried to murder foreign heads of state, and his pathetic obsession with a macho image of “tough” was as instrumental in getting us into a war in Vietnam as was Lyndon Johnson. He was not the peace candidate, he was the pro-war cheerleader of his late brother and he was desperately trying to morph himself into the opposite of what he really was. He was not the courageous challenger of Lyndon Johnson, but the me-too guy who jumped in after the really brave politician – Wisconsin’s junior senator Eugene McCarthy – challenged Johnson in New Hampshire.
RFK’s death at the hands of an assassin was a tragedy, but no more so than that of any other life ended prematurely – and certainly no more valuable than any of the nearly sixty thousand Americans who he helped send to their deaths in a no-win Asian land war. A far better justice would have been served had he, like little brother Edward, lived to see what had ultimately come from his own character. But their is a certain karmic justice in the death at the hands of an assassin of someone who worked to compass the deaths of Fidel Castro and the Ngo brothers.
T. J. Flapsaddle