Searching for JFK  jr.



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by Jack Cashill, ©1999
News Talk 980 KMBZ
Posted on Cashill Newsletter
July 19, 1999


The official search for JFK jr. began sometime early Saturday morning. But the unofficial JFK jr. watch had begun perhaps 20 years before.

For those of tender age or short memories, the Kennedy name had been the most golden in American political history. For a brief period it bestowed not just political viability on its bearer--it still does that; witness the craven rise of young Patrick in Rhode Island--but a sense of honor and dignity as well.

The honor part pretty much tanked exactly 30 years ago off the shores of Martha’s Vineyard when Teddy abandoned a young woman to a watery grave as he struggled to maintain that cherished viability. Since then, the descent has been unrelenting. And as with Mary Jo Kopechne, the victims of Kennedy recklessness and self-indulgence have all too often been anonymous young women.

There was young Joe who crashed his jeep, walked away to become governor, but left some forgotten young woman paralyzed for life. His wife would later write a best-seller telling the world what a cad he was. There was brother Michael who romanced his 14 year old baby sitter before skiing into a tree. There was David, who ODed on heroin but fortunately took no one else out with him. There was cousin Will who partied hard with Uncle Ted and cousin Pat before settling down with a nightcap of date rape. Alleged. He beat the charge. That happens often with Kennedys. Look at the Skakel cousins of Connecticut whose likely murder of 15 year-old Martha Moxley 20 years prior still goes unprosecuted.

Historians have been far less kind to the previous generations of Kennedy than were the embarrassingly sycophantic media of the day. No need to pile on here, but the more we learn about Joe senior, John and even Bobby, the less we wish we knew. The Kennedy brothers casual sharing of the desperate and doomed Marilyn Monroe speaks eloquently of their indifference to humanity when there was no photo op to be had. Is it any wonder that Bill Clinton has always worshipped at their altar? The one difference between his presidency and JFK’s is the gnawing presence of an alternative media. Kudos to those media.

But with his mother’s careful guidance, JFK jr. stood aside and above the raging descent of Kennedy reputation and those who propelled it. The always gracious Jackie knew what swine the Kenendys could be and protected her children from them.

And so John jr. emerged--sane and poised and preposterously good looking. And as one Kennedy star after another dimmed, Democratic pols and aging Kennedy acolytes in the media watched and waited and hoped that JFK jr. would redeem the memory of Camelot.

But one senses that young Kennedy knew himself and his limitations better than did the countless toadies. He may well have understood that effective governance took more than a pretty face and a weighty name. All he had to do was look around himself for verification.

But he may have also understood that on the unwritten page that was his life, we could all inscribe what we wished a Kennedy to be. And he was certainly that.

The only real tragedy they say is when a parent buries a child. And so the genuine grief now takes place in Connecticut where the parents must bury their two beautiful daughters.

As to the media folks and Clintons and assorted Dems who weep publicly, they weep, as usual, for their own lost dreams.



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