Ted Kennedy on Education and Democracy
Senator Edward M. Kennedy represented Massachusetts in the United States Senate for forty-six years. He was elected in 1962 to finish the final two years of the Senate term of his brother, Senator John F. Kennedy, who was elected President in 1960. Ted Kennedy was re-elected to seven full terms.
Throughout his career, Kennedy fought for issues that benefited the citizens of Massachusetts and the nation. His primary focus was making quality health care accessible and affordable to every American, but he was also active in education reform and immigration reform, raising the minimum wage, defending the rights of workers and their families, strengthening civil rights, assisting individuals with disabilities, fighting for cleaner water and cleaner air, and protecting and strengthening Social Security and Medicare.
Kennedy died after a long battle with brain cancer on August 25, 2009. He was 77.
Ted Kennedy: It was perhaps the first or second day, and my brother had been elected to the Congress. And he asked me whether I wanted a tour of Washington, and I welcomed the opportunity. And he brought me around to the House of Representatives; and brought me to the United States Senate; brought me over to the Supreme Court of the United States; pointed out the White House along with those magnificent monuments – the Lincoln [Memorial], Washington Monument.
But he gave advice to me then which has really stuck with me. I was probably twelve years old at the time, and he said, “Look. You’ll visit the buildings now. You’ll see these buildings.” But he said, “The really importance of this visit is that you take an interest in what happens inside these buildings for the rest of your life.”
And I thought, “Well that’s a nice sort of idea, but you know, when are we going to get hot dogs or something or other, or go to a baseball or a football game?”
But the resonance of that message has stayed with me all of my life, and it was good advice at that time. And it’s advice that I share when young people come from Massachusetts and visit the Capitol. It’s the only way, really, our Democracy is going to work is if people take the interest, take the time, involve themselves in the political life of our country. It’s enormously important.
Recorded on: September 14, 2007
Ted Kennedy on Education and Democracy
The 21st century is experiencing an Asianization of politics, business, and culture.
- Our theories about the world, even about history or the geopolitics of the present, tend to be shaped by Anglo perspectives of the Western industrial democracies, particularly those in the United States and the United Kingdom.
- The West, however, is not united. Canada, for instance, acts in many ways that are not in line with American or British policies, particularly in regard to populism. Even if it were united, though, it would not represent most of the world's population.
- European ideas, such as parliamentary democracy and civil service, spread across the world in the 19th century. In the 20th century, American values such as entrepreneurialism went global. In the 21st century, however, what we're seeing now is an Asianization — an Asian confidence that they can determine their own political systems, their own models, and adapt to their own circumstances.
Research has shown that men today have less testosterone than they used to. What's happening?
- Several studies have confirmed that testosterone counts in men are lower than what they used to be just a few decades ago.
- While most men still have perfectly healthy testosterone levels, its reduction puts men at risk for many negative health outcomes.
- The cause of this drop in testosterone isn't entirely clear, but evidence suggests that it is a multifaceted result of modern, industrialized life.
Can sensitive coral reefs survive another human generation?
- Coral reefs may not be able to survive another human decade because of the environmental stress we have placed on them, says author David Wallace-Wells. He posits that without meaningful changes to policies, the trend of them dying out, even in light of recent advances, will continue.
- The World Wildlife Fund says that 60 percent of all vertebrate mammals have died since just 1970. On top of this, recent studies suggest that insect populations may have fallen by as much as 75 percent over the last few decades.
- If it were not for our oceans, the planet would probably be already several degrees warmer than it is today due to the emissions we've expelled into the atmosphere.
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