Sunday, August 30, 2009

In the days after 9/11 and the invasions of Afghanistan and Iraq, there was a fair amount of discussion that society would stop using words such as 'battle' and 'war' to describe situations such as football games and political contests that didn't come close to meeting the definition of a real war or a real battle.

And the same was said of using the word 'hero'. A real hero was someone like the firemen who died trying to save workers trapped in the World Trade Center, the passengers on Flight 93 who gave their lives to protect their fellow Americans, or the too-many-to-count soldiers who risked their lives to save the lives of their comrades... and not someone who merely did something nice for someone else.

To be a real hero meant risking one's life to help save the lives of others. To a lessor extent, one could apply 'hero' to someone taking a huge risk of perhaps a financial or social measure on behalf of their family or fellow Americans.

But in either context, one must be taking a risk of losing something very important to be considered a hero. One doesn't get to wear the label by merely doing nice things. A millionaire who gives away a relative pittance isn't a hero. Someone who rescues someone else from danger isn't a hero if they haven't exposed themselves to some kind of danger (for example, yelling 'watch out' to a pedestrian about to be hit by an oncoming car. Doing so is great, but as it doesn't involve taking a risk, doing so doesn't make one a hero).

So tell me, just how was Ted Kennedy a 'hero'?

Per the dictionary definition, while Kennedy was admired, what were the 'brave deeds' that he was admired for? When exactly did he exhibit 'courage'?

He never risked his life (insert obligatory Mary Jo Kopechne comment here). He never risked his money or social ostracism pursuing whatever he believed in. He never risked his office by taking on an unpopular position that he felt was in the nation's best interests.

He never did anything that would come close to behavior that would justify using the words 'hero' and 'Ted Kennedy' in the same sentence. Calling Ted Kennedy a hero is an insult to real heroes.

By why let this stop the liberals from calling Kennedy a hero? They don't have a lot going for themselves right now, the public is negative on just about everything in the liberal agenda: Obamacare, gay marriage, raising taxes, traveling around the world apologizing for America, cap and trade. They need an inspiration, something to motivate the crazies to keep sending in money. The left doesn't have any real heroes, at least not anyone who's met that definition in the past twenty or so years, so why not just change the definition? And that is far more important than reserving the word 'hero' for those who truly have done something to deserve it.