Thursday, August 26, 2010

Joseph Kennedy

Today's picture was taken in 1939, and it shows Joseph Kennedy. Certainly there has been a lot of disaster in that family.  


  1. The tragedies which occured to the family are very real, and would have overwhelmed anyone, but Joseph Kennedy was NOT a very nice man. Womanizer (seemed to have been hereditary, by what we know of his sons), had one of his daughters lobotomized when she didn't measure up to his standards, was unkind to his wife, etc.

  2. Oh my God, don’t even get me STARTED on this guy. Since we live in Rhode Island, which is in the shadow of “Kennedy Country” and full of Kennedy fans, this photo gives me a giant headache.

    Joseph P. Kennedy was a harsh, cruel, and unaffectionate father who placed unreasonable demands on his children. God forbid that they did not live up to his expectations. He was determined that one of his sons would become President, and look at the cost. Not to mention the fact that Joseph was a bootlegger and a constant womanizer (as were his sons, as we all know).

    Joseph arranged a lobotomy for his oldest daughter, Rosemary (who probably only had a learning disability or autism), because he was afraid her behavior would embarrass the family, and turned her into more less of a vegetable. He pushed his kids unmercifully - no wonder they were all messed up.

    There is no question that this family has had more than it’s share of tragedies. One doesn’t have to agree with their politics to mourn their fate. Joe Jr. was killed fighting in WWII, Kathleen was killed in a plane crash, and JFK and RFK were killed because they had the courage to stand up for what they believed in. I still remember where I was and what I was doing on the days JFK and RFK were assassinated, and I saw Jack Ruby shoot Lee Harvey Oswald LIVE on TV, as it happened.

    But the biggest victim of all was Ted Kennedy. As the youngest (and only surviving) brother, the pressure to run for President eventually fell on him. As a child, he was never as smart, athletic, or brave as his older brothers; and his father never let him forget it, always telling him that he didn’t measure up.

    Ted was a C student in prep school, who drank and fooled around in college. His father had to make a donation to Harvard for him to be accepted, and then Ted was expelled for cheating on a Spanish Exam. Afraid to face his father, he enlisted in the Army. When Joe found out, he had Ted’s overseas assignment switched to a stateside desk job, telling him, “your too stupid to even screw up the right way.”

    So, it’s no wonder that poor Ted was an alcoholic. He never wanted to be President or in the public eye, but he had no choice. After Robert was shot in 1968, Ted was terrified that he was next. It’s no coincidence that he drove off that bridge on Chappaquiddick the following summer.

    All of Ted’s drinking, womanizing, and deliberately risky behavior were his subconscious way of trying to avoid what was expected of him.

    Here in Rhode Island, we have had the misfortune to have Ted’s son, Patrick (or “Patches” as we refer to him) represent one of our districts in Congress for the past 15 years. People vote for him just because he’s a Kennedy, not because he does anything constructive.

    Poor guy, he’s a drug and alcohol abuser, too, but who can blame him coming from a family like that. Thank god he’s chosen not to run again, he needs to get his life together.

    I really feel sorry for all of Joe’s offspring and think that their untimely deaths were tragedies. But I think Ted was the most tragic figure of all and a sad example of a wasted life and potential.

  3. Re: Smart Girl:
    That was one of the most informative and fairly balanced posts I have ever read. Thank You!

  4. smargirl,,,,ya done good,,,,,!

  5. You have done it again SmartGirl: you showed me things I had never considered about the Kennedy's reasons for their conduct. Was that relief we saw in RFK's eyes as he lay on the kitchen floor after being shot by Sir Hand Sir Hand (spelling?)?

    It is always best to see through another mans eyes before condiming him from your view.

  6. Sirhan Sirhan is serving a life sentence in a California prison, and his repeated applications for parole have been denied.

    Apparently there's another "Sirhan Sirhan" who attacked a kibbutz in Israel in 2002, but they're not related.

  7. Joe Jr. deserves mention as KIA WW2 pilot. Died serving his country during an experimental bombing mission. Too bad... he might have proved to be an honest politician and loyal husband. A curiosity for the family.

  8. I have to admit that hthis has been one of my favorite weeks and I've been coming here a long time. I think I love train wrecks. Does this mean my grandchildren thirty years from now will be viewing pictures of Paris Hilton and company.

  9. Well,well, Smartgirl,thanks for that info.I checked out Joe Kennedy's bio and wow,he was into some very shady deals! Poor Rose,poor Rosemary,poor all of them. No wonder Jackie went a bit funny after JFK's death. Also read that he lived long enough after his stroke to see his two prize boys assassinated. So very tragic.

  10. Thanks to everyone for your kind remarks re my post. We live so close to this stuff here in RI that it’s impossible not to pay attention to it. I’ve always believed that just because one disagrees with someone, it doesn’t mean you have to dislike them personally or wish them ill will.

    Even though I didn’t like most of f Ted Kennedy’s politics, I always felt sort of sorry for him and his siblings. Honestly, who would want to be in that position (or in that family?)


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