“To become truly great, one has to stand with people, not above them" Charles de Montesquieu
Last night I dreamed that the world lived in peace and harmony and that extreme poverty was on the run. Opportunity for a good life unfolded in every corner of planet "Gaia" and a man spoke of possibilities and progress for all of mankind. "Beyond these walls is a world to be helped, and improved, and made safe for all mankind" Bobby Kennedy And people listened like prospectors hearing of the latest gold strike or actors working with Clint Eastwood? They listened as if his words meant everything!
Then I woke and thought about Bobby Kennedy and what might have been? I had watched Emilio Estevez` movie, "Bobby", for a second time and came away passionate about our future and pissed off about a stolen promise. The "sixties" was a powderkeg of idealism and possibilities and I can only wonder how Bobby Kennedy might have inspired an America that shook the world for peace and good will? And how far have we missed the mark when I put America, peace and good will in the same space? A collision of oxymorons! Sadly laughable in the age of Cheney. But Estevez reminds us of what might have been and hopefully what still could be?
Much of the movie plays as a very good sixties drama layered in a soap opera of sorts. Connecting the dots of relevance are reels of documentary footage that highlight the larger concept of Bobby Kennedy`s campaign for "human rights" in the 1968 California Presidential primary. This documentary filming fits seamlessly as the heart and soul of everyone`s story. A sixties generation is tripping toward something great?
Laugh your ass off as Ashton Kutcher drops acid and leads young men into the land of Leary. Feel the passions of young Americans, Elijah Wood and Linday Lohan, as they feel the pain of a Vietnam War that they can`t avoid. Or watch the seeds of a Latin migration to California with Freddy Rodriquez, "we`re the new niggers brother, get used to it". The stories are good but the "Bobby time" is gripping. You can feel the pulse of this movie with every Kennedy speech. America`s last hope , King and Jack are gone, says a sixties culture on the last legs of it`s idealism.
"All of us might wish at times that we lived in a more tranquil world, but we don't. And if our times are difficult and perplexing, so are they challenging and filled with opportunity." Bobby Kennedy
The history of RFK holds moments of ruthless ambition and careless regard but he seemed to have evolved into a political Buddha. This in itself is so hopeful for any of us that want to make a difference. Bobby seemed to have found his nature in a call for "human rights for all mankind". His goals were so much larger than himself or America. And Estevez` movie shows his affect on people from all walks of life.
"Our gross national product does not allow for the health of our children, the quality of their education, or the joy of their play. It does not include the beauty of our poetry or the strength of our marriages, the intelligence of our public debate or the integrity of our public officials. It measures neither our wit nor our courage, neither our wisdom nor our learning, neither our compassion nor our devotion to our country; it measures everything, in short, except that which makes life worth while. And it can tell us everything about America except why we are proud that we are Americans." Bobby Kennedy
I could follow "sage" like this into the politics of a future we need more than we deserve. But we can earn a shot at this kind of possibility if we get lucky enough to find another Bobby Kennnedy who will lead us to the promised land. The opportunity is clear but is there anyone out there up to the call? The call for a "karmadawg" in kind of the highest order?