When Kennedy first arrived at the U.S. Senate as a "Cold War liberal," he almost immediately took sides with northern Democrats which helped him to ride "the liberal high tide of the Kennedy-Johnson years" between 1963 and 1968 (Selfa, 2009, Internet). During these years, a time when America was facing some very serious political and social problems, Senator Kennedy stood firmly behind President John F. Kennedy (his eldest living brother in 1963) and then supported the creation of Medicare and Medicaid, the Civil Rights Act of 1964-1965, the Voting Rights Act and President Johnson's so-called "war on poverty" in the mid to late 1960's. Clearly, there appears to be some form of bias in Kennedy's outright support and defense of these and other governmental programs and acts, due to the fact that most Republicans, especially those from the Deep South, were firmly against what is now referred to as socialized medicine and certain aspects of Johnson's "war on poverty," particularly socialized welfare to poor and indigent women and their children.
Thus, as a politician, Kennedy was obviously predisposed in his own mind to supporting, at least in most instances, the views and ideals of the Democratic Party while also exhibiting an unfavorable view on specific principles that most Republican senators considered as paramount to preserving the status quo and increasing the influence of conservative values on the American people.
Of course, during his long tenure in the U.S. Senate, Kennedy's "baby" was health care for all Americans. Around 1972, during the Nixon Administration, Kennedy was staunchly in favor of creating some kind of government-operated "single-payer system to make health care a right for every American," but when President Nixon, a Republican, opposed such a measure, Kennedy backed out and abandoned his own bill in 1974 and then openly supported "legislation that preserved the role of the private insurance industry in the health care sector" of American society (Selfa, 2009, Internet).
In the words of Dr. Quentin Young, an advocate of a single-payer health care system in the late 1970's, Kennedy "was the author of an excellent. . . universal insurance bill," but after Nixon's opposition, he no longer considered it as feasible and doable and decided to go along with the health insurance giants (Selfa, 2009, Internet). Certainly, Kennedy in this instance displayed a personal form of bias or inclination to agree with the status quo when it came to health care in the United States; however, it appears that Kennedy's bias toward the health insurance industry never waned, for in the years to come, he would attempt to enact and pass many federal laws aimed at undermining the power of the insurance industry and its influence on the Republican Party and its conservative members.
In conclusion, it would be unfair to single out Senator Edward Kennedy for his obvious bias toward a number of issues and programs either created or defended by his Republican (and sometimes Democratic) opponents in the U.S. Senate. For one reason, most well-informed and educated persons would surely agree that all politicians are biased in one way or another. This is due to the fact that politicians in the United States belong to either the Democratic Party or the Republican Party, with a few individuals describing themselves as independents. Thus, as a result, all politicians are inclined and/or predisposed to having opinions on issues and topics that go directly against their opponents, a type of system that has been in existence since the days of the Founding Fathers and the creation of the U.S. Constitution. Therefore, although Senator Kennedy was no exception to the bias rule, it should be remembered that bias often drives the very system which some individuals see as slanted and that politicians, whether they admit it or not, are by nature biased.
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