Caroline Kennedy Did Her Family a Favor by Releasing Jackie's Tapes

caroline kennedyI can't imagine what it was like for Caroline Kennedy growing up, in the shadow of JFK and Jackie Kennedy. It's one thing to have famous parents, it's another thing entirely to have parents who are American archetypes. Not to mention a sibling, John Kennedy Jr., who was elevated to the same status even before his tragic death.

To create an identity for herself unrelated to her family would have been completely impossible for Caroline, so I think it's wise that she's chosen to act as a spokesperson of sorts for her family's legacy. As such, Caroline is being criticized by some for releasing the (at times) very unflattering Jackie Kennedy tapes. Shouldn't her goal be to preserve the Kennedy legend?

No. In my opinion, no. That's not her job at all.

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Consider how frustrating it can be when people outside of your immediate family have false ideas about who your parents really are. You know what I mean: Oh, your mom was always the sweetest lady! Yeah, maybe when she was selling cookies at the school bake sale, but not when she came home and beat the stuffing out of us. Your dad is so helpful, always there when anybody needs him. Tell that to my mother when he's passed out drunk in front of the TV and the sink is clogged.

Children know their parents better than anybody else ever can. They see every side of their mothers and fathers: The public and the private, on good days and not-so-good days.

The fact that Caroline wants to set the record straight -- or at least that she doesn't want to go to great lengths to cover up the fact that record is crooked -- is not only understandable, it's admirable. I would feel the same way if an entire nation believed in some fairytale version of my family.

Caroline isn't damaging her family's reputation. She's bringing a long-overdue element of honesty to the Kennedy myth.

And, in the process, she's proving herself to be a person of integrity.

Do you think Caroline should have edited the Jackie Kennedy tapes?

 

Image via Rubenstein/Flickr

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