Written By Malek El Khazen –

Currently, while writing this article, I am watching the funeral of Senator Ted Kennedy. An amazing, fascinating Leader and above all being a leader is really secondary to what he was a true and one of the most powerful Legislators worldwide. In his last 3 decades after his fail presidency bill, he did not seek leadership or popularity anymore; he was seeking a better world, an economically just society, and causes beyond presidency, beyond personal positions. To summarize in one sentence he simply became “the voice for the voiceless”.  Serving just as a “senator” may not be as prestigious as being a President or Vice President or receive the respect you receive in these executive positions. But as “Teddy” has demonstrated his life fulfillment as a legislator is much greater than many presidents combine could not achieve. He is a fighter for social issues and helped achieve a better nation where economic justice will be available to its citizen. It simply does not matter if you are Conservative or Liberal he was just an American icon, a legend above politics that affected the life of all of a nation.  He has introduced or sponsored the most important laws in the modern history of the United States; from civil rights, immigration, minimum wages, education, armed services, health-care to voting rights you will find his fingerprint on each of these laws. His strength was communication reaching to his opponents and most importantly getting compromise with senators with disparate views. He got laws passed, he got a nation moving, he understood the POWER of a legislator and the POWER that the legislator can achieve and this is why he was always referred by his opponents as the “Lion of the Senate”. He was simply a true legislator; a great “public servant who through his dedication did make a difference in creating a better society in America.
In contrast, thinking more about Lebanese Member of Parliaments and politics I cannot name one leader who is a real Legislator. I can think of many amazing leaders, many members who seek a difference, and many members who seek a better Lebanon. But unfortunately a “real legislator” a fighter for introducing new laws I do not know. The problem is that many of the members do not use the power of parliament and compromises you can reach among disparate views in the parliament instead they have to hold debate tables when you already have a parliament and a system for this. Simply, I do not know the basic laws or stands my member of parliaments support. Who is socially or fiscally Conservatives or Liberal? Basic political stands, I do not know. Ask me about an important law that has passed from 2000 until now I cannot recall one. Most of the population is not aware of these basic stands of their elected representative or laws that they have sponsored. Yes we are aware of the naturalization law and decreasing voting laws but this is all what we seem to hear. Not much more! When you think about a Member of Parliament you do not think about oh how great a legislator he is in Lebanon. But you tend to think oh how smart he is, or how great a leader he is, or how we distrust them, but we just do not think or hold this member accountable for the “JOB” he really got elected to achieve. Legislator is a word unfortunately missing from Lebanese policies, hence we still have very old laws and unable to move forward as a nation. Welcome to the third world countries. Note the difference in USA politics where the Kennedy brothers hence their complete success, embrace their specific roles and are passionate and fighters about their role and not their ambitions. Each one of the brothers JFK, RFK or Teddy had a very specific and different role in US politics and none try to replace each other. As former presidential candidate and current senator of Connecticut Christopher Dodd noted: “John Fitzgerald Kennedy inspired our America; Robert Kennedy challenged our America; and Teddy changed our America" Dodd said. "Teddy was involved in every major debate in the last half of the 20th century and the first decade of the 21st. Nearly every important law passed in the last half century bears his mark, and a great many of them bear his name." In Summary, live your life and don’t try to be something you are NOT! And this will be the key for us to improve our future.
While wrapping this article I would like to send an homage to the current greatest Lebanese living Legislator who unfortunately is not a Member of Parliament and is Minister Fouad Boutros who understand how to reach the aisle and have laws created by understanding and communication. He is our Lebanese version of one of the very few and true legislator.