Two “lions” died last week. One was known, adored by millions, and a life-long Democrat. Born to a privileged life, he could have done anything, including choosing a life of relative leisure. Instead, he turned into a tireless liberal warhorse for justice in all its many forms.

On Saturday a Catholic mass, included a eulogy by President Obama, celebrated his life of public service to the commonweal. I am obviously speaking about Senator Ted Kennedy.

The other lion, born into poverty, far less known, and a life-long Communist, also turned his energies at an early age to making life better for exploited and oppressed people. For his entire life our dear Julie Margolin was where “workers fight and organize.” Like Senator Kennedy, he was the “real deal.”

Last year, both of them, even though in poor health, occupied a space in the same coalition – one at the top and the other at the grassroots – that only because of its breadth of reach defeated the right wing decisively and elected the first African American president in our nation history.

A fitting tribute to these two lions would be to lend our energies, grace, and wisdom to the further building of this coalition in the post election period. Nothing I suspect would please them more.


Sam Webb
Sam Webb

Sam Webb is a long-time socialist and activist living in New York. He served as the national chairperson of the Communist Party from 2000 to 2014. Previously, he was the state organizer of the Communist Party in Michigan. Earlier, he was active in the labor movement in his home state of Maine. He blogs at