Watching much of the news coverage from that time and since, you might conclude that President John Fitzgerald Kennedy had been assassinated by racist Southerners in Texas, thanks to the far left in the Democratic Party and the news media they dominated then and continue to dominate today.
The death of the second youngest man ever elected to the office of Chief Executive hastened the move of the party of Jefferson and Jackson to the left and away from the mainstream American conservatism that President Kennedy embodied. At that time, most Americans and most members of the GOP and JFK’s party occupied the center-right which meant that they recognized the evil of international Communism and the need to confront and contain it; and shared an aversion to large and obtrusive government-run programs and for Judeo-Christian values as the self-restraining vehicle that makes self government and maximum ordered personal liberty possible.
Sadly and increasingly, those Democrats that succeeded Kennedy in the White House and in Congress, immediately after his death and through this 50th anniversary, did not share those values. Their disproportional power in the press, Hollywood and academia enabled them and their allies in Washington, D.C. to co-opt the love that most Americans felt for their young president and his attractive family to push a far left agenda that would have been foreign to the second son of Joseph Kennedy, a successful capitalist entrepreneur, and the impressive family and fortune he built (pictured).
President Kennedy never proposed turning over a large portion of the free market economy to government-run programs, as did President Lyndon Johnson in health care. Our 35th Commander-in-Chief vowed that the United States would bear any burden in the cause of liberty. The Commander of PT-109 that defended Sen. Joe McCarthy’s exposure of Soviet agents in the U.S. government would have been disgusted with Bill Clinton’s “loathing of the military” and Jimmy Carter’s claim that America had an “inordinate fear of Communism.” Sen. John Kennedy campaigned against the continued depression era-New Deal’s high-tax rates and new welfare state entitlement expansions. No Democrat speaks of such policies today and haven’t very often since…Kennedy was slain.
Finally, we can never know exactly what President Kennedy would have done in Vietnam and on civil rights; but that there would have been civil and voting rights acts, this former liberal Democrat, turned conservative Republican in 2001, has no doubt.
The Republican Party had been trying to pass civil rights laws ending de jure segregation in America for 100 years, only to be thwarted by Democrats not named Kennedy. And there is no doubt here that the man who telephoned Martin Luther King’s wife while he wrote letters from a Birmingham jail, and described unequal treatment of Blacks as they were being attacked in the streets as “a moral issue as old as the Scriptures and as clear as the Constitution”, would have extended legal protection to them in a nation already moved by MLK’s dignified campaign of non-violence. Moreover, rather than bring a paternalistic, disproportionate white-guilt to the task; JFK would have insisted that the non-quota affirmative action he had already practiced and named as such be the guiding principle of that task.
Many Republicans and Southerners rightly resent how far Left Democrats used the murder of JFK to further besmirch the South and to distort history with tales of Camelot and a claim to a superior moral high ground. John Kennedy would have resented it as well.
What happened to his Democratic Party after his departure was surely hastened by the removal of his influence from the scene, but the forces of a spoiled Baby Boomer generation increasingly devoted to narcissism was probably inevitable as was its embodiment in the liberal party known as the Democratic Party. It is probably true that LBJ got more Democrat votes for Civil Rights due to his Southern connections, but the GOP still voted in greater proportions for the liberating laws than did LBJ’s party.
But while surely JFK would not own the Democrats today, neither does his legacy belong exclusively to the GOP. After he took the Oath of Office on that blustery January 20, 1961 Inauguration Day, he acted on behalf of all Americans and belongs to history and all that love him. His real legacy was not Jackie’s amorphous fairy tale Camelot nor King Arthur’s and the legendary attempt to stave off the barbaric Saxon hordes while preserving individual liberty and Judeo-Christian values.
Rather, he inherited a nation before pagan leftist forces were unleashed and sought to preserve and protect that legacy we inherited from the Founders. And that he did so without incident as he insisted for 13 days that the USSR remove nuclear missile from Cuba, deserves the eternal love of all people on Earth and the loyalty of all Americans. Many that were alive 50 years ago and remember him, miss him still.
Continued rest in peace.
“One man with courage makes a majority.” – Andrew Jackson