Friday, November 22, 2013

JFK's Death Launched Many Myths Still Embraced Today

"Let every nation know, whether it wishes us well or ill, that we shall pay any price, bear any burden, meet any hardship, oppose any foe, to assure the survival and success of liberty." JFK

  • Like most Boomers, I remember the day JFK was assassinated. I was still in the seminary washing the windows in the hallway that lead to our chapel (even today, anytime I mention I was in the seminary, I always envision my close friends laughing their asses off). Like most Americans that day---especially Catholics---his death hit me like a 90MPH fastball---unbelief, grief, pain and more emotions than most teenagers should experience at that age. The emotional and physical distress was overwhelming.
  • That was 50 years ago. Today, I remind people to teach their children that both Camelots were a myth. Since John Kennedy's tenure in office was so short, it's much to difficult to predict where his presidency would have led. Nevertheless, including the myth of Camelot (created by Jackie Kennedy and the media at the time), JFK's death launched many myths still embraced today.
  • Democrats still clasp to the myth of Camelot as if JFK would even recognize today's Democrat Party. The truth is he would not. Kennedy was a staunch anti-Communist. He believed in maintaining a strong national security. He was steadfast in supporting Israel so much so he created a US-Israel military alliance. While the abortion issue was not a not-button one at the time, Kennedy was pro-life. He believed in lowering taxes. On several occasions, he warned about the expanding power of the federal government. Recall, in his 1961 Inaugural Address he declared, "...Ask not what American will do for you---ask what you can do for your country."
  • In addition, he wouldn't have supported the culture of dependency we've witnessed since Pres. Lyndon Johnson launched his "Great Society" and "War on Poverty" programs. As William McGurn, editorial page editor for the NY Post, pointed out today in his "The War American Lost: Half A Century Of Dependency," those programs did not only result in billions in misspent monies but also in broken lives and blighted potential these programs leave in their wake." In fact, anyone who grew up anywhere near what were called "projects" as I did in the South Bronx, those Soviet style apartment buildings were infested with graffiti, urine, drugs, rats and mostly poor blacks---who awaited patiently for their next government check (because the government created that dependency). This phenomena was not specific to major urban areas either. Appalachia, inhabited by largely poor whites, were stuck in experiencing the same phenomena as Northern blacks.
  • In USA Today, their editorial professes that JFK made government and national service seem noble. They are correct on the latter but not with the former.  Perhaps George Will said it best: Kennedy changed less during his life than liberalism did after his death." After all, JFK didn't say, "Ask not what you can do for your country---ask what your country can do for you."