Skip to comments.The JFK obsession: 40 years and still going strong
Posted on 11/18/2003 7:54:34 AM PST by mikeb704
Where were you when you learned John F. Kennedy was murdered? If your answer is something along the lines of fifth-grade civics class in the 80s, its probable your feelings are much different than those of us who experienced the event firsthand.
Why the lingering fascination with the 35th president of the United States? Certainly some of it is attributable to the myriad conspiracy theories.
Take your pick. The Central Intelligence Agency killed him. Or the Mafia. Or rich Texas oilmen. Or Castro. Or the Federal Bureau of Investigation. Or the Soviets. Or Lyndon Johnson. Or fill in the blank.
Its unlikely the question will ever be settled. The only smoking gun belonged to Lee Harvey Oswald, and hes not talking.
Then we have the Camelot image. Jacqueline Kennedy knew the importance of shaping the JFK legend and immediately went to work. She wasnt going to wait for the "bitter old men," as she called them, who write history to determine her husbands accomplishments.
Many Americans looked at Kennedy as a hero even before he was elected president. I was in grade school. The nun told us that we should urge our parents to vote for Kennedy. This was because he was a devout Catholic, a good family man, and had a wonderful smile. Well, the good sister was right about the smile anyway.
At the time, Id not yet developed into the skeptical curmudgeon Ive become. I was then only an apprentice skeptical curmudgeon. So I took the nuns guidance and got involved in my first political campaign.
Dutifully stuffing Kennedy literature in neighbors mailboxes, I did my part to move us forward, with vigor of course, to the New Frontier. We had so many Kennedy signs in our yard and posters in our windows that on election day voters stopped in thinking it was a polling place.
The man was undeniably charming and witty. Fit and tan, he gave the impression of radiant good health, an impression far from reality. Kennedy cultivated the press and flattered reporters as needed. The initiative paid off handsomely in terms of positive media coverage.
As it turned out, JFK was at best a middling chief executive. There was the Bay of Pigs fiasco. The Berlin Wall was put up after Soviet premier Khrushchev had taken the measure of the young president. The dictator said he pitied the American people for having so ineffectual a leader.
The Cuban missile crisis is sometimes viewed as a major Kennedy achievement. Yet to resolve it JFK promised to not invade the first Communist state in the Western Hemisphere. Part of the Kennedy legacy is Fidel Castro still in power.
The day Kennedy was inaugurated, there were a few hundred American soldiers in a far off place called Vietnam. By the time he died, there were almost 20,000, with more on orders to go there.
Domestic successes were few and far between. JFK led a staggeringly shallow life and rumors suggested he might not be as virtuous as originally thought.
On November 22, 1963, none of that made a difference. The president our president had been murdered. The first reaction was disbelief. Things like that didnt happen in the United States.
Then came the sorrow. We grieved together. Men and women, blacks and whites, Christians and Jews, Republicans and Democrats, the old and the young, everybody.
It was so incredibly sad. Think of Jackie, for heavens sake. And the children. How would they ever find the strength to make it through the next few days?
The assassination was a national nightmare. Many cried themselves to sleep that night.
The long Friday afternoon turned into an even longer weekend. Then, finally, the funeral was held. If ever a woman conducted herself with a composed dignity, grace and courage, Mrs. John F. Kennedy did that day. She set an example for the rest of us.
Many baby boomers, some of them now years older than JFK was when he died, shared that experience. Theyre the people who turn out newspaper stories and TV programs and magazine articles about John F. Kennedy and what might have been.
That well never know. We look at the black and white images of the 35th president and think of the unfulfilled promise, the destiny unrealized. We share a common memory of those dark November days of so many years ago and reflect on how we, and the world, were changed.
Maybe when were all finally gone the obsession will diminish. Maybe.
Sure. After winning.
I was alive then and my thoughts were not the same as yours. I would have said "colorless antimacassar" rather than "vapid armpiece."
History Channel this week..."The Men Who Killed Kennedy---The Final Chapter"
We have been paying for that "Oswald Acted Alone" lie for 40 years.
It has distorted our "Politics", allowed the Free Traitors to steal us blind while we carry out the Left-Right Kubuki Dance it set in motion.
Now, back to our program...
Have just watched last night, for the first time. Highly recommend it to anyone who is interested in the damage these lies have done to our country for 40 years.
The program runs 6 more times this week on History Channel, including twice tonight.
Who was responsible for JFK's death? Case closed for me.
LBJ reportedly once said, won't people be surprised when they find out some day what really happened and who did this...Now I know what he meant by that cryptic comment.
Came a lot...came a lot...came a lot...came a lot...
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