Recently some folks have revisited the idea that the current Democrat Party has gone so far left they would reject John F. Kennedy as a “conservative” if he appeared on today’s political scene.
I don’t think that’s accurate and here’s why:
JFK was no great statesman or conservative and we should not canonize him as such.
His great blunders with Cuba might actually have kept a communist neighbor at our doorstep far too long and may have kept the Cuban people under unnecessary oppression when they could have been free.
If we actually read and examine his actions, his actual history and his actual speeches, we find a different story from the gauzy legends and romanticized myths of “Camelot,” crafted by his legions of adoring cocktail party biographers and Ivy League liberals.
“Kennedy cut taxes”.
Well, No. Kennedy actually never passed his tax cuts. And they were Keynesian cuts not Supply Side cuts anyway. Not only was the logic the opposite of what was claimed, the tax rate he wanted was astronomical compared to tax rates today. He wanted to bring top rates to 65%. That’s far from moderate.
Kennedy also didn’t believe that a rising economy lifts everyone, which is a point fundamental to conservative Supply-Side Economics. Instead, Kennedy backed a massive increase in the minimum wage, supposedly to stimulate the economy and let the government lift workers, which actually hurts the economy by starving businesses of capital and kills jobs.
He was also quite aggressive when it came to using economic government stimulus to revive the economy, including increased “anti-poverty” spending. That is code for broadly expanding welfare in its many forms.
- The addition of a temporary thirteen-week supplement to jobless benefits,
- The extension of aid to the children of unemployed workers,
- The redevelopment of distressed areas,
- An increase in Social Security payments and the encouragement of earlier retirement,
- An increase in the minimum wage and an extension in coverage,
- The provision of emergency relief to feed grain farmers, and
- The financing of a comprehensive homebuilding and slum clearance program.
Not exactly Tea Party stuff! Sounds more like LBJ expansion of the Great Plantation to me.
And LBJ did carry out JFK’s welfare expansions!
JFK did seek to reform welfare — by making it more liberal and more generous. Most significantly, under Kennedy, welfare was expanded from a program providing (and titled) “Aid to Dependent Children” [ADC] to one covering their parents as well, retitled : “Aid to Families With Dependent Children” [AFDC]. He doubled the payroll of those on the dole.
Other expansions in the area of welfare included initiation of the food stamp program, expansion of school lunch and school milk programs, a 20 percent increase in Social Security benefits and introduction of early retirement, plus benefits extended to an additional 5 million Americans.
That was JFK’s idea of “welfare reform.”
Kennedy’s income and capital gains tax cuts were passed after he was assassinated, and were signed into law by his successor, Lyndon Johnson. So how do they count as any sort of “domestic policy achievement,” much less as “his big domestic policy achievement”?
Why not name the Civil Rights Act or the expansion of Medicare as “his big domestic policy achievement”? They were also proposed by Kennedy, but passed under Johnson, and they were far more central to what JFK wanted his legacy to be. What’s more, there is no mistaking Kennedy’s intentions or signature on either of them: He made major nationally televised addresses on each of them, staking out unmistakably LIBERAL positions.
In a 1962 speech at Madison Square Garden Kennedy said,
“The fact of the matter is that what we are now talking about doing, most of the countries of Europe did years ago. The British did it 30 years ago. We are behind every country, pretty nearly, in Europe, in this matter of medical care for our citizens.”
So, a European socialist-style healthcare in the form of Medicare was what JFK was aiming for.
Interesting then, that anyone would try to compare JFK to Reagan, who, as chief critic against implementation of a Medicare system, warned that socialism would creep into our country through healthcare, and then eventually we would all be telling our grandchildren how we used to be free.
Remarkably, 50 years later, Obama could truthfully repeat that same healthcare speech JFK made, almost word for word, in support of Obamacare.
Again, 100% LIBERAL.
Lastly, JFK abused women, abused presidential power, got us into a no-win war in Vietnam, and weaponized our government against his political opponents by using the IRS as a bludgeon and using the FBI to wiretap citizens illegally, including Martin Luther King Jr.
Many instances of alleged political profiling were coordinated with the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI), sometimes under COINTELPRO.
The IRS provided the Kennedy FBI with free access to tax returns, which the FBI used to investigate groups as ideologically varied as the John Birch Society, the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People, and the American Communist Party.
Beginning in the 1960s, the IRS audited civil rights leader Martin Luther King Jr. numerous times. In addition to King himself, the Southern Christian Leadership Conference and several of King’s lawyers were also subjected to audits as well as FBI surveillance and wiretapping.
Sound familiar? Isn’t that what Obama and company did to Trump and other political opponents?
The fact is, Kennedy would fit right in with today’s Liberals like Biden, Pelosi, Schiff, and Schumer…and if he was president today, he’d readily shake hands with AOC and the lefty liberal “squad” in Congress, as he expanded big government and taxes on citizens to redistribute it to non-producers in our society.
And that’s just pointing out JFK’s policies.
The mob connections, sexual licentiousness and criminal activities are an entirely separate but interesting story unto itself, which, while originally helping him steal the election and gain power, may also have led to his and his brother’s assassinations.
Don’t believe the hype on JFK. He was a hard-partying, liberal, womanizing, Ivy League playboy, who never worked an honest day in his life, who turned the White House into a whorehouse. Kennedy came from a family of gangsters, crooks, philanderers, drunks, drug users, and mysogynists, who carried on that depraved life well after his death and spawned an entire dynasty of the exact same moral turpitude.
Just ask Marylyn, or the many prostitutes who visited the White House, supplied to the Kennedys by top organized crime figures. Or ask Mary Jo Kopechne. Or perhaps read the memoirs of Mimi Alford, the young, 19 year old White House intern, which tell how Kennedy took her virginity in Jaqueline Kennedy’s bed, and how JFK once instructed her to give oral sex to special presidential aide Dave Powers in the White House pool while he casually watched.
Now that’s class. Camelot.