Friday marks precisely 50 years since the presidency passed, traumatically, from the hands of a man who spoke of the United States as a nation of enterprise and achievement, into the hands of one who immediately set about expanding dependency on government —a path from which no Democrat who has served in the White House since has deviated.
John F. Kennedy will never stand as a hero in the Conservative pantheon, but does anyone doubt that the country would be freer and safer today if someone more like him resided in the White House?
Read the inaugural address. Liberals who pretend to venerate Kennedy would be horrified if a contemporary president delivered the identical words.
Kennedy defended the country. His reflexes were anti-communist and pro-freedom. He fumbled the Bay of Pigs invasion but admitted it, and if that seems trivial, try imagining either the operation or the admission happening today. He allowed federal employees to unionize, but not to bargain collectively or to strike. He cut taxes to grow the economy and lucidly explained why that helped more than just the wealthy.
If the overall record fell short of the “Camelot” legend—the revisionist construct of a media that found it convenient for advancing a left-wing liberalism Kennedy demonstrably didn’t share—stipulate that even a C-minus performance from those days belongs to a different world than the hostility toward traditional understandings of the United States that consumed Kennedy’s party after he was gone.
The overwhelming difference between Kennedy and the Democrats who followed is that some of Kennedy’s actions actually benefited the country.