Published: Tuesday, Nov. 12 2013 12:00 a.m. MST
Unfortunately I think it is Samuelson that has grossly over simplified the
situation. I am not a big fan of the whole celebrate or hero worship. I
don't believe in putting anyone on a pedestal. There are just as many
people doing heroic acts daily, that do unnoticed by the masses.But
when one looses their life, particularly through an act of political rage, it
does make one notice. To have survived a war, only to be killed by a fellow
American who for political reasons took a life, is remarkable. We may never
know if there was true greatness in what Kennedy could achieve, but we do know
the greatness of the sacrifice that was thrust upon the family.I
will not compare Kennedy to Lincoln, but I will compare him to all those others
who have lost their lives in service of their country. It is no more right to
try to diminish their sacrifices then it is to do likewise to Kennedy. We know
he was an imperfect man, that does without saying. What we do know is he was
killed doing what he thought was right. And that is worth remembering.
As a 44 year old male, I have always wondered why the fascination. You had a
family whose father (Joe) achieved wealth and power as a bootlegger during the
'20s and a President who was knowingly cheating on his wife. I understand
the times were different and politicians now routinely resign after being caught
cheating, but this family was corrupt from the beginning. I visited Dallas for
the 2nd time just last week and visited Daley plaza and the "grassy
noll" and saw the two white "X"s marked on the street where he was
shot. It is a surreal experience.
First of all JFK was a GREAT president in that he represented the United States
in a presidential manner with respect and honor AND all Americans loved JFK and
were proud to have him be the symbol of America to the world. He prevailed in
the Cuban Missile Crisis and he inspired the eventual Apollo lunar program. When
JFK spoke he inspired people - in the US and outside the US and his words meant
something to people. Was he perfect? Of course not. His extra-marital
philandering was sad and wrong and his domestic policy was a work in progress.
But JFK along with brother Bobbie was determined to rid America of mob influence
and it was that fight that most likely got him killed. My mother - a life long
Republican - voted only ONCE for a Democrat and that was for JFK. She was
devastated with his assassination. "Ask NOT what your country
can do for you but what you can do for your country". Contrast those words
from JFK to what Barack preaches today.... "ask not what you can do for your
country but what your country can give you for free".
I guess an opinion of a life is something anyone can postulate on, but success
is not measured in simple evaluations; anyone who pays the ultimate sacrifice to
serve their country deserves the greatest respect possible for each of us;
character flaws are in everyone's life, still most of us do not suffer the
public review of every mistake or flaw in the public sector. The Kennedy family
has endured enough.
I know I was SHOCKED when I first heard someone say that Kennedy was a great
character but a mediocre President (and that observation was from a faithful
Democrat).It shocked me because I didn't really know anything
about his Presidency at that time. I just recalled all the emotion and laud
and honor associated with his funeral. Seeing the plane land with his body and
the procession and the funeral solemnly narrated on National TV is one of my
earliest and most distinct memories from my childhood. My family had a book
with tons of great pictures about his life (mostly about his death). I just
ASSUMED he was the GREATEST President in my lifetime. Because I'd never
seen a fuss like that about a President in my lifetime.Then to hear
that he was actually a mediocre President somewhat blown out of proportion by
media hype at the time and since... blew me away. But after studying his
administration later in life... he did have some big failures and some big
successes. He wasn't really the heroic figure I remembered. But I still
remember him with the utmost respect.
I did a paper in college about JFK. While I gave him an A+ in the inspiration
and charisma areas, his actual accomplishments were average. Maybe with a full
term or two terms things would have been different, but we can't dwell on
the what might have been.JFK wasn't the best, nor was he the
worst. His inagural address is a classic that more people should read and pay
attention to. History has been kind to him because he lost his life in the
countries service. And we leave that up to the historians. As a president,
he's not in my top 10 but he served fairly well in his short time.
JFK was a cautious pragmatist, much like our current president.
Kennedy was a man, a real man. Did you watch "JFK" last night. His
rescue of a guy in his crew after PT 109 was cut in half was utterly fantastic.
This man had guts. Moreover, his handling of the missile crisis was masterful.
He was not a hothead. Many reading this would not be alive had Kennedy not been
there. Of course, some will argue that the Soviet missiles would not have been
sited in Cuba had it not been for Kennedy. AND Kennedy's cold war rhetoric
was truly sickening, but such were the times. Yes, Kennedy was a mixed bag, but
he was a great man.
The appreciation of Kennedy’s Presidency is in its aesthetic singularity.
Americans preserve that in memory like snapshots in a photo album precisely
because his time in office was so shockingly truncated just as it was coming
into full blossom. He was taken from us when we were hungry for a lot more of
him.Memorializing is a form of false remembering. Still, we do it to
assuage the hurt. We’re just that human.
Kennedy WAS a great president, regardless of what the man behind that mustache
thinks. He inspired my whole generation. We loved him. He represented the vigor
of youth, the dreams of the future, the power of justice and righteousness
against evil enemies like communism and racial discrimination, which backed down
for him. He was the embodiment of the very ideals of America. JFK insisted that
we reach for the moon. We wept when he died.It was the end of our youth. BTW, Mr. Samuelson is not a great writer. What a bore.
re:Roland KayserJohn F Kennedy "Ask not what your country can do
for you but what you can do for your country"Barack Obama
"Ask not what you can do for your country but what your country can give you
for free"JFK was a former Navy PT Boat commander serving in
WWII...a man of honor. JFK inspired America - probably the greatest motivator
and leader we have ever had. He had his character flaws but still a great
respected leader. Barack was a community organizer and the proud
father of Obamacare. enough said...
The day that Kennedy was shot, I was a 9th grade student. I remember where I
was and what I was doing when I heard the news. My older sister was bereft. For
several days, she could not stop crying. Finally, our father sat us all down
and told us that assassinations were evil and cowardly, but he also said that
history would tell us what kind of President Kennedy was. He was very
complementary about the man, but he told us that a President is expected to do
much more than Kennedy had done while holding the office of President. Dad's remarks were accurate. Kennedy was a much better President than
Johnson or Carter or Clinton or Obama; but, he did not leave us better off than
we were before he took office. We were not more secure from attack or intention
to attack from our enemies. He did not uphold the principles found in our
Declaration of Independence or in our Constitution.In retrospect, he
was neither a good President nor a bad President. He failed up as often as he
succeeded.No President is perfect. Kennedy was okay. We've
His vision and leadership with the space program, his inspired speaking style,
and handling the October crisis stand out as achievements more than any
He was a lot better President than Obama, Clinton, or Carter. As someone said
above, many of us would be dead if it were not for his cool collectedness during
the facedown with Khrushchev over the missiles being deployed in Cuba.
@mike ricahards did you really juse leave both the Bush's and
Nixon off your list of presidents that were not better then Kennedy? Talk about
showing your political blind spots for all to see.
Having been one who risked his life and endured life-long painful injury from
war he like all veterans deserves the thankful hearts of a grateful nation.As President he inspired a Nation to continue in greatness with the
Space Race. It is still amazing to me that with 1960's technology we found
our way through innovation and determination to meet his challenge to put a man
on the moon. In 8 years we went through the Mercury, Gemini and Apollo Projects
(even with the setback that took three astronauts) to put a man on the moon.Nowadays we can't even design and launch a single manned space
mission in the time it took to go through three different space systems and put
a man on the moon in the 1960's
In my lifetime only two presidents have been so inspiring - JFK and Ronald
Reagan. Both carried an attitude of doing the impossible, both had a vision of
greatness for the US, both inspired greatness in the people of this Nation that
in turn had a positive and lasting impact on the world
"And so my fellow Americans, ask not what your country can do for you, ask
what you can do for your country."My, how we've lost sight
of this ideal. I went to the JFK museum in the Texas Schoolbook Depository
today and was impressed by the complete reversal Americans have undergone with
respect to what we expect our government to do for us.Despite his
many failures, he inspired us as Americans to fly to the moon. No president
since has been able to inspire us as we'll as JFK.
"The fascination with the Kennedys endures, though it's probably on its
last lap."I sure hope so.It's clear that the
Democrat part and their shills in the mainstream media have been pushing the
Kennedy Camelot facade for all its worth lo these many decades.It
now seems clear that their next choice for a fantasy dynasty are the
Clintons.How appropriately symmetrical that both houses are so
clearly tainted by serious character flaws. Though, to be fair, I
have to say that despite the many scandals that riddle the entire Kennedy clan,
the Clintons somehow seem even more corrupt, as impossible as that may
appear.How refreshing it would be to have a president whose closet
isn't so chuck full of skeletons.
I do have to point out one aspect of Kennedy that few ever talk about. Because
Kennedy was seen by Khruschev as a weak paper tiger, particularly after the Bay
of Pigs, Khruschev decided to put nuclear missiles in Cuba. He thought
(mistakenly) that Kennedy would not react. It is unlikely that Khurschev would
ever have tried that move with Nixon in the White House, as he knew Nixon quite
well and knew Nixon was a fervent anti-communist, cold warrior. So, though it
is not necessairly Kennedys fault, because of his "perceived weakness and
inexperience", Kennedy helped bring the world close to nuclear war. That is
why we do NOT want Presidents who are perceived as being weak. Remind you of
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