Sunday, September 6, 2009


Like terrorism today, Communism was the major threat to the west during the turn of the 20th century. In 1939 the world was at war and imperialistic countries like Germany ruled by Hitler, were invading neighboring countries and slaughtering millions. Anywhere from the Soviet Union to China, battles were raging. Widespread occupation occurred and the United States and The Soviet Union emerged after the war as Super Powers and thus the cold war began by 1945 and lasted for the next 50 years. In 1949, China split into 2 factions, the Republic of China or what is known today as Taiwan, and communist China. Korea had partially fallen under Soviet domination and the Korean war ended in a split Korea, the communist North and the republic South. In 1954 the Viet Minh defeated french troops in North Vietnam and thus, the domino theory of foreign policy was born. The theory was that once one country fell to communism, many neighboring countries would soon follow. Containment was the policy of the day and communism was the threat. Vietnam was a breeding ground of communism and its neighboring countries were at risk. The United States joined South Vietnam in the fight to contain communism which was aggressively spreading throughout Asia. The military conflict began around 1959 and lasted until 1975. During that time a sub-culture of Americans emerged. The hippie. College students were joining a movement that included activism for civil rights, anti-war and a free loving drug culture translating into a hijacking of the democratic party and its emergence of a leftist ideology.
In 1960 an organization called the SDS, Students for a Democratic Society, was created by college students forming what was known as the "New Left". This radical organization was strong for 15 years and other similar organizations tried to mimic the SDS, but none were as big or as influential. These other groups were The Black Power Movement, The War resisters League and The Young Socialist Alliance, to name only a few. By the early 1970's most of the founders of the SDS had aligned themselves with the democratic party and a new philosophical shift was in motion. The party was changing and moving further to the left while a new President was elected.
John Fitzgerald Kennedy became President in 1961 during this ideological revolution. The charismatic, young leader energized the youth in America and captured a nation with his inaugural address when he told Americans to "Ask not what your country can do for you, ask what you can do for your country." Few Presidents since have been able to capture his call of sacrifice by American citizens that resonated with so many. He was an enemy of tyranny and despised oppressive nations. He created the Peace Corps and asked Americans to volunteer in underdeveloped nations to educate their citizens into better conditions. He continued with the Eisenhower foreign policy of attempting to overthrow the dictator Fidel Castro. According to Wikipedia
"On April 17, 1961, Kennedy ordered the previously planned invasion of Cuba to proceed. With support from the CIA, in what is known as the Bay of Pigs Invasion, 1,500 U.S.-trained Cuban exiles, called "Brigade 2506," returned to the island in the hope of deposing Castro. However, Kennedy ordered the invasion to take place without U.S. air support. By April 19, 1961, the Cuban government had captured or killed the invading exiles, and Kennedy was forced to negotiate for the release of the 1,189 survivors. The failure of the plan originated in a lack of dialog among the military leadership, a result of which was the complete lack of naval support in the face of organized artillery troops on the island who easily incapacitated the exile force as it landed on the beach. After twenty months, Cuba released the captured exiles in exchange for $53 million worth of food and medicine. Furthermore, the incident made Castro wary of the U.S. and led him to believe that another invasion would occur."
Also, his handling of the Cuban Missile crisis in 1962 was hailed as a success in diplomacy, but ended the fight against communism in Cuba leaving Castro as dictator clear up to this, the 21st century.
In 1962 Kennedy escalated the Vietnam war by sending 16,000 more troops to the region. Many have argued that if he would have finished his term, he would have ended the war all together. While his Presidency was hawkish at first, there is evidence that he was becoming less so further into his Presidency.
In 1963 JFK gave a speech at the Berlin wall where he says:
"Freedom has many difficulties and democracy is not perfect, but we have never had to put a wall up to keep our people in."
He also sought to contain communism in Latin America where he said:
"those who make peaceful revolution impossible, will make violent revolution inevitable"
Kennedy's domestic policy was called the New Frontier and promised federal funding for education, medical aid for the elderly and an end to racial discrimination, to name a few. His domestic policy is closest to the democratic party agenda today. But, like George W. Bush, he believed in low taxes and in 1963 he proposed tax reform and lowered income taxes to halt the recession that began under the Eisenhower administration. He promoted low interest rates, low taxes and tight fiscal policies to keep the economy growing. Under his Presidency the economy thrived. His conservative fiscal policy gave the country 5.5% growth and only a 1% inflation increase. Industry grew by 15% and auto sales grew by 40%.
President Kennedy was against the death penalty, fought against racial segregation and secured the release of Dr. King from jail. In 1962 he sent 400 federal marshals to accompany James Meredith to the University of Mississippi after the Supreme Court ruled segregation unconstitutional. His achievements in civil rights are the shining stars of his legacy and there are many examples. Suffice it to say that he was a champion of civil rights. This was and is not a democratic ideology, this is a constitutional guarantee.
In November of 1963 in Dallas, Texas, John F. Kennedy was assassinated. Because of his foreign policy and economic ideologies, I consider JFK to be a moderate democrat. So many democrats have turned against his admonition to "ask not" and have moved further left towards socialism and they ask more of what our country can do for them. He also asked what more we can do together for the freedom of man and asked for "HIS blessing and HIS help, knowing God's work here on earth must truly be our own." He was a man of faith and invoked God regularly in his speeches. Times have changed. And isn't it funny that George W. Bush turned out to be so similar in ideology to JFK, but was called a religious nut-job for enacting the same faith in his speeches as Mr. Kennedy. No, liberals you can't claim John Fitzgerald Kennedy as one of your own. But you can claim Teddy, and that doesn't hurt my feelings one bit. He is all yours.
"Let both sides unite to heed in all corners of the earth the command of Isaiah, to...undo the heavy burdens and to let the oppressed go free." I love that he quoted the Bible regularly and wanted freedom for the oppressed, unlike the democrats of today. Democrats today are nothing but ribbon wearers. John F. Kennedy was not a liberal. He was a republican by today's standards and that is just the facts.


namaste said...

what an excellent essay, nik. my how things have changed.

thanks also for posting that great speech by jfk. what a far cry from teddy he was.

you've packed a lot of good info in this post. not that the liberals will read and get it, they won't. but it was edifying to those of us who actually care about facts.

susana said...

Yes, he was a true progressive democrat, looking forward to the future...unlike repubes, who are always digging through their elephant doo-doo trying to rewrite history.

Stop the presses/ Patrick said...

The Communist threat will finally be defeated when this final Communist push from America's left is eliminated within the next two election cycles, just as we predicted back in December of 2008.

Rob said...

Happy Labor Day! Boy, the Dems certainly have voted for "change" when compared to the times of JFK, huh? How would Obama give that same speech now?? "Ask not what your country can do for you..." ...Except take care of your mortgage company, your bank, your clunker car, your health insurance. No need to ASK anymore. The govt will do everything for you, but at a HUGE price. Nice history lesson, Nik.

namaste said...

umm... didn't i leave a comment here? i hate comment moderation. all this because of some crazy unhinged liberal. oiy!

Nikki said...

Hi chickie, I turned it off because I decided it was too comment away! They can comment I can always delete....but I don't have one waiting in moderation, I don't right back. :)

El Cerdo Ignatius said...

Nikki, that was a great follow up to Part I. The sluggish economy during the Eisenhower administration can be pinned on costs associated with the Korean War and on income taxes that were much too high. President Kennedy understood this well. Here is an excerpt from his speech to the Economic Club of New York on December 14, 1962:

We shall ... neither postpone our tax cut plans nor cut into essential national security programs. This administration is determined to protect America's security and survival, and we are also determined to step up its economic growth. And I think we must do both.

Our true choice is not between tax reduction, on the one hand, and the avoidance of large federal deficits on the other. It is increasingly clear that no matter what party is in power, so long as our national security needs keep rising, an economy hampered by restrictive tax rates will never produce enough revenues to balance our budget — just as it will never produce enough jobs or enough profits. Surely the lesson of the last decade is that budget deficits are not caused by wild-eyed spenders but by slow economic growth and periodic recessions, and any new recession would break all deficit records.

In short, it is a paradoxical truth that tax rates are too high today and tax revenues are too low and the soundest way to raise the revenues in the long run is to cut the rates now.

Wow! Did anyone notice that...
1) ...JFK didn't whine about the previous administration's excessive spending? That's because federal spending, which took a huge jump near the end of the Truman administration due to the Korean War, stayed flat for most of the 50s, only rising in the last few years of Eisenhower's second term.
2) ...JFK didn't screech about Eisenhower's modest tax cuts in 1954, claiming outrageously that they created deficits and took food out of the mouths of poor people?
3) ...JFK didn't say the USA couldn't afford tax cuts? No! He said the USA had to cut taxes to make the country work again, AND to increase revenue for the federal government.
4) ...JFK said that restrictive tax rates hamper job creation and economic growth.

When you combine JFK's fiscal approach with his foreign policy toughness, along with his desire to stop the CIA's secret covert wars and put the Agency back under the control of the Executive branch, you have a man who is both a democrat (small-d) and a conservative. I wouldn't call him a Republican, but definitely a conservative. I'm sure he gave his wacky father fits.

Nikki said...

El Cerdo, great info as usual! I love how he didn't belly ache about the previous administration. He understood what needed to be done and did it. What IS best for the country sometimes comes from both parties! :)N