JFK’s United States is as gone as his party

Todd Blodgett, columnist and writer

Todd Blodgett, columnist and writer

John F. Kennedy would’ve been 99 on May 29. Had he lived as long as his mother and grandmother, he’d still be with us. But the America he so proudly served – as a Navy officer in World War II, in Congress and as president – is now a different country.

The lives of many Americans have not been improved by the post-JFK changes; that’s why tens of millions of Americans miss President Kennedy’s USA.

Most post-JFK Democrats don’t see things as he did, which is unfortunate. JFK wisely slashed marginal tax rates on corporate and personal income even more substantially than Ronald Reagan later did. Kennedy also condemned what he called the “confiscatory” property taxes levied by cities and counties.

But how many Democrats feel this way today? He consistently sought a prosperous, united America. On his way to the Dallas speech he never got to make, he was going to propose even more tax cuts. Decidedly anti-communist, Kennedy sagely warned that “we must refuse to accept a cheap, second-best defense.”

Peace through strength was his thing; he said America will “oppose any foe” that acts against freedom. When Russia harbored nuclear missiles in Cuba, JFK forced the USSR to remove them. He ordered a U.S. Navy blockade to “quarantine” (his word) Cuba from the outside world. He backed the Communists off and showed the world not to mess with the United States.

Today’s politically correct Democrats would condemn this, and his opposition to racial quotas. When asked about “job quotas by race,” he replied, “I don’t think quotas are a good idea.” He called it “a mistake to assign quotas on the basis of race, color, religion or nationality.” He warned that “we’d get into … trouble” with them. His own vice president, Lyndon Johnson, complained that Kennedy was “too conservative” for him.