November 2013 marks 50 years since the assassination of President Kennedy. So far, a slew of books, and coming TV shows, movies and documentaries will flood the airwaves, some theaters, and many book shelves. For millions of Americans and people all over the world, we will remember fondly, his time as president and our last time of innocence. Coming out of the 1950s, we were just kids:John F. Kennedy was the first person we remember as president. What a role model.Even now, in 2013, his well known character flaws do not blemish a remarkable ability to inspire people all over the world. His speeches and off the cuff remarks still resonate as well as his incredible sense of humor which is still amazingly reflective. He was truly one of a kind, and this guy was almost the personification of charisma, a word that has been so used and abused over the years to describe so many, otherwise mediocre personalities.
I don't deny the potential oncoming mistakes like Vietnam, it's just that because of what JFK went through with Cuba in 1961 and 1962: he learned that the almighty military and CIA intelligence just wasn't always on the mark. In other words, President Kennedy had witnessed, first hand, military mistakes in situations which alerted him to what may have been more mistakes coming in a place like Vietnam. JFK had learned things the hard way that LBJ had not, hence, facing the oncoming military build-up in Vietnam was something Kennedy was more prepared for, and LBJ simply took the military's word for it. In essence-that was the difference between these two men. I admit, with Kennedy dead, LBJ was the perfect person as "master of the senate", to ensure that Kennedy legislative issues like Medicare, and Civil Rights, passed, into law rather quickly. Perhaps the death of such a beloved president, and the inherent ability of a legislative genius as Lyndon Johnson is what it took to get long delayed bills passed. 100 years since the Emancipation, and it was all accomplished. It was an achievement, but then again, America was quite late granting civil rights for all of its people. Anyone who would disagree with that is a narrow-minded idiot.
We will never see the likes of JFK and his family again. In essence, he and his brother Bobby made a hell of a lot of enemies in a very short time. Bobby Kennedy sought to do what FBI Director Hoover would, or could not do: rid America of organized crime. JFK, even thinking of not going into Vietnam, angered the hawks, the right-wingers, and the military and the CIA who sought to kill commies at every twist and turn (check out the JFK "peace speech" at American University in June 1963).
John F. Kennedy even sought to bind the wounds of everything Cuba towards his last days on earth. Again, another move that angered the status quo of the military and CIA. President Kennedy was more than a good looking-charismatic man who sought the limelight-he was a man on a mission who looked towards a different kind of future where mankind could cohabitate together in greater harmony depsite their beliefs in capitalism or communism. This was blasphemy back in the early 1960s, and frankly, I do believe led to JFK's death, and that of his brother Bobby.
What transpired since November 22nd, 1963 has not been pretty. A breakdown of the American family; the beginning and constant drug culture; a new era of violence including serial killers and mass murders including the slaughter of children, and a massive gun culture where getting a gun by any moron is as easy as obtaining a joint of marijuana. We've failed at achieveing JFK's "we can do better" ideal of becoming a better nation. Yes we are still perhaps the greatest nation on earth, but we can obviously do better. In the end, this November is a perfect time to look back at where we once were, what we lost, and what we can still achieve. We obviously cannot always count on the inspiring leadership of any one man like John F. Kennedy, but we can look back and recall the instincts of what the idea and ideals of what this nation is supposed to be. Let's trim the fat, seek an economy that avails opportunity for all, and make liberty at home a reality and do what we can for the rest of the world without imposing our will on everybody else. We really can do better.