Like almost any American who was alive and old enough to realize what was going on, I remember exactly where I was when John F. Kennedy was assassinated. I was sitting in a classroom when the principal came over the public address system to tell us the terrible news. Even as a young boy I understood how much the President’s death impacted the country.

I was reminded of that the last few days with all of the news coverage of the 50th anniversary of the assassination. America still remembers and loves her fallen hero. But there’s another side to the Kennedy story that we don’t talk about any more.

No, not the conspiracy theories over Kennedy’s death. Those will go one forever, along with the debates about Bigfoot, UFOs, and whether or not Elvis is still alive. I’m talking about that fact that during his campaign and presidency, many Americans hated John F. Kennedy.

Our country wasn’t that far removed from the days when Kennedy’s Irish roots made him seem like a second-class citizen, and there were many who still felt that way even if they would not say it out loud in public. Sound familiar?

When he announced that he planned to run for office, many established politicians said he was too young and didn’t have any experience, that he had never worked for a living and therefore was unsuited for the job. Sound familiar?

There was a lot of controversy over Kennedy’s religion. Many believed that as a Roman Catholic he would take his direction from the Pope and that his first allegiance would be to his religious faith, not the American people. In a press conference in 1960, the candidate said "I believe in an America that is officially neither Catholic, Protestant, nor Jewish…” and there were those who claimed he was saying America was not a Christian country. Sound familiar?

Many in the South hated Kennedy for his support of Civil Rights and believed he courted the Black vote to win the election, and that by naming Lyndon B. Johnson as his running mate, he was sucking up to the Mexican vote along the border. There were claims that many of both the Black and Mexican votes were rigged or made by those not qualified to do so. Sound familiar?

The election itself was very close and Kennedy beat Nixon by less than two tenths of one percentage point in the popular vote, and when Kennedy was announced the winner, many Republicans claimed that the victory was due to voter fraud. Sound familiar?

And things didn’t slow down after Kennedy took office. He selected a mixture of experienced and inexperienced people to serve in his cabinet, saying "We can learn our jobs together" which caused his opponents to claim he was turning the country over to a crew of fools. Sound familiar?

One of his first presidential acts was to create the Peace Corps, in which American volunteers were sent to underdeveloped nations to help them improve their education, health care, and other needed programs. Many said this was a first step toward world socialism. Sound familiar?

Kennedy called his domestic program the New Frontier and it included federal funding to increase medical care for the elderly. His Republican opponents claimed it would turn America into a welfare state. Sound familiar?

His was the first government budget to top the $100 billion mark and people claimed he was bankrupting the nation and squandering our children and grandchildrens’ futures. Sound familiar?

While many civil rights leaders complained that Kennedy was lukewarm to their cause, even as a young boy I remember people calling President Kennedy a nigger lover. Many said his immigration policy was going to turn America into a Third World country. Sound familiar?

By now I know some people reading this are wondering how I dare compare a (now) beloved man like John F. Kennedy with our current President, but if you are one of them, you’re missing my point.

It’s not about comparing the two men or their performance in office. It’s about that fact that if you voted for the other guy, back then or now, no matter what his background is or how he got there it had to be a conspiracy and no matter what the man sitting in the Oval Office does, it must be wrong. Sound familiar?

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63 Comments on Sound Familiar?

  1. Robert Wang says:

    I remember sitting at a campground fire being informed by the likes of some in this dialogue that Obama (this was before his 1st election)would never get in office alive, and they were dead serious and very supportive of the thought-I refer to this group as Militia Mike’s and they have never been open minded about anything political and never will.

    I remember having the same concerns of Kennedy (having been brought up in a very Republican family) and it was real but of course quite misplaced. It was a real end of innocence for this country in many ways, and I’m not sure we have every recovered.

    Ignorance is a scary thing and as exhibited by some responses it still runs rampant relative to the reality of political topics.

    Another great blog and I too had to post it to my facebook page, to good to not spread the dialogue-always a good thing.

  2. Rurallady says:

    It goes back even further. I was old enough to read the newspaper all by myself when I finally learned that “G-d Damn Harry Truman” was not all one word! That’s all I had ever heard him called…

  3. Allan says:

    I was too young to vote for Kennedy but old enough to mourn his passing. I remember the reporting of the assassination and how it struck everyone that I knew with shock and saddness whether they voted for or against JFK. Everyone stayed glued to their black and white tvs to see the funeral and the search for the killer and Oswald and Ruby ordeals. I beleive the Warren Committee botched the investigation but I am not advancing any conspiracy theories. If their is something not yet discovered it will probably be revealed some day. Lee Hanson made some very good observations about JFK and his tax cuts helping the economy and also about our current President. The two are miles apart . We could use some truth, accountability and transparancy that we are not getting from this White House. This is not a racial remark this is fact. It seems like when anyone disagrees with President Obama or his policies they are branded a recist. This is a “red herring”

  4. Fred Hammer says:

    It sounds to me like James, Randy, and Jan all came out of the same mold, just from different sides. Well, as it was said before: Ignorance can be educated; crazy can be medicated; but, there is no cure for stupid.

  5. Jim Roach says:

    Yes, you’re right, Obama is just like Kennedy and Obama is the greatest thing to happen to this country, Enjoy!

  6. Diane says:

    Well Bad Nick has done a great job of stirring the pot, and if we all could look back at his last two Bad Nick’s we could learn a lot. Politicians, many in the Media, and some Corporations have succeeded in divide and conquer. We have those on the right and left (about 30% each) that would not agree with the other side even if one side started talking like the other side did a few years ago. I will give only two examples, but I could give many. In 2006 every Democrat in the Senate voted against raising the U.S. Debt Limit and every Republican voted for it. Jump to 2009 and guess what happen. Somehow every Democrat and every Republican changed their mind and voted the other way. This is the way everything works in Washington. In 2002, a vote on Bush’s drug plan, the House vote, 221 to 208, came after a tumultuous debate on one of the hottest issues in this year’s elections. It largely followed party lines, with 8 Democrats voting for the bill, and 8 Republicans voting against it. The right media (Sean Hannity) pushed for this with the left ( Chris Matthews) against it. This was something the Democrat’s pushed for years yet look how they voted. Republican’s who are against bigger government, and look how they voted. How do you think the vote would have gone in the Clinton or Obama years? If those on the right can’t vote for a McCain or a Mitt Romney then the Democrats are going to stay in the White House for a long time. One last thing to think about (which is what Nick would like us to do I think) Why didn’t the top Republican’s run in the last election. I was born in 1956 and but for Jimmy Carter and the father Bush every party in the White House was reelected for a second term. My guess is they knew that winning was going to be very hard and they didn’t want to be the loser. Sorry if this is long it’s my first time.

  7. Dave W5 says:

    Bad Nick Great one!…
    most of you want to know what is wrong with this country today/ Go back to the beginning of this Blod and read all the pieces in it. As you read take into account the tone of everyone and how at times it escalate and gets personal.
    I am right ,no I am right. As you do this the War goes on and more of your tax dollars gets spent, and we all lose more control of what happens.
    Left or right ( I am in the middle and vote for whom I think will do the best job for the country as a whole without regard to the party they are in)
    As far as people worrying about Kennedy being a Catholic or Romney being a Mormon, if you remember most presidents whatever Religious beliefs they have seem to go see the Pope for guidance (their words not mine) which the media always make a big deal out of as well as other church leaders. Lets see that would be listening to ALL ideas from very smart people from all over the World.
    Interesting, Keep them coming Nick

  8. Gary Boone says:

    John Kennedy inherited a stagnant economy and so he said:

    “It is a paradoxical truth that tax rates are too high and tax revenues are too low and the soundest way to raise the revenues in the long run is to cut the rates now … Cutting taxes now is not to incur a budget deficit, but to achieve the more prosperous, expanding economy which can bring a budget surplus.”

    And:

    “Our tax system still siphons out of the private economy too large a share of personal and business purchasing power and reduces the incentive for risk, investment and effort – thereby aborting our recoveries and stifling our national growth rate.”

    And:

    “A tax cut means higher family income and higher business profits and a balanced federal budget. Every taxpayer and his family will have more money left over after taxes for a new car, a new home, new conveniences, education and investment. Every businessman can keep a higher percentage of his profits in his cash register or put it to work expanding or improving his business, and as the national income grows, the federal government will ultimately end up with more revenues.”

    Sound familiar? ……….Oops.

  9. Barb says:

    Allan, I like your thinking’

    One thing I will say about the present occupant of the White House is, never in my life time has a president spent more time taking credit, some deserved most not, but also blaming a former administration or the opposite party for everything that goes wrong..o. After 5 years in office, own the policies that you have forced on the people. Remember that saying, The buck stops here.
    President Obama never seems to be aware of the things that go wrong. He always (just read or found out about whatever happened) He is either constantly ill informed or has the most inept people surrounding him..Maybe a little of both.

  10. Elizabeth says:

    As much as we might like to place the blame on one man (and he has not been wise in many situations) there is no way he alone could do all that has been done. The more we learn of our leaders, it is a miracle we are as intact a country as we currently are. So long ago, when Israel asked for a king and were given them, GOD warned them it would not be good. And it never has been for very long at a time ever, so far as I know.

    I remember, being about 10 or so when JKF came to office, that my dad objected to him based on his lower morals (esp. where women were concerned). How he knew that then, I am not sure…pre-internet days and all. Some people believe you are not to be trusted if even your wife cannot fully trust you. And THAT is true!! But I do feel JFK was finding some things out that even he could not abide and was going to change them. And he made the mistake of making those thoughts too public apparently. And there may have been other groups out to get him for one reason or another. HOWEVER, when it came to making money, he certainly had had a good teacher in his dad in that dept (tho’ we might not use those same methods). I think part of the problem we have had for awhile in the president’s office is that of people holding it who do not have a business head…and having one could serve the nation well. (I do not have one either…but then I would never try for that office either!!) I do think a lot of the support Obama had was from his presumed race (tho I understand he is really only 16% or so black…many of us are at least that much another race, yet we are not looked at as being anything but white…funny thing…)

    In looking at more recent elections, one wonders if there might have been wisdom in former times in only allowing land owners to vote. When you hear people choosing to vote for a candidate based on his looks!!!!!!!!! Maybe today one should have to pass some kind of intelligence test in order to vote.

    I am curious Nick as to whether you have ever lived for a length of time in an area where Catholics predominate? We did. That was also part of my parents concerns when JFK came to office. When I was a teenager, we lived in a predominantly Mormon area…and thus with that experience, I was not keen on Romney either. Even though I do think he was a better example than maybe some we lived among. The good ones are not problem people. But it is the others…

  11. Steve says:

    Some of the replies here remind me of the old saying:

    Conservatives believe Liberals are simply mistaken, Liberals however believe Conservatives are simply evil….

  12. Steve says:

    Well said Nick…Thanks

  13. will says:

    Not matter what I think about president “it” what gives me comfort is this, the Bible says that God puts leaders into power and He also removes them. Until then, I put my trust in His plans. We think that we are in control but we really aren’t. For those who think they have control really look around. Just one thing can throw your whole life out of control.

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