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Massachusetts Liberal

Observations on politics, the media and life in Massachusetts and beyond from the left side of the road.

Saturday, November 26, 2011

JFK Remembered

Out-of-town guests, a beautiful day and an historic date added up to one thing yesterday: a trip to the John F. Kennedy Library. And it ended with a question: how did it all go so wrong?

Roam the exhibit halls and you are reminded of heady times, a young, dynamic Massachusetts politician with an appealing message of social justice and uncertain foreign policy credentials taking the reins. Toss in an attractive wife and a couple of kids and well, you get the picture.

Kennedy was tests the foreign policy arena were many: the misguided Bay of Pigs invasion; Khrushchev in Vienna and again in Cuba. For anyone who recalls the 13 days of October in 1962, terror has a second meaning from the one we have today.

Then there was the domestic front, with the battles in the South over the integration of the universities of Mississippi and Alabama and the bold, appalling declaration of that generation's Tea Party leader, George Corley Wallace:
"Segregation now, segregation tomorrow, segregation forever."
The overwhelming emotion I carried out of that library was anger. How could we have regressed to the point where we are today, where birthers won't quit, where a call for humanity toward immigrants is met with disdain and derision? Where the forces opposed to growth are calling for a rollback of a law that took millions of seniors out of poverty?

To many, it all started on Nov. 22, 1963.

Yes Kennedy and his brothers were far from perfect. But what they stood for and what they tried to accomplish for this nation are worthy of remembrance -- and praise.

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3 Comments:

Anonymous Anonymous said...

( No need to remind you Wallace was a Dem.) Here's my favorite quote from JFK "Lower rates of taxation will stimulate economic activity and so raise the levels of personal and corporate income as to yield within a few years an increased not reduced flow of revenues to the federal government" Budget message to congress Jan 17 1963.

November 28, 2011 5:15 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

We have to be reminded of the tax environment when Kennedy made that statement. Tax rates were significantly higher than they are now, or even when Reagan was president. By the implied logic, we should drop tax rates to near zero, then sit back and enjoy the nirvana that would follow as tax revenue went through the roof from the increased economic activity.

November 28, 2011 9:36 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Then what's Barack saying about the payroll tax? Or is he pandering for votes.

November 28, 2011 11:05 AM  

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