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What Was It About JFK?

accomplished little, aspired to little, but perhaps the best public speaker of his time

This is Dark Cloud on Wednesday, December 01, 1993.

Possibly nothing makes the Baby Boom generation look more ridiculous in the eyes of the young than its fascination with the assassination of JFK. Reduced to comparison with Elvis sightings, the assassination buffs get so caught up in detail, they miss the larger points.

The problem, of course, is motivation. JFK had come to power with bought votes from Mayor Daley's Chicago and had as a platform that the Republicans had gone militarily soft, and so there was a missile gap. JFK put troops in Vietnam and christened the Green Berets. He had become a war hero because of monumental incompetence. He parked a speedy, maneuverable PT boat in the middle of a smooth sea, and did not hear or see a Japanese destroyer that soon split his ship in two. Nobody, then or since, can explain this ludicrous event. In any event, JFK was far more inclined to support and build up the marshal forces out of his insecurities not helped by the fact that the FBI was fully aware of his affair with Inga Arvid, a Nazi spy, when Kennedy was in Naval Intelligence. The theory JFK would have backed away from combat in Vietnam is hallucinatory.

In any event, the supposed beneficiary, Lyndon Johnson, was surrounded by people he hated, the Kennedy brain trust, and he was far more socially liberal than Kennedy, who would have had to take a restorative if someone had explained the Great Society programs of his successor. The Oliver Stone theorem is silly on its face.

When I went to Dealy Plaza in 1976, the first thing you note is how small it is, how easy the shots would be. The quick decision of Oswald to kill is explainable when you see what he saw, how easy it would be.

In the age of computers, the magic bullet theorem has proven not only possible, but likely. There are no inconsistencies. The Warren Report is correct in all major areas.

Combined with the utterly worthless testimony of eye witnesses, remembering key details two decades after the fact, it’s pretty hard to argue with conclusion that Oswald acted alone.

JFK's legacy is a fragile one; he accomplished little and aspired to little. But he did something no President since Lincoln did, not even FDR. He appealed to what Lincoln called the better angels of our nature. When he spoke - and spoke far better than any President since - he made you feel we were all engaged in noble endeavor for high purpose. When he was killed no one could replace that, and a self absorbed generation found itself sweating in obscurity, with no clear leader in anything. That we were so child like, so stupid, was not apparent in our hero worship, and it is impossible to recall the situations that gave rise to the worship of the President. It is something I can not recall for you; I can only assure you it is true.