It is pointed out, even by the school of political thought least anxious to associate itself with low taxes, that JFK called for tax reduction — which he did, though it was left to Lyndon Johnson to consummate the proposal. Civil Rights is adduced, and it is true that Mr. Kennedy came eloquently to the cause — after hearing Martin Luther King give his great speech, and weighing the implications of it. He arrived finally (sooner than I did) to the cause of equality under the law, but was a recruit to it, spurred by others. It was only in the summer of his last year that he turned to the subject of a Civil Rights Bill. In Vietnam, he engaged the Communist aggressors intending two things, the first, to abide by George Kennan’s long-standing doctrine of Containment, the second, to challenge the evaluation of him by Khrushchev as a “pygmy.” That was the character reading by Khrushchev, who proceeded, after their personal encounter in Vienna, to build the Berlin Wall, and to send missiles to Cuba. Maybe, if Kennedy had lived, he’d have reversed the course he took in Vietnam, adopted by his successor, Lyndon Johnson, who continued to press the doctrine of containment. But it is asking too much, at eulogy time, to compliment a dead man on the grounds that you feel certain he’d have proceeded, if he had lived, to undo what he did when alive. I can think of any number of reforms I would myself undertake, after I am dead.
What I said to the interviewer was that the legacy of John F. Kennedy is his sheer . . . beauty. I have visited yurts in Mongolia, adobe huts in Mexico, and rural redoubts in Turkey and seen framed pictures of John F. Kennedy. He was all-American, splendid to look at, his expression of confident joy in life and work transfiguring. Add to this that he was slaughtered, almost always a mythogenic act, and what we came to know about the awful physical afflictions he suffered, making his appearances as a whole, vigorous man, the equivalent of seeing FDR rise from his wheelchair and play touch football.
That is why JFK is worshipped, which word exactly describes the attitude we have toward him.
Through much of the last month, the American people have been treated to a version of the emotional and ideological argument that’s dominated the American academy for much of the last ten years. The argument goes something like this: Women rarely lie about rape. Thus, the failure of criminal or civil justice ... Read More
Using “white men” as a putdown is no longer extreme enough for the Left. Now it is moving on to doing the same for “white women.” How rapidly this transpired. It was less than two years ago that the approximately 98.7 percent of white women working in media who were openly rooting for Hillary Clinton ... Read More
We were not supposed to have made it this far. George Orwell saw night descending on us in 1984. Orwell was, on paper, a radical, but in his heart he was an old-fashioned English liberal. He dreamed of socialism but feared socialists. He feared them because he knew them. I was in the sixth grade in 1984, but I ... Read More
Hillary Clinton insisted that the sexual-assault allegations against her husband are nothing like the accusations that have been levied against Brett Kavanaugh -- suggesting that Bill’s accusers are not examples of victims who must be believed as part of the #MeToo movement. “There’s a very significant ... Read More
‘When they go low” . . . that’s where they are sure to find Eric Holder. Sometimes, the former attorney general is excusing hard-Left, unrepentant, anti-American FALN separatists by helping a Democratic president spring them from imprisonment for their terrorist crimes. Sometimes, he is helping a ... Read More
The media’s treatment of Texas Democratic candidate Beto O’Rourke wasn’t the most egregiously unfair coverage of the past year -- that would be the treatment of Brett Kavanaugh -- but it ranks among 2018’s most annoying. The endless glowing profiles of O’Rourke in every publication from Vanity Fair to ... Read More
Dear Reader (Even those of you who didn’t seem to notice or care that I failed to file this “news”letter on Friday), So I’m sitting here at Gate C6 at O’Hare waiting for my flight home. I am weary, pressed for time, in desperate need of a shower, and filled with a great sense of dread for the work ... Read More