Political Wrangling

Posted by Terry Martin on March 12, 2016 at 1:25 PM




In the Political Ideology thread at EdForum, I have trouble following the rather vague definitions bandied about for "right" and "left" and the blending or melding of the same in the political landscape.


Bottom line, I cannot understand how Jim Di equates what Bernie is saying with the ROKC's stance on H&L. It seems a comment completely out of left field. If there was a connection, it is lost on me.


Plus, in my opinion, none of them seem to have a firm grasp of the politics in 1960. Especially in Texas.


The Republicans in Texas had a deep abiding distrust for Kennedy primarily because he was from a wealthy New England family with Mafia ties. It was known that the Mafia bankrolled his campaign.


To top it off, he selected LBJ as his running mate and we already thought the fellow was tarnished by the Billy Sol Estes dealings and other scandals.


As far as being non-conspiracy theorists, I was weaned on CT by the feminine side of my family who were Republican and rabid conspiracists.


Only nine at the time of the election, I was leader of the young Republican caucus at my school and we were solidly behind Nixon and were sad when Kennedy beat him.


When the Bay of Pigs happened, it was just more politics. When the Cuban Missile Crisis took us to the brink of WW III (and we thought it was imminent). it was just more of the same old politics as we were used to.


The turning point for me was the U. S. Steel crisis. Most people today do not even see it on the map but at the time, it was monumental to many of us.


Suddenly, the son of wealth and corporate power was battling against corporate greed. It was unheard of.


Perhaps there was more politics behind it than my young mind could absorb but it was the first glimmering of something resembling hope.


Looking closer, I saw Kennedy also empowering his brother to go after the Mafia, the same group that supposedly put him in power. Who bites the hands that feed him? Not an intelligent man, one would assume, but perhaps one with a lot more savvy than most gave him credit for.


By the time of the assassination, I had seen Kennedy begin to open relations with Russia, start to turn around diplomatic relations in Africa, and try to enthuse the populace with the idea that we did matter and we could go anywhere we wanted, like to the Moon within the decade.


It was unlike any other Presidency I had ever studied.


But then it ended.


We felt a glimmer of its return when Bobby announced his candidacy but again the magic was so quickly snuffed out.


The naysayers can talk of policy and numbers but in history it really is the intangibles that matter more than a hill of beans. The earnest wellspring of hope that seemed to come into its own before JFK was assassinated repeatedly and his legacy tarnished.


I lived through it and remember the bright future dashed into darkness for all time.


Talk of right and left is really meaningless within the context of world-changers and John Kennedy was precisely that. That is why, when after a mere thousand days on the world stage, every nation in the world cried out in anguish at his passing and every one of those nations issued postage stamps in an effort to remember what he had given.


And here we can only speak of his time with us in terms of politics.




Irving Wallace was researching a novel while Kennedy was in office and he had the opportunity to stay at the White House for a time to do his research. With Kennedy's death, Wallace had to move on and spent a vast amount of time re-writing his novel.


It was published as THE MAN. It did not deal with Kennedy or his policies but it did show in glaring light the way the government works, the balancing of powers between the branches and the undue influence the CIA exerts over the Executive and how mundane practices can become weaponized.


The novel draws heavily on Kennedy's volume PROFILES IN COURAGE, directly and indirectly, and seems a bit of a tongue-in-cheek analysis of what they did to Kennedy.


That may just be my own personal opinion of the work - not Wallace's - but it does seem to answer a few questions.


I am no prophet. I cannot say what the present would have been had JFK lived, but I cannot think it would be the same world we see today. Once the hawks had their way over his corpse, they have continued to hold such sway. Had such advantage not been gained thereby, they would not be the power-mongers we see today with the elements of the CIA ruining nations around the world.


Perhaps some of the doubters are right and the present would only have been delayed by a dozen years - once both Kennedys had moved on from the Presidency - but that is to disregard the intangibles of Kennedy's legacy. The soil that grows such rabid weeds would not have existed.


But of course, JFK did not live and neither did RFK. The cycle that brought this present world into being was already working in 1963 (and before) and both Kennedys' deaths were a matter of course.


They were considered nothing more than weeds in the cultivators' fields already planning the continual wars of the twenty-first century. An anomalous rose or two among the crap that merely needed to be snipped in the bud.


Roses of any number of names.



Categories: GENERAL

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Reply Hasan Yusuf
9:35 PM on March 12, 2016 
"It was known that the Mafia bankrolled his campaign."

What actually proof is there of this? I admire JFK for a number of reasons, but first and foremost, I admire him for preventing a nuclear war during the Cuban missile crisis.
Reply Goban Saor
5:34 PM on March 15, 2016 
Thank you for that most eloquent piece of writing, Terry.
Reply Jake
1:13 PM on April 2, 2016 
Great writing Terry.
Reply Lee Farley
6:12 AM on May 22, 2016 
Terry, I watched a recent interview with Mikhail Gorbachev on Russia Today this week. He was very critical of Putin and also very disappointed that his Perestroika and Glasnost initiatives were not finished. He talked in terms of the United States needing its own Perestroika and how, after the Berlin Wall fell in 1989 and the Soviet Union collapse in 1991, the U.S. just continued with the same domination policy and the same pre1989 mentality.

The most interesting thing in the interview was he invoked the memories of John Kennedy and Dwight D. Eisenhower and spoke of them very positively. He talked about Eisenhower's warning of the Military Industrial Complex and how this war economy is the firmly cemented culture in the U.S. that they cannot live without. He said that Kennedy was the only President who did actually want to change the relationship with the Soviet Union and he understood that partnership was the only way forward, that it was "...peace for everyone or no peace at all", rather than the impossible and highly divisive policy of "pax-Americana."

Quite interesting interview with one of the 1980's and 1990's most influential politicians.
Reply Terry Martin
10:43 AM on May 22, 2016 
Thanks for the link, Lee.

It is strange that Gorbachev's vision - in many ways similar to that of JFK - has been trampled under the continued US rise to empire. I think Putin came to power to continue the cold war (and the possibility of continual war) and is probably there by the forces-that-be in Langley.

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