Recently some Kennedy has died and it has been front page all over the news and resulted in me getting irritated because there is no president more over rated or sensationalized than JFK.
The son of the manipulative, despicable, bootlegger Joseph Kennedy, JFK was groomed for the presidency after his elder brother died in World War 2. His father, an ambassador to England who had supported appeasing Hitler, used his political pull to have Kennedy given an award for bravery, then afterwards, his connections with William Randolph Hearst were used to keep Kennedy in the news and public spot light. While he was in the Senate he served infrequently due to chronic back ailments, surgery, and illness, but was there long enough to appease southern Democrats who opposed Civil Rights legislation, support family friend Joseph McCarthy, and win a Pulitzer prize for a book about Senatorial integrity that he did not write.
Narrowly elected President because of his charm, looks, and because he ran against an ogre; Kennedy gave an inspiring inaugural speech about fighting for democracy and human rights at home and abroad, then spent his entire administration doing the exact opposite. Planning a disastrous and humiliating invasion of the independent and (at that point) free nation of Cuba to reinstall a puppet dictator, Kennedy continued to bolster America’s reputation as a sponsor of global fascism, letting the despicable regimes of the Soviet Union and Communist China win propaganda points amongst the oppressed third world with an undeserved reputation for supporting people’s revolution. JFK also had a penchant for assassinating foreign leaders whose policies he didn’t care for, and he brought the world to the brink of nuclear annihilation by forcing an issue with the Soviets over nuclear missiles in Cuba to the public eye so that he could make up for his Bay Of Pigs fiasco, and ended up conceding missile bases in Turkey to make the Russians disarm Cuba, which he could have done without the battleships and nuclear blustering.
Personally, because of his constant back pain and sickness, Kennedy was consistently and heavily dosed with prescription pain killers, and methamphetamine. Much has also been made of his infidelity, and while the Lamp is pretty sexually liberated, there is a difference between being in an open relationship, and humiliating your spouse. Constantly cheating on Jackie Kennedy with various women was not even a secret during his time in office, it was common knowledge. Secret service agents complained to their bosses Kennedy would not allow them to search women he was fucking, and that he was bringing them two at a time into the pools or showers of the White House and they had to keep Mrs. Kennedy away. He would leave parties to go into the next room to bang out some broad, then return to the party (and his wife) as if nothing had happened.
His sexual proclivities pale in comparison to his foreign policy. Kennedy was also responsible for the biggest disaster in American history, the war in Vietnam, which his escalation and funding turned into a major war. “We don’t have a prayer of staying in Vietnam. Those people hate us. They are going to throw our asses out of there at any point. But I can’t give up that territory to the communists and get the American people to re-elect me”. Thus 1,500,000 Vietnamese soldiers, civilians, and children and 50,000 Americans were condemned to die in a war he knew was wrong so that JFK could be elected to serve a second term.
Which he would’ve, had he not been assassinated by Lee Harvey Oswald. Had he not been driving in an open car, down an open street, in a hostile state armed to the teeth, and lived to see the remainder of his policies pan out, history would remember JFK as one of the worst in history, the way it now remembers LBJ, who got the shit end of Kennedy’s stick. Vietnam blood would be on his hands, as well as the recession he missed, and his administrations failed attempts to do anything about civil rights except pay the millions of disenfranchised blacks the barest of lip service.
His brother Robert took up the mantle of the Kennedy legacy, and I think his death was what cemented the legacy into stone. While also a philanderer, and child of unimaginable privilege, and something of a bullying asshole; of every Kennedy who has ever been in the public eye (except maybe JFK Jr.) he seemed to be a decent human being who wanted to do good. I don’t agree with many of his ridiculous progressive principles, but he was pugnacious, blunt, and supported mostly moral causes. When he was killed by an Islamic terrorist the family officially became deified, and not many have ever looked back to question why, even though the Kennedy’s peaked with him.
After Robert’s death nothing was ever accomplished by the Kennedy family again. Watching a bio of Ted Kennedy, I almost felt bad for him, because against what his elder brothers did, he stood no chance. The Fredo Corleone of the clan, Teddy liked to drink and have a good time, which he did, when he drove off a bridge by ‘accident’ with a young lady in the car. Ted left the car, swam to shore, went to his hotel, complained about the noise from a party, went to sleep, read the paper, then called his lawyer and finally the police to tell them what had happened. The girl died, though not instantly as the car had a large air pocket in it. She died after a few hours. Probably when Ted was getting out of the shower and settling down for bed.
Crippled politically by a manslaughter charge that was swept under the rug, Ted could not really hope to be President, and so instead just became a long standing senator, the model of a career political goon grown fat on the system.
Every other Kennedy offspring has seemed to me to be completely unremarkable, except in their last name and unearned family wealth. JFK Jr. might have been handsome, intelligent, and kind; but replace his name and take away his millions, he was no different than hundreds of thousands of others. The clan now seems to only make the news when another member dies, or is arrested for rape, or is caught using drugs, making the behavior of the Kennedy group now no different than any other trust fund family, whose star and talent dimmed generations ago. So why does the press insist on creating royal lineage for someone who died 50 years ago?
So they can sell the stories, and that is made easier by continuously perpetuating that idea that the Kennedy name represents some felled American dream that the Kennedy’s in fact never represented. The Kennedy’s represent the exact opposite of the American dream. Cronyism, political maneuvering, high level corruption, and unnecessary wars and violence. They don’t represent equality, or social progressives, or freedom. There are, and were, people who worked harder than any Kennedy ever could to promote actual equality, and actual freedom world wide, but they weren’t handsome or Presidents so you never hear about them.