Friday, November 22, 2013

Could John F. Kennedy Be Elected President in 2016?

Today marks precisely 50 years since the presidency passed, traumatically, from the hands of a man who spoke of the United States as a nation of enterprise and achievement, into the hands of one who immediately set about expanding dependency on government —a path from which no Democrat who has served in the White House since has deviated.

Pretend for a few minutes that JFK had never been elected; that he is now a young Senator from Massachusetts.  Pretend that Lyndon Baines Johnson was elected the thirty-fifth President of the United States in 1960.

Young Senator Kennedy is handsome.  He is engaging, smart and brilliantly articulate.  He has a broad smile, quick wit. His wife is beautiful and captivating.  He has friends in Hollywood and Las Vegas.  He served as a Naval officer during war, was injured, and a book has been written about his heroism.

Senator Kennedy has been making the rounds of Sunday morning talk shows.  He has been making speeches in front of all the right groups.  He has a loosely organized group of advisors and fund raisers who are encouraging him to run for President in the 2016 election.

What we know about him:
Kennedy favors a strong military defense.
Kennedy supports reductions in the Federal income tax rates to help the economy grow and can eloquently explain why that is good for everyone, including the rich.
Kennedy is a devout Catholic and probably pro-life.
Kennedy has bold dreams for America and Americans.  
Kennedy wants America's allies around the world to know that they can depend on America to defend them against  hostile nations.
Kennedy hates communism and the threat of communist countries' expansionism.
 Kennedy believes that Americans should become more reliant on themselves and each other, and less reliant on the Federal government. 
 Kennedy supports federal employees' right to unionize, but not to bargain collectively or to strike.
Pretend that Camelot never happened.  Forget the half-century of Kennedy myth-making.  Could Senator John F. Kennedy win the Democratic Party's nomination next year?  And could he win the presidential election in the America of 2016?

Or would his beliefs render him an outsider?

EDIT:

I'm asking you to transport the JFK of 1960 to the present day, with his beliefs intact, and imagine him making a run for the presidency in 2016.  Could the Kennedy of the 1950s and 1960s be a contender in the presidential primary and general election of 2015-2016?  Or would the beliefs he held then not fit with today's Democratic Party?
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John F. Kennedy's 1960 inaugural speech.

 
 
 

42 comments:

The Dude said...

He's dead.

Michael Haz said...

I missed that. What happened?

Eric the Fruit Bat said...

Not quite sure what point you're trying to make here. If you're saying that Kennedy was a product of his times then I agree.

Eric the Fruit Bat said...

If you're saying that the country sucks then I disagree.

chickelit said...
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Evi L. Bloggerlady said...

JFK would be right of Christ Christie. If he was alive.

chickelit said...

Democrats should realize that they have morphed into a much different party today just as Republicans today are a far different party than Lincoln's party.

I put the blame on the culture of money in D.C. and its inherent corruption of both parties. I know that sounds trite and adds nothing factual. It is nonetheless true.

Karen of Texas said...

No, he wouldn't get the Democrat nod. However, if he sought the Republican nomination, then maybe. Seems to me he articulated a nice conservative vision for this country. Wait. Scratch the RINO, old-boy-network nod, even with daddy's money. Although daddy supposedly had a machine that would rival that Chicago one...

Hagar said...

Daddy did not have a "machine" to rival the Chicago one, but he was a very successful Hollywood producer with really lots of money. He knew what could be done with painted backdrops, smoke, and mirrors, and money in the right places.

AllenS said...

"Ask not what your country can do for you, ask what you can do to keep your insurance, doctor and money."

bagoh20 said...

Yes, he would win in a landslide, and it doesn't matter which party he would run as, but he could only get the Republican nomination. Those positions are what the vast majority of people want when they aren't distracted by the carnival barkers.

virgil xenophon said...

JFK was a life-member of the NRA. That little fact ALONE would have denied him the Donkey Party nomination..

bagoh20 said...
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bagoh20 said...

Progressives, by definition, need to move their political position. When people on the left claim that Reagan could never get the Republican nomination today, they are doing their usual projection, because it's their best leaders from the past who couldn't make it in the Democratic party today, and that goes for every single one of them.

virgil xenophon said...

@Bagoh20/

Oh, Ronnie Ray-Gun could still get the CA Elephant party nomination alright, he just couldn't win the general because the voter mix has, how shall I say this diplomatically, "changed." (PS: LA was a 90% white city as recently as 1970.)

ndspinelli said...

Like most Catholics my parents loved JFK. However, both soured on the Dem party as it made a hard left turn after his death.

bagoh20 said...

The problem for JFK today would be almost entirely from the left. It would be attacks on his wealth, family history, his war on women, and the many binders overflowing, for whom he refused to provide free birth control.

Michael Haz said...

The JFK of the 50s and 60s would be a conservative today, probably a Republican. He would not be able to gain the nomination of his party for the 2016 presidential contest.

He probably couldn't have been elected Senator from Massachusetts, either.

With all of this day's glowing praise for JFK, it's insightful to understand that his party would have rejected his views today.

Ronald Reagan was a Democrat in his younger years, and often said that he didn't leave the Democratic Party as much as the Democratic Party left him.

Trooper York said...

John Kennedy is not as you portrayed him to be. He was an amoral opportunist who simply reflect the consensus of the time. He would be a far left version of his brother Teddy today.

Pretty much Bill Clinton if you want to make a comparison.

Trooper York said...

He made a deal with the mob to get elected. His father was a vile Anti-Semite who was just as big a gangster as Frank Costello back in the day. JFK danced to Daddy's tune. The only reason he stopped is because the old man stroked out and couldn't control him anymore.

That's when Bobby went off the reservation and went after the mob which lead directly to the assassination.

deborah said...

He could win as a Republican.

Aridog said...

El Pollo Raylan said ...

I put the blame on the culture of money in D.C. and its inherent corruption of both parties. I know that sounds trite and adds nothing factual. It is nonetheless true.

It is not trite, and it IS fact. I speak as a denizen of that environment in a prior life....at least it seems like a prior life.

Itty bitty example: It is preci$ely how you, today, right fucking now, have General Dynamic$ as the "Call Center" contractor of Obnamacare.

Nobody was better qualified to operate such a thing? Really? Nonsense. Big fat ID/IQ contract and voila'! ... $$$$ talks, ethics walk.

Aridog said...

A bit OT, but has anyone ever considered the fact that JFK was assassinated a scant three weeks after he authorized the violent over throw of the Diem regime in South Vietnam? Henry Cabot Lodge Jr (R) was part of it, but JFK (D) authorized it. The one where both Diem and his brother Nhu were executed in an APC? The same time period when Madame Nhu, Diem's sister-in-law, was touring the USA, with a fair amount of publicity...and JFK gets shot?

I'm not a conspiracy buff, but I've always wondered? I distinctly thought about it at the time he was killed because on my campus there was considerable debate on the righteousness of the USG/Kennedy involvement in the Diem overthrow and death....and we were mostly leftists, to boot.

Fr Martin Fox said...

Stop it!

Let the man rest in peace.

This fixation on the Kennedys, particularly on President Kennedy, and the anniversary of his death, is so weird.

As another blogger elsewhere said, we usually celebrate great figures by marking their birthdays: Washington, Lincoln, Martin Luther King. Even though Lincoln was assassinated, we don't mark the day of his death, nor King's, nor lots of other public figures who were cut down.

We mark martyrs' death days--but really: Kennedy is a martyr? No.

And anyway, what we're doing isn't about Kennedy; it's all about us. Where was I? What did it mean to me? Everything is so different, blather, blather.

This is sick narcissism and it's not an honor to the President.

Stop it!

Icepick said...

"Friends in Las Vegas."

LMAO!

Kennedy would win today, but why assume he would keep the same proposals for running the country? Any reason to view him as anything other than a huckster? He won the election in 1960 by running to the right of Eisenhower ondegense, claiming that Ike hadn't done enough to keep the country safe. He ran on a missile gap issue that he knew was phony. So did Nixon, who begged Ile to let Nixon state the truth with backing from official sources.

And let's not forget some of the irregularities in the election, in both Chicago and Texas. JFK would run as a Democrat today, on today's Democratic platform, even if you took 1959 Senator Jack and brought him to 2013 via time travel.

Icepick said...

On defense. Damned telephone keyboard....

Aridog said...

Father Martin Fox said ...

This is sick narcissism and it's not an honor to the President.

Who honors him? Those of us who supported him, even before we could vote, discovered he was a disingenuous putz when he deigned to have Diem killed and destined us to defeat.

Screw JFK and his whole corrupt family, who still impugn our society with guys like Michael Skakel, once again a free man.

Aridog said...

Sixty Grit is right..."he's dead."

Only things he ever did noteworthy was fuck Marilyn Monroe and Judith Exner, and both in violation of his vows of marriage. Hero? I don't think so.

Michael Haz said...

Fr: I'm not fixated on JFK; I'm fixated on how much the Dem party has moved to the left since 1960. A candidate who holds the same beliefs today as Kennedy held then could not be elected on a Dem ticket.

Besides, no one wants to read about Spiro Agnew, martyr or not.

Aridog said...

Michael Haz said ...

A candidate who holds the same beliefs today as Kennedy held then ...

As one who was a supporter of JFK at the time, I can tell you the mother fucker had no values what-so-ever...except fucking. His beliefs were solely connected to what made his Johnson feel good...followed by what got him elected.

He'd morph in to the perfect Harry Reid approvable Democrat today I assure you. Fucker had no values...just his dick.

Fr Martin Fox said...

Michael:

I'm not so much reacting to your post, as such, but to the whole November 22 phenomenon, magnified because of the magic number 50.

Seriously, I can't wait until the day when Nov. 22 comes and goes with barely a mention that it's the anniversary of the president's murder.

But that'll happen after the last baby boomer goes to his rest: clutching a mirror, no doubt.

edutcher said...

Kennedy's Catholicism was mostly for public consent.

As for party, he'd be one of those Tea Party wingnuts Ritmo loves so well.

Aridog said...

Father Fox ... I will be absolutely delighted when no one ever mentions a Kennedy again. Period. He and his kind were the beginning of what we have today. 101% hoax and lies.

Meanwhile we have Mz Caroline, who is barely capable of counting to 11 without removing a shoe, as ambassador to Japan.

This corrupt administration is the final gift of the Kennedy clan.

Aridog said...

Oh, and lets settle this once and for all...Kennedy was no more a devout Catholic than Genghis Khan. He was at best a Christmas & Easter Catholic, if that. Calling Kennedy a Catholic is an insult to Catholics everywhere.

AllenS said...

He would be elected today if he ran. He's just be assassinated in a different city.

The Dude said...

Who shot Spiro Agnew? Whoever it was deserves a medal.

ampersand said...
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chickelit said...
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chickelit said...

Kennedy's election was a counterrevolution of sorts. His election signaled an end to the staid and square 1950's which in part were a reaction to four consecutive terms of Democratic rule followed by yet another term of Truman.

Republicans had stalwarts during those lean times -- notably Robert Taft in the Senate -- but Democrats pretty much hated and still do hate what mid-century America stood for (except for their glorious tax rates). To Dems, the 1950s only rhymed with Jim Crow and repression of communism and not with prosperity. Kennedy's anti-communist stance was an enigma and to this day the communism of Oswald is downplayed. Hence a constant need for conspiracies.

Lem said...

Its being overdone as cover for Obama. At least thats what Althouse predicted.

Eric the Fruit Bat said...

I always assumed that Kennedy was offed by the AAHM, the Association of American Hat Makers.

Unknown said...

Thedem party morphed into the anti-JFK.
ask not what you can do for your country... Ask Santa for a welfare, check, the aca, some decline and a tit.