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The Speech That JFK Never Gave
In view of the similarities that I see between Dwight Eisenhower and Barack Obama in style and substance (and that they are exemplars of the best sort of Reactive leader, the mature Reactive who acts calmly and without anger, we can contrast their successors. Kennedy follows Eisenhower, and Trump follows Obama, which makes the difference between Eisenhower being near-great and Obama only above average.

On November 22, 1963 President John F. Kennedy was to deliver a luncheon speech to the Dallas Citizens Council. As we all know, the speech was never given as the president was struck down by an assassin’s bullet just minutes before his scheduled arrival.

But what is amazing about that speech is that JFK had a vision—maybe a premonition—about the toxic future of America.

Remember, that the day the President landed in Dallas—at Love Field, of all places—there were ads in the local papers, placed by right-wing extremists, draped like funeral announcements, “welcoming” the President of the United States to Texas. This is hardly surprising because, after all, UN Ambassador, and former presidential candidate, Adlai Stevenson was physically assaulted in Dallas only weeks before. In retrospect, what we were actually witnessing at the time was the birth of the Alt-Right movement in American politics.

And looking back at Kennedy’s undelivered speech it seems that the president, eerily, looked ahead more than half-a-century to the time of Trump.

One of the trademarks of Trump is how “easy” it will be to change things. Obamacare overhaul would be simple—until it wasn’t: “Nobody knew healthcare could be so complicated,” proclaimed a stunned Trump. Tax cuts, too, would be simple. The budget would be simple. Thus far, with total Republican control of the government, Trump’s “easy” agenda is on life-support. Perhaps he should have listened to Kennedy, a man who knew the complexities of a complex world.

Kennedy knew there were no “simple” solutions.

“This Nation’s strength and security are not easily or cheaply obtained,” said Kennedy’s speech, “nor are they quickly and simply explained. There are many kinds of strength and no one kind will suffice.”

Trump and his surrogates—especially the “SNL”-maligned press secretary Sean Spicer—are currently bragging about the success of his trip to the Middle East and Europe. This bragging sounds a lot more like whistling past the graveyard. In Saudi Arabia, one of the most oppressive regimes in the world, there was not a peep out of Trump about human rights. After leaving the Middle East—so he thought—and arriving in Israel, he admitted, standing next to the Israeli Prime Minister, that he had told the Russians secrets that had been supplied to the U.S. by Israeli intelligence. A great start to the greatest foreign trip in the history of the U.S. presidency.

His Chevy Chase-inspired “The President’s National Lampoon’s Vacation” continued on European soil where he arm-wrestled with the French President, insulted the Germans, and generally played the stereotype of the boorish American tourist by pushing the new prime minister of Montenegro out of the way so he could get his mug in the center of a photo-op.

Trump’s foreign policy is defined by its chaos. Here’s what JFK’s speech was to say that day about foreign policy in a dangerous world:

“Ignorance and misinformation can handicap the progress of a city or a company, but they can, if allowed to prevail in foreign policy, handicap this country’s security. In a world of complex and continuing problems, in a world full of frustrations and irritations, America’s leadership must be guided by the lights of learning and reason – or else those who confuse rhetoric with reality and the plausible with the possible will gain the popular ascendancy with their seemingly swift and simple solutions to every world problem.”

Much more here at Irish Central
The ideal subject of totalitarian rule is not the convinced Nazi or the dedicated Communist  but instead the people for whom the distinction between fact and fiction, true and false, no longer exists -- Hannah Arendt.

JFK was wiser than the men around him, and unfortunately LBJ inherited the men around him, without their wise leader.
"I close my eyes, and I can see a better day" -- Justin Bieber

Keep the spirit alive;
Eric M
(09-20-2017, 12:01 PM)Eric the Green Wrote: JFK was wiser than the men around him, and unfortunately LBJ inherited the men around him, without their wise leader.

His cabinet was full of very intelligent men with plenty of knowledge, but, as you noted, they lacked the wisdom to use either constructively.
Intelligence is not knowledge and knowledge is not wisdom, but they all play well together.

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