Tuesday, November 22, 2011
History and Future of Liberalism: The Effects that the JFK Assassination had on the Democratic Party
There so many reasons why the JFK Assassination was a tragedy, first that it was an assassination of what could've been a great man. It was the assassination of a President in the prime of his life. With such a great upside and it showed how vulnerable our Leaders can be and to a certain extent shut them off from the public. Giving them less access to the people they serve and pay their salary's. But just from a political perspective, it was a tragedy for American Liberalism and the Liberal Democratic Movement. Jack Kennedy to me as a Liberal Democrat, is the closest thing to what we have. That Conservative Republicans have in Ron Reagan, he's the best Leader we've ever produced as Liberals and Liberal Democrats. Some might say that person is FDR but Franklin Rossevelt was a mixed package politically. Liberal on Foreign Policy sure, he was clearly a Liberal Internationalist on Foreign Policy. But he was a Democratic Socialist on Economic Policy with the New Deal and everything else. And a at least borderline Neoconservative on National Security with the Detainment Camps of German, Italian and Japanese Americans. That sorta thing would not be tolerated today for the most part, it wouldn't surprise me if George W Bush and his Neoconservatives were inspired by FDR. When they decided to detain all of these detainee's from the War on Terror at Guantanamo Bay Prison. FDR basically introduced BIg Government to America when before that we were a Small Government country. So for me Jack Kennedy is the Leader of American Liberalism and our inspiration.
Jack Kennedy clearly was big believer and Individual Liberty and Limited Government and saw 70 and 90% Tax Rates as way too high. In a Liberal Democracy, which is why he sent a large Tax Cut plan up to Congress. Early in his Administration that President Johnson got signed into law. President Kennedy was a Liberal Internationalist on Foreign Policy and believed that American Foreign Policy should be limited. Which would explain his reluctance in getting us involved in the Vietnam War. Had President Kennedy been reelected, we would've seen eight years of a Liberal Democratic Presidency would've looked like. And I don't believe we would've seen American Troops involved in the Civil War in Vietnam. But the other issue with JFK dying and LBJ becoming President, is that President Johnson was able to push Civil Rights through Congress, especially in the Senate. With a lot of help from Leader Mike Mansfield and Minority Leader Everett Dirksen. Something I doubt President Kennedy would've been able to do at least in his first term. Maybe in his second term with a lot of help from Vice President Johnson and the other two men I mentioned. So the JFK Assassination was horrible in a lot of ways but it did open up a big door for Civil Rights. With Lyndon Johnson becoming President.
The JFK Assassination clearly had a major impact on the Democratic Party and it effected liberalism as well. And also opened up another door for Democratic Socialism. It effected liberalism because of the Civil Right Movement and the laws that President Johnson was able to pass in those areas. With the Civil Rights Act of 1964, Voting Rights Act in 1965 and the Fair Housing Law in 1968. But it also opened a new door for Democratic Socialism in America with the creation of the Great Society. With Medicare, Medicaid, Job Core, Public Housing, Federal Aid to Education and other laws.