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Death of President Kennedy Emblematic of Those Times-But Points to Greater Tragic Legacy

Reader comment on item: Lee Harvey Oswald's Malign Legacy
in response to reader comment: Vietnam not Oswald

Submitted by M. Tovey (United States), Nov 26, 2007 at 15:09

The nineteen sixties were indeed a water shed time for America, and a time where the post war mentalities were ripe for shattering. After WWII, the cold war had developed and built itself into a daily cognizance of wariness, watching for any new attempt of the pervasive evil of communism (which equals liberalism to some) to enter into the minds of the uniformed populaces of the world. The release of nuclear technology from the secret places of the winning allied powers to other powers, purportedly for the equalization or balance of such power brought this world into a place that it had been only once before, its complete destruction, or so it is thought. The better-known confrontation in this time was the standoff over Cuba. Then President Kennedy played chicken with Premier Khrushchev, finally forcing the Soviet Union to retreat from the threat of nuclear confrontation. This was a precursor to subsequent face-offs, but it still stands alone for the brinksmanship displayed. The question posed at that time by this reader, who was in grade school then, why were people acting this way?

Then came the death of President Kennedy. Never had this reader seen the emotion there was, from the grade teacher who sobbed openly as she dismissed class for the rest of the day, to the shocked parents sitting glued to the television to get whatever clips of detail that might be used to make sense of it all in order to explain it to us kids. It never did, nor does it now, make sense based on the published data. Only in a later viewing of the Zapruder film is there some perception of what happened, but the conclusion this reader has come to does not, nor will it ever follow the conventional, or otherwise unconventional thinking surrounding the death of this president. This will not be elaborated on here, for it is not the central point to be made here, except to say that Oswald does not deserve to claim the legacy, nor does it lay solely at his feet. It took some time to provide this perspective, as the idea of giving Oswald any credit for the current political malaise seemed too simplistic.

The premise of James Pierson's writing, a proposition that only the death of President Kennedy by Mr. Oswald is principal reason for a legacy of shattered liberalism, is a limited one. In an extract from another review of the book, we read, "the Kennedy assassination, he (Piereson) argues, is a case study in public myth-making and the ways in which images and symbols can override fact and substance in political life. While it can be argued to a point that the Democratic Party has never really recovered from that event, it is a mistake to think this is the only reason. As a nation, traumatic as the assassination was, this country was already on the road to its loss of the greatness achieved in World War Two, for reasons too few are willing to acknowledge.

The assassination is a result of a more damaging series of circumstances besieging America. If one were to make an assertion that liberalism was successful in changing the direction the Country was heading, the conclusion to be drawn from a wider perspective might be that liberalism hit an iceberg of reality at that moment and has been foundering ever since. But the liberal Democratic Party, whether in centrist form or more radicalized as seen today, is not solely responsible for the drifting of America, nor is the assassination the sole cause in terms of giving it a legacy. The cause can be traced to the very roots of American democracy, where as a fledgling republic was filling her sails for the voyage to a new future, the winds of sedition were already blowing towards the iceberg and strong minds were necessary to keep her course true.

The basis for America's travails over the decades and centuries is the fight over the desire to create a nation of liberties, and at the same time prevent abuse of those liberties by enemies of freedom. It was generally agreed to by the country's founders, mostly Christians and deists, that in order to preserve the original integrity and intent of the country's founding, people of like-minded thinking as theirs were to be placed in office. Otherwise, the original intent would be diluted with replacement and outright contradictory thinking. This culminated in taking a statement, written to respond to a specific situation of the older times, pulling it out of context and developing it into a dogma contrary to the national welfare.

The final act following this line of errant thinking resulted in the elimination of Divine influences in the governing of this nation. Failing to adhere to the principles of the Holy Bible and depriving public expressions of desire to follow those principles, as they were taken away by the United States Supreme court in the early nineteen sixties, was that iceberg. There were plenty of warnings, Lincoln's death, Garfield's, McKinley's all telling of the dangers ahead. After that iceberg decision of the court, the death of President Kennedy was the flare shot into the sky to declare we were in major trouble. That is the real legacy of disaster we are facing, Vietnam and other American misadventures being emblematic, because the American political agencies are failing to recognize the true predicament we are in and her people are being shouted down.

It seems now, there are few, if any lifeboats with the truth left, and even so, no one seems to be left to fill them

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