It's time to take a second look at JFK

We remember the 54th anniversary of President Kennedy's assassination this week. 

There is something about President Kennedy's legacy, as Alan Brinkley wrote a few years ago:

President Kennedy spent less than three years in the White House. His first year was a disaster, as he himself acknowledged. The Bay of Pigs invasion of Communist Cuba was only the first in a series of failed efforts to undo Fidel Castro’s regime. His 1961 summit meeting in Vienna with the Soviet leader Nikita Khrushchev was a humiliating experience. Most of his legislative proposals died on Capitol Hill.

Yet he was also responsible for some extraordinary accomplishments. The most important, and most famous, was his adept management of the Cuban missile crisis in 1962, widely considered the most perilous moment since World War II. Most of his military advisers – and they were not alone – believed the United States should bomb the missile pads that the Soviet Union was stationing in Cuba. Kennedy, aware of the danger of escalating the crisis, instead ordered a blockade of Soviet ships. In the end, a peaceful agreement was reached. Afterward, both Kennedy and Khrushchev began to soften the relationship between Washington and Moscow.

He is extremely popular overseas, but the reasons are vague.  No one can give you a specific reason or accomplishment. 

They love him in Latin America, perhaps for the Peace Corps.

His impact in U.S. politics is huge, and I would recommend Dr. Sabato's book, The Kennedy Half-Century: The Presidency, Assassination, and Lasting Legacy of John F. Kennedy.  Every modern Democrat embraces Kennedy.

For the record, Cuban-Americans are not among JFK fans, primarily because of the Bay of Pigs.  Nevertheless, I recognize his amazing appeal and have often wondered when history will look at back at him with more objectivity.

For example, many Democrats want to pin Vietnam on LBJ and civil rights on JFK.  The truth is more complicated, because secretary of state Dean Rusk and secretary of defense Robert S. McNamara (from the Kennedy Cabinet) were there for the escalation in Vietnam that started in 1965.

So how long will this "sainthood" of President Kennedy continue?  Or are we finally going to get a more objective view?

Maybe it will start now as more allegations of sexual misconduct come out against politicians.  It's obvious that President Kennedy had a problem with women, too.

My bottom line is that President Kennedy should be viewed as a politician and not as a saint, as he has been for 50-something years.

Again, I think it will start soon, and that's necessary.

PS: You can listen to my show (Canto Talk) and follow me on Twitter.

We remember the 54th anniversary of President Kennedy's assassination this week. 

There is something about President Kennedy's legacy, as Alan Brinkley wrote a few years ago:

President Kennedy spent less than three years in the White House. His first year was a disaster, as he himself acknowledged. The Bay of Pigs invasion of Communist Cuba was only the first in a series of failed efforts to undo Fidel Castro’s regime. His 1961 summit meeting in Vienna with the Soviet leader Nikita Khrushchev was a humiliating experience. Most of his legislative proposals died on Capitol Hill.

Yet he was also responsible for some extraordinary accomplishments. The most important, and most famous, was his adept management of the Cuban missile crisis in 1962, widely considered the most perilous moment since World War II. Most of his military advisers – and they were not alone – believed the United States should bomb the missile pads that the Soviet Union was stationing in Cuba. Kennedy, aware of the danger of escalating the crisis, instead ordered a blockade of Soviet ships. In the end, a peaceful agreement was reached. Afterward, both Kennedy and Khrushchev began to soften the relationship between Washington and Moscow.

He is extremely popular overseas, but the reasons are vague.  No one can give you a specific reason or accomplishment. 

They love him in Latin America, perhaps for the Peace Corps.

His impact in U.S. politics is huge, and I would recommend Dr. Sabato's book, The Kennedy Half-Century: The Presidency, Assassination, and Lasting Legacy of John F. Kennedy.  Every modern Democrat embraces Kennedy.

For the record, Cuban-Americans are not among JFK fans, primarily because of the Bay of Pigs.  Nevertheless, I recognize his amazing appeal and have often wondered when history will look at back at him with more objectivity.

For example, many Democrats want to pin Vietnam on LBJ and civil rights on JFK.  The truth is more complicated, because secretary of state Dean Rusk and secretary of defense Robert S. McNamara (from the Kennedy Cabinet) were there for the escalation in Vietnam that started in 1965.

So how long will this "sainthood" of President Kennedy continue?  Or are we finally going to get a more objective view?

Maybe it will start now as more allegations of sexual misconduct come out against politicians.  It's obvious that President Kennedy had a problem with women, too.

My bottom line is that President Kennedy should be viewed as a politician and not as a saint, as he has been for 50-something years.

Again, I think it will start soon, and that's necessary.

PS: You can listen to my show (Canto Talk) and follow me on Twitter.