We are coming up on another anniversary of the assassination of John F. Kennedy, and another anniversary of highlighting the delusional paranoid expostulations of modern liberalism. The death of the young president was a seminal event not only for America and the world, but for Baby Boomer liberals. Post-war liberalism was on the ascendency. Kennedy was the fresh new face to take America beyond its racist benighted past to a 20th Century progressive liberal nirvana. All that hope was shattered on that November 22, 1963 day in Dallas, Texas.
How to explain such an egregious act of evil? Frank Rich, a Boomer elder statesman of the left, knows. In his New York Magazine piece the title tells us, “What Killed JFK: The hate that ended his presidency is eerily familiar.” The narrative liberals have pushed almost from the day Kennedy died is well known: it was right-wing hate, pure and simple. Texas, and especially Dallas, was a bastion of such irrational hatred to all the progress Kennedy and liberalism were trying to accomplish for the American people. The only problem with this narrative is that it is completely false.
James Piereson writes in his answer to Rich in, “Revisiting the Kennedy Assassination: Frank Rich and the Paranoid Style,” that almost from day one liberal elites started pushing that hatred, not really Lee Harvey Oswald, was the culprit:
This explanation for the assassination did not drop out of thin air but was circulated immediately after the event by influential leaders, journalists, and journalistic outlets, including Mrs. Kennedy, President Johnson, Chief Justice Earl Warren, Senate Majority Leader Mike Mansfield, James Reston, Russell Baker, and the editorial page of the New York Times, columnist Drew Pearson, and any number of other liberal spokesmen. Mrs. Kennedy took the lead in insisting that her husband was martyred by agents of hatred and bigotry.
And you thought the vitriol heaped on conservatives by assorted leftists over the shooting of Gabrielle Giffords was new. It isn’t. But what never fails to amaze is the blindness and double standards of the modern liberal. Here is Mr. Rich on what killed Kennedy, and what lurks ever more prevalently on the right today:
What defines the Kennedy legacy today is less the fallen president’s short, often admirable life than the particular strain of virulent hatred that helped bring him down. After JFK was killed, that hate went into only temporary hiding. It has been a growth industry ever since and has been flourishing in the Obama years. There are plenty of comparisons to be made between the two men, but the most telling is the vitriol that engulfed both their presidencies.
How exactly this hatred helped bring Kennedy down we’re never really told. How this hatred motivated Lee Harvey Oswald is never explained. But Mr. Oswald is a strange person upon which to hang such a narrative. As Mr. Piereson, quoted above, relates in his excellent book, “Camelot & the Cultural Revolution: How the Assassination of John F. Kennedy Shattered American Liberalism,” Oswald was a communist, and likely was at least partly motivated by a desire to protect Fidel Castro from the staunch anti-communist president. Yet liberals have blithely dismissed any suggestion that Oswald’s communism could have been a motivation. Just doesn’t go too well with the right-wing hate thing. And after all, communism is a close cousin to socialism and the progressive worldview; no way could Kennedy’s death be blamed on the extended family.
Examples of liberal double standards are legion, but you have to wonder where Mr. Rich was during the eight years of the Bush presidency. The vitriol expressed toward President Bush by his ideological pals was breathtaking (“Bush lied, people died”). Way back in 2003 Jonathan Chait at The New Republic wrote a piece that actually used the “H” word: “Mad About You: The case for Bush hatred.” Anything comparable been written in right wing media during the first three years of the Obama presidency? I didn’t think so. How about this headline from a movie I can’t believe I missed: “George Bush assassination film wins top award.” Needless to say, if some right-winger were stupid enough to make a movie about an Obama assassination, it would not get any “top” awards.
But the right-wing hatred narrative is so entrenched on the left that no fact could ever dig it up. In fact, Rich in his piece discusses a new book by Stephen King called “11/22/63.” One of the reasons King wrote the novel, he said in an interview, “was because there’s so much hate in the air now.” Really? What about the whole Occupy movement? Surely, that must be what he means; all those right wingers rioting in the streets and parks of America, getting arrested by the thousands, clashing with police, destroying property. Oh, they’re not right-wingers? Apparently not. No matter. Liberals are big-hearted, well intended compassionate lovers of the human race; Conservatives are evil. That’s their story, and they’re sticking to it!