I picked up my Sunday edition of the newspaper at a local convenience store and read all of the anti-Democratic party letters and their socialist programs. They all wrung their hands and have beaten their chests lamenting how our country is doomed if these “socialists” are elected.
Most of the anti-socialist letters were filled with the usual talking points bandied about by the right and Trump supporters, but one letter quoted President John F. Kennedy as to throw that in the Democrats face and shame them for supporting socialistic programs being floated from the current candidates. Well I have some shocking news for you — President Kennedy was no conservative and he was more progressive, what is commonly called socialist by the right, than those running and serving today. He supported American citizens contributing to the common good by having them ask what they can do instead of asking what government can do. He valued civic involvement from the people.
He cut taxes. Well that is how the right sees it. Kennedy said he did not cut taxes; he changed the tax rates so that the Eisenhower-era tax loops for rich were closed and by closing the loop holes the rates fell. He also did not keep lowering the rates like Reagan and Bush did while keeping loop holes.
He raised the minimum wage. He had a universal health plan but was assassinated before he could present it. Universal health care has been a policy for progressives for a very long time, they are not going to give up on it. He was a secularist and strongly supported the separation of church and state. He supported Medicare and Social Security and increased taxes for them. He was an advocate for peace, not militarism. Before he was assassinated he was looking for a way out of Vietnam, actions initiated by President Eisenhower. He also expanded welfare programs and fought for civil rights.
President Kennedy did not speak conservative values nor did he ever advocate for them. He was very much a progressive in his beliefs, politics and policies. If he was alive today, the right would be against him as they are for the ones running today; they would even call him socialist as well.
So go ahead and throw President Kennedy’s quotes at the Democrats. We understand and appreciate him better than any conservative ever did. We will gladly educate you on what he stood for politically.
Charles M. Reeder
Submitted via Virtual Newsroom