JFK On Presidential Leadership

John F. Kennedy on the campaign trail, 1960

“Vote for Kennedy!”: Flashback to 1960, the last time a sitting (or in this case, standing) U.S. Senator won the presidency in a general election.

A FEW WORDS FROM JFK ON PRESIDENTIAL LEADERSHIP

This election year, we all must have a heart-to-heart with ourselves and ask, “what qualities do I want in a president? What truly constitutes leadership?”

We’d like to draw your attention to a speech President John F. Kennedy gave in 1962 which is rarely noted or quoted. Sadly, this address seems to have been somewhat lost to history, but reading his words again should strike a deep resonant chord in all of us today.

This speech hits home now when we look at our plunging economy, the national debt, the death of American industry, the downfall of labor unions, our failing education system, corporate profit-taking, the war, escalating tensions around the globe, the pillage of our natural environment, the election, and perhaps most importantly – the powers properly granted to the president under the Constitution of the United States to fix these problems. What is within his or her power, and what is not?

After eight years of George W. Bush, it’s a hot question in 2008.

WHEN IS AGGRESSIVE USE OF PRESIDENTIAL POWER A GOOD THING?

Let’s look at just one historical example.

President Kennedy made these remarks during a speech to the United Auto Workers Union in Atlantic City in May, 1962. Addressing the issue of how much influence the President should have over the nation’s economy (or perhaps put more bluntly, whether he should bow and do the bidding of his corporate puppetmasters), Kennedy vigorously defended his recent actions which had forced the steel industry to eliminate a price increase.

“I speak,” he said, “as President of the United States with a single voice to both management and labor . . . I believe it is the business of the President of the United States to concern himself with the general welfare and the public interest . . . I believe that what is good for the United States—for the people as a whole—is going to be good for every American company and for every American union.”

Unjustified wage and price demands, said the President, are equally “contrary to the national interest.” His Administration “has not undertaken and will not undertake” to fix prices or wages or to intervene in every little old labor dispute. Instead, it depends on labor and management to reach settlements within “guidelines” suggested by the Administration.

This aggressive policy had been the subject of “a good deal of discussion, acrimony, and controversy on wages and prices and profits,” Kennedy acknowleged, but he added this justification: 

“Now I know there are some people who say that this isn’t the business of the President of the United States, who believe that the President of the United States should be an honorary chairman of a great fraternal organization and confine himself to ceremonial functions. But that is not what the Constitution says. And I did not run for President of the United States to fulfill that Office in that way.”

OK, stop. Go back and read that paragraph again, because it’s terribly important. What did he just say?

He just stated that he did not run for the Presidency for the honor of being corporate America’s puppet. Or the Military’s puppet. Or anybody’s puppet,for that matter. He said that he was well aware of the immense powers granted to the president under the U.S. Constitution, and that he fully intended to make use of those powers when necessary.

Those are dangerous words when spoken by a president.

For those who still seek an answer to the neverending question – “why was President Kennedy killed?” – it could be argued that he had to be “replaced” becasue he interpreted the Constitution literally. JFK thought that “goddamn piece of paper” (as future presidents would refer to this now-arcane historical document) actually meant what it said.

Kennedy continued:

“Harry Truman once said there are 14 or 15 million Americans who have the resources to have representatives in Washington to protect their interests, and that the interests of the great mass of other people, the hundred and fifty or sixty million, is the responsibility of the President of the United States. And I propose to fulfill it!

And there are those who say, “Stay out of this area–it would be all right if we are in a national emergency or in a war.”

What do they think we are in? And what period of history do they believe this country has reached? What do they believe is occurring all over the world?

Merely because vast armies do not march against each other, does anyone think that our danger is less immediate, or the struggle is less ferocious?

As long as the United States is the great and chief guardian of freedom, all the way in a great half circle from the Brandenburg Gate to Viet-Nam, as long as we fulfill our functions at a time of climax in the struggle for freedom, then I believe it is the business of the President of the United States to concern himself with the general welfare and the public interest. And if the people feel that it is not, then they should secure the services of a new President of the United States.”

 – JFK to the United Auto Workers Union, May 8, 1962

THE PRESIDENT IS NOT AN “HONORARY CHAIRMAN OF A GREAT FRATERNAL ORGANIZATION”

My point exactly. After eight long years of a president who could care less about the general welfare and the public interest, it is now up to the people to secure the services of a new President of the United States. And we’re going to do it this November.

But who among the current crop of candidates posesses the kind of leadership qualities JFK not only talked about, but exhibited during each of the thousand days?

To my mind at least, true presidential leadership requires the kind of courage and compassion exhibited by JFK in the example below. Please take a few moments to watch excerpts from his UAW speech and other remarks on the economy in this video montage entitled “Mankind Is Our Business.”

CLASH OF THE TITANS

At the time, Kennedy was roasted for his aggressive use of presidential power in the showdown with Big Steel  – by the business community, by academia, the press, members of Congress, and even his predecessor Dwight Eisenhower.

In the May 18, 1962 issue of Time magazine, Ike strongly criticized the President for “the strenuous efforts of the Administration to increase greatly the power of the executive branch of the Government. It has long been my judgment that the real threat to liberty in this Republic will be primarily found in a steady erosion of self-reliant citizenship and in excessive power concentration.”

To back up his charge that Kennedy is asking for too many powers, Ike cited Kennedy’s requests for authority to modify income taxes when he decides it is necessary, to finance emergency public works by diversion of funds, to “regiment all agriculture,” to “take over a whole host of state and local responsibilities, notably including the proposal for a Department of Urban Affairs,” and “to dilute the independence of the Federal Reserve Board by presidential appointment of its chairman.” Added Ike: “The objectives under lying many such proposals are not in themselves controversial. I do not agree, however, that in every instance more presidential power is needed to achieve them.”

Ironically, while it was President Eisenhower who had cautioned against undue influence by the Military-Industrial-Complex two years before, the truth of the matter is that during his presidency Eisenhower sought out the Titans, respected their advice, and treated them as they thought they deserved to be treated — in other words, as representatives of the most influential body in the nation.

By contrast, Kennedy kept his distance. Prior to his election he had had little contact with industrial circles, and once he was in the White House he saw even less of them. Businessmen were generally excluded from the Kennedys’ private parties. Not only did he “snub” them (in the words of Ralph Cordiner, President of General Electric), he also attacked them. Kennedy did not consult the business world before making his appointments. The men he placed at the head of the federal regulatory agencies were entirely new. Since the end of the war, the businessmen had become accustomed to considering these bodies as adjuncts of their own professional associations. They were more indignant than surprised. They attempted to intervene, but in vain.

If the Titans thought that John F. Kennedy was going to be their puppet, they had another thing coming.

“Honorary chairman of a great fraternal organization” who should “confine himself to ceremonial functions?” Not this president. 

Kennedy had just let let them know: This president had a mind of his own – and if you don’t like it, perhaps you boys should go get yourselves another president

HAIL TO THE CHIEF

Even nearly 45 years after his passing, I still look to President Kennedy’s words and deeds for strength and inspiration – I think many of us do – and every election year since then, we have searched for a political candidate who embodies that same spirit. Someone who understands and achieves that perfect balance between exercising presidential power and the public interest, while avoiding the temptation to become drunk on their own power and take the country into a dictatorship.

It’s always a difficult balancing act for any president, but the example of JFK’s administration showed us all that a president can use his power forcefully and effectively when the need arises – but that such use is only acceptable and reasonable if this flexing of executive muscle is done to benefit the national interest. (And, more often than not, to force corporations or industries into doing the right thing – what they should have done in the first place – for their fellow citizens.)

“The American people will find it hard, as I do, to accept a situation in which a tiny handful of steel executives whose pursuit of private power and profit exceeds their sense of public responsibility can show such utter contempt for the interests of 185 million Americans.”

– President John F. Kennedy, April 11, 1962

In my own personal dictionary, you look up “presidential leadership,” and there’s Jack Kennedy’s picture.

President John F. Kennedy, fall 1962

When the people said, “we want action, not talk“, Kennedy delivered.

THE PRESIDENT HAS THE POWER 

So the next time you suffer sticker shock at the gas pump, and you wonder aloud, “who can fix this?” – remember that the president has the power. All a president needs is a plan and most importantly, the courage to stand up to The Men Who Rule The World because he knows the Constitution and the people will back him up.

Next time you feel obliged to curse the oil companies for sticking it to millions of people while they enjoy record profits, remember who our president is now.

Next time you bitch about the modern day industrial robber barons of Wall Street who are stealing us blind and wonder why Congress does nothing to stop it, remember President Kennedy.

Remember that he went to bat for all Americans and fought the Titans just to shave what amounted to a rather paltry price increase in steel down to a reasonable amount. Remember that he won that battle, too.

Remember that if our current president, or any future president, should have the political will and the courage, they can also fight the Titans and curb these out-of-control oil industry profits, bring an energy revolution to the table, get us off of foreign oil and out of debt to dictators quicker than you can say, “all in a day’s work!”

Remember that when you choose a presidential candidate this year.

`Nuff said!

 

Copyright RFKin2008.com.

 

For further reading on JFK’s showdown with U.S. Steel, we highly recommend:

“John F. Kennedy and the Titans” by Laura Knight-Jadczyk at http://laura-knight-jadczyk.blogspot.com/2006/11/john-f-kennedy-and-titans.html

“A Diversity of Dilemmas”, Time Magazine, May 18, 1962 article at: http://www.time.com/time/magazine/article/0,9171,896150,00.html

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15 Comments

Filed under climate change, election 2008, environment, global warming, hillary clinton, impeach Bush, jackie kennedy, JFK, John F. Kennedy, politics, president kennedy, RFK, RFK Jr., robert f. kennedy, robert kennedy jr., the kennedys, Uncategorized

15 responses to “JFK On Presidential Leadership

  1. Aleah

    JFK is still my hero, too. How I wish we had him here today!!!

    thank you for this interesting and very timely article. We need a president this year who will stand up to the oil industry and the Titans, or this economy will sink like a rock.

    i don’t see mccain, clinton or obama as the kind of president who can do what needs to be done. so i dont know who to vote for this year or if i will just stay home. probably nader…i voted for him before…and will again unless RFK Jr. gets in the race.

  2. chrisy58

    Aleah,
    I do understand your frustration of feeling that we have no one that we can vote for.

    I go back and forth between heart and mind. Though, as the days go by and I am getting more and more clear what I will do. I believe the best thing for me and we must all make this decision ourselves is to vote Nader if he makes it on the ballot in Arizona. My heart is saying that I must not vote for any of the choices offered me this election year, but vote the person who I think is the best man for the job.

    Voting for the least of evil is still voting for evil. Maybe if people start voting by what they believe in their heart, than we would send the message to our party that we want a candidate that we can be proud to support and vote for.

    Maybe I am hoping if enough of us Democrats will say I refuse the choices you have given me this year and that you need to start listening to what the rank and file Democrats think and want in a candidate.

    I think they are counting on us in the general to come home and vote for the Obama anyway over McCain. It won’t happen. I think that he is a very gifted speaker but he doesn’t really say anything. He is great with spin. Let’s be honest they are all great with spin but I think they have a problem with telling the truth.

    I think the most honest, sincere person running is Nader.

    I don’t think RFK jr is going to get in the race this year, but who knows? When you assume things you are usually wrong, as Joe taught me and Joe was right. I mean he might be offered the vp, but I would hope he wouldn’t take it, because I don’t think it would be in Bobby’s best interest to settle for the number two spot. I would hope if he was interested in being in the White House it would be as the number one spot, lol.

  3. JEESUM CHRISTMAS TREE on fire…. already!!!

    Don’t get me goin’… Please.

    Obama / Olberman ’08 !!!

    There’s something to be said about having something to say these days…

    Being able to say it well, brings about credability and respect.

    Change… The kind that we need, will require extra-ordinary talent and vebal skills.

    Lets roll
    jm

  4. MY FELLOW AMERICANS AND WORLD CITIZENS…

    There is an Oil field in Alaska called Gulls Island on the North Slope of Alaska in Prudhomme Bay (Spelling?) The Atlantic Ridgefield Corporation and B.P. discovered and tapped the worlds’ largest oil field on that site. The day it was discovered, (25 years ago) this became classified information.

    Henry Kissinger goes to Suadi Arabia and says hey, we’ll make you guys rich… We’ll buy all the oil you can muster… One catch, you have to sell oil only in American Dollars and you must take some of your profits and buy down our U.S. Debt. No big deal, they become rich… Down the road.. Sadaam Hussein says no way, I’m not going along with it I’m going to sell my oil for more valuable Euros and I’m not paying your debt!…

    A Man named Mr. Abner Dethney, A U.S. State Dept. reresentative visits Sadaam after this around 1989 and says look , if you invade Kuwait, we’ll look the other way, we won’t invade you. sadaam takes the bait. Desert Storm erupts, the beginning of the saga… Then as more threats from Sadaam to follow through with oil sales in Euros progresses, George W. Bush and Dick Cheney are at the helm… Both Oil tryants… They trump up weapons of mass deception and we go to war… (smokescreen) Military Industrial complex Bush / Cheny and friends become stinking rich (8 Trillion in debt now) and oil skyrockets to $114.00/ barrel.

    They got paid so far both ways…

    Enter Iran… Iran has the worlds third largest oil reserves in the world… They are now threatening that by a date certain (unknown / soon) they will flood the world with cheap oil (real cheap) like what it really costs for Suadi Arabia to pull it out of the ground $5.00/Barrel… and they’re going to sell it in Euro’s and they of course are not bound to pay the Kissinger deal of buying down our national debt… This is real world, this is today…
    Do the math…. We can expect to be in Iran any day now…

    The IMF and the World Bank are the middle men who make what we saw as oil companies making record profits last year look like chump change… The actual cost to bring crude out of the ground per barrel is $3.00 if pumped out of the U.S. and $5.00/ Barrel if from Suadi Arabia… The difference between $114.00/ Barrel and $5.00/Barrel is the IMF and World Bank’s profit…
    Do the Math…

    If the Alasken Gull Island pool is disclosed and tapped and refined here in the U.S. and btw there is oil there enough to feed our massive consumption for two hundred years at todays inefficiencies, we would have $1.50 / Gallon gas prices within one years time…. The middle east would mean a thing to us and we’d be manufacturing and cruizing again… 1950′s… pre Bush era AKA the good ole’ days…

    The problem…

    Our national debt is so high we would have to pay it ourselves, the saudis would go broke instantly, the Bush’s and The Cheney’s would have to make due with the trillions they bilked already and we would have exposed their plans and disclosed that Iraq was an inside job and 911… You guessed it… INSIDE JOB! and PEAK OIL? you guessed it…. The plan is to break us and bring us to our knees people in short order actually… and to wholesale take everything that we built in a massive orchestrated smash & grab…

    We need to investigate 9/11, The Bush’s The Cheney cartel the IMF as well as the World Bank.

    Call me crazy AFTER YOU INVESTIGATE THIS FOR YOURSELF! isn’t our future worth a little investigation? Hey we shut down our entire country and spent $50,000,000.00 to investigate a stained dress!!!!

    Re-Open 9/11 hearings to an real non-partisan panel elected by real people not bought and paid for criminals!!!

    Thanks for your attention… God Bless America!

    Time to do some “math”… Pop Quiz… If we ‘hit’ Iran… we’ll be on three fronts of war… it would be likely that “tactical” nukes would be used and it would draw in Syria and Russia… If anything I just said makes the smallest bit of sense… If there is just the possibility that this is true…

    Is life as we know it.. worth the risk of loosing everything we know of as it is today for these crimes to remain hidden?

    I ask you this… Are you going to be included in the master plan??? If you’re hurt by paying $5.00/ Gallon for gasoline and you are “Bitter” for losing your house or your job or you find this stuff out and you say “G*d Damn America” in all sense of patriotism in a house of G*d and you are the preacher of that house… I bet you think that the plan doesn’t include you at that moment and that you’ve been had…

    This election needs a truth excursion!

    I pray we wake up… soon

    Let’s roll

  5. Excellent posts as always, Jack.

    I can’t help but agree with the math you put forward above on Iran. My own calculations seem to arrive at the same terrifying equation. you wrote:

    “Time to do some “math”… Pop Quiz… If we ‘hit’ Iran… we’ll be on three fronts of war… it would be likely that “tactical” nukes would be used and it would draw in Syria and Russia… If anything I just said makes the smallest bit of sense… If there is just the possibility that this is true…”

    Jack, if there is even the slightest possibility that this is in fact true, the world is TOAST.

    I believe that the danger of a nuclear exchange in this world today is very real. In fact, I once told RFK Jr. that I thought we were now living in the “hour of maximum danger” that his uncle Jack so often spoke of.

    It seems that Bobby and I have a slight difference of opinion on this one. (Although it is rare that we disagree, I do part ways with him on this point.) He believes that the “hour of maximum danger” has passed, that it passed 45 years ago when the Cuban Missle Crisis ended.

    His generation lived through that crisis and remember well the constant tensions with Russia during the Cold war. And indeed, at the time, the world had never been in greater danger. Thanks to the wisdom and diplomacy of the Kennedy brothers, the world survived that crisis, and my generation was allowed to be born.

    Although looking around me now, I sometimes think that this isn’t quite the world President Kennedy had in mind for future generations to grow up in.

    My generation came of age at the close of the cold war. We were fortunate to never really have to think much about nuclear fallout shelters actually being used, or “going toe-to-toe with the Russkies.” My generation was lucky enough to grow up thinking that “Dr. Strangelove” was just a really funny movie.

    Today we face far greater dangers in my opinion. New kinds of threats; new enemies fighting a new kind of warfare. Our enemies have grown in numbers. More countries around the world hate the United States today than they did in 1962. That’s a fact. More countries are allying themselves against the United States, and yes, they are ARMING against the United States.

    Many of them have nuclear weapons, and we would be fooling ourselves to think for one minute that the lessons of the Cuban Missle Crisis have really been learned. Some of the crazed terrorists, dictators and hostile rulers who hate America’s guts today make Kruschev and Castro look like peaceniks. If push came to shove (or if provoked by the U.S.), I have no doubt that nuclear weapons could be deployed against us.

    Then, we retaliate. Then, all hell breaks loose.

    If this isn’t our “hour of maximum danger,” I don’t know what is!

    America has never been in greater peril, in my opinion. We have never been closer to losing our country, our Constitution and Bill of Rights, and all the freedoms we hold so dear. We risk losing our cherished way of life, the health of our planet, our standing in the world as a nation of peace and goodwill, and most frighteningly, we also risk the very real possibility of total world war and nuclear annihilation of the human race.

    Anyone who thinks there is no great risk of a nuclear exchange at this point in our history isn’t paying attention. It’s time to lose that false sense of security (1962 was a long time ago). We dare not engage in the folly of comforting ourselves with the mantra of, “we learned our lesson in `62. History will not repeat.”

    On the contrary, history does repeat. And I caution that the possibility of all-out nuclear war is not off the table.

    Actually, it never really was. Nations don’t build all these weapons to just lay around in stockpiles forever.

    All it takes is the right political powder keg, and someone crazy enough to actually push the button. Then there’s no turning back…or wishing we had taken diplomatic steps to avoid such a confrontation earlier.

    And so I continue to say…we dare not underestimate just how much our enemies hate America, nor should we fall into the trap of believing that we will never see another Missle Crisis-type event. I actually believe that we will, perhaps much sooner than we expect.

    When that time comes – just as it was in `62 – the survival of the world is all going to come down to the judgement and restraint of the person occupying the Oval Office.

    Heaven help us had Nixon been president in 1962 instead of Kennedy!

    And heaven help us this year if we elect another hawk or crazy person to the presidency. I shudder to think…

    This is EXACTLY why we’re asking RFK Jr. to run for president. During a “World Missle Crisis,” who would you trust to negotiate a peace with our pissed-off-America-hatin’-armed-to-the-frickin’-teeth enemies but a Kennedy?

    And which Kennedy is best equipped to deal with that possibility? Well, you know my answer!:)

  6. claudia

    We desperately need a president like this again now. A president with a mind of his/her own who is not going to be corrupted by powerful special interests! but where is that man or woman? haven’t seen `em yet this year!

  7. chrisy58

    Jack and NF you always make good points. I always enjoy reading your posts as they make me think and that is a good thing.

    Yes, my generation remembered the Cuban Miscle crisis. We were living in Southern California at the time and my dad had it planned that we were going to take our sail boat and sail out to sea. That was the plan.

    And Yes, Dr. Strangelove was very real. It just wasn’t a funny movie.

    If we don’t learn from the past than history repeats itself. I believe that. The problem is that I don’t think we have learned and yes, I believe that the world is in as much danger of a nuclear exchange as in 1962.

    I actually think we are in more danger because the enemies then were countries today the enemies are people who can carry a small nuke in their suitcase. Back then President Kennedy could reason and speak with the government of Russia and reason won. Who do we reason with today? Even if Clinton or Obama were in the White House who would thry speak to?

    It is a very different world today than in 1962.

    What real change can either Clinton or obama bring? I am not sure that the President has any real power these days. Who pulls the strings? Who does he have to answer too? Is the President really running the show?

    I think of the farwell speech of Ike as he left the White House and he warned of the Miltary Industrial Complex. They have only grown in power. In a couple of books I read about the Kennedy years it spoke about how his top milatary people couldn’t really be trusted. They would lie and keep things from him. They wanted wars and he was a man who sought peace.

    I look around me and I think of the power of corporations and think Ike could have included them in his speech.

    I don’t think the darkest hour is behind us, but I think we are living in it now and that things are going to get worst before they get better.

    We are living in a world where their is going to be a global food shortage and I think people will fight for food. We are in a place where people will have to pay a day’s wages for food in some parts of the world. In the states we are having more and more people loosing everything(houses, jobs, health care, etc) and Sam Club has rationed the amount of rice they are selling people.

    What about water. Our drinking water is in many places being polluted so we can’t drink it or because of drought drying up. I think people around the world would fight for drinking water as well as food.

    With small nuclear devices being able to fit into a small suitcase it isn’t countries who only have nukes that we have to worry about.

    I think the situation today is more complex than in 1962, but that is just my thoughts.

    I also think that you have more average Americans who don’t really trust our government anymore because we have been lied to for years. Back then people actually believed what the government told them. Today, people listen but at the same time wondering if what they are hearing is the truth or just another public relations stunt to look good or cover the truth up.

    Who ever is the next President it won’t be an easy job. I am sorry I do not trust Obama and think he is a great used car salesman who is a great con man. What does he really say? He is a great speaker, but what does he really say? I think there is a lot more to him and I think it would be a mistake to put him at the helm. We all know Clinton and if I had to pick one of the two I would pick her. I think Clinton has a better chance of beating McCain, because Clinton is getting the Catholic voters, middle class, blue collor, women voters. I know a lot of Democrats who won’t vote for Obama but will vote for Clinton if she is the candidate.

    I hope and pray that Clinton gets the nomination because she is the one who can beat McCain. Obama can’t. There is to much unknown about him. Frankly, I don’t like some of the comments he has made, some of the comments his wife has made, and I don’t like his not really saying anything but spin.

    I think the best hope this country has is Clinton and if RFK jr wants the second spot I would go for it but I don’t think he would be interested in number two.

    Kathleen is very smart and she would be a good vp but that would be two women.

    Maybe Clinton and Biden would be a good ticket.

    HIlary is a fighter. I like that about her. I am a fighter too.

    Obama I don’t know what he is. He doesn’t strike me as a fighter though.

    But here is another question for us to consider, if we choose to vote with our head, and vote for Clinton if she is the candidate of our party than wouldn’t we be playing the same ole same ole game and being part of the problem because we wouldn’t be making our party take a long hard look at what they are doing and making them decide to be part of the real solution instead of being part of the problem?

    I don’t always explain my thoughts very well.

    I wish I could feel hopeful that just getting a Democrat in the White House is going to be the cure to all the problems we face, but I can’t. I get back to what real power does the President have these days to really bring about change and to take this country back for the people?

  8. Ben

    i am pretty well convinced that all of the 3 major party candidates in thsi election are not on our side. actually, i was for Obama, but he lost me when he slipped up in S.F. and said how he really feels about small town Americans. I was insulted, but hey, at least now I know where he stands and who he stands for: the usual wealthy elites who pull his (purse) strings.

    Clinton and Mccain…never! not on your life!

    Nader? Well, he probably can’t win outside of a miracle, but I’m going to vote for him anyway because that’s one guy i know is honest, steadfast, and 100% ON OUR SIDE.

    He may not be as handsome as Obama or make such stirring speeches, but give me a decent and honest every time. So I’m with Nader—- unless we can coax Jesse Ventura or bobby Kennedy into this race soon!

  9. Great comments, Chrisy. I was nodding my head wildly the whole time agreeing with every word you just said as I was reading over your post above. And I share the same questions and doubts you have about what kind of “change’ we’ll really get this election year.

    You wrote:
    “I wish I could feel hopeful that just getting a Democrat in the White House is going to be the cure to all the problems we face, but I can’t. I get back to what real power does the President have these days to really bring about change and to take this country back for the people?”

    This question gets right to the heart of the matter. Putting someone from the opposite party (we no longer have an “opposition party” in the USA, just “opposite parties” ) in the White House won’t help us much, honestly.

    Unless that person we elect really looks upon the presidency as a duty to serve the people and views themselves as merely a public servant (not an Emperor) – let’s face it, we’re screwed no matter which way we vote. Democrat, Republican…really makes no difference when they all serve the same corporate masters.

    Unless our next president makes calming the troubled waters internationally a top priority, and is truly a man or woman of peace, then we’re stuck with eternal war on two, possibly three or more fronts till hell freezes over.

    And like I said above, that war could turn nuclear at any moment. MORE NUCLEAR WEAPONS ARE POINTED AT THE UNITED STATES NOW THAN EVER BEFORE IN OUR HISTORY! Who do we want to piss off next?

    myself, I wouldn’t care if the next President was a Republican, democrat, Green, Red, Brown or Purple — so long as they had a reasoned and peaceful approach to governing the nation. After 8 years of Bush, just a SANE PERSON sounds pretty good to me!

    Who knew a sane one could be so hard to find? LOL.:)

    Like you, I want a president who will fight for all of us. I want a president who knows history, cherishes the Constitution, and who will make full use of the power given unto him when necessary. (If he can read and speak fluent English, that’s certainly a plus, too.)

    Of course, this isn’t 1962 anymore, and the JFK example is a slice from another time. But one thing hasn’t changed in 45 years, or 220 years: so long as we still have a Constitution (do we? or did they “truck” with it, as Jack Mosel likes to say?), the president does have tremendous power granted to him by that document.

    The president can do a great deal under the Constitution. Executive Orders also come in handy when the president needs to get things done. And that’s not to mention the not-so-subtle power the president has in shaping public, congressional, media, and world opinions…sometimes, this can turn the tide and get meaningful legislation passed.

    When we look back at presidents like Lincoln, FDR and Kennedy who really pushed the envelope of presidential powers to advance the national interest, then compare them to George W. Bush…wow. I mean really…WOW. This president didn’t just push the envelope…he stuffed it full of anthrax and exploded it in our faces.

    History will remember the Bush years as a lesson in presidential power run amok.

    One last point, Chrisy – since you mentioned the problems JFK had with insubordination amongst his top military and intelligence officers – have you ever seen the film “Seven Days in May?” The book was a smash hit in 1962 and one of Kennedy’s favorites…so much so that he encouraged director John Frankenheimer to do the film version, even allowing the White House to be used for some location filming. When one sees the film with the hindsight of history, it seems very obvious why JFK took an interest. It’s the story of a president who faces a military coup d’etat from within…because he wasn’t “playing ball” with the Joint Chiefs.

    If you haven’t seen “Seven Days In May,” rent it and tell a few friends. You’d never know it was fiction!

  10. chrisy58

    NF, I really like and agree with what you had to say.

    It has been many years since I saw that movie. I think I may try and go and rent it though as it is a very good movie.

    Looking for a sane person to be President!!!!! Who ever thought that would be the first consideration that many of us in this country would be seeking in 2008. I guess after 8 years of Bush just having someone who is in their right mind would be a vast improvement. lol.

    I know to some people it must sound like NF that we are joking but it is no joke to me. I know it isn’t a joke to you either and to many of us who just want to pull all our hair out in frustration over the policies of George W. Bush, lol.

    You mentioned the Constitution. Sometimes NF I wonder if the Consitution is the Law of our land in 2008. Sometimes I think Bush and others in our government have stripped away all our real rights under the Constitution under the American Patriot Act. Can we get those rights back?

    One of the major problems I see in this country is that we have a citizenship of the country who is not getting the full truth but many times our media remains silent on very important issues and our citizens don’t get the truth, but I believe are being brainwashed to accept whatever new freedoms have to be stripped from our Constution in the name of war against terriorism.

    I used to have a short wave radio and I have been thinking that I might be getting another one just to hear news from the BBC and other sources world wide so that I can get the full story and not have to depend on American Corporate News.

    I listen to a show called Coast to Coast Am . They have some interesting things on there. I think it was this year that they had someone on who talked about these added powers that George W. Bush gave himself. I guess with these new added powers that he put into Law without having to go before Congress the guy on the radio said that lets say they started to have food riots in this country in a major city that President Bush could declare Marshall Law and cancel the elections. Again, I don’t know how true that is, but that was what I heard on late night talk radio. I think the guy who broke the story was from World News Daily.

    The question I have if such an order has been put into LAW without the concent of Congress and them having no hearings wouldn’t that be a total disregard of the Constution that gives Congress powers too?

    The question they talked about on that show that night was they didn’t totally didn’t trust George W Bush to not find a way to use that order to cancell the elections for a time. But again do I believe what the World News Daily said?

    McCain really scares me and I know I don’t want him at the helm. Clinton seems the most sane. I know Republicans who have told me that they never thought they would come to the place where Hilary Clinton looked good to them. Hilary might get some crossover votes from Republicans who fear both McCain and Obama.

    The next President is going to be dealing with a major trainwreck that is happening in this country. The American Press has not mentioned this but the British Press has said that this is another year that is even worst for the honey bees. Our honey bees are dying and it is going to be a major economic disaster. It could really hurt the food supply. Not one word that this year is even worst for the dying honey bees and whole bee haves being wiped out in the Amercian press. Why? Why do we Americans have to depend on the BBC to tell us what is going on in our own country?

    The person that they had on last night on coast to coast was saying that was going to hurt the production of crops being grown here in the states and they would inport more food from China. Great more food shipped in from China.

    Somehow I don’t trust George W. Bush to handle this problem and coming effects of all the other major problems coming down the pike.

    Anyway, I am getting off track here, but I just pray that when the times comes that George W. Bush will not declare Marshall Law and cancell the elections and that someone sane like Hilary Clinton can take the reign over before the trainwreck comes full force.

    Who would have thought that the major quality that I would be looking for is that they are the most sane person running.

  11. Hey Chrisy – rent “Seven Days In May.” I really think you’ll enjoy it!

    As one of our most frequent (and eloquent) commentators here, you totally understand that while much of what we write here is tongue-in-cheek, even humorous, we’re really *not* joking.

    If the situation wasn’t so sad, it would be funny, y’know?

    Besides, if I didn’t keep my sense of humor about this stuff, sometimes I swear I might just lose my marbles!

    So it helps to laugh. Nothing disarms a bully faster than laughing at them. Totally strips them of their power.

    Dictators can only have the power people choose to give them. This we know from history. Unfortunately, the great civilizations ultimately destroyed themselves through poor choices, and often by choosing very poor leaders (say in the case of Hitler’s Germany, for example.)

    And in that case, they chose an insane man to lead them right into the fires of hell itself.

    Has America done the same thing? Are we about to turn right around and do it again in 2008?

    In my humble opinion, the next president’s first task (before proposing his environmental Apollo project, as RFK Jr. suggests) should be a total repeal of USA Patriot Act and a full restoration of the Constitution and Bill of Rights.

    By doing so, whether with an act of Congress or by Executive Order, the President thus restores his or her own power, as granted by the Constitution.

    So as I see it, you can’t have one without the other. Anything less, and you’ve got…George W. Bush.

    And we all see how his grand plan has worked out so far!

    (Sighs) Yes…who knew that the litmus test for a president in 2008 would be a demonstration of basic sanity???? It’s not like we’re asking for much here…

  12. David

    One word that made the Kennedy’s good. Mafi. The father made big deal to get him in. Thats why he died. His dad did not do something right and they took both his sons. I know your like no way but think about it. Watch some of the documentrys on how the Mafi use to do buisness. They had there hands in high places. Masters of Puppets. So this is what made the Kennedys good.

  13. Michael F.

    David, you say the father (Joseph Kennedy) “didn’t do something right” and that’s why they killed his sons.

    What Joe Kennedy “didn’t do right” was that he did not fall in line behind his president, Mr. Roosevelt, when FDR wanted to take the country into WWII. Kennedy threw a fit, embarrassed the president, and was punished very severely for daring to disagree publicly. FDR never forgot a slight, whether real or imagined – in 1960, his widow Eleanor, did all that she could to prevent JFK from winning the Democartic presidential nomination. She did this by spreading false rumors that JFK was just like his father…essentially implying that he was an “appeaser” too, perhaps even by insinuation…a traitor to his country.

    Luckily for America, these tactics didn’t work. JFK did win the nomination and the presidency. Eleanor had no choice but to sit down, shut up, be a good democrat, and support the party’s nominee. But she never stopped hating Jack Kennedy…or his father.

    Also remember that Lyndon Johnson participated in this conspiracy to damage JFK at the convention – by spreading rumors about JFK’s health & other matters. And also please remember that Lyndon Johnson was an old Roosevelt loyalist who owed his entire political career to FDR; LBJ was a “made man,” and FDR made him.

    So isn’t it interesting that LBJ was so neatly placed as VP to take over after they killed Kennedy? The old Kennedy/Roosevelt rivalry was still very much in force. JFK may have won the battle (by winning the nomination and later the presidency), but the FDR/LBJ faction ultimately won the war.

    The mafia had very little to do with the assassination of JFK, although I believe they certainly had a part to play – but they were low-level minions. Foot soldiers. Where the rubber meets the road. The guys who would get their hands dirty so the CIA wouldn’t have to.

    The mafia did not have the authority to change JFK’s motorcade route, or to make the Secret Service stand down that day in Dallas. The mafia did not have the power to orchestrate the gigantic official coverup which would follow. The mafia did not have the power to take us to war in Vietnam. Think about it…who had the power to do that?

    Answer THAT question, and you’ll know who killed JFK. More importantly, you’ll understand why.

  14. I think almost all presidents have been too partisan to preside effectively.

  15. I have been examinating out many of your articles and it’s clever stuff. I will definitely bookmark your site.

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