JFK: A Reagan Democrat

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What Were You Doing When JFK Was Shot?

The 50th Anniversary of the assassination of JFK is November 22, and everyone is asking “Where were you when JFK was shot?” In this case I was too young to remember and our family didn’t watch that fuzzy 19” black and white portable TV that much, but I remember my parents watching it a lot that week. It seems that everyone remembers where they were when something traumatic happens; in this case, one that everyone wishes never happened.

JFK Was a Conservative?

Ira Stoll has written a book called JFK, Conservative. In the book Stoll contends that JFK was a conservative by today’s standards as well as standards when JFK was President. Stoll argues in his book that “(JFK’s) two great causes were anticommunism and economic growth.” Stoll also suggests that liberals may want to reconsider their hero, as “…(Kennedy) fought against corrupt unions, pushed for free trade and a strong dollar. And above all, he pushed for a military buildup and an aggressive anticommunism (stance) around the world.” By contrast Richard Nixon, the Republican presidential nominee against JFK in 1960, later as President instituted price and wage controls and gave in to the communists in Vietnam.

 Kennedy was a “Supply Sider”

Liberals consistently cover their ears and make strange noises to drown out the sound when they hear this, but JFK did start one of the biggest economic surges in our country’s history–not by taking money from some Americans and giving it to other Americans deemed more worthy as our current President is trying to do. Kennedy reduced the top income tax bracket from 91 percent to 65 percent, and promoted free trade by lowering import tariffs, much to the chagrin of his more liberal advisors. Reagan later would credit JFK with this and cite Kennedy in his arguments for the Reagan tax cuts in the 80s.

Ask Not What Your Country Can Do For You, Ask What You Can Do For Your Country!

This single often repeated hallmark phrase from JFK’s Inaugural Address is a direct attack on the welfare state. This statement could very well have been written by Ronald Reagan. Oops! I’m sorry, did I say that out loud?

JFK Was an Anti-Communist Hawk

Kennedy won in 1960 by attacking Eisenhower’s foreign policies as not aggressive enough. JFK sent military forces to Cuba to roll back communism, increased the military presence in Vietnam, and blockaded Cuba eventually winning the Cuba missile crisis forcing the Soviets to withdraw (although the missile crisis is a study in itself).

 Kennedy Started the Liberal Peace Corps

JFK started the Peace Corps which many liberals like to take credit for. But really this was another anti-communist move to spread U.S. influence around the world, without having to use the military.

 Kennedy Was Killed by Communist Lee Harvey Oswald

Oswald defected to the Soviet Union in 1959, where he married the daughter of a KGB agent. The Warren Commission stated that “His commitment to Marxism and communism appears to have been another important factor in his motivation.” There are some that believe that this is further proof that Kennedy was conservative as he was shot by a Marxist because of his anti-communist stance.

Scott Peotter is an Architect and former Planning Commissioner in Newport Beach.  Scott can be reached at [email protected].


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  1. Well Scott… I don’t know where to start.

    First – I wasn’t even two yet and probably not totally potty trained. Let’s stop there.

    Second – I agree JFK did all those things you said.

    Third – The Democrats have changed like a chameleon. Old school Democrats weren’t too far off base form conservative Republicans. Today the democrats are so far left they don‘t look anything like their formal selves. They might ask themselves where they went off the tracks.

    Fourth – Nixon was a bigger liberal than most democrats back in the late 60’s early 70’s. It’s ironic how RMN started so many pet liberal causes, EPA, OSHA, etc. They give him no credit for the father of the environment and safety. They despise and hate him. However, a lying under oath (and to the American People), impeached, and unfaithful, president is their dearest wonderful example of a god, until BHO came into the picture. Bush also gave the Dems more than most conservatives would like. GHWB’s veto pen was a virgin well into his second term, there wasn’t a bill, tax etc., he didn’t accept; yet they give GHWB the snub and say he created all our current problems, well, at least that’s what our current CINC says.

    Fifth – I’m not sure the Democrats know what they are or want to be. They just want change, and change the received.

  2. Hey Scott,

    Reply from the left. Kennedy never got this tax cut. It was rejected by Congress in 1963. LBJ got it passed in 1964.

    FYI income tax changes are classic Keynsian economics. It is business tax changes that are considered supply side. More when I return in December.

    Bob Schmidt