The trouble with the recent “debate” in the comments over the merits of JFK as man and president is it isn’t really a debate. The claims made by our article JFK: the war on our heroes, and the claims made in response BTL are not mutually incompatible or even contradictory.
We point to the numerous sources for JFK having made the decision to confront some powerful forces within the US establishment, and the likelihood of his having been murdered as a response to this.
The alleged “counter claims” that JFK was flawed, selfish, and prepared to play along with the MIC doesn’t in any way rebut this point. Flawed, selfish, corrupt people can stumble into some sort of heroism even by accident. They can, even unwittingly, challenge hidden power structures and be punished for that. And clearly something of this kind happened to JFK. However much his ready charm and superficial attractiveness might be reminiscent of Obama, we need to remember that Obama left office alive and well. As has every other president since 1963.
JFK didn’t get his head blown off in Dallas for simply being just like all the rest of them, did he? However flawed, selfish etc etc he may have been, that’s not why he was killed. And it’s the reason he was killed that should be our focus.
The real point is that JFK’s murder – like Trump’s embarrassing political neutering – exposes the true nature of power in the US and beyond. It exposes the puppet nature of the executive and its relative impotence. It exposes the unaccountable reach of the deep state and its assumption of the right to act in its own perceived interests, even to the point of assassination.
The larger point of our article was that the discrediting of JFK as an emblem of the hope for a better world is of itself a political act, and one that most greatly benefits the same forces that may have killed him. It’s probably not a coincidence that debunking “Camelot” has been a staple of the liberal media for several decades now. There has been no comparable push to de-throne other “heroes” whose iconography upholds the status quo a lot more effectively than does the memory of JFK. The only cultural “heroes” we can be permitted must not embody the questioning of authority and the status quo. And JFK’s death – even if not his life – mean he will always embody those dangerously subversive ideas.
JFK’s public murder, like 9/11, gives us a rare glimpse into usually hidden things, and that is why they will always matter. The argument that JFK was no better than the worst misses the point and – worse – has been used by gatekeepers to distract from the only salient point – that he was murdered by powerful people who assumed they were above the law – and were entirely right about that.
I suggest it’s more important to focus on that than to be lulled into saying, along with Chomsky, “well, JFK was a bad man, so who cares who killed him?”