Patrick J. Buchanan: Nixon, Kennedy -- the myths and reality
There would have been no John F. Kennedy as brilliant statesman cut off in his prime, had it not been for those riveting days from Dealey Plaza to Arlington and the lighting of the Eternal Flame.
But, over 50 years, the effect has begun to wear off.
Kennedy is increasingly perceived today as he was 50 years ago, before word came that shots had been fired in Dallas.
His great legislative victory had been the passage of the Trade Expansion Act of 1962. His tax cut bill was buried on the Hill.
Kennedy had denied air cover for the Cuban patriots at the Bay of Pigs, resulting in the worst debacle of the Cold War. He was then berated and humiliated by Khrushchev at the Vienna Summit in June 1961.
In September, Khrushchev smashed the 3-year-old nuclear test-ban moratorium with a series of explosions featuring, at Novaya Zemlya, a 57-megaton "Tsar Bomba," the largest man-made blast ever.
In Southeast Asia, JFK had Averell Harriman negotiate a treaty for neutralizing Laos, resulting in Hanoi's virtual annexation of the Ho Chi Minh trail through Laos into South Vietnam.
Then and there, Vietnam became America's war.
All of this was covered up by his courtier journalists who would collaborate in perpetuating the Kennedy myth and collude in destroying their great hate object, Richard Nixon.
Where Kennedy managed to get Gov. George Wallace to admit two black students to the University of Alabama, Nixon desegregated 70 percent of all Southern public schools.
Whereupon a press elite that had maintained a conspiracy of silence on Kennedy's misconduct, seized on Nixon's failure to deal decisively with misconduct in his campaign to bring him down in the first successful coup d'etat in U.S. political history.
Patrick J. Buchanan is the author of "Suicide of a Superpower: Will America Survive to 2025?"
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