John F. Kennedy would be considered a right-wing Republican today. His ideas would not fit well with either Party.
Politics is vastly different from the politics that I first became aware of. Both parties have abandoned any sense of principle, at least with respect to honoring the Constitution. Instead of acting on first principles, all decisions are made on the basis of political principles. In that regard, both parties honor only one principle — do whatever is necessary to maximize the chance to get, or to stay, in office.
Democrats seem to have lost their minds in this respect but it has worked well for them up until now. Republicans apparently don’t want them to feel badly or see the use of similar techniques to enhance their own political chances. As a result the notion of “government of the people, by the people and for the people” has been reduced to a cheap and ineffective Madison Avenue propaganda phrase. Every single politician violates his oath of office, knowingly and with impunity.
The most recent example is the so-called “amnesty” that President Obama declared. This declaration is clearly in violation of his Constitutional authority (as have been many of his other executive orders). The Republicans are willing to allow this violation out of fear that protecting the Constitution would jeopardize their chances in the next election. This is itself a violation of their oath to protect the Constitution. Their unwillingness to bring impeachment hearings on the grounds that Democrats would not go along with it is shabby self-interest. Not doing so is ground for their own impeachment. The fact that they seem reluctant to use the power of the purse to restore balance among the three branches rests solely on their concern that they will be blamed for shutting the government down. Contrary to their concerns, most citizens would welcome shutting the government down. All know that it has grown into a Leviathan which threatens the future of the country.
To understand how far government has deteriorated, one does not have to go back very far. John F. Kennedy was elected president in 1960. Examining his positions and comparing them with political practice today is revealing.
John F. Kennedy
John F. Kennedy, judged to be one of the great Democrat presidents (he wasn’t but that matters little), was more closely aligned with the ideas and ideals of Rand Paul and Ronald Reagan than with those of Barack Obama or any other current Democrat politician. Kyle Smith laid out some of JFK’s positions:
… Kennedy’s fierce anti-communism, his religious devotion (he gave faith-based speeches of a kind Michele Bachmann might consider extreme today) and his advocacy for low deficits, a strong dollar, free trade, tax cuts, free enterprise and individual responsibility. If JFK were here today, he would either have to renounce most of what he stood for or join the Republican party.
Smith added some quotes by Kennedy:
“I do not believe in a super state,” he said in a 1960 speech in which he declared himself a liberal, with heavy qualifiers that made him sound more like one of today’s conservatives. “I see no magic to tax dollars which are sent to Washington and then returned,” he continued, smartly summarizing the voodoo economics of Keynesianism. “I do not favor state compulsion when voluntary individual effort can do the job and do it well.”
Kennedy was not an aberration, at least in his time. Democrats were still rational, had the interests of the country in mind and adhered to the ideas that made the country exceptional. Today JFK is in the pantheon of Democrat heroes but not for what he believed in. Most Democrats still fantasize about “Camelot,” a fictitious narrative about Kennedy’s time. Almost all are repelled by his ideas and policies.
There would be no place in today’s Democrat Party for John F. Kennedy. If he had a place it would be as a Republican, but he would be relegated to the ranks of the outcasts of that party. His ideas today would reflect those of the disparaged Tea Party.
Just two decades after Kennedy’s assassination, Ronald Reagan was elected president despite the objections of the ruling class of the Republican Party to prevent his nomination. Reagan, arguably, was not as fiscally conservative as President Kennedy who had an economic philosophy similar to Reagan’s but without running up the debt. These were the words Kennedy intended to deliver in a speech in Dallas prior to his assassination:
“by maintaining a more stable level of prices than almost any of our overseas competitors, and by cutting personal and corporate income taxes by some $11 billion, as I have proposed, [we will] assure this Nation of the longest and strongest expansion in our peacetime economic history.”
Today we have two parties running away from the principles of the Constitution and the economic principles that created the wealthiest and freest nation on earth. Today it is assumed that we work for the political class and not the other way around.