The CNN crawl today is informing us over and over that depending how old the segment of the population is, President John Kennedy's approval rating runs from 89 to 93% or thereabouts. That's far higher than any incumbent president has enjoyed since we started producing such statistics and considerably higher than he enjoyed in office. I'm not sure George Washington could match it and I'm pretty sure that's higher than Jesus by a bit. Of course time, like absence makes the heart grow fonder and of course it makes many of us forget how controversial he was; how much of the same drooling, scurrilous calumny presidents who attempt to make this a greater nation endure from the same sources, the same elements that just can't stop railing and raving about the evil Obaminator.
The route of the Presidential motorcade was lined with spectators and there were signs blaring "all the way with JFK" but there were also posters accusing him of treason, for " betraying the Constitution" and giving support to Communists. There were newspaper editorials condemning him. Like syphilis, crab lice and delusional politics the two legged vermin and their followers are still with us -- and not just in Texas.
History and circumstance have a way of changing what we think we once stood for. Those millions of Americans who listened to Father Coughlin's radio broadcasts, sympathized with the rise of fascism and racism in Germany and Jim Crow and racism in the US had to tone it down in December of 1941and the public has largely forgotten the depth of right wing outrage since the hundred year struggle for basic civil rights legislation is remembered only in history books and in simplified form. Sure, JFK enjoyed approval ratings of 70% while in office -- a level that has not been equaled since, but had he been able to serve out a term or two: had he been able to achieve detente with Castro and Khrushchev and Ho Chi Min we can be sure the same kind of right wing rabble would have reduced it to the level Barack Obama now enjoys.
But we've forgotten. JFK is a hero, not a Popish danger to Protestant America and the people who printed those posters, started those rumors, made those accusations slunk back into the baseboards and behind the cupboards before the blood was dry. We never got an apology, a retraction or an admission from the hate mongers nor will we get any acknowledgement from their heirs and assigns who have taken it all to new depths. We never will. JFK was a hero - of course we always thought that. Oh yes it was a terrible thing that someone shot him, but his blood is on their hands, not ours. We never suggested anything and of course we're not suggesting anything when we tell you about that Kenyan, Muslim, tyrant -- that constitution trashing traitor, that murderer of children, that Hitleresque purveyor of Communist inspired health care and Marxist redistributer of wealth who pals around with terrorists, but violence? Perish the thought!