John F. Kennedy, President of the United States, was assassinated today, 45 years ago.
Retrospect changes most things. Since 1963, we’ve found out about JFK’s personal predilections and health issues. We’ve heard all about who really killed him. Lee Oswald, if we believe the conspiracy theorists, was assisted by the Cubans, Sam Giancana, the Society of Jesus, the Grand Rabbi of Minsk and Pinsk, J. Edgar Hoover, and Lyndon Johnson (remember Barbara Garson’s MacBird?).
The point was not whether Jack Kennedy was the Great White Hope of American politics. It was that with his death America entered the Brechtian-Mahagonny saloon called The Here You May Do Anything Inn. In short order followed Malcolm X, Martin Luther King, Robert Kennedy, Fred Hampton,George Wallace, even Gerald Ford. The last two were merciful failures–yet they told us (as if we needed reminders) that we live in a country that has found its true calling in violence. Don’t like someone? Shoot him.
Why do you think so many of us are fearful for Barack Obama?