“Ask not what your country can do for you; ask what you can do for your country.” —John F. Kennedy
“Free health care, free college, free medical for illegal aliens, open borders, no bail, no oil, reparations, and guaranteed income for all Americans.”—Democrat Platform 2024?”
The candidate was a man of great courage. A decorated war hero, he was nearly killed in combat. He risked life and limb to save his comrades and never left their side. He was a true patriot in every sense of the word. After his military service, he devoted his life to public service. He stood for strong national defense, a vigorous economy, and promotion of free enterprise. He vowed to fight socialism and believed with all his heart in the principles of freedom and capitalist democracy—which made the United States the most powerful country on earth. He knew how to salute the flag—you know, with the hand over the heart.
American espoused by AOC, or Bernie Sandersclaus or Joe Biden
He challenged Americans to work for the good of the country—not ask the country for a handout or a free check. Of course, the government would help the truly needy—as it always had. But the country was not “Uncle Sugar” who would be all things to all people. Nor was it our private piggy bank. He did not believe in taking from the rich and giving to the poor. He was an enlightened, good-hearted man; but he was no Robin Hood. He did not believe in the Marxist axiom, “From each according to his ability, to each according to his needs.” Socialism was an evil doctrine, to be opposed at every level; capitalism, with all its faults, was the way to prosper and do the greatest good for the greatest number of people. It was what made our nation prosper. He understood this. His name was John. He was of Irish descent.
His platform held that, “If America is to work effectively for peace, [it] must first restore its national strength-military, political, and economic.” It cautioned that our military power was declining relative to that of the Chinese and Russians. It declared that democracy was the supreme form of government, which “places its highest value upon individual dignity,” and it opposed socialism, in which “the rights of men and women were sacrificed to the state.” It pronounced that, with respect to the former members of the Soviet bloc, his party would “never accept any deal or arrangement which acquiesces in the subjugation of these peoples” by Russia. His platform promised to “unshackle American enterprise and to free American labor, industrial leadership, and capital, to create an abundance that will outstrip any other system.” It boasted that, “Free competitive enterprise is the most creative and productive form of economic order that the world has seen.” It promised to “foster the development of [energy] from all sources, including water, tidal, and nuclear power.” It vowed to prospect for mineral deposits, oil shale, and radioactive materials as means of generating energy. It was a platform that was bold, unafraid, unabashedly pro-American, pro-capitalism, and pro-democracy. It did not seek to “transform” America, but to promote the values that made it great. And it did not apologize for America.
Although the biographical sketch as well as the platform might well be that of Donald Trump, it is not. The man was President John F. Kennedy and the platform was that of the Democrat Party. If his bio does not sound much like the vision of American espoused by AOC, or Bernie Sandersclaus or Joe Biden it should come as no surprise. Their Socialist creed does not remotely resemble that of our beloved Jack Kennedy. In fact, I doubt that Kennedy would agree with these folks about very much at all. Which brings me to my point.
Patriotism was neither a dirty word nor politically incorrect
In the early 1960s, I was a Democrat. Everyone in my family was a Democrat. Everyone I knew as a Democrat. We believed in the country and were proud of it. Our families worked hard. Most of us went to church. We saluted the flag. We did not know what welfare was. We helped the poor and our neighbor. No politician had to tell us to do so. We said the Pledge of Allegiance, belonged to the Boy Scouts and Girl Scouts, never thinking that it was politically incorrect to do so. We loved the country and asked nothing from it other than to protect us. Our president was a national hero who risked life and limb to rescue his comrades during World War II and he was anything but a socialist. He never associated with homegrown terrorists, enemies of the United States, radical anti-Semites, or racist preachers who cursed America from the pulpit. And patriotism was neither a dirty word nor politically incorrect.
Back then we were all traveling through life in a caravan—our whole family, and everyone we knew—in our Democrat Fords and Chevys, believing Kennedy Democrat ideals, and living Kennedy Democrat family values as we drove down the middle of the road. I still have the same basic values I did back then. So do my brother, my parents, and most of my friends. We did not change; the party did. Co-opted by vacuous Hollywood celebrities, the mainstream press and avowed Socialist Democrat candidates who tell us how to think—radical socialists who believe that government is a candy machine—the party of Truman and Kennedy is now nothing I recognize. Nor would my father—who worked so hard for the party decades ago.
No, we did not leave the party…the Democrats left us. Over time, the Democrats turned left…hard left. And we kept driving straight down the road.
Copyright © 2020 William Kevin Stoos
William Kevin Stoos (aka Hugh Betcha) is a writer, book reviewer, and attorney, whose feature and cover articles have appeared in the Liguorian, Carmelite Digest, Catholic Digest, Catholic Medical Association Ethics Journal, Nature Conservancy Magazine, Liberty Magazine, Social Justice Review, Wall Street Journal Online and other secular and religious publications. He is a regular contributing author for The Bread of Life Magazine in Canada. His review of Shadow World, by COL. Robert Chandler, propelled that book to best seller status. His book, The Woodcarver (]And Other Stories of Faith and Inspiration) © 2009, William Kevin Stoos (Strategic Publishing Company)—a collection of feature and cover stories on matters of faith—was released in July of 2009. It can be purchased though many internet booksellers including Amazon, Tower, Barnes and Noble and others. Royalties from his writings go to support the Carmelites. He resides in Wynstone, South Dakota.