What does it matter? It was 50 years ago! What difference does it make now?
A lot of young people – who didn’t live through the 60s, or even the 70s – actually have every right to ask those questions. And they deserve some real answers, too.
To put it bluntly, the assassination of President Kennedy makes all the difference in the world. That tragic day in our history was a determining factor in the type of world we have today.
The founders of this country had a vision of freedom and liberty that they tried to ensure for generations to come. They tried to design a democracy so full of checks and balances that it was bulletproof. So that no matter how many crooks managed to get themselves elected, the republic still prevailed.
There have even been a few brief shining moments when the real potential of that original vision took hold. One such moment was Franklin Roosevelt’s presidency. A decimated work force that was shell-shocked from the Great Depression was struggling for its very survival. FDR came to the rescue with the New Deal, a program that redistributed wealth from Wall Street to workers who’d lost their jobs as a result of corporate greed and government corruption – does that sound like a problem you might be familiar with?
Another great moment was the presidency of John F Kennedy in the early 1960s. This time the world was reeling from the Cold War, and a military gone so mad with power and war-like policies (again, sound familiar?) created a very real threat of nuclear annihilation.
But JFK brought us away from the brink of death and destruction by standing up to the war mongers and allowing sanity to prevail. For a moment, we truly seemed to be moving away from the horrors of war and toward a new world where peace between all countries was possible. Then JFK was murdered, eliminated by the same madness he had been fighting against; and it was like the dream suddenly died. We were left with a horrible void and a profound sense of hopelessness. Grown men cried, and with good reason.
So I hope that young people can forgive me for still getting emotional about the JFK assassination 50 years later. We haven’t even had full disclosure, let alone closure.