John F. Kennedy on Government Reform
The coalition blocking his bills--the southern Democrat-Republican conservative coalition, that had ruled Capitol Hill for a quarter of a century--in November, 1963, was ruling Capitol Hill still. The press had taken to calling it a "logjam"--both the bills were stalled, caught in a logjam that on the day John F. Kennedy died gave no signs of breaking up.
Lyndon Johnson not only broke the congressional logjam, he broke it up fast, and he broke it up on civil rights.
Of course, the acts of courage described in this book would be more inspiring and would shine more with the traditional luster of hero-worship if we assumed that each man forgot wholly about himself in his dedication to higher principles. But it may be that President John Adams, surely as disinterested as well as wise a public servant as we ever had, came much nearer to the truth when he wrote in his "Defense of the Constitutions of the US": "It is not true, in fact, that any people ever existed who love the public better than themselves."
Joseph P. Kennedy's son refused to accept catastrophe. Some frantic phone calls located a well-placed accomplice. Entering the statehouse that night, Kennedy found his way to the appropriate office and deposited the all-important documents in their proper place.
Kennedy's relative youth (and inexperience) meant that he was seen as someone who would be optimistic and able to make changes. When Kennedy spoke of patriotism, freedom and public service, which he frequently did, people listened.
Kennedy begins his inaugural with a dramatic and powerful opening which makes it very clear that he is a progressive: "We dare not forget today that we are the heirs of that first revolution. Let the word go forth from this time and place, to friend and foe alike, that the torch has been passed to a new generation of Americans--born in this century, tempered by war, disciplined by a hard and bitter peace, proud of our ancient heritage--and unwilling to witness or permit the slow undoing of those human rights to which this nation has always been committed, and to which we are committed today at home and around the world."
|Other past presidents on Government Reform:||John F. Kennedy on other issues:|
George W. Bush(R,2001-2009)
George Bush Sr.(R,1989-1993)
John F. Kennedy(D,1961-1963)
Harry S Truman(D,1945-1953)
Past Vice Presidents:
Natural Law Party