We are shocked to see how little Kennedy did for blacks, but that impression is dispelled so soon as we remember that Democrats had won the black vote in the 1930s & never lost it. Whereas Eisenhower had sent troops to defend the right of blacks to attend school, & Nixon promoted affirmative action, Jack Kennedy had the FBI investigate MLK to learn about his adulterous affairs.
Next came the Cuban Missile Crisis. Again, Khrushchev threatened Kennedy, who again proved weak. The two rulers are shown talking: The American’s politeness odors of cowardice, given the conflict he neither started nor foresaw nor ended. – The Soviet is impudent. Kennedy explains he could kill many millions of Russians – the Mutually Assured Destruction doctrine, maybe the fulcrum of liberal fatalism, the impulse to slaughter mankind for fear that man is mortal – & the Soviet Khrushchev is very much unimpressed. So liberalism believes peace & freedom go together & therefore does not understand that war may be just, not to say necessary.
Kennedy never considered the weakness of the Soviet position, waging war thousands of miles away from Moscow, so close to America. But liberals all considered how difficult it would have been for America to fight in faraway Berlin, & therefore relented every time Khrushchev offended them. So because of Kennedy’s cowardice Khrushchev managed to keep Cuba Soviet for generations to come. Kennedy & America thought that losing Cuba for the next half-century was victory, & meekly accepted the threat of nuclear weapons. They dared not take offense.
Khrushchev took back his missiles & liberals believed he did not want war. We see Kennedy interpret Khrushchev as a peace-lover, slavishly obsessing over words, interpreting them in some complicated way to cast Khrushchev as a victim of supposed evil warhawks in his regime, ignoring the various deeds of war Khrushchev quite successfully could boast, unlike Kennedy – for example, sending the nuclear missiles to Cuba.
Bullies know to threaten cruelty & then hold it back – relieved cowards will lovingly praise their mercy. So Khrushchev forced the Americans to withdraw their missiles from Turkey. But Turkey was a crucial American ally & Cuba was the most obvious Soviet liability. This was the strategic situation of the Cold War. But Jackie taught her children that Jack had saved mankind.
There never was a man more applauded for his manliness who was less manly. The astounding Kennedy not only showed everything splendid about his family, & caused his many admirers to conceal their many crimes, but he proved that the republic rules itself, & a man may do his best to bring it to ruin by weakness & fear, & be loved for it by a weakened people.