Reagan, Romney, and 1963

Larry Provost

11/22/2013 12:01:00 AM - Larry Provost

It is impossible to capture, in one article, the breadth of emotions and reverberations of history that happened as a result of the shooting of President John F. Kennedy. The controversy surrounding the assassination of President Kennedy is much more than the latest theory someone has about who killed him. How the elite reacted to his death and showed their utter contempt for the American people is one of the echoes we hear today from Dealey Plaza.

President Kennedy was assassinated by Lee Harvey Oswald on November 22, 1963 in Dealey Plaza in downtown Dallas, Texas. The shooting of America’s President was about the only thing that Oswald succeeded at in his short, pathetic life. Oswald was the product of a broken home, with a particularly unstable mother. He took a liking to communism and defected to the Soviet Union after service in the Marine Corps. Oswald was such a loser that even the Soviets did not want him and only allowed him to stay after Oswald’s failed suicide attempt. Oswald married in the Soviet Union, got bored and returned to the United States to only work a series of odd jobs. He passed the time handing out pro Castro leaflets on behalf of another group that did not want his services. Oswald also beat his wife. After leaving most of his money and his wedding ring behind at his wife’s residence, Oswald went to work in Dallas, Texas on November 22, 1963 carrying a brown package under his arm. The curtain rods he said were in the package were never found and the rifle he had bought, under an assumed name, was later found at his workplace; the Texas School Book Depository. Witnesses inside and outside that building attested to three shots being fired at President Kennedy from the sixth floor window of the Depository.

The leftists in the news media and academia did not blame Oswald but rather blamed American society for the killing of President Kennedy. It is hard to believe that President Kennedy would have tried shaming the American people in such a way; a people he challenged to great things and showed an outpouring of grief for their fallen President and his family. When President Reagan was shot, in 1981, by another pathetic individual, Ronald Reagan directly addressed the issue of blame. Reagan knew the work of his would be assassin was the fault of one individual. He refused to blame the American people and told a joint session of Congress that the American people, who showed him an outpouring of prayers and support, were good, compassionate, and decent people.

What does this have to do with today? The contempt with which the media and many elites treat the American people is a continuing issue from the time of John Kennedy to the present. Even Mitt Romney fell into that trap during his latest Presidential campaign. Romney’s 47 percent comment was indicative of his inability to connect with the majority of the American people.

Romney believed in America but President Reagan believed in the American people. Reagan never blamed the people and trusted them greatly. He blamed the government whom he saw were enslaving the people, with some good jabs thrown in at the media and academia that think bureaucracy knows better than those with time honored values and common sense.

The goodness of the American people was not lost in 1963 or 1981. Indeed their greatness was shown in amazing proportions in the days after those tragedies. We see that same spirit today whenever there is a natural disaster or other sad event. Any political candidate who falls into the elitist trap by blaming the people will ultimately fail. This is one of the lessons given to us by President Reagan. If he had lived John Kennedy, a tax cutting and pragmatic cold warrior, would likely have said the same.