Monday, February 18, 2008

Obama -- is no Jack Kennedy !

Mr. Obama, You're No Jack Kennedy
The Fifth Column Paul R. HollrahFebruary 18, 2008

In his biography of JFK, Kennedy senior advisor Ted Sorenson said, “...(Kennedy) was the truest and oldest kind of liberal: the free man with a free mind...The aggressive attitudes of many ‘professional liberals’ made him ‘uncomfortable.’”

Sorenson then quoted what he considered to be the most formal statement of Kennedy’s credo. In a speech to the Liberal Party of New York in 1960, Kennedy said,

“I believe in human dignity as the source of national purpose, in human liberty as the source of national action, in the human heart as the source of national compassion, and in the human mind as the source of our invention and our in man’s ability...reason and our best and our only hope in the world today.”

Sorenson goes on to remind us that, while Kennedy’s natural instincts always leaned toward the progressive, “his natural caution required him to test those instincts against evidence and experience.” And when asked what kind of president he hoped to be, liberal or conservative, Kennedy replied, “I hope to be responsible.”

In 1960, and before, John F. Kennedy was thought of as a mainstream liberal. However, as a measure of how much the definitions of the terms “liberal” and “conservative” have changed, and as a measure of how far to the left the Democrat Party has drifted, an argument can be made that if Kennedy were alive to speak those words today he would be seen as a mainstream conservative.

National purpose as a function of human dignity? National action as the product of human liberty? National compassion as a derivative, not of government social welfare programs, but of the human heart? Invention and ideas as the product, not of government programs and subsidies, but of human ingenuity? These are baseline conservative principles. These are not principles that we hear from the lips of today’s liberals...liberals such as the Democrats’ presumptive 2008 nominee, Barack Obama, who strives mightily to develop an image as the reincarnation of Jack Kennedy.

Jack Kennedy was a true war hero. During World War II he served in the South Pacific as skipper of a PT boat, the famous PT-109. For his heroic action in saving the lives of his crew he was awarded the Navy & Marine Corps Medal. He was also awarded the Purple Heart, the Asiatic-Pacific Campaign Medal, and the World War II Victory Medal.

Barack Obama has no military record, no background or experience on which to judge his personal courage, his patriotism, or his ability to serve as Commander in Chief of our military forces. During the years that Obama would have served in the U.S. military, he worked on voter registration drives as a community organizer on Chicago’s south side.

In that capacity he relied heavily on the community organizing techniques of radical leftist Saul Alinsky who, quite coincidentally, was the subject of Hillary Rodham’s senior honors thesis at Wellesley College, titled, “There Is Only The Fight...: An Analysis of the Alinsky Model.”

Returning from military service, Kennedy ran for a seat in the U.S. House of Representatives, serving three terms from 1947 until 1953. He was then elected to the United States Senate where he served for seven more years, from 1953 to 1960, before being elected President of the United States.

Obama was elected to the Illinois State Senate in 1996 and served two four-year terms with an unsuccessful run for Congress sandwiched in between. He ran for the United States Senate in 2004 and served just two years before launching a campaign to become the leader of the Free World. But what is most alarming about this ambition-driven upstart, what most distinguishes him from a man like Jack Kennedy, and what serves as the wellspring of his campaign theme, “Change We Can Believe In,” is his allegiance to the teachings of Saul Alinsky.

In his book, Rules for Radicals, Alinsky wrote:

“There’s another reason for working inside the system...Any revolutionary change must be preceded by a passive, affirmative, non-challenging attitude toward change among the mass of our people. They must feel so frustrated, so defeated, so lost, so futureless in the prevailing system, that they are willing to let go of the past and change the future...”

Even the most disinterested and uneducated observer of the Obama campaign style could not have failed to note the messianic nature of his approach or his fealty to the concept of “change for the sake of change.” But what “revolutionary” change? That is the question before us today. Clinton and Obama have been working “inside the system,” just as Alinsky prescribed. Are we willing to gamble on what change either of them would pursue if they were put in charge of our great nation?

So, yes, Obama, there are those of us old enough to remember Jack Kennedy. And while you try mightily to assume his mantle, it doesn’t quite work for you. Yes, you remind us of a Kennedy, alright...but it’s not Jack, it’s Ted.
Paul R. Hollrah is a freelance writer. He is a member of the Civil Engineering Academy of Distinguished Alumni at the University of Missouri - Columbia and a Senior Fellow at the Lincoln Heritage Institute. He currently resides in Tulsa, Oklahoma.

No comments: