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He Couldn’t Get Elected Today

He Couldn’t Get Elected Today bumped (from 8:00 a.m.)

Update: “J.F.K.’s Death Reframed”

“We all breathe the same air. We all cherish our children’s future.
And we are all mortal.”
– John F. Kennedy

Indeed. Democratic partisans would throw John F. Kennedy to the wolves. So
would this country today. Not long ago people were popping off about some rumor
about a new Clinton sex scandal. This juvenile nation couldn’t handle a consensual
affair with an intern. Candidates squeal on each other about every little thing,
while the issues that matter are ignored or exploited

Yes, J.F.K. had his women. But that’s not the half of it. He also had all those
doctors and all the drugs that kept him alive:

• Anesthetic procaine, for his Addison’s disease
• Cytomel, for thyroid deficiency
• Lomitil
• Metamucil, now there’s a commercial for you
• Paregoric
• Phenobarbitol
• Trasentine, to control his colitic diarrhea
• Testosterone, to increase his energy and boost his weight after bouts
of colitis
• Penicillin, for urinary tract flare ups
• Fluorinef, to increase his salt absorption due to Addison’s
• Cortisone
• Tuinal, for insomnia – a side effect of the cortisone
• Antihistamines, for an array of allergies
• Codeine
• Steroids… Oh, and Vitamin C and calcium.

J.F.K. also had lots of doctors who gave him his “vigah.” They
led to rumors that Nixon tried to steal his medical records.

He had an allergist; an endocrinologist for his Addison’s disease; a
gastroenterologist for his colitis; a urologist, because he’d gotten a
urinary tract infection from venereal disease; an orthopedist for his degenerative
spine, but no one knew.

Today we’d know all about “Dr. Feelgood.” Robert Dallek’s
remarkable book, “An Unfinished Life” let us into a part of J.F.K.’s world we had never known. Today it would be blasted on YouTube. That might have actually
worked in J.F.K.’s favor. The camera loved him.

Republicans would talk about his family values problem. Rudy would commiserate
with him.

But America would have been less
rich without him
. My life would not have been the same, because of how he
affected my big brother and sister, two people I would not be alive without.
I’ve studied the man my whole life, some of the above coming from my one woman
show that debuted in L.A. in 2005. One thing people would also be shocked about
is his disdain for the top brass in the military after what he saw when he served.
Not unlike today, actually.

Everyone wants to try to claim J.F.K.’s mantel. It cannot be done. The fearlessness
he had for life because he was always facing death no candidate can replicate
without the commensurate reality. The talent he had was that of fleeting brilliance
released for a short shelf life.

Then there was Jackie, aka “Lace.” She didn’t go to church.
She also chain smoked, drank, wore pants and bikinis, rode horses in hunts,
redesigned the White House using foreign designers, was a Francophile, got drug
injections along with her husband, snuck out of official First Lady obligations
whenever possible, went cruising on Onassis’ yacht, which drove Bobby
nuts and had him threatening to “sink the fucking yacht.” But Jackie
vacationed separate from Jack whenever she wanted. Oh, and don’t buy into too much of what Letitia Baldrige says about her relationship with Jackie. They detested each other from all objective research I’ve combed.

And at the height of the Cuban Missile Crisis, when J.F.K. was trying to avoid
nuclear war, Jackie was chasing hounds over the top of Rattlesnake Mountain.

Our judgmental America even today would have rejected this rebel outright.
But all you have to do is look at the pictures in Vanity Fair this month to
glimpse what a dynamo she was and what this nation would have missed had they
known the real Jacqueline Kennedy. The dress in the black and white photo on
this page
is to die, but what she represented became much more than just
her class.

Tomorrow marks another year.

John F. Kennedy had been assassinated. I’d gotten out of school early because of it. A few days later the most riveting event of my life occurred. President Kennedy’s
funeral was broadcast on TV. TV was my whole universe. I grew up believing everything that happened on it
was important, real and true. The day of the funeral, my big brother and sister were seated in front of the TV, as close
as they could get to the screen. I watched them from around the corner as little kids do. It wasn’t often we were all together, because my brother is around 18 years older than me, my sister almost 12. Here were the two most important people in my life openly weeping as they watched
J.F.K.’s funeral.

I was stunned.

What kind of president makes people feel like that?

Those lines come from my show, too. But they’re also the heart of my life. The spine
of my drive. The soul of my being. This event is the reason I do what I do against all
odds. Thinking about that day again and all that’s happened since and now, I wonder what
would happen if J.F.K. were alive today and ran for office. There’s no doubt about it. In the no privacy
climate of pitbull politics in which we now exist, not even John Fitzgerald Kennedy
would survive. The right-wing threw Hillary Clinton to the wolves for political sport. We now know our president did the same to a covert C.I.A. agent. Even after liberation, a first lady as aloof to her White House duties as Jackie Kennedy would be pilloried in the press.

It’s sobering. It makes me incredibly sad. It reminds me that we’re a nation of infants, having almost regressed from the times of Kennedy, who had his own right-wing to contend with in ‘63: 70 foundations, 113 corporations and 250 “identifiable individuals,” not to mention 74% of their 150 congressional candidates, 15 minute radio programs on 300 stations heard 343 times a day, and 80,000 copies of “Human Events” magazine mailed out every week. But somehow America figured it out. Today, some are so gullible they’re willingly pulled around by propagandists like Sean Hannity and Rush Limbaugh. The outcome has relegated us and the world to suffer under political midgets like Mr. Bush.

“You don’t have to be an ichthyologist to know when a fish stinks.” – Daniel Ellsberg

Tomorrow is Thanksgiving, but also the 22nd day of November. History forever haunts us, with so much left undone from that great era and so much of what Kennedy began having been destroyed. It’s like his speech on Pax Americana never occurred at all.

“What kind of peace do I mean? What kind of peace do we seek? Not a Pax Americana enforced on the world by American weapons of war… Not peace of the grave or the security of the slave… not merely peace for Americans but peace for all men and women – not merely peace in our time but peace for all time.” – John Fitzgerald Kennedy

As his brother Edward Kennedy said, “… the work goes on, the cause endures, the hope still lives, and the dream shall never die.”

Other sources include Sally Bedell Smith’s “Power and Grace,” “Nemesis” by Peter Evans, among many others, all of which were also used in my one woman show “Weeping for J.F.K.” that debuted in L.A. in 2005.

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.... a writer is someone who takes the universal whore of language
and turns her into a virgin again.  ~ erica jong