A Kennedy Republican

Most of the conservatives I know, if pressed, will tell you that they are a Reagan Republican.  That they believe in smaller government, fewer taxes, a smiling “There you go again!” and a grim dictate, “Mr. Gorbachev, tear down this wall!”

I liked Ron Reagan, but politically if you were to ask, I am more of a Kennedy Republican.  What, you say?  Kennedy was a Democrat?  The hell you say.  I can tell you through bitter experience that the people who call themselves Republicans today are a pretty sorry lot of idealogues — like their Democrat opponents, only stupid for different reasons.  No, if you want to know the kind of politician I would gladly vote for again, it would be a conservative like John F. Kennedy.

JFK was a veteran.  He understood the need to protect America by keeping the battles contained in other countries, but tried to rein in the “Military Industrial Complex” that had emerged under Eisenhower.  He stood against the unions in their efforts to gain influence in business and government.  He stood up for civil rights, and for the rights of women, but refused to get drawn into the petty politics and race-baiting so common in those discussions today.

He set the foundation for the space program, which yielded more technological innovations than any other event in our lifetimes.  Brought the nation out of recession by cutting taxes, but at the same time challenged Americans to give more of themselves to each other and to the rest of the world.  He called for a reform of our immigration policy to keep families together and to benefit the nation.

Yes, Jack Kennedy was flawed.  He made policy mistakes, was addicted to painkillers, cheated on his wife, lied about his health, and made a mess of Vietnam and Cuba.  I don’t approve of some his human foibles, but I’m not looking for a best friend.  I am looking for a President who shares my values and can lead this country into a brighter future.

A fiscal conservative willing to push the budget, but grow the economy.  A social moderate who stands for women’s rights and civil rights and immigration reform, but stands up to the thuggery of the unions and the creepiness of socialism.  A man with a vision for the future that isn’t built around his own desire to get re-elected and party on taxpayer monies.

Jack Kennedy is my kind of Republican, but he’s not the only good guy in the Democratic party I would like to see in the White House.  I just don’t know how to get the other guy — Ron Wyden, the quiet but effective Senator from Oregon — to run.  If he does, I’ll gladly work to get him elected.

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