Dale Glading's Blog

I Miss JFK

Tuesday, October 25, 2016

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In John Kennedy's memorable inaugural address, one of his most famous phrases was, "Ask not what your country can do for you; ask what you can do for your country."

I miss JFK.

Yes, I am a rock-ribbed Republican and have been since the Reagan revolution. But I know a good conservative when I see one and JFK was exactly that.

In his address, Kennedy spoke in eloquent terms about a nation of people who put the common good above their own personal aspirations. My, oh my, how times have changed!

Today, the rallying cry from an oft-spoiled electorate is, "What's in it for me?" Seemingly gone are the days when people were challenged to sacrifice temporal pleasures and immediate gratification in favor of lofty goals and principled living.

That type of selfless determination is what made the "Greatest Generation" so great. Hardened by the Great Depression and conditioned to do without, those brave men and women rose to the challenges posed by Nazi Germany and Imperial Japan.

Whether it was storming Omaha Beach on D-Day or willingly accepting food and gas rations at home, our parents and their parents stopped focusing on themselves and instead, fixed their steely eyes on what needed to be done.

To win the war. To preserve our way of life. To safeguard the future for all Americans - those born and those yet to be born.

JFK may not have epitomized that generation because he was raised in privilege, but to his credit he courageously served his country in the U.S. Navy during World War II. And so, his call for a spirit of national selflessness came naturally.

Unfortunately, JFK's life was cut short and his vision was preempted by an assassin's bullet. Vietnam, Watergate and even more assassinations killed what was left of Kennedy's dream.

If there was one thing that I could wish for - not for me, but for my country - it would be a resurrection of Kennedy's call to higher and more principled living. However, for that to happen, it will take a spiritual awakening followed by a candidate bold enough to lay claim to JFK's mantle.

And yes, an electorate brave and discerning enough to support that candidate while turning its collective backs on office seekers who try to placate the masses in order to advance their own political careers.

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