24 November, 2008

JFK 45 years later

This weekend marked the 45th anniversary of JFK's assassination. I hadn't really thought about it, and I guess that 45 isn't really a special number. And I guess that you shouldn't really use the word "anniversary" to refer to bad things. And I guess that it's really kind of irrelevant to anything, other than that today I looked at the calendar and realized that it was yesterday. Actually, I thought it was today, since my memory said it was the 23rd. But my memory was incorrect.

I guess I am glad that I was not yet born in 1963. I am glad that I was not an adult in 1963. My brother and sister were 13 and 10 years old. I cannot imagine they really absorbed much of it. But to be an adult - a supporter of Kennedy. And to have had the joy of seeing him become President. And to have had the hope of what his leadership might represent for the future. Then to see him killed. That must have been incredibly deflating, and crushing to the spirit of so many in this country. We've devoted so much of our energy, in investigation, theorizing, contemplation, about "what really happened". And as I said in an earlier blog, it doesn't matter in the end, so much, who did these misdeeds. It only matters that they were done. Whether it was Lee Harvey Oswald, or some sharpshooter from who knows where. It's ultimately irrelevant. I suppose if it were our own government behind it, that would be something to cause us great mistrust and disillusionment. But let's be honest here. There is enough in American history, and honestly, in human history, for us to already be sufficiently mistrusting, and disillusioned regardless of the veracity of one more conspiracy theory.

This shit has been going on for a long, long time.

I don't understand why it seems to be in our nature to be violent. And I don't know why it seems to be in our nature to not want "good" to come for all all creatures on this planet. But that certainly seems to be the way it is.

To think about an elected leader, though. In this country, or elsewhere. In modern, or past times. And to think about that leader being slain by opponents. It really does not reflect favorably on humankind. But then again, there have been leaders whose eradication was possibly perceived as being for the betterment of the world. And there are leaders whose slaying brought an end to oppression or war. So who is the judge of this?

Just thinking about JFK, whom I never knew, obviously. It seems like a shame to subvert the democratic process and erase someone because of who they are, or what they represent. It does not do any real justice for anyone. Even his opponents lost something. Because it indicated a lack of willingness to accept democracy. A willingness, a need, to override it.

Unless, of course, it was merely a crazy, desperate, communist Lee Harvey Oswald, acting alone.

Yeah, right...

1 comment:

  1. I had the same feeling after the Obama victory. What must it have been like to have that hope stolen in such a violent manner? I hope we never have a chance to find out.

    PS. clever ending. Me like.