Staff Editorial: JFK Revisted
This Friday will mark the 50th anniversary of the assassination of President John F. Kennedy.
Media outlets across the nation have been running commentary and specials regarding Kennedy and his famed “Camelot” administration. A mini-series focusing on the former president’s life, starring Rob Lowe as Kennedy, ran earlier in the month on National Geographic.
The Newseum in Washington, D.C has a Kennedy Assassination exhibit on display throughout the year. America’s first “rock-star president” currently appears everywhere.
While the assassination of a U.S. president is an event that cannot be ignored or forgotten from history, why does the media take such an interest in Kennedy and make him into a pop culture figure in a way that Abraham Lincoln never will be?
Since his inauguration, Kennedy was placed apart from his predecessors and treated like a cultural icon.
His age and looks separated him from the crowd of older men who proceeded him, and his wife, Jackie, was the crowning gem of his administration.
Their looks and charisma, coupled with Kennedy’s close relationships with the rich and famous, such as Frank Sinatra and Marilyn Monroe, established the Kennedys as a favorite subject for the populace.
Their private life was photographed and made available in an unprecedented way.
In the aftermath of the assassination, these were the factors that the country clung to and remembered.
However, the nation forgets and glosses over the less than glamorous moments in the Kennedy administration. While he was a champion of civil rights, his actions during the Bay of Pigs, Cuban Missile Crisis and Vietnam War leave little to be glorified.
The plain fact is that Kennedy-a man so often compared to Lincoln, had a less than stellar presidency and was overshadowed by his death.
Following the modern media, effectively rewrites history and neglects the fact that Kennedy was a man who made mistakes that seriously affected the country and ultimately led to the Vietnam War.
We at the Bullet believe that this Friday, our nation should still respectively remember the man and mourn for the president, but do not glorify blindly.