The title of this post comes from “Camelot.”
I was doing research today at the Internet Archives for a project.
I needed a good public domain photo of John Kennedy and ran a search. One of the returns was the 1960 Debate between Kennedy and Nixon.
This was the first televised Presidential debate
An estimated 70 million citizens watched this debate.
I watched the opening and marveled at the complex questions and answers.
Kennedy’s task was to convince his fellow citizens that he understood the separation of church and State and that he would follow the rule of law.
“…because I am a Catholic, and no Catholic has ever been elected President, the real issues in this campaign have been obscured — perhaps deliberately, in some quarters less responsible than this. So it is apparently necessary for me to state once again — not what kind of church I believe in, for that should be important only to me — but what kind of America I believe in.
I believe in an America that is officially neither Catholic, Protestant nor Jewish; where no public official either requests or accept instructions on public policy from the Pope, the National Council of Churches or any other ecclesiastical source; where no religious body seeks to impose its will directly or indirectly upon the general populace or the public acts of its officials, and where religious liberty is so indivisible that an act against one church is treated as an act against all.“
I had a moment of cognitive dissonance when I read that Presidential Candidate Ted Cruz paid a visit to a “religious liberty conference” where he was introduced by a pastor who openly calls for the state to execute gays.
Cruz made the following comment: “Cruz: “Any president who doesn’t begin his day on his knees isn’t fit to be commander in chief.”
There’s a poison in our Nation and its killing our Democracy.
Here is a portion of Kennedy’s opening statement in 1960:
“I don’t want the talents of any American to go to waste. I know that there are those who want to turn everything over to the government. I don’t at all. I want the individuals to meet their responsibilities. And I want the states to meet their responsibilities. But I think there is also a national responsibility. The argument has been used against every piece of social legislation in the last twenty-five years. The people of the United States individually could not have developed the Tennessee Valley; collectively they could have. A cotton farmer in Georgia or a peanut farmer or a dairy farmer in Wisconsin and Minnesota, he cannot protect himself against the forces of supply and demand in the market place; but working together in effective governmental programs he can do so. Seventeen million Americans, who live over sixty-five on an average Social Security check of about seventy-eight dollars a month, they’re not able to sustain themselves individually, but they can sustain themselves through the social security system. I don’t believe in big government, but I believe in effective governmental action.” John Kennedy 1960
Listen to all of it. Hear the sound of reason and intellect.
King Arthur: Proposition. Right or wrong. They have the might. So, right or wrong. They’re always right. That’s wrong. Right?
Juxtapose the minds on display at the Kennedy/Nixon debates with this commentary from our contemporary right-wing basket of deplorables:
“Jesus Christ is the king of the president of the United States, whether he admits it or not!”
There is a poison loose in this Nation and the only force that can stop it from killing us is us.