He's Our President
If you've been an American for more than 60 seconds, then you don't need me or anyone else to tell you what happened on November 22, 1963. It wasn't just the day Aldous Huxley died.
Many, many Americans who were alive when President Kennedy was shot in Dallas have also since passed. Fewer and fewer Americans remain alive, people who were around and felt the jarring, world-shaking impact of however many bullets were fired by snipers. Even Kennedy's enemies were horrified. The nation unified, rallied around Lyndon Johnson, the 36th president, from the moment he took office at Love Field in Dallas. It was a unification that wouldn't be given another Chief Executive until the next major disaster on 9/11/2001.
But everything, even the most horrendous events, ossify into history. Everything loses its impact, starting with living emotional memory.
Now we're making another of the same mistakes that humans make in their cyclical idiocy. People are telling us to prepare for war if democracy and the majority of voters fail to vote out people they don't like. People are "praying" for President Obama, even if the prayer is from Psalm 109:8, that states, "Let his days be few; and let another take his office."
Even Kennedy's mortal enemies, and he had many to be sure, weren't so crass as to try to make a buck off their own derangement syndrome.
We have learned nothing. We have not even learned that we have learned nothing, we're such a historically-comatose, stupified nation, a collectively bloated, self-absorbed WALL*E nation of semi-sentient blobs. We still have yet to learn, nor will likely ever learn, of the folly, the tragedy, the sheer human and financial waste of needlessly invading and occupying nations. We've yet to learn how dangerous our words are when political commentary plainly veers into sedition, treason and openly inciting violence.
When Kennedy's head was blown off in Dallas 46 years ago, everyone but the people involved were shocked and stunned beyond words. Long forgotten before his coffin was pulled down Pennsylvania Avenue by a riderless horse was the hate rhetoric, the wanted posters of Kennedy as a war criminal distributed throughout Dallas on November 22nd.
But there was no sense of responsibility, of accountability, and it didn't matter very much whether Kennedy was killed by a lone nut named Lee Harvey Oswald who'd responded to the hate rhetoric or if it was a well-orchestrated but badly covered-up conspiracy.
This time around, we are all responsible if we don't stand up and push back against the ignorant hatred and outright bigotry and racism that dares not speak its name ("Me, bigoted? That's laughable."). We all will be to blame if we don't push back against ignorant and factually bankrupt associations (Obama and Ft. Hood, like Saddam and al Qaeda, Iraq and 911, etc.).
Instead, we ought to echo the words of lifelong Republican John Wayne, who famously said after Kennedy's election, "I didn't vote for him, but he's my president and I hope he does a good job."
I won't be reciting Psalm 109:8 any time soon but I will give that an amen.