Alex Constantine - November 9, 2023
Prelude: JFK Compares Republicans to Nazis
“There is nothing in the record of the past two years when both Houses of Congress have been controlled by the Republican Party which can lead any person to believe that those promises will be fulfilled in the future. They follow the Hitler line - no matter how big the lie; repeat it often enough and the masses will regard it as truth.” ―
WHY JOHN KENNEDY WAS MURDERED
"My God, they shot him!" -- Jacqueline Kennedy, 11-22-63
"To think, it was Nazis all along!" - Jack Ruby in jail
By Alex Constantine
Kennedy's comment on GOP lies was made in a speech delivered in May, 1947, a stinging rebuke of Republican fascism. In it, he attacked the National Association of Manufacturers, exposed by George Seldes in the 1930s-40s as a Nazi collaborating industrial front. Kennedy also excoriated wealthy corporate donors for paving the way for Hitler.
Kennedy studied political theory at Harvard, and took a particular interest in fascism. As president, he quietly dealt severe blows to the far-right. He actually forced ultra-conservative talk radio off the air by weaponizing the IRS. (Kennedy took an oath to protect the country from enemies foreign and domestic, so despite the arguable infringement of the Firsts Amendment, he was only doing his job.)
Most researchers of the first Kennedy assassination look for the one factor that motivated the far-right to kill him. But it wasn't his plan to end the Vietnam War or even the Cold War. It wasn't his intention to cut the oil and mineral depletion allowance (a huge tax loophole enjoyed by mega-wealthy producers and a burden on the middle class). It wasn't his refusal to provide air support for the Bay of Pigs invasion. It wasn't his threat to scatter the CIA to the four winds. It wasn't his stand on civil rights.
Kennedy's policy gun was primed for strategic volleys, and he discharged them one by one as opportunities arose. Each of his major decisions was intended to restore balance to a country knocked off its democratic and moral center by war profiteers, industrial opportunists and Wall Street. The CIA protected their interests worldwide with the Cold War, Vietnam and the assassination of foreign leaders.
In his Harvard thesis on fascism and British appeasement, he argued that Marxists over-simplified its economic roots, but he held onto and emphasized one of their basic tenets: "Capitalists have supported fascist govts." He understood before graduation in 1940 that far-right movements have corporate underpinnings, and he built on that knowledge over subsequent years.
Personal experience tempered his outlook. He was in Berlin when Hitler mobilized to invade Poland. He had witnessed his father carousing with Coughlin and Lindbergh. The PT-109 adrenal survival course. Joe, Jr., his brother, killed in action during WW II. Grief fed his disdain.
Kennedy returned home from the war and found the templars of industry vying for political power and making advances in D.C. He understood that America was headed in the wrong direction, ran for Congress representing a working class district of Boston, then the Senate, then the nation's highest office.
He often spoke bluntly about communism - but made overtures of peace with the Soviets. He inherited plans to invade Cuba from Eisenhower, but refused to provide critical air support.
Decisions involving the far-right tended to be anomalous but somehow always subverted the aims of Nazi-collaborating Captains of Industry.
Kennedy was engaged in a private war. It wasn't a single policy decision that led to Kennedy's assassination. It was his comprehension of far-right maneuvering, his quiet interventions and the decisions he would make if elected to a second term, that motivated his assassins.
Some 3,000 far-right agitators paraded loudly in front of the Hollywood Palladium, where Kennedy delivered this speech. In 1961, the Birch Society was the most influential fascist front in the country.
KENNEDY ASSERTS FAR-RIGHT GROUPS PROVOKE DISUNIT
Attacks Birch Society and 'Minutemen at a Party Dinner in Los Angeles
By Tom Wicker
- NYT, Nov 19, 1961
LOS ANGELES, NOV. 18 -- President Kennedy spoke out last night against the right-wing Birch Society and the so-called Minutemen in a speech at a Democratic dinner here.
The president mentioned neither group by name but left no doubt who he meant.
[In Atlanta, Senator Barry Goldwater, Arizona Republican, attacked the 'radicals in the White House." At a news conference, he called President Kennedy "the wagon master" who is "riding on the left wheel all the time."'
The President, in his talk at the Hollywood Palladium, also made his first public response to Edward Dealy, publisher of the Dallas Evening News. Mr. Dealy attacked the President at the White House for "riding Caroline's tricycle" instead of "being a man on horseback."
Some 'Escape Responsibility'
"There have always been those fringes of our society who have sought to escape their own responsibility by finding a simple solution , an appealing slogan or a convenient scapegoat," Mr. Kennedy said.
Now, he continued, "men who are unwilling to face up to the danger from without are convinced that the real danger comes from within."
"They look suspiciously at their neighbors and their leaders," he said. "They call for 'a man on horseback' because they do not trust the people. They find treason in our finest churches, in our highest court and in the treatment of our water.
They equate the Democratic Party with the welfare state, the welfare state with socialism, and socialism with communism. They object quite rightly to politics intruding on the military -- but they are anxious for the military to engage in politics."
He said he and most Americans "take a different view of our peril."
"We know that it comes from without, not within. It must be met by quiet preparedness, not provocative speeches," he continued.
The President warned the nation not to "heed the counsels of fear and suspicion."
"Let us concentrate more on keeping enemy bombers and missiles away from our shores and concentrate on keeping neighbors away from our shelters," he said.
Mr. Kennedy chose a region where the John Birch Society has some of its strongest support to make his third and sharpest attack on what he "discordant voice of extremism."
In the first of two speeches in Chapel Hill, N.C. and Seattle, he also warned against left-wing and pacifist extremists. His remarks tonight were directed to far-right groups and individuals.
His comment about "the man on horseback" was obviously aimed at Mr. Dealy.
Just as obviously, the John Birch Society was his target when he spoke about persons finding "reason in our finest churches" and in the Supreme Court. The John Birch Society has a cardinal point of its program the impeachment of Chief Justice Earl Warren.
The reference to "armed bands of urban guerillas" appeared to be directed at the Minutemen, individual groups of which are being organized and armed in some parts of the country. The organization is reported to be particularly strong in California. Los Angeles is regarded almost as the heartland of the Birch Society. Two Republican Representatives from its urban districts, John H. Rousselot and Edgar W. Histland, are avowed members.
The President spoke in Phoenix last night and left there early this morning for Perrin Air Force Base in Texas on his way to the funeral of House Speaker Sam Rayburn.
One of his purposes in coming to California tonight was to unite the Democrats in an early send-0ff for the re-election campaign of Gov. Edmund G, Brown. ...
The $300,000 expected to come from tonight's $100-a-plate dinner will bring to more than $700,000 the amounts raised for the party by three Presidential appearances on his swing through the West.