Thursday, January 1, 2009

More thoughts on Caroline & her father

Funny that I was ranting about Caroline Kennedy and her sudden interest in “serving” NY state and the same day I tripped over a program on the History Channel that revealed things about her father’s personal life and presidency. My father was right all those years ago! The program went in-depth about JFK’s health problems (I had no idea about his colitis, and the way it was treated, with steroids, is what caused his Addison’s disease) and how precarious his health was. I can’t help but wonder if Caroline perhaps may share some of those problems, specifically the colitis simply because of her drawn and elderly appearance. Gosh, she looks so old! I know 51 isn’t exactly a spring chicken but with all of the money she’s got, she should look like a million bucks. Which of course she has! Have there been any media inquiries into her health?

I had no idea that JFK was treated by the notorious Dr. Feelgood, and just how dependent on some very serious medications he was just to be able to function. His inner circle did a great job of keeping that quiet, even though according to the program, RFK did confront JFK regarding some of the prescription drugs and was told in no uncertain terms to butt out.

JFK’s womanizing makes Bill Clinton look like a choirboy. I’m kind of surprised no mystery children of JFK have popped up. Not that being unfaithful to your wife is any reason to not be elected, witness Clinton.

I was also surprised to learn JFK wasn’t quite the civil rights champion he has been made out to be. Why is it that some of the presidents who did some pretty rotten things civil-rights wise aren’t condemned more by historians? Roosevelt ordered the Japanese rounded up after Pearl Harbor; Kennedy was slow in sending in National Guard troops during times of civil unrest in the deep south (and I wonder if he had sent in troops just what would they have done, what would their mission have been).

JFK was no saint. Funny thing I remember about my German-born mother’s comments during those days in November 1963 was if and how JFK would be fast-tracked to sainthood. I am serious. I have no idea if that was a media thing or a Catholic thing, but I do remember my mother arguing with my father about just that. With everything we are learning about the man himself, I guess that’s not going to happen.

The media back then didn’t have such instant communication methods, and they were a bit more controllable. There is no doubt in my mind that JFK was the first president elected by the media, and had he lived, RFK would have been the second.

The early 1960s were indeed a scary time with the Cold War, but when you think about it, we are in equally scary times. We have a president who has a whole lot less experience than JFK had (at least Kennedy served in the military) and I think that Obama’s Cabinet is as inexperienced as Kennedy’s was. (Unlike Obama’s Cabinet which is chock full of his cronies and people he owes favors to, Kennedy is said to have hardly known anyone on his Cabinet at all, except of course for his brother.)


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