Howie Carr: John F. Kennedy was the last good Democrat

President John F. Kennedy was murdered in Dallas 60 years ago today – on Nov. 22, 1963.

And it’s been all downhill since then.

It doesn’t matter what you think of JFK’s presidency – I’d say he was okay, but not great – but who can argue that the country hasn’t changed for the worse since that terrible Friday?

In the aftermath, much of the nation’s elite – the best and the brightest – had a collective nervous breakdown, and they and their descendants have never recovered. They now careen from one “existential” crisis to the next – one hysteria after another, decades of panic, from global cooling to global warming to acid rain right up to the present.

Trump! COVID! George Floyd! Trump!

The country stumbles on, more and more resembling, in the prescient words of Richard M. Nixon, “a pitiful, helpless giant.”

It’s easy to overstate how much that one assassination has changed everything. As Adam Smith observed after a British defeat in 1777: “There is a great deal of ruin in a nation.”

Which if true is very lucky for us. I think at least some of the nation’s ongoing nervous breakdown is related to the fact that nobody still really knows for sure who killed JFK.

I know, we’re supposed to believe it was the original lone wolf, Lee Harvey Oswald, a Communist. But I don’t believe it, and neither did Lyndon Johnson, for that matter. (It’s on the White House tapes when LBJ is talking to Sen. Richard Russell.)

Who did it? The CIA? The Cubans? Even LBJ has had books written about him as a suspect, since he was apparently going to be dumped from the ticket in 1964. My money would be on the Mob, for double-crossing them after they went all out for JFK in 1960, but that’s just me.

As time has gone on, less and less attention has been paid to this anniversary. The days of Kennedy hagiography as a cottage industry are long over.

Attention spans are short. For most people, JFK is not within living memory. He’s not a contemporary. Indeed, none of the Kennedys are, which is why the last Kennedy to run for elective office in Massachusetts lost to, of all people, Ed Markey – a K-Mart Kennedy, as we used to call those knock-offs with the fake accents and the swept-forward hair and all the rest of the affectations.

But there’s another factor at work in the declining interest in the Kennedys. The fact is, JFK no longer fits comfortably into the modern Democrat pantheon.

As a matter of fact, if he were alive today, JFK wouldn’t even be able to get on the ballot to run in a Democrat primary in Massachusetts, let alone prevail over a wokester’s wokester. He could never get 15 percent of the vote at a state Democrat convention that he’d need to make the primary.

Maybe JFK’s most famous quote was: “Ask not what your country can do for you, ask what you can do for your country.”

That’s practically hate speech for Democrats nowadays. He also talked about the “long twilight struggle” – meaning, the Cold War, against Communism. Nowadays, in the Democrat party, the long, twilight struggle against the US and the people Kennedy represented.

The last time Kennedy came to Boston was in October 1963, a big fundraiser at the Commonwealth Armory for the Democrat governors of New England. His room was at the Boston Sheraton. He had his 19-year-old White House girlfriend Mimi Alford come up from Wheaton College. The president asked her to perform oral sex on his little brother, Sen. Ted Kennedy.

She declined.

Now, not far from the Sheraton, the state is planning to put up hundreds or thousands of illegal aliens from parts unknown, many of them no doubt criminals, very few of them planning to work anytime soon.

Does anyone think Jack Kennedy would think open borders was a good idea? He wasn’t that much of a liberal, after all.

You’re not supposed to talk about it, but he was a pal of Sen. Joe McCarthy. He gave $1,000 cash to Richard Nixon when he was running for the Senate in 1950. He voted against statehood for Hawaii.

He palled around with some of the biggest segregationists in Congress, all Democrats. He used to go down to pre-Castro Havana with Sen. George Smathers of Florida, another Democrat, and enjoy the finest hookers Meyer Lansky and Santo Trafficante had to offer.

He spent much of his time in Palm Beach, where blacks were prohibited by law from opening property until at least 1962.

In November 1951, Congressman JFK addressed the Boston Chamber of Commerce:

“We cannot abolish the poverty and want… There is just not enough money in the world to relieve the poverty of all the millions of this world… It is not only beyond our grasp, but is beyond our reach.”

The next year, while JFK was running for the Senate, the New Republic reported on a speech he gave at Harvard in which he said:

“… that he could see no reason why we were fighting in Korea, he thought that sooner or later we would ‘have to get all those foreigners off our backs’ in Europe… that he rather respected Joe McCarthy and thought he ‘knew Joe pretty well, and he may have something….”

Sixty years later, they’re not making Democrats like John F. Kennedy anymore. And whatever his shortcomings were, that’s too damn bad.

America was a lot better country before he was shot, and the Democrats were a lot better party.

(Order Howie’s new book, “Paper Boy: Read All About It!” at or 

U.S. President John Kennedy flashed this big smile while conferring with Chancellor Konrad Adenauer of West Germany on Nov. 22, 1961 at the White House in Washington. The Chief Executive and his family plan to leave later today to spend Thanksgiving Day at Hyannis Port. (AP Photo/Bryon Rollins)

The limousine carrying mortally wounded President John F. Kennedy races toward the hospital seconds after he was shot in Dallas, Tx., Nov. 22, 1963. With secret service agent Clinton Hill riding on the back of the car, Mrs. John Connally, wife of the Texas governor, bends over her wounded husband, and Mrs. Kennedy leans over the president. (AP Photo/Justin Newman)

Lee Harvey Oswald sits in police custody shortly after being arrested for assassinating U.S. President John F. Kennedy in Dallas, Texas, Nov. 22, 1963. Oswald was shot and killed two days later by Jack Ruby, a local club owner, as he was being transferred to a city jail. (AP Photo)

Passersby stand outside a television studio in Washington, D.C., as they receive news of the assassination of President John F. Kennedy in Dallas, Texas, on Nov. 22, 1963. (AP Photo/Byron Rollins)

Lee Harvey Oswald, suspected assassin of U.S. President John F. Kennedy, holds up his manacled hands at police headquarters in Dallas, Texas, where he is held for questioning, on Nov. 22, 1963. New testing on the type of ammunition used in the 1963 assassination of President John F. Kennedy raises questions about whether Lee Harvey Oswald acted alone, according to a study by researchers at Texas A&M University. (AP Photo/Ferd Kaufman)

Seen through the limousine’s windshield as it proceeds along Elm Street past the Texas School Book Depository, President John F. Kennedy appears to raise his hand toward his head within seconds of being fatally shot in Dallas, Nov 22, 1963. Mrs. Jacqueline Kennedy holds the President’s forearm in an effort to aid him. Gov. John Connally of Texas, who was in the front seat, was also shot. (AP Photo/James W. (Ike) Altgens)

Sen. Edward Kennedy lays a white rose at the foot of a British memorial to his brother, U.S. President John F. Kennedy, on 25th anniversary of his assassination, at Runnymede, near London, Nov. 22, 1988. (AP Photo/Martin Cleaver)

FILE – In this June 3, 1961, file photo, Soviet Premier Nikita Khrushchev and President John F. Kennedy talk in the residence of the U.S. Ambassador in a suburb of Vienna. The meeting was part of a series of talks during their summit meetings in Vienna. Fifty years after the Cuban missile crisis, the National Archives in Washington has pulled together documents and secret White House recordings to show the public how President John F. Kennedy deliberated to avert nuclear war. The exhibit opens Friday, Oct. 12, 2012, to recount the showdown with the Soviet Union. It is called “To the Brink: JFK and the Cuban Missile Crisis.” (AP Photo)

FILE — Surrounded by detectives, Lee Harvey Oswald talks to the media as he is led down a corridor of the Dallas police station, Nov. 23, 1963, for another round of questioning in connection with the assassination of U.S. President John F. Kennedy. The life insurance policy on the man who assassinated Kennedy paid out less than $900 to his mother, but the death claim she filed to get that sum has sold at auction for almost $80,000. The original Notice of Insurance Claim for Lee Harvey Oswald sold for $79,436 on Wednesday, April 13, 2022, Boston-based RR Auction said in a statement. (AP Photo/File)

President John F. Kennedy makes a national television speech October 22, 1962, from Washington. He announced a naval blockade of Cuba until Soviet missiles are removed. (AP Photo)

U.S. President John F. Kennedy, right, confers with his brother Attorney General Robert F. Kennedy at the White House in Washington, D.C., on Oct. 1, 1962 during the buildup of military tensions between the U.S. and the Soviet Union that became Cuban missile crisis later that month. (AP Photo)

President John F. Kennedy as he appeared on a television set in New York City Oct. 22, 1962 informing the American people of his decision to set up a naval blockade against Cuba. (AP Photo)

FILE — Democratic presidential nominee Sen. John F. Kennedy and wife Jacqueline in cockpit of their sailboat, Victura, at Hyannis Port, Mass., Aug. 7, 1960. The senator took advantage of ideal weather to get in some sailing before leaving for Washington. “The First Kennedys,” a new book that sheds light on the impoverished immigrants from Ireland whose descendants would include John F. Kennedy and Robert F. Kennedy, offers hope to America’s latest arrivals from Afghanistan, Ukraine and other global hot spots. (AP Photo, File)

As seen in ‘JFK: Through the Looking Glass,’ President John F. Kennedy rides in the motorcade through Dallas shortly before his assassination. (Courtesy of Shout! Factory)

FILE – In this Dec. 6, 1960, file photo, President Dwight Eisenhower poses with President-elect John F. Kennedy at the White House in Washington, before a private conference. Researchers at the John F. Kennedy Presidential Library and Museum in 2020 have found a cache of letters from Americans objecting to JFK’s embrace of cocktails at White House events. The letters shed new insight into Eisenhower’s handoff to Kennedy early in 1961, and the strikingly different attitudes that people held about alcohol at official functions. (AP Photo, File)

President John F. Kennedy speaks at a press conference August 1, 1963. (Photo by National Archive/Newsmakers)

John F. Kennedy, left, and his brother, Robert Kennedy, are shown together on July 10, 1960 in an unknown location. (AP Photo)

President John F. Kennedy

AR7791-N 27 March 1963

Arrival ceremony for Hassan II, King of Morocco, 11:50AM.

Please credit “Abbie Rowe. White House Photographs. John F. Kennedy Presidential Library and Museum, Boston”

A portrait of the Kennedy family as they sit in the shade of some trees, Hyannis, Massachussetts, 1930s. Seated from left are: Patricia Kennedy (1926 – 2006), Robert Kennedy (1925 – 1968), Rose Kennedy (1890 – 1995), John F Kennedy (1917 – 1963), Joseph P Kennedy Sr (1888 – 1969) with Edward Kennedy on his lap; standing from left are: Joseph P Kennedy Jr (1915 – 1944), Kathleen Kennedy (1920 – 1948), Rosemary Kennedy (1918 – 2005), Eunice Kennedy (rear, in polka dots), and Jean Kennedy.

FILE – In this Nov. 22, 1963 file photo, President John F. Kennedy waves from his car in a motorcade in Dallas. Riding with Kennedy are First Lady Jacqueline Kennedy, right, Nellie Connally, second from left, and her husband, Texas Gov. John Connally, far left. The National Archives released the John F. Kennedy assassination files on Thursday, Oct. 26, 2017. (AP Photo/Jim Altgens, File)

President John F. Kennedy delivers his inaugural address after taking the oath of office at the Capitol in Washington Jan. 20, 1961. (AP Photo)

Lt. John F. Kennedy, skipper of PT boat 109, is shown relaxing in the South Pacific, 1943. Six decades after Aaron Kumana helped rescue young U.S. naval officer John F. Kennedy from Japanese capture in 1943, the U.S. Navy officially recognized its debt to the Solomon Islander Wednesday Aug. 22, 2007, who for years was believed dead and not honored. (AP Photo)

John F. Kennedy



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