The president many leftists describe as their role model would be disgusted by today’s reckless spending and a foreign policy that centers around appeasement. Through his new book, JFK, Conservative, author Ira Stoll seeks to make that case by chronicling the 35th president’s actual positions regarding domestic and foreign matters.
As part of his overall plan to correct the historical distortions of John F. Kennedy’s years in office, Stoll also addressed what he said are inaccuracies on display at a Dallas museum. Located near the site where he was assassinated, the Sixth Floor Museum is undergoing some updates prior to the upcoming 5oth anniversary of that fateful day.
Stoll initiated a campaign to also include corrections in the museum’s characterization of his presidency, which he said in a letter to museum director Nicola Longford appear “inaccurate or misleading.”
For example, the museum display states “massive new social programs were central to Kennedy’s New Frontier philosophy,” a claim Stoll said is “just not true.” In reality, he said, JFK favored a scaled-down form of Medicare — a campaign he ultimately abandoned altogether.
Furthermore, the author took issue with claims JFK’s presidency was integral in beginning the nation’s gravitation toward deficit spending.
“Kennedy’s recipe for growth was not a deficit,” Stoll explained. “It was a tax cut that, both by changing incentives and by putting more money in the hands of the private sector, would yield growth that would ultimately narrow the deficit by increasing federal revenues.”
The deficits JFK did accrue during his presidency “were modest by modern standards and as a percentage of GDP,” he added.
Though Longford blamed any inconsistencies on the fact “this exhibit text is almost 25 years old,” the museum will act on Stoll’s suggestions.
“I hope the new exhibit text portrays JFK as closer to the real JFK I describe in my book,” the author stated, calling Kennedy “a tax-cutting, pro-growth politician who favored welfare reform, free trade, domestic spending restraint, and a balanced budget over the course of the business cycle.”
The modern left feels compelled to invoke the memory of JFK, whose legacy shines much brighter than the Democrat names that have come since his death. Stoll’s new book, however, challenges the validity of the claim that today’s progressives are merely carrying on the work he started more than a half-century ago.
A factual comparison would show, in fact, today’s Democrat party is far more extreme than its idol would have ever been. Thankfully, at least one museum seems to be willing to accept that truth.
–Western Journalism staff writer
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