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Reminder of JFK Assassination Aftermath

Fifty years after President Kennedy was killed in Dallas some in the liberal press still cannot quite accept the truth that conservatives didn't do it. The New York Times publishes a review by Steven Weinberg of Dallas 1963, a book by Bill Minutaglio and Steven J. Davis that portrays Dallas as a den of hatred for Kennedy. The problem with the book would appear to be that the authors somehow think that the anti-Kennedy conservatism of Dallas (which was true) was responsible for the act of Lee Harvey Oswald, a communist sympathizer. Worse, Weinberg seems supportive of this hair brained idea.

This is a slander of conservatives in general, not to mention of Dallas, that brings back my own unpleasant memories of the time--and of more recent times, too. People in the liberal media apparently want the perpetrators of crimes to turn out to be conservatives so they can make political hay of it. Since that almost never happens to be realistic--the killers are usually deranged persons of no particular politics--you would think they would have some shame about the habit of leaping to biased conclusions. There is no word I know of for this syndrome, though you might call it victimhood projection. You want your foe to behave in a dastardly fashion so you can pretend to be his victim (or that others are his victims).

James Pierson gave the perfect rejoinder to this way of thinking about November 22, 1963--and Dallas, 1963--in an article that ran only a few days ago in the Wall Street Journal. Indeed, Mr. Pierson, a fellow of the Manhattan Institute, has written Camelot and the Cultural Revolution: How the Assassination of John F. Kennedy Shattered American Liberalism" that should be reviewed by the New York Times, too, but probably won't be.

Indeed the left has a blindness to communists and communist sympathizers that is remarkably undeterred by experience (from the covered-up crimes of Stalin to the treason of Alger Hiss in the U.S. Government) and that makes up crimes to assign to conservatives. On the other hand they have always been very quick to attack the right.

I was a young man active in Washington, DC at the time Kennedy was assassinated. I was not enamored of the kind of conservatives found in the South in those days (and made myself clear on that in public) and I remember being worried that one of them might have been responsible for shooting the President. But none of them was, and those who impulsively suggested otherwise--before any information came in--should have apologized then and often.

You can email brucechapman@discovery.org

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