I am old enough to remember the day in November, 1963, when the unthinkable happened. I even was able to comprehend a lot of what it actually meant -- not just what had happened. I heard the announcement over the public address system at my grade school, as I was in my last year before entering junior high school.
So, as the 50th anniversary of that dreadful day approaches, I thought I would quote a speech scheduled to be presented just minutes after the terrible event occurred, but which was never presented. It appears to be as relevant today as it was 50 years ago. But we, as a country, never seem to learn:
From http://www.nytimes.com/... :
The speech Mr. Kennedy never delivered at the Merchandise Mart luncheon contained a passage commenting on a recent preoccupation of his, and a subject of much interest in this city, where right-wing conservatism is the rule rather than the exception.
Voices are being heard in the land, he said, "voices preaching doctrines wholly unrelated to reality, wholly unsuited to the sixties, doctrines which apparently assume that words will suffice without weapons, that vituperation is as good as victory and that peace is a sign of weakness."
The speech went on: "At a time when the national debt is steadily being reduced in terms of its burden on our economy, they see that debt as the greatest threat to our security. At a time when we are steadily reducing the number of Federal employees serving every thousand citizens, they fear those supposed hordes of civil servants far more than the actual hordes of opposing armies.
"We cannot expect that everyone, to use the phrase of a decade ago, will 'talk sense to the American people.' But we can hope that fewer people will listen to nonsense. And the notion that this nation is headed for defeat through deficit, or that strength is but a matter of slogans, is nothing but just plain nonsense."