Camelot And The Cultural Revolution

Camelot And The Cultural Revolution

Larry Pratt

Why are so many liberals so angry? Why do they hate America? Why do they oppose self-defense measures? Why do they laud dictators and terrorists?

There was a time when liberals were characteristically optimistic. They shared a secular triumphalism that assumed the ultimate success of their socialist policies over communism in a peaceful world.

James Piereson argues convincingly in his Camelot and the Cultural Revolution that the assassination of John F. Kennedy was the turning point in the liberal world view.

Kennedy was an anti-Communist liberal who believed in fighting communists in Vietnam as well as in the Western Hemisphere. (Admittedly, his measures were halting and ineffective.) He made several attempts to have Castro assassinated. He and his father were personal friends of Sen. Joseph McCarthy who exposed the communist infiltration of the U.S. government.

Kennedy was also a member of the National Rifle Association. Sen. Hubert Humphrey of Minnesota, a one-time Democrat candidate for President, had gone on record defending the Second Amendment as the means for preserving the militia which might someday be needed to resist a tyrannical American government.

Anti-communism and support of the Second Amendment evaporated almost overnight following Kennedy’s assassination. Soon, the enemy in Vietnam shifted from the communist aggressors in North Vietnam to the United States and by 1968 guns had become a target of national restrictive legislation.

Piereson shows that Lee Harvey Oswald was a lone Communist who supported the Castro dictatorship as a truer form of communism than that found in the Soviet Union. Because it was no secret that Kennedy was trying to remove Castro, Oswald decided to get revenge for Castro. Oswald was a wannabe serial assassin. He had come within inches of murdering retired General Edwin Walker in his Dallas, TX home. (The shot was deflected by window glass.)

Jackie Kennedy’s reaction to learning of the identity of her husband’s assassin was: “He had to be killed by some silly communist.” Piereson shows that the widow went to work immediately with Scotty Reston of the New York Times and Theodore White, author of The Making of the President to spin the assassination. The epic Camelot myth was wrapped around the Kennedy presidency beginning with a wake that was modeled on that of Lincoln’s.

Jackie and her liberal friends managed to redirect the nation’s grief from any desire to go after communists at home or abroad and instead, made Kennedy a martyr for civil rights and a victim of the national climate of right-wing hate alleged to be particularly acute in Dallas.

As one who lived through that national tragedy, I well remember the media focus on the “climate of hate” that had led to Kennedy’s martyrdom. Not a word was said of Castro, or of the Soviet Union where Oswald had lived for a time as a defector.

Oswald’s hatred of America was so intense that it is quite possible that he is the reason that the U.S. spy plane, the U-2, was shot down over Soviet Russia. Oswald had been a Marine at the base where the U-2 took off, and probably knew the altitude the planes were able to fly. Not long after Oswald’s defection to the Soviet Union, the U-2 was shot down.

Oswald was not satisfied in the Soviet Union and he returned to the U.S., not because America looked better, but because he wanted to support a “truer” communist such as Fidel Castro.

Neither Jackie Kennedy nor the Warren Commission which was appointed to look into the assassination put any focus on Oswald’s communism. As a result, liberals convinced themselves that a sick and evil America had killed Kennedy. America was odious. America had to be brought down. Guns were also a contributing factor and had to be eliminated.

Hence, the culture war against America became intense soon after the assassination. The media, along with celebrity America haters such as John Kerry and Jane Fonda swung public opinion against America’s effort to stop the spread of communism in Southeast Asia. Some 2,500,000 Vietnamese and Cambodians were slaughtered, but the liberals never seemed to notice.

The street demonstrators that shut down universities in the 1960’s became the professors of those same schools from the 1970’s until today. From their tenured perches they have continued their campaign against America, turning generation after generation against America’s Christian roots and foundation as a constitutional republic.

Not only did Lee Harvey Oswald take the heat off his buddy Castro, but his monstrous act succeeded beyond his wildest imagination — he turned the country he hated against itself! Not a bad rate of return on a five-cent bullet.