December 02, 2013

JFK: First #neoliberal? First #neocon?

People who don't wear the blinders, or rose-colored glasses of Camelot know that Jack Kennedy wasn't all that liberal. That said, Ira Stoll's "JFK, Conservative" may overstate the case a bit.

But, what if there's threads, albeit tenuous, tying Jack Kennedy to the later rise of neoliberalism? (A rise that doesn't start with Bill Clinton; Jimmy Carter is arguably the first neoliberal president.) 

I think that any further civil rights initiatives Kennedy might have pushed for, had he not been shot, would have been more market-oriented than LBJ's. Certainly, from what we know of his version of Medicare, that's true there.

As for the realities for Camelot, I suggest JFK adorers start with Robert Dallek's new book, "Camelot's Court."

Or, maybe due to the mix of being a Cold Warrior and a nation-builder in his foreign policy, we should instead wonder if Jack was the first neoconservative, or at least the first non-Jewish one.

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