November 22, 1963 was one of the darkest days in American history. Not only because a President was murdered but because the unintended consequences would ultimately have a devastating impact on this country. I was thirteen and in the 8th grade at Bailey Jr. High School in East Nashville. It was just after lunch period and I noticed a group of teachers standing in a circle. They were very animated and I could hear questions being asked like "is he dead" and "where was he shot"? I walked to Mr. Warren's class and he was late arriving in class. He made the announcement that Kennedy had been shot. We sat for the rest of class listening to the television broadcast over the intercom that would eventually confirm his death. Like everyone else I was glued to the television for the next four days. I was in Church that Sunday when Jack Ruby shot and killed Lee Harvey Oswald. The Kennedy assassination and September 11th have been the most traumatic national events that I have ever witnessed, but the Kennedy assassination tops September 11th in my view. It is impossible to know what the we all would have been better off if Kennedy had lived. Kennedy was the last Democrat that I could see myself voting for if he were running today. He was not a liberal, at least not in the way we define a liberal today. He was a patriot and a cold warrior, unlike most liberal Democrats today he loved his country. Kennedy realized the danger posed by the Soviet Union and he was a fiscal conservative.
The death of Kennedy opened the door for Lyndon Johnson who expanded the war in Vietnam. I am convinced that Kennedy would not have appreciably increased our involvement in Vietnam to the extent that Johnson did. Vietnam was the catalyst for the emergence of the counterculture and anti-war movement. The Hippie movement was a big part of this and responsible in many ways for undermining society and the family by popularizing the sexual revolution and the drug culture. Johnson's so-called War on Poverty expanded the welfare state mentality which has further undermined the family structure by making it much easier for women to have children out of wedlock and for men to irresponsibly walk away from them. The redistribution of wealth mentality was a big part of the War on Poverty which has led to the ultra radical policies of Obama. Johnson's crowning achievement was the passage of the 1964 and 65 Civil Rights Acts but his failures overwhelm his achievements. Had Kennedy lived I believe that his sexual addiction, affairs with mafia mistresses, his Addison's disease, Operation Mongoose, and other scandals would have been exposed at some point. As it was the assassination gave Kennedy an undeserved, almost mythical status. September 11, 2001 definitely had a huge impact on America but nothing approaching the detrimental impact of the Kennedy assassination.