Skip to comments.Frank Rich Is Wrong: Hate Didnít Kill Kennedy, But It Is Killing Civil Discourse in America
Posted on 11/22/2011 3:28:24 PM PST by jazusamo
Today marks the 48th anniversary of the assassination of President John F. Kennedy. The slain presidents wife, his successor, and the liberal media blamed the murder on Dallas climate of hate. That smear cast a pall on the innocent citizens of that city for decades. I know, because I grew up in the shadow of Big D and in the shadow of Kennedys killing. For decades after Nov. 22, 1963, you could go anywhere in the country, tell anyone you were from Dallas, and if you spent enough time with that person, Kennedys assassination would inevitably come up.
Frank Rich chose to mark the 48th anniversary by smearing Dallas, again, and by extension conservatives of the present. Its a column which should get him ridiculed and fired; no one who is so irresponsible with the hard facts of life has any place in the commentariat.The title gives Richs game away. Its What Killed JFK? not Who Killed JFK? as it should be. A what is much easier to abstract, isolate, and attack than a who who had inconvenient opinions and motivations, and a madness to move.
The cold, hard fact of that day in Dallas is this: Whether Kennedy was killed by a lone gunman or by a conspiracy that included others, Dallas climate had nothing to do with it. Dallas was the scene of the crime but wasnt responsible for it. Lee Harvey Oswald was not a mainstream Dallas man. He would not have been a Tea Partier. Lee Harvey Oswald was a communist. He had defected to the Soviet Union, become disillusioned, and returned. He had tried to travel to Cuba and failed. If hate was Oswalds motive in Kennedys killing, the hate lived in the chest of a man who had failed at life, had rejected the freedoms of his country, and used bullets to write himself into the history books. Lee Harvey Oswald was an America-hating leftist.
Or, alternatively, Kennedy was killed by a conspiracy to stop his Vietnam policy or whatever the Oliver Stones of the world think. You make the call. Either way, Dallas is not collectively guilty of Kennedys death anymore than Washington DC is collectively guilty of Lincolns.
To the extent that his politics are relevant today, Lee Harvey Oswald belongs to the same ideological strain that later gave us Pentagon bomber Bill Ayers. That same strain of politics can be traced through a certain church in Chicago, right to the camps in Oakland, Los Angeles and Wall Street. People who subscribe to this strain of thought blame others for their feelings of powerlessness. They reject American freedom and damn America. They accept some violence as a legitimate political tactic. They despise America and want to bring her down to create a moment in which they can rearrange power to their benefit.
But Im less interested in them at the moment than I am interested in Frank Rich. His column shows that in all the decades since Kennedys murder, the left has never really changed. They blamed Dallas for Kennedys death then, and they blame Sarah Palin and conservatives for the senseless shooting in Tucson this year. The facts of the story change, but the smear stays the same. Frank Rich blames hate for both, but the only hate on display is his own. It blinds him to the fact that Oswald was a man very much of the left, and that the Tucson shooter had no discernible ideology at all. But men of the left such as Rich prefer to assign collective guilt on their political enemies. Without pushing that collective guilt on others, their own lives have no meaning. They cannot convince themselves of their own superiority without an inferior other to hate. And collective guilt is a useful tool to intimidate. There is a reason that Saul Alinsky has found such a receptive audience among the left. Theyre fueled by hate; Alinsky gave them the means of channeling that hate toward useful (to the haters) ends.
Frank Richs hatefulness is killing civil discourse in America. It dishonestly condemned an entire city for generations and turns an innocent campaign map into a murder map. It replaces individual responsibility with collective guilt, and turns what should be a unifying national tragedy into corrosive partisan crossfire.
That's stating the obvious, ain't it? But it would be the NYT that lets a theater critic become a political "pundit".
Frank Rich Is Wrong
I ‘m so bored with the left and their “hate” chatter. They sound like a bunch on junior high school girls.
I’d like to apologize to the junior high school girls for the previous post.
You are demeaning junior high school girls. The left doesn’t even rise to that level...when my daughters were in middle school they were MUCH more responsible.
He’s not only quick, he’s correct. :-)
Frank Rich has never been right about anything...including his positive review of “Follies” way back when...
I agree, and I was speaking of fkabuckeyesrule.
Texan LBJ was his VP. LHO just happened to live in Texas, his activities were such he could’ve lived anywhere and acted as he did.
Yep. There’s been speculation about LBJ being involved and I confess that thought came to mind when Kennedy was assassinated. I have no idea but LBJ was a crook in my view.
Dallas and its citizens were no more responsible for the JFK assassination than LA was for RFK, Miami was for Mayor Cermak, Washington was for Lincoln or Garfield or Buffalo was for McKinley. It serves a purpose for nasty rotund liberals like Frank Rich to target entire groups with hate - they are the true haters. The Dallas police were incompetent, JFK should never have been riding in an open convertible and wearing a stiff neck brace, the Secret Service should not have been out drinking the night before. But none of this was the cause of the assassination - the real cause was a misfit Communist who dreamed of foul glory. Deniers of Oswald’s role in the assassination have never been able to explain just why he killed Officer Tippitt, other than to escape apprehension for the JFK murder.
Same thing happened to Laramie, Wyoming. Because two meth heads thought a gay panic defense would be a good idea, a good town was smeared.
Wait Frank Rich IS wrong! The Rolling Stones said Kennedy was killed “by yooou and meeee...”
LBJ killed Kennedy....according to Jackie!! I’m with Jackie.
LBJ killed Kennedy....according to Jackie!! I’m with Jackie.
Oswald WAS a communist - he was NEVER a typical Dallas conservative. He was an OWS, Bill Ayers type. Period. Liberals were and are the haters...
Yep...I knew that. Thanks
Yes, he was, and this has been known by everyone (except Frank Rich, apparently) for nearly 50 years.
This is a very good column and Dallas is worthy of being publicly defended, but it is a shame the column was inspired by a floating turd like Rich. He simply should never be taken seriously.
The case connecting Oswald to Officer Tippets murder is also flawed.The only witness first claimed to see two men at the murder scene and only changed her mind after a visit by the FBI.Several other witness’s claimed to see two Cuban looking men running from the scene.Also Officer Tippets mistress had just informed him that morning of her pregnancy and that her husband was “gunning for him”.The ballistics were also wrong and Oswald passed the parafin test.probably just the normal BS in any murder investigation but it goes to show the enduring mystery of this case.