11A023 JFK's Inaugural by Jim Davies, 1/23/2011    

Again and again, last week, the media delighted in inflicting upon us what Kennedy said, on January 20, 1961 - fifty years ago; especially the bit about how we should relate to "our country."

It's one of the great speeches of history, no question. The English composition is elegant, and its content caught the country's mood just right. Kennedy wrote it with the help of Ted Sorensen, his speechwriter and counsel, who died last October. And it sets the collectivist agenda for government squarely on track for the next half century.

Here's the speech in full; let's dissect a highlight or two.

It has a somewhat promising start: "the rights of man come not from the generosity of the state, but from the hand of God." Wrong; they come rather from humankind's nature, and are bound up in that nature person by person, and owe nothing whatever to any external donor whether visible (the State) or imaginary (God.) But at least he got it partly right, or said he did: the State is not the dispenser of rights. Check Mr or Mrs J Q Citizen on the street today, and more often than not, you'll hear the contrary; that rights are things government allows us to have.

Then comes one of the collectivists' favorite bits: "Let every nation know, whether it wishes us well or ill, that we shall pay any price, bear any burden, meet any hardship, support any friend, oppose any foe, in order to assure the survival and the success of liberty." There, JFK shakes the big stick, and sets in stone his unwavering commitment to the fiction that there is such a thing as a "nation", which he just happens to lead, which can take actions using the first person plural: "we."

"We" will do those things, he said, to assure the survival of "liberty." Very clearly, he and Sorensen meant by "liberty" something very different from its natural meaning: freedom to pursue one's own wishes. If "we" are to "pay any price" then your liberty and mine, to pay what we own in a manner we each choose, is over-ruled; likewise the bits about bearing burdens, meeting hardships, etc. He refers to friends and foes of the collective, the US of A - not of individuals who happen to have been born within the borders to which his organization laid claim. The words are, therefore, a bellicose statement that other nations had better watch out, other governments had better line up with his government, or else. And eventually, almost all of them did. The Empire was built, and is now at its peak - or, more likely, just past its peak.

I've room for one more highlight, and it must be the one most loved of all by government people: "And so, my fellow Americans: ask not what your country can do for you—ask what you can do for your country." Translate "country" into "government", and it's easy to explain the spontaneous burst of wild applause on the platform around him; that part, at least, is best seen on YouTube. Probably at least 95% of those watching on TV back in '61 didn't make that translation; perhaps 95% who see the replays still don't. But those senior mafiosi on the inaugural platform knew very well what he was saying, and could ill restrain their delight. He was laying an apparently ethical foundation for a slave state. That job was never done with smoother words.

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