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John Kennedy Couldn’t Run for President in 2016!

I vividly remember my first Presidential Election Night.

It was 1960. My family’s first television set had been delivered that afternoon. Just kids, my brother and I would have watched a test pattern!!

I remember watching Inauguration Day 1961. Our handsome young President exhorted us to “think not what your country can do for you but what you can do for your country”.

Like so many preteen girls of my generation, John Kennedy was my first crush – after my dad, of course.

Kennedy’s challenge to the American people still drives my political philosophy.

ReimagineAmerica exists because I fiercely believe that our national future lies in the embrace of common national purpose.

Despite his youth, charisma, and oratorical skills; it is unlikely that John Kennedy would have put himself forward as a candidate in 2016.

His personal life was just too messy. The man was a documented philander — as early as high school and continuing even in the White House.

But 1960 journalism was still the province of ideas and solutions – not salacious gossip.

There was no National Inquirer at every grocery checkout counter.

“Playing the infidelity card in 1960” would, potentially, have brought as much scorn on Nixon as it did shame on Kennedy.

Journalists would have been more repelled at the pain they would cause Mrs. Kennedy than they would have been attracted by the opportunity to sell more papers or TV advertisements.

Sensationalism Discourages Voting

Magazines and newspapers are, sadly, no longer a place to debate competing ideas.

Reporters no longer challenge the candidates’ rehearsed 30 second sound bites with words like when, how, how much, where and why.

The “news” has been transformed into a place where entertainment trumps substance.

Gossip and innuendo has become the substance of this campaign.

The 7 by 24 television news cycle is an endless stream of sleaze:

  • Wikileaks email dumps exposing Democratic Committee peccadillos
  • Hillary Clinton’s email scandal
  • Disgusting (11 year old) Access Hollywood tapes
  • 30 plus year old sexual allegations against both Donald Trump and Bill Clinton.

Irrelevant sensationalism discourages the average voter — concerned about the economic security and physical safety of his/her own family — from participating.

When was the last time you, as an average and interested voter, heard or read a front page story about America’s almost $20 trillion dollar debt or the $200 trillion unfunded liabilities our future generations face?

Yemini rebels have fired on American warships. Iranian ships began shadowing our naval vessels off the coast of Yemen. More people died in Aleppo yesterday. All these important facts are barely mentioned on the evening “news” – after the daily dose of sleaze.

The more sleaze, the less popular the two major party candidates become.

The more their character flaws become the focus of the election – the less opportunity there is for either the Libertarian or Green Party candidates to “break through” and connect with the electorate.

Small “d” Democracy is Threatened

In 1960 63 percent of registered voters (89 million) voted in the presidential election. The major issues were front and center – not on the sidelines of the campaign:

  • Expanding economic opportunity to all
  • Civil rights
  • Defending the nation from enemies abroad (Russian Cold War)

The outcome of the election was determined by two unexpected states – Texas and Illinois — flipping from Republican to Democrat.

A half century later — 2012 – registered voters had grown by one third (120 million). The major issues were:

  • Expanding economic opportunity to all
  • Immigration Reform
  • Defending the nation from enemies domestic and abroad

The percentage of eligible voters who voted fell to 53 percent. That’s actually a drop of 25 percent in voter participation.

The issues that drove 2008 and 2012 election have not been resolved. They are the same issues that should be driving the 2016 election:

  • Expanding economic opportunity to all
  • Immigration Reform
  • Defending the nation from enemies domestic and abroad


  • Out-of-control National Debt
  • Entitlement (Social Security, Medicare) Reform

But, instead, the candidates — who have no solutions – are burying us in an avalanche of tawdriness.

Incessant Polling Discourages Voting

The already disheartened voter is subject to an incessant barrage of polls and pollsters – who extrapolate phone calls and/or online surveys answered by some 500 or 1000 people — over an entire state voter population. These pollsters have declared the outcome in 46 of our 50 states three weeks before the election.

Does that mean there’s no need for you to actual vote?

Heck no! Polls are not votes – but each side wants to use those polls to discourage their opponent’s voters from voting.

Anticipating a low voter turnout, the polls claim this will be a base election – only the most extreme partisans will actual vote. The result will be more gridlock – more government by Executive Order and (Supreme) Court Decisions.

Don’t let that happen. Small “d” democracy can only flourish when we, the people, manage our democracy by informing ourselves about the issues and by voting.

If you can’t, in good conscience, vote for either Trump or Clinton; vote for the Libertarian or Green Party candidate. Write in a name – Abraham Lincoln? Yourself? No vote is “wasted”.

The opposite is true. The more of us vote against sleaze, sensationalism, politics as usual and media bias – the stronger will be the mandate for government of the people, by the people and for the people.

2021-02-01T16:14:29+00:00October 19th, 2016|Comments Off on John Kennedy Couldn’t Run for President in 2016!

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