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Saturday, November 23, 2013

Kennedy: “Did President Kennedy get his words mixed up?”

One of the most remembered quotes from the JFK Presidency was delivered during his inaugural speech on
January 20, 1961, when he said:

“Ask not what your country can do for you, ask what you can
do for your country.”

With total respect for President John F Kennedy, did he get his wording wrong? Shouldn't he have said?

“Ask not what you can do for your country, but what your country can do for you.”

I’m sure someone will point out my disrespect, one day after the 50th anniversary of his assassination, but I've always had a question about the meaning of his words. Granted, I’m just an amateur and should not presume to grasp the meaning of such lofty words.

Nevertheless, this famous quote from President Kennedy contradicts another famous saying I've heard over and over, all my life. Putting it simply:

“By the People, for the People.”

In my mind this means we have a government made up of everyday citizens and our government is for the people. The key words being, “For the People.” Sorry folks! In America, people are not for the government's pleasure.

Almost exclusively, the history of mankind and its various forms of governments, emphasized the people lived for the benefit of the government. Monarchy forms of government always considered the serfs sole purpose in life was to serve the anointed “Royal Ones.” In Egypt the Pharaohs were thought to be Gods and the “lowly worms” of society had only one function in life, serve the Pharaohs.

As the New World (America) was discovered and founded, Royalty ruled the foremost powers of the world. Monarchies caused the peasants to seek respect, freedom of religion and to have a say in how they were to be governed. They fled Europe and came to the New World.

Over a period of time, a new idea, unknown for most of man’s history, began to emerge in American philosophy. The world’s establishment always considered people existed for the elite few. During the founding of the United States, we Americans threw everything out the window and said, “Government is For the People.”

This was an entirely unknown concept in the world as America came into existence. Royalty, petty dictators, authoritarians and supremacists of all flavors shrieked but the idea “Government is For the People” swept the world and ignited the dreams of people worldwide, who had suffered from the old philosophy most of mankind’s history.

Now we come full circle and the nation pauses to remember one of the greatest Presidents in American history. Even Republicans paused for a moment and stopped all their name calling to honor one of America’s Democrats. The conspicuous silence from the “Tea Naggers” was welcome relief even if it lasted for just a
short time. There was one “Tea Nagger” trying to claim Kennedy was a conservative but as usual, the “Tea Nagger” was dead wrong. Kennedy outwardly declared himself a Liberal.

Much has been said about President Kennedy’s statement, “Ask what you can do for your country.” However, as Whoopi Goldberg said, “Is It Just Me?” Why did everyone clap when he said those words? His words are contrary to an idea separating us from the rest of the world since our founding.

Now I sound like a "Nagger" but I just have to ask. “Did President Kennedy get his words mixed up?”





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