National Pride vs National Reason


I am currently reading Jack Kennedy: Elusive Hero by  Chris Mathews.  The author is talking about a conversation that took place at Hyannis Port shortly after the Bay of Pigs disaster.  The person Fay, is Paul “Red” Fay who served with JFK in the Pacific during World War Two on PT boats.

One of those Cape Cod evenings provided an outpouring Fay never forgot.  It was when Jack outlined for him what he believed in: “I will never compromise the principles on which this country is built,” JFK told him, “but we’re not going to plunge into an irresponsible action just because a fanatical fringe in this country puts so-called national pride above national reason.”

I suppose that a part of that reasoning had its’ genesis from JFK’s World War Two experience.  JFK certainly saw death and he saw toll that war takes from the participants and from their families back home.

Chris Mathews continues

Then he went on, “Do you think I’m going to carry on my conscience the responsibility for the wanton maiming and killing of children like our children we saw here this evening?  Do you think I am going to cause a nuclear exchange – for what?  Because I was forced into doing something that I didn’t think was proper and right?  Well, if you or anyone else thinks I am, he’s crazy.”

I cannot begin to list all the “leaders” that have not been in the military and have acted contrary to the statement attributed to JFK.

But, I will list a few that come to mind:  W (National Guard does not count), Dick Cheney, Rumsfeld, Doug Feith, John Yoo, and lest you think I pick on Republicans, Bill Clinton and Barack Obama.

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