John F. Kennedy is lionized by liberals. Heinspired Bill Clinton to go into politics and Lyndon B. Johnson to push forlandmark civil rights laws. His champions insist he would havedone great liberal things had he not been killed by Lee HarveyOswald.
But what if we have completely misunderstood him? What if wejudge him by the lengthy record of his actual political career? His twogreat causes were anticommunism and economic growth. His tax cuts, hisdomestic-spending restraint, his military buildup, his emphasis on free tradeand a strong dollar, and his foreign policy all make him, by the standards ofboth his time and our own, a conservative. Ira Stoll convincingly arguesthat JFK had more in common with Ronald Reagan than with LBJ. Notevery Republican is a true heir to Kennedy, but hardly any Democrats deservethat mantle.
JFK, Conservative is sure to appeal to conservativereaders—and will force liberals to reconsider one of their icons.
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