John F. Kennedy

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The Birchers weren't big fans. This handbill was circulated the day before the assassination by the John Birch Society.[1][2]
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U.S. Politics
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Nixon, in a high-level or high-road campaign which emphasizes the issues, in the last seven days has called me an economic ignoramus, a Pied Piper, and all the rest. I just confine myself to calling him a Republican! But he says that is really getting low.
—Kennedy, 1960[3]

John Fitzgerald Kennedy (1917–1963) is a member of the Dead Kennedys, and the fourth POTUS to die from an assassin's bullet. He was elected in 1960, besting the arguably more qualified but far less attractive (and insane) Richard Nixon. He was also the first Catholic president, which was actually considered shocking at the time. Indeed, he would be the only one until Biden showed up.

What constitutes a leftie in the U.S. is... different. Despite being a member of the NRA, favoring large-scale tax cuts and aggressive foreign policy (most of his forays into international affairs proved to be disastrous, or at least dangerous brinkmanship, e.g. the Vietnam War, the Bay of Pigs invasion, the Cuban Missile Crisis), at the time (and as usual with any Democratic candidate), the GOP considered him a radical leftist, and additionally, stoked fears he would take orders from the Pope.[4]

Kennedy's push for civil rights proved to be of good intent. However, as a senator, he supported a procedural matter favored by segregationists to weaken the 1957 Civil Rights Act.[5] His New FrontierWikipedia brought some domestic change, but wasn't as expansive (or expensive) as the Great Society. He also ended federal executions in Washington, a pretty significant move that hasn't really been written into his legacy. Moreover, he refused to send soldiers into Laos, rejected the idea of using nukes on Cuba, preferred a neutralist option in Vietnam like in Laos, switched up the Joint Chiefs of Staff after the Bay of Pigs debacle, and sacked Allen DullesWikipedia from the CIA. He is also rumored to have banged Marilyn Monroe. The Pope himself would've had to give JFK a high-five.

"Secret Societies" speech[edit]

On April 27, 1961, Kennedy gave a speech to the American Newspaper Publishers Association in the Waldorf-Astoria Hotel, New York. Aside from being a particularly good example of Kennedy's grasp of rhetorical pathos, it's become prevalent amongst online conspiracy whackjobs, almost exclusively because Kennedy used the term "secret society" on one occasion and made reference to the U.S. being opposed around the world by a "vast right-wing monolithic and ruthless conspiracy," which relies variously on "infiltration instead of invasion," "subversion instead of elections," "intimidation instead of free choice," and "guerillas by night" to "expand its sphere of influence."

Versions of this speech are all over YouTube with ridiculous titles (e.g., "JFK blows the whistle on 9/11") - the speech is generally quote mined down from its original 20-minute length to a pithy five minutes (some are as short as a minute or two) which focuses on the juicy (when decontextualized) statements listed above. However, they're invariably so poorly edited that the speech doesn't actually make much narrative sense (although it's certainly a credit to Kennedy's aforementioned grasp of highly charged rhetoric that he can sound convincing and purposeful even when what he's saying is incoherent). All in all, these videos command a combined viewership of several million.

Depending on what theories you subscribe to, JFK was referring to one or all of the following: the CIA, the Fed, the FBI, the Illuminati, the New World Order, 9/11, Mossad, MI6, Freemasons, Israel, Skull & Bones Society, Big Government, and so on. However, many conspiracy peddlers seem to be in agreement that it was this speech that led to his assassination.

It should come as absolutely no surprise that Kennedy was talking about something totally unrelated to any of the targets just mentioned (although, ironically, JFK's statements about this enemy's behavior are directly applicable to the actions of the U.S. throughout the Cold War period). Additionally, for a speech that supposedly threatened the powers that be to such a degree that they had no recourse but to assassinate Kennedy in cold-blood two and a half years later, verbatim text transcripts of the speech in its distinctly non-scurrilous entirety (and a full audio recording) are freely available in numerous places on the web.[6] A brief read or listen of the oratory in full reveals that Kennedy was clearly speaking about the Soviet Union. It's due to their own generalized idiocy (ignorance of the logistics and history of the Cold War, ignorance of the use of terms like 'closed society' and 'Iron Curtain' in political discourse, etc.) that conspiracy theorists believe differently.


  • "If by a 'liberal' they mean someone who looks ahead and not behind, someone who welcomes new ideas without rigid reactions, someone who cares about the welfare of the people - their health, their housing, their schools, their jobs, their civil rights, and their civil liberties - someone who believes we can break through the stalemate and suspicions that grip us in our policies abroad, if that is what they mean by a 'liberal,' then I'm proud to say I'm a liberal."
  • "We need more new ideas for more wise men reading more good books in more public libraries. These libraries should be open to all - except the censor."
  • "Without debate, without criticism, no Administration and no country can succeed - and no republic can survive."
  • "If art is to nourish the roots of our culture, society must set the artist free to follow his vision wherever it takes him. We must never forget that art is not a form of propaganda; it is a form of truth."
  • "I believe that this nation should commit itself to achieving the goal, before this decade is out, of landing a man on the moon and returning him safely to the Earth."
  • "We choose to go to the Moon, and do the other things, not because they are easy but because they are HAAAAHHD."
  • "Those who make peaceful revolution impossible will make violent revolution inevitable."
  • "A wall is a hell of a lot better than a war."
  • "Mankind must put an end to war or war will put an end to mankind."
  • "Let us never negotiate out of fear. But let us never fear to negotiate."
  • "If a free society cannot help the many who are poor, it cannot save the few who are rich."

See also[edit]

External links[edit]


  1. Warren Commission Report: Page 298 The John F. Kennedy Assassination Homepage (archived from February 22, 2006).
  2. See the Wikipedia article on Edwin Walker.
  3. Papers of John F. Kennedy, Pre-Presidential Papers, Speech Files (1953-1960). "Concourse Plaza Hotel, Bronx 11/5/60."
  4. Nasaw, David, "Identity Politics in 1960", Slate (21 November 2012, 6:45 AM).
  5. Levingston, S. (2017). Kennedy and King (p. 58). Hachette Book Group.
  6. Address before the American Newspaper Publishers Association, April 27, 1961, John F. Kennedy Presidential Library and Museum