Monday, July 3, 2017

JFK on America, on this Fourth of July Eve

Original Photographs from Archives
“If a free society cannot help the many who are poor, it cannot save the few who are rich.” – John F. Kennedy, Inaugural address, 1961 
“If we cannot now end our differences, at least we can help make the world safe for diversity.”  – John F. Kennedy, American University commencement address, 1963
“Washington is a city of Southern efficiency and Northern charm.”  – Warren G. Magnuson, later cited by John F. Kennedy






29 comments:

  1. Thank you. Wonderful quotes and pictures as always. I know there will be visitors to your website that will totally disagree, but the first quote is just as relevant today as it was back in the 60's. I believe that as a society we have lost our way. And unfortunately, I fear that we may be lost forever. Our parklands, wilderness areas and natural wonders are under siege, as is our society, by those who just want to get richer. I only hope that we can change course before it is too late.

    ReplyDelete
  2. Ah, Presidential.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Couldn't have said it better myself

      Delete
  3. Unfortunate that this blog has now become political. Would prefer that it stick to things we can all agree on, such as the beauty of New England.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. What's unfortunate is the lack of intellect or moral compass on individuals who look at photographs of JFK and never move past how nice his suits are, or how handsome he is, without being able to conceive of what he actually represented, and what his ideals were, and not be horrified by what has replaced them. That's not "politics," it's called "patriotism." Perhaps you've heard of the concept and understand why the 4th of July is as good a time as any to consider the welfare of America and its place in the world. JFK sure did.

      Delete
    2. And yes, we "can all agree" on "the beauty of New England," a beauty that is currently profoundly threatened by climate change.

      Delete
  4. The dignity of JFK and the generalized optimism of the 60s is a sad reminder of how precipitously the dignity of the presidency has fallen. A sobering thought this 4th of July.

    ReplyDelete
  5. When I think of my revolutionary ancestors and presidents such as JFK I feel saddened and angry because of the spectacle playing out in Washington DC. PA

    ReplyDelete
  6. Great post! Thank you. That's leadership, as opposed to what we have now.

    ReplyDelete
  7. I'm deeply disappointed that even SWNE has become political. It was so much more enjoyable without the political commentary from viewers.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. It must be very hard to share space in the comments section with people who care about the welfare of America, particularly on the eve of the 4th of July. Perhaps you need some safe space. :-(

      Delete
    2. ...and life was so much more enjoyable without the vulgarity that is now coming from 1600 PA Avenue.
      -Mike

      Delete
  8. Perhaps it would be better to keep opinions to one's self and not assume that if one is not agreed with than that person is illiterate, unpatriotic, less of an American or whatever other slurs come to mind. America was founded on the freedom to not be forced to follow another's opinions and I, for one, would like to keep it that way. There are plenty of like-minded blogs to visit for political opinions and commentary on many fronts. Let's leave SWNE alone and enjoy our mutual love of New England and Muffy's most pleasant presentation of it.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. The welfare of the United States isn't a subjective matter, nor is the precipitous degradation of the presidency in its current form a matter of "agreement" or "opinion." It's an objective fact. The definition of patriotism is enough love for country to be aware when it is in danger, and to speak out about it. Anyone who can't handle a reaction to a historical photograph of JFK beyond "Wow, what a Nice suit I wonder where I can get a suit like that, maybe Vineyard Vines" should probably have a Snickers bar and lay down till they feel better.

      Delete
  9. Civic minded Americans will hopefully pause on the 4th of July to reflect on the principles of the Declaration of Independence, and to the nation dedicated, however imperfectly, to the cause of liberty.

    ReplyDelete
  10. Another JFK quote, of which I am not infrequently reminded nowadays - "Those who make peaceful revolution impossible, will make violent revolution inevitable." ("Secret Societies Speech" at the American Newspaper Publishers Association, 27 April 1961).

    ReplyDelete
  11. Feel personally blessed that SWNE exists. To share beauty but also to appreciate civility. Soldier on Muffy! Happy Independence Day 2017. Thank you for your blog. N from VA

    ReplyDelete
  12. Feeling very fortunate and thankful today, and with much gratitude for the brilliant insight of our founding fathers who have paved the way for the liberty and freedom we enjoy today, and for those whose leadership continued to uphold these liberties that have stood the test of time and will hopefully never diminish. God bless America! (I too, appreciate that SWNE is not a political forum. It served, and continues to do so, as my respite to escape the daily political grind over the past several years. Thank you, Muffy, for providing that outlet!)

    ReplyDelete
  13. How the Kennedy era pulls at my heart strings contrasted to where we are today. Oratory, statesmanship, intelligence, humor; a son of privilege without arrogance; a war hero. A president the country, red or blue, was proud to have on the world stage. One of the earmarks of the Kennedy administration was hope. As we are tested daily on the tenets of our country, I have hope. Thank you SWNE and God bless America.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Well said, Anon. I agree completely. And yes, soldier on, Muffy.

      Delete
  14. Great quotes and still relevant today.

    ReplyDelete
  15. If you must descend to politics, let's be honest. Kennedy, with his insatiable sexual appetite, was a complete hypocrite and phony. He didn't even have the courage to support the efforts of Martin Luther King. What we owe to those less fortunate and what, if anything we owe to those from other lands who want to come here, are legitimate questions to be debated civilly, but to try to "make the world safe for diversity" is an insane endless project beyond the means of even the USA.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. The world IS diverse. So are human beings. A world that is not safe for diversity isn't safe for human beings. JKF understood that, and accessed the best of the American spirit to effect that change (or what you would call "making the world safe for diversity.") The current occupant of the White House panders to the lowest, ugliest side of American nature, panders to divisiveness, scapegoats, and makes America seem very ugly abroad. Judging by your comment, you feel this ugliness and genericness is America's natural state. Fortunately, millions and millions of Americans disagree with you, and are standing up to that notion and pushing back, thoughtfully but forcefully.

      Delete
    2. People do not live outside their milieu, they are not demi-gods or anything like. For "hippocracy and phoniness" exam carefully the lives of the founding fathers. N.B. Thomas Jefferson. But human beings have the capacity to think higher, nobler thoughts than flesh is heir to; thankfully America has had leaders that recognized this despite their own shortcomings and acted to forge an aspirational society for the greater good. I have lived all over the world; this country has had its ups...and downs; but I have hope in its society - "..born in this century, tempered by war, disciplined by a hard and bitter peace, proud of our ancient heritage--and unwilling to witness or permit the slow undoing of those human rights to which this nation has always been committed, and to which we are committed today at home and around the world".

      Delete
  16. I appreciate that Muffy publishes whatever she likes on her blog, and also lets comments through that are critical. I also appreciate commenters who pick a name, even if not their real name, instead of the ubiquitous and unimaginative "Anonymous."

    ReplyDelete
  17. As a Brit,I've read Muffy's website for information and inspiration for years now . I don't pass judgement ( as such ) on your history , but just enjoy the archives for what they are . Keep up the good work and thanks for the effort this all takes :-)

    ReplyDelete
  18. Quoting a former president on the most important US holiday is not necessarily a "political" post. Those of you who bristle at the post would do well to take a long and thoughtful look at where we are headed. It's no longer a matter of politics but one of decency.

    ReplyDelete