Reflections. What a Change…

What a change the Democrats have entertained/undergone since JFK.  For those who have forgotten, JFK was John Fitzgerald Kennedy.  He was our President from January 1961 to November 1963 when he was assassinated by Lee Harvey Oswald.  JFK would not recognize his former political party today.  His fellow party members of that era are largely forgotten by the Democratic Party of today.  Oh, they feign having similar views and similar goals, but they are anything but sixties Democrats.  Their positions have hardened and they, as humans, seem to have hardened.  In fact, JFK might be more appealing to Republicans today than to today’s Dems.

I remember that time in my life and marvel at how wonderful that era seems in contrast to the present time from a political point of view.  I know that history has a way of softening some of our memories, but there is also that part of our memories that remind us of the drastic, yes drastic, changes the Democratic Party has undergone over those intervening 5+ decades.

This last half-century has been tumultuous in many ways, frightening in some ways, satisfying in some ways and has sped past as I reflect on the years that have passed since that day.  One of the things, though, about this past decade is the far more angry approach taken by the Democrat leaders as they confront the Republicans.  The Dems have a visceral reaction to virtually everything Republican.  By visceral, I mean that they have feelings of anger in their very beings that negate their abilities to react as thinking and caring politicians far too often.  Their feelings seem to come from some deep, dark place within than from a thoughtful processing of facts and goals.  When they succumb to that irrational process, they become blind to facts and are simply driven by a kind of hatred that is not at all healthy, for them or for our country.

Democrats of JFK’s time would not recognize the party of which they were significant parts were they to come back today.  Democrats of today, a very few of whom were alive in JFK’s day, might have a very tough time supporting a JFK today were he to be reincarnated and return to politics.  Such has been the change in their party’s positions over these past fifty years.

Certainly, the Republicans have also changed.  The idea that Donald Trump is our President today and wears the Republican badge is likely remote and difficult to accept to the very elder Republicans among us today.

Times change.  Some of the changes are for the better and some seem suspect in that regard.  I recognize that my thinking has changed over time and yet my party affiliations have not changed, although I am more conservative today rather than less conservative.  I suspect that I am not alone.  It seems a difficult task to remain as we were when we’ve experienced so much in the intervening fifty years.  Being conservative, I do find myself having difficulty with the party with which I vote.  It isn’t as conservative as am I.  Of course, I think I am right and the party is wrong in this regard.  But my personal choices are limited to what the Republican Party gives me since the Dems are way out in left field as I see it.

Frankly, I have difficulty in determining if I have simply grown crankier, or if my party of choice has grown more timid as I have grown more conservative.  I suspect it may be some of both.


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