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5 Ways Democrats Mythologize JFK

2) JFK bears no blame for Vietnam.

Though it’s true that Kennedy had only placed a few advisors in Vietnam, his “pay any price, bear any burden” rhetoric in his inaugural address was an indication of his hardcore anti-communist stance, and had he lived he might have found himself ratcheting up the U.S. response until Vietnam turned into a full-blown war. In any case, Kennedy was the very opposite of what today’s Democrats pride themselves as being -- “nuanced” or “sophisticated” or “globalist” or “soft power” thinkers, all of these words being euphemisms for intentional weakness on foreign policy.

Kennedy returned from his honeymoon to attend the wedding of anti-communist Sen. Joe McCarthy in 1953, and even when McCarthy came under attack, Kennedy did not join 67 senators in censuring him in 1954 (JFK was absent that day for medical reasons but could have allowed his vote to be registered under the Senate rule known as “pairing.” Instead he said nothing). In the 1960 debates, Kennedy positioned himself as even more opposed to communism than Richard Nixon, who would later concede, “Kennedy conveyed the image -- to 60 million people -- that he was tougher on Castro and communism than I was.”