Part II – John F. Kennedy: Sinner or Saint?
Author: John Malch
Way back in 1960, when Nixon faced off with Kennedy for the U.S. presidency, I asked my father who he would be voting for. He answered: “While in confession last Sunday, my penance was I must vote for Kennedy or suffer mortal sin.” I thought he was joking because after becoming an American citizen in 1914, he had always voted Republican. Dad gave me a brief history lesson about the Kennedy dynasty. It began with Joseph P. Kennedy’s premeditated agreements with Distillers to become the sole American importer of three of its most valuable brands of liquor one month prior to the repeal of the 36th amendment which ended Prohibition. This transaction may be the reason he was infamously called ‘Joe-
the-bootlegger’. I remembered my dad calling senior Kennedy, ‘Joe-the-bootlegger’ because he was supplying spiritual wine to Catholic parishes, which was legal during Probation via government bonded warehouses. Surely, some of those spirits spilled over to old Joe’s cronies although no hard evidence has ever proved Joe was a rum-runner during Prohibition. Also, Joe Kennedy’s ‘nefarious escapades’ during the ‘Roaring Twenties’ are well documented. His business ventures included banking, manipulation of the stock market through insider trading and some slick ‘selling short’ moves when he got out of the stock market before the crash of 1929.
In early 1938, Joseph P. Kennedy was appointed U.S. Ambassador to the Court of St. James in London. His fierce
anti-Communist and anti-Semitic position are well documented and well known. Not as widely known is that he favored Adolph Hitler’s solution to both these ideologies as “world problems”.
Joe Kennedy’s dream was to see his first born son, Joseph Jr., inaugurated as the first Roman Catholic President of The United States, but Joe Jr. was killed in World War II. The dream did not vanish with Joe Jr.’s death and Joseph Sr. was not deterred: he
wanted a Kennedy in the Whitehouse. The second son, Jack, picked up the baton, ran the races and grabbed the brass ring for the Kennedy family-John F. Kennedy (Jack) became the 35th President of the United States on January 20, 1961.
The 1960 Democratic National Convention was held in Los Angeles and I remembered two new challengers, Adlai Stevenson II and Lyndon B. Johnson, tossed their hats in the ring just one week before the convention opened. Continue reading