We need a Kennedy in the White House

Published 5:55 pm Friday, April 7, 2023

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To the Editor:

When I was a student at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill in the 1980s, I penned an intriguing piece, “Looking Ahead to President Ted, “ in the Daily Tarheel, the campus newspaper. I realized that national politics and public service were in the DNA of JFK, RFK, and Edward Ted Kennedy. Moreover, most noteworthy Presidential scholars agree that the tragedy involving the drowning of Mary Jo Kopechne, RFK’s secretary, at Chappaquiddick in 1969 doomed Senator Ted Kennedy’s chances of becoming President.

This unfortunate controversy haunted Ted Kennedy as he sought to wrestle the Democratic Presidential nomination from the sitting President, Jimmy Carter, in the 1980 Presidential contest. Some believe that Senator Ted Kennedy’s candidacy compromised Carter’s reelection prospects, not to mention the harsh realities of double-digit inflation, high interest rates, and the fiasco involving Carter’s failed attempted rescue of American hostages in Iran.

Meanwhile, I cannot grasp how an RFK was felled by an assassin’s bullet in June 1968, less than five years after his brother, the honorable President John F. Kennedy, was murdered supposedly by Lee Harvey Oswald in Dallas, Texas on November 22, 1963. Where was RFK’s “elite” security? Per voluminous research papers, it is clear that the fatal shots that silenced RFK were fired from behind him. That location was where his security guard, Thane Eugene Cesar, was standing.

Sirhan Sirhan, a Palestinian-Jordanian man, was charged with RFK’s assassination, though Sirhan had fired his shots in front of RFK, and most of those bullets hit the ceiling and walls in the pantry of the Ambassador Hotel in Los Angeles.

This country could use another Kennedy, perhaps like Robert F. Kennedy, Jr., to inspire the youth, support the needy, encourage our senior citizens, and help us navigate the turbulent waters of despair and hopelessness. RFK, Jr., an environmental attorney and author, regularly speaks about environmental racism and degradation. Additionally, he gives speeches regarding potentially fatal side effects (gleaned from exhaustive research) of various vaccines. He also wishes to reign in poverty. Many remember when his uncle, President Kennedy, eloquently elucidated in his Inaugural Address on January 20, 1961: “If a free society cannot help the many who are poor, it cannot save the few who are rich.”

When the aforesaid Kennedys sought the Presidency, our national prestige and world standing were low. Similarly, some military analysts and retired generals argue that we may face the nuclear abyss if President Biden makes the wrong moves–tactical or otherwise–regarding Ukraine, North Korea, and China.

Keith W. Cooper