Was JFK a conservative?

No, he was not.

One contemporary author, Ira Stoll, has made this claim in a new book, but no conservative thinker alive during JFK presidency ever expressed the thought,

In fact, the leading voices of the American right in the early 1960 including Clare Booth Luce, William F. Buckley, William Rusher, and Barry Goldwater reviled Kennedy for his liberal policies, especially on civil right and Cuba.

In a piece for Salon.com Paul Rosenberg punts Stoll and other right-wing polemicists who attempt to co-opt Kennedy’s popularity for contemporary conservatism.

Stoll’s argument is so implausible that Rosenberg ultimately concludes it is not factual.

“It’s not just that Stoll is wrong on the facts. He has utter contempt for them. He is not even trying to make a factual argument. He’s only trying to create the appearance of one … he’s going through the motions of pretending to show Kennedy was a conservative, so that other conservatives can pretend to be convinced. It’s a form of play-acting ritual, meant to claim Kennedy as a member of the conservative tribe. This is not a rational exercise, but an ethno-religious one.?

JFK is most accurately characterized as a center-left president

See also in JFK Facts:

JFK’s foreign policy: Douglas Horne v. Robert Dallek (Oct. 29, 2013)

What the New York Times doesn’t get about JFK and Vietnam (Oct. 29, 2103)

8 comments

  1. Dan says:

    JFK aggressively courted and received heavy labor union backing throughout his political career. His policy positions in office strongly favored the labor union movement, which was a leading progressive force in American politics at the time. JFK was in the FDR liberal Democratic tradition.

    • Photon says:

      Actually he wasn’t. The liberal Stevenson wing of the party distrusted him, the largest Union in the country was in open warfare with him and Labor’s candidate in 1960 was Humphrey, not JFK.Of course, after the election the unions went loyally with him He took them for granted, which was politically correct.
      He was no Conservative, nor was he what we define as a Liberal today . On the ideological spectrum he wasn’t much different than Nixon ; their big differences were in foreign policy, where Ironically JFK ran as a Cold Warrior, pledging to overcome the “Missile Gap” that was actually in favor of the U.S., not the other way as JFK claimed.

      • Dan says:

        JFK enjoyed strong labor union support during his Congressional career starting in 1946, and was supportive of their policy issues as a Member of Congress.

      • leslie sharp says:

        If this is true, why were the conservatives, including the John Birch Society and the Southern Baptists, and very specifically, most of the Dallas Establishment lead by H.L. Hunt and the powerful oil community so violently opposed to him?

      • JSA says:

        An argument could be made that JFK ran for president in 1960 as a moderate Democrat, or what he termed as being an “Adlai Stevenson with balls.” Kennedy was distrusted by the Liberal Establishment, and by Eleanor Roosevelt in particular, because of his father’s political record and because he didn’t vote to censure Senator Joseph McCarthy. What modern day pundits seem to forget however is that Kennedy ALSO ran on strong support for Medicare, something the right didn’t like. He tepidly supported the civil rights movement, but was distrusted by civil rights leaders to some extent, although that changed during his presidency. His labor record also shot up during his confrontation with US Steel in 1962. And his record in foreign policy, which became more dovish as this site has posted in other places, stands for itself, the nuclear test ban and move to negotiate post-missile crisis with Castro capping his liberal foreign policy record. By today’s standards, and certainly if he had lived to run for president against Barry Goldwater in 1964, Kennedy would be labeled a “Liberal.”

  2. John Fembup says:

    “JFK is most accurately characterized as a center-left president”

    For that time, yes. But not for our time.

    Your characterization only serves to point out how far to the left the Democrat party has drifted over the past 50 years.

    JFK’s positions and thinking fit square in the center of today’s conservative thinking.

    Would JFK have thought and believed differently today than he did 50-70 years ago? Maybe, maybe not – who knows? But it’s very clear how he thought and acted back then.

    I’m a registered Democrat – a Kennedy Democrat. That definitely makes me a conservative Democrat. My friends and fellow Democrats rib me about that all the time. But I don’t worry, because eventually the best ideas win out . . . even in politics.

    Again, this only demonstrates just how far to the left the mainstream Democrats have drifted over the past 50 years.

  3. Today’s Democratic Party has moved to the left?! Ha! More accurately is you’ve moved more to the right. Way right! Today’s Dems are neo-liberal and would make good Reagan Republicans! The GOP has shifted so right they dominate political discourse and any real liberal would be tarred as a leftist commie! JFK was a hawk and dragged his ass in civil rights.

  4. John Fembup says:

    Frank, I said I was a Kennedy Democrat in 1962. I said I’m still a Kennedy Democrat. Did you miss that?

    In the past 50 years, the Democrat Party moved away from me.

    Unlike people like Ronald Reagan who reacted by switching parties, I stayed a Democrat.

    Why do people like you dis me? I think because – as I’ve said – the party (including you) has moved way far to the left since 1962.

    Me? I’m still in the same place as I was in 1962 . . . with John Kennedy.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

In seeking to expand the range of informed debate about the events of 1963 and its aftermath, JFKFacts.org welcomes comments that are factual, engaging, and civil. more

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

cbd oil: shark shock cbd fact sheets how many mg of cbd oil cbd oil for renal disease is cbd a scam pill bottles wholesale shopify cbd oil nerve full movie 123movies cannavape cbd oil hemp seeds for growing cbd green world cbd pure cbd oil price federal law cbd cbd allergies chanel store sydney cbd how to use cbd for pain green roads cbd wax cv sciences cbd balm hemp oil benefits cbd pros definition of plant gronkowski cbd lennox benefit source cbd rub for pain side effects of vapor pens strongest cbd cream i have them cbd oil dr axe efficacy meaning what nano enhanced cbd oil can do for you mayfair open rose depression glass 1 of 600 cdg supplement our life cbd aide significado cbd oil sarasota fl cbd quick facts cbd oil worcester cbd oil huntington wv cbd oil hemp gummies what is the best cbd oil for adhd cbd oil for diabetes type 2 best cbd oil boulder can you buy cbd oil in tn is cbd oil legal for truck drivers boiling point of cbd cbd oil willie nelson can cbd oil cause hallucinations does cbd oil interact with other medications pain free hemp oil best natural cbd oil brands cbd brothers can i take citaliprom and cbd oil cbd edibles review does cbd vapr oil work for rashes or infections meridian cbd oil

vape: healthy vape juice dragon box mod vape juice price istick pro vape single use vape pen thunderstorm vs uwell crown cbd vape vs tincture uwell valyrian reviews vape mods mini e cigarette has heating element concentrates vape pen best squonk mod 2018 vape japan mech mod coil build hotbox smoke shop uwell crown diagram wooden ecig holder cold smoke vapor works ecig mods 2014 ecig equipment light menthol ecig liquid recipe how many mg of nicotine should i vape fda ecig regs cardboard packaging for vape cartridges show whites demise vape juice smok ecigs e cigarette car holder american spirit vape juice e cigarette locations espion infinite win e cigarette i just 2 vape kit e cigarette cancer snopes vape charger stays green juul pod alternative crown uwell 3 coils yellow ego aio coil life smok xpure small pod turquoise voopoo drag aspire zelos vape kit voopoo x217 how to put in batteries smok baby prince coils how to make marijuana oil for vaping wismec box sigelei 75 watt temperature control smallest mechanical mod mercury vapor vs metal halide smok tf rta g2 factors that affect vapor pressure crown uwell v2 coils voopoo wholesale sense cyclone vs uwell crown blu ecig review fallout voopoo drag theme cant find downlod for voopoo drag firmware update

male enhancement: improve sex pde5 inhibitors list what does viagra cost weak erection remedy penis excerises why has my sex drive increased so much penis enlarment penis enlargement pill that works jelqing techniques for length low sex drive leydig cells testosterone male enhancement e liquid gnc fertility pills rhino dick energy pills that work big yellow pill what drug makes you horny gnc testosterone supplements boys with no penis uncircumcised penis infection main ingredient in cialis gynecomastia pills gnc what vitamins help blood flow micro peni teen erectile dysfunction good penis pills can vasectomy cause ed average white guy prostate problems and sex any male enhancement pills work penis lotion performance pills micro condoms lcarnitine gnc big penius different penis sizes dragon sex stories muscletech pro series alpha test review rhino capsule vim 25 male enhancement size of uk testosterone alternative infected foreskin viagra side effects cock size chart liquid viagra alpha monster advanced side effects natural penis enlargement foods best tablets 2020 looked like a talking penis male enlargment pills ginseng for energy wood e pills for sale big erections male enhancement doctor recommended directional terms quizlet

weight loss: before and after weight loss pictures weight loss pills in japan best gnc products for weight loss assured medical weight loss strength training and weight loss nursing and weight loss weight loss juicing recipes diet ideas for quick weight loss what is a healthy weight loss per week lifting routine for weight loss level weight loss weight loss helper invisalign weight loss diet pills that stop hunger cravings steven segal weight loss hysterectomy weight loss 2500 calorie meal plan for weight loss weight loss percentage calculator workout tips for weight loss intuitive eating weight loss weight loss and diarhea diet pills that start with a c diet tips for fast weight loss top selling diet pills for women biggest weight loss transformations charles barkley weight loss bariatric weight loss san antonio truvision weight loss before and after weight loss doctors in kentucky all natural diet pills that work fast michael wren weight loss adipex diet pills buy online weight loss timeline calculator lipo injections for weight loss personal trainers for weight loss loose skin on stomach after weight loss diabetic pills weight loss maxi climber weight loss stories saba weight loss pills steps a day for weight loss best cheap weight loss pills for women biblical weight loss programs moringa weight loss pills peppermint tea for weight loss cla diet pills sweet potato for breakfast weight loss once a day diet pills slim you diet pills diet pills to help lose weight vega protein powder weight loss mandarin diet pills khloe weight loss diet cvs fastin diet pills supplements to help lose weight wrestlers quick weight loss realdose weight loss

exam: Most Popular IC3-2 Dumps Pass4sure with PDF and VCE Engine, Certforall 351-080 Exam Questions With Answers Is What You Need To Take, Most Popular 642-542 Certification Exam With The Knowledge And Skills, Latest Release BI0-135 Practice Exam Questions Is Your Best Choice, Provide Discount E20-026 Exam Guide For Each Candidate, Download EE0-065 Test Exam Are The Best Materials, Download Latest PR2F Online Exam With 100% Pass Rate, Examcollection GG0-201 Study Guides Online Shop, 100% Success Rate ACSO-L2-PROC-01 Dumps Pdf For Download, 50% Discount HC-035-720-ENU Exam Guide Pdf Will Be More Popular, Latest Updated HC-035-735-ENU Ebook Sale, The Most Recommended 000-114 Study Material Is What You Need To Take, Test-inside 000-255 Exam Sample Questions Is Your Best Choice, New Release C2090-543 Dump For Download, Prompt Updates C2040-956 Brain Dumps UP To 50% Off, 100% Real 000-M45 Pdf Exam On Store, Helpful P2170-033 Vce With 100% Pass Rate, The Best 000-M195 Exam Dumps Pdf , Sale Latest Release 000-M221 Ebook Pdf 100% Pass With A High Score, Examcollection 070-667 Exam Cram Online Shop, Most Popular 70-431 Study Guides , To Pass Your Exam 070-548 Exam Sample Questions , Sale Best MB4-117 Exam Dump 100% Pass With A High Score, Experts Revised NS0-504 Certification Braindumps With New Discount, Passeasy 1Z0-114 Exam Questions With Answers Online Sale, Prepare for the 1Z1-024 Cert Exam Online Shop, 100% Pass HP2-H39 Test Answers Latest Version PDF&VCE, Buy VCS-411 Exam Engines Is Updated Daily,