Wednesday, November 22, 2006

TDIH: You Knew This Was Coming...

I have a great deal to say about the Kennedy family today--mostly because Bobby opens in select cities today and tomorrow and today marks the 43rd anniversary of the JFK assassination in Dallas, but I can't give this the attention it needs right now, so instead I will share with you some JFK quotes that I've often thought about over the last few weeks:

"The great enemy of the truth is very often not the lie -- deliberate, contrived and dishonest, but the myth, persistent, persuasive, and unrealistic. Belief in myths allows the comfort of opinion without the discomfort of thought."

If you were at Idaho State University right now, viewing the Meldrum saga from a distance, you would understand why this quote has been on my mind. (This quote I believe comes from an address at Yale the summer before the Cuban Missile Crisis, but I could be wrong.)

"A man does what he must — in spite of personal consequences, in spite of obstacles and dangers, and pressures — and that is the basis of all human morality."

Perhaps my favorite Kennedy quote from one of the greatest books ever written--Profiles in Courage.

"The United States, as the world knows, will never start a war. We do not want a war. We do not now expect a war. This generation of Americans has already had enough — more than enough — of war and hate and oppression. We shall be prepared if others wish it. We shall be alert to try to stop it. But we shall also do our part to build a world of peace where the weak are safe and the strong are just. We are not helpless before that task or hopeless of its success."

The summer before his assassination, gave the infamous speech at American University and said this. Congressman Murtha reminded me of this statement when he lost his bid to be second-string to Ms. Pelosi.

And last, but certainly not least, a quote on the life and work of Robert Frost. Framed on my wall at home is a portion of this quote and when I think of the legacy of Kennedy I often think of how overlooked his deep love for the arts/humanities truly was.

"When power leads men towards arrogance, poetry reminds him of his limitations. When power narrows the areas of man's concern, poetry reminds him of the richness and diversity of his existence. When power corrupts, poetry cleanses. For art establishes the basic human truth which must serve as the touchstone of our judgment.The artist, however faithful to his personal vision of reality, becomes the last champion of the individual mind and sensibility against an intrusive society and an officious state. The great artist is thus a solitary figure. He has, as Frost said, a lover's quarrel with the world. In pursuing his perceptions of reality, he must often sail against the currents of his time. This is not a popular role. If Robert Frost was much honored in his lifetime, it was because a good many preferred to ignore his darker truths."

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