Gene Healy on Getting Past the John F. Kennedy Mythology


John F. Kennedy
Public Domain/NASA

John F. Kennedy places near the top 10 in most presidential ranking surveys of historians, and in a 2011 Gallup poll, Americans ranked him ahead of George Washington in a list of "America's greatest presidents." Kennedy's murder was a national tragedy, to be sure, but an honest assessment of his record shows that our lawless and reckless 35th president was anything but a national treasure. That may sound harsh, writes Gene Healy, but 50 years after his passing is not too soon to take a clear-eyed look at JFK's legacy.