Where were you, or rather were you even alive, on the day Kennedy was shot? I was home on leave from Merchant Navy service, seated on a bus travelling back to my home, when a mate of mine spotted me, sat down and told me of the news. It seems to me that this one question, tells us more about how the world, and the people, have altered perceptions, and changed viewpoints than any other political event in the last one hundred tears.
Imagine, if the Internet, and citizen bloggers, and 24/7 news cycles, had existed on that sunny day when John Kennedy sat down in that motorcade which slowly wound its way through downtown Dallas.
It is indeed, more likely than not that LBJ would have been seated in that limousine, as the word, and fact, of Kennedy’s many flaws would have already driven him from office; either through resignation, or impeachment. Can you even imagine of the furore which would erupt if the news cycle was able to grab and run with stories of the American President having multiple sexual liaisons whilst his wife was in the White House caring for their youngest child? Can you even contemplate the size of the headlines when the assassination attempts on Castro were uncovered? Or the plots to overthrow the South Vietnamese President? Can you imagine the blog pages when Monroe serenaded Kennedy in public? All those huge problems would have been uncovered within hours of happening, because today, no-one gets away with much, except maybe bogus asylum-seekers and killers in Britain, and of course the SinnFeinIRA murderers in Stormont.
Camelot was always a straw building, and Kennedy was not even a very good politician, never mind President. He was a reluctant convert to the civil rights movement, and just about the only thing he got right was to stand firm against Kruschev over Cuba and the missiles, and even then Kennedy benefited from the spy Oleg Penkovsky’s advice on Soviet intentions. A pity that Penkovsky was later arrested and burnt alive after being betrayed by an American KGB mole.
So where indeed were you on the day that Kennedy was shot? Does it matter if there was a conspiracy? Why did Jack Ruby gun Lee Harvey down? Who indeed was on that Grassy Knoll? Who, if indeed anyone, really cares?