JFK's feelings became abundantly clear during a reunion banquet at Harvard.
When an after-dinner speaker remarked that
he was proud Harvard had never graduated an Alger Hiss
and even prouder that it had never produced a Joe McCarthy,
JFK exploded in anger.
JFK DEFENDS PATRIOT MCCARTHY
Rising at his seat, he shouted,
"How dare you couple the name of a great American patriot with that of a traitor!"
The other diners lapsed into shocked silence,
and JFK departed without hearing the rest of the program.
John Fitzgerald Kennedy (JFK) wrote PROFILES IN COURAGE while lying flat on his stomach for weeks while his back wound was healing. His book profiled a dozen or so politicians who risked political gain in order to vote strictly for what they believed were the best interests of the American people. JFK had personally done this himself on more than one occassion. One of the major times was when he voted FOR the St. Lawrence Seaway even though it would cause some hardships for some of his constituents in Massachusetts. But to JFK the overall benefit to the United States outweighed the regional benefit to just one state - his home state at that!
Another example of JFK himself having political courage was how he never spoke out against Senator Joseph McCarthy who was being persecuted and prosecuted and literally destroyed for his courage in exposing Communists in high places in the USA State Department. JFK recognized that the hatred directed toward McCarthy was an attempt to distract the American people from what McCarthy was fighting against - Communism.
All the best,
Here's an excerpt from the biography, JOHN F. KENNEDY, by Joyce Milton
...In 1954 JFK was wrestling with an issue that could have profound consequences for his political future. The Senate was debating a motion to censure Wisconsin Republican Joe McCarthy. Failure to vote for censure would seriously damage JFK's standing with the liberal wing of his party. But McCarthy was a hero to many of his state's Irish Catholic voters, and he also happened to be a personal friend. Eunice Kennedy [JFK's sister] had dated McCarthy for a while during a period when she and JFK were sharing a town house in Georgetown, and she later served as a bridesmaid at McCarthy's 1953 wedding to Jean Kerr. Joe Kennedy [JFK's father] had contributed to McCarthy's campaign fund. Bobby [JFK's brother], meanwhile, briefly served as general counsel on McCarthy's subcommittee. A bitter feud soon developed between Bobby and McCarthy's chief aide, Roy Cohn, but Bobby and Ethel thought highly enough of McCarthy to make him the godfather of their daughter Kathleen.
Beginning with the so-called Amerasia scandal, which broke during the closing days of World War II, the American public became aware of charges that the Roosevelt administration had been penetrated by individuals loyal to the Communist Party, some of whom were actively engaged in spying for the Soviet Union. President Harry S. Truman responded by creating a loyalty board system to vet government employees; however, many Democrats remained highly skeptical of the charges that were emanating from the Federal Bureau of Investigation, and after 1948 the records of loyalty board proceedings were kept confidential. Congress and the public had to take it on faith that the same bureaucrats who created the problem were successfully solving it.
Blunt and aggressive, McCarthy campaigned in 1946 on a promise to get communists off the government payroll. By 1950 he had focused his attention on the State Department, which already had produced both the Amerasia and Alger Hiss espionage cases. McCarthy was never noted for his depth of research, and his tendency to improvise his speeches made him vulnerable to charges that he was engaged in a a partisan witch-hunt. He, in turn, interpreted personal attacks as evidence that his critics were engaged in a cover-up and responded by ratcheting up his rhetoric, talking about an "immense" conspiracy that encompassed virtually the entire Democratic Party. By 1952, JFK could no longer support McCarthy's tactics, though he was even more worried that liberal Democrats would be successful in convincing the public that "McCarthyism" was more dangerous than communism.
JFK's feelings became abundantly clear during a Spee Club reunion banquet at Harvard held in February 1952. When an after-dinner speaker remarked that he was proud Harvard had never graduated an Alger Hiss and even prouder that it had never produced a Joe McCarthy, JFK exploded in anger. Rising at his seat, he shouted, "How dare you couple the name of a great American patriot with that of a traitor!" This was a rare outburst from a man who prided himself on his cool, cerebral approach to policy questions. The other diners lapsed into shocked silence, and JFK departed without hearing the rest of the program.
By the time the motion to censure McCarthy was introduced in 1954, the Wisconsin senator was drinking heavily and had blundered into a pointless investigation of the U.S. Army that increasingly looked like a personal vendetta on the part of his aides, Cohn and G. David Schine. JFK had no doubt that his old friend had gone too far, but he also hoped to limit the political damage to a cause he still believed in. Joining with anti-communist liberals Hubert H. Humphrey and Wayne Morse, he sponsored the Communist Control Act, which in its original form would have made membership in the Communist Party USA a criminal offense. Meanwhile, with the help of Ted Sorensen, JFK drafted a speech in which he would come out in favor of censure, but only on the limited grounds of Cohn and Schine's handling of the investigation of the Army. The text of the speech made a point of observing that JFK still supported McCarthy's "views and objectives in years gone by."
This speech was never delivered. The censure motion was still bottled up in committee in October when JFK entered the Hospital for Special Surgery in New York, where doctors performed a complicated two-part operation to fuse sections of his spinal vertebrae. Since the previous spring, he had been using crutches most of the time, and by late summer walking had become so painful that he remained at his desk on the Senate floor between votes....
Before the severity of his condition was known, wags in the capital had speculated that the operation was conveniently timed to rescue Senator Kennedy from having to take sides for or against McCarthy. This wasn't so. However, when the Senate finally did vote in December on a watered-down motion to condemn--not censure--McCarthy, JFK was recuperating in the hospital, and he did not bother to pair his vote with another non-voting senator. His inaction had no effect on the fate of the motion, which passed by a three-to-one majority, but he was the only Democratic senator who failed to go on record against McCarthy...."
JOE MCCARTHY'S SECRETARY SPEAKS
Not your average Joe (JFK lamented loss of China to Reds: "What our young men had saved our President has frittered away"). Cornell, Apr 19, 2006. Go to JFK'S DEATH, CHINA & UN
HUEY LONG & JOE MCCARTHY HEROES and COMMUNISTS COINED MCCARTHYISM and MCCARTHY GLIMPSED VISCIOUS TRUTH
Joe McCarthy and the historians. Human Events Publishing, Inc. Jan 1, 1999
...McCarthy first came on the national stage in February 1950 with a series of political speeches charging security breakdown in the State Department under President Harry Truman. Beginning with a speech in Wheeling, W. Va., February 9, followed by a speech in Reno, Nev., two nights later, he said a considerable number of Communists and Communist sympathizers had been holed up in Foggy Bottom, that top officials had been incredibly lax in dealing with the matter, and that the Truman White House seemed more inclined to hide this problem than to fix it....
17.Falsification of Past and 35.The Brotherhood and 32.Enemies of the Party
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