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Ira Stoll And The Conservative JFK

Nov 22, 2013|

On this the 50th anniversary of the death of President John F. Kennedy, Howie was joined by bestselling author Ira Stoll who wrote JFK, Conservative in which he convincingly argues, by the standards of both his time and our own, John F. Kennedy was a conservative.

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And joining us now -- the alliance Cyrus pole he's the author of the new book -- came out JFK conservative. And its. It it's a book that kind of the reason humans there -- the political record. John F. Kennedy who was assassinated fifty years ago today and and now it's Texas. And Ira thanks for being with us here on how we our show my pleasure. Wasn't the first I wanna ask suicide before it's why don't forget. Is -- I think someone already mentioned this. The in the summer of 1963. Didn't JFK sign an executive order allowing the public sector federal unions to -- to why are actually the public sector workers to unionize. Well I write about this in my book in -- fact. Kennedy's. Had had quite a troubled relations with labor unions think he's he's spent a lot of his career as a congressman. Hunting Communists and labor unions he went down to the right to work. States in the south and spoke to -- chamber of commerce is down there about what he called the cancer of the union corruption. Seats. And and really. The union toward not big fans of Kennedy he proposes labor reform -- public Kennedy guys slavery -- -- Which required the unions. Disclosed to the government salaries and there there top. Leaders Sunday AF LC there was against the legislation. So. That there was this. Recognition. Of the bargaining rights of public employees the candy was really clear they didn't have a right to strike can. And if you were NN national security type job like the CIA you didn't have a right to strike. About it taco. Delegates that would be -- that would be national security would. Well I you know I -- Ronald Reagan was a lot like -- JFK in a lot of ways I think and you know. I think I think he he showed the way they go on I'm now one. Yeah so he did sign it was it was an attempt sort of strengthen his bridges to the unions for the 64 reelection campaign. I think that's that's probably a good way to a good way to understand it and you know. I'm I'm not right during the Kennedy was perfect from from -- right of senator perspective you know he wasn't he wasn't Milton Friedman but. But you know by in the context of today's politicians and particularly today's Democratic Party JFK. That tax cut her a free trader somebody you believe is strong military. Order was optimistic about America. You know we. We can learn a lot from the guys. -- who I was what you're eager for Massachusetts right. I grew up in Worcester and actually had just moved back and moved to Boston after fifteen years. New York. So you want to stay on the way democratic politics so works in this state I was just on what Brian Kilmeade put -- from my own -- and the and he asked me how how JFK would do in Massachusetts today among Democrats and and I told him you know I like to get on the ballot now in Massachusetts as you know. You have to get 15% of the vote the party convention I personally don't think he he gets 5% of the vote of a democratic state convention now Theo. Now I mean I think you start with Joseph Lieberman in Connecticut and Lieberman and -- entered politics visit as volunteer on the candidate. Any campaign and still describe themselves as the Kennedy's -- Democrats you know want -- repeal Obama's tax because he's supported the Iraq War. And analysts for -- a lot of military spending to resolve these defense contractors down there and in. In Connecticut and and you know he ran in the democratic primary and he lost he was defeated by the -- -- Lamotte. Who's. Relatives had been protesting during the Kennedy administration of Kennedy's. Escalation of the Vietnam War. -- -- Eight you don't how much but always just that the fact that he that that he was trying to run for president mean you talk about going down and speak at this this is chambers of commerce in the south I mean like. For them just to use another example -- -- -- book get by you know I -- comport to reading it. It but. I I know from reading a biography of James Michael -- that he was the one member of the congressional delegations one Democrat member of the congressional delegation wouldn't go along with. Giving a James Michael -- pension when he got out of prison and he was destitute after it was defeated for reelection. I mean what was did did he really believed in sort of the rule of law and order which Oregon was that just something popped. Told him that due to wanted to sort of remain now on the good side with the conservatives and Republicans. Well I treat this ball and might in this book JFK conservative and and it's really. I go into -- early career as a congressman as a senator and then I'd get into the 1960 campaign is congressional. In his career as as president. I think it's pretty consistent. You know Kennedy with a Catholic. -- he -- he was actually pretty religious Catholic and he's America blocked in this Cold War battle between what he what he called. Freedom under god vs route was -- security. Twilight struggle you know we're just that would just make liberals could grow. Skin crawl and. Read this stuff here that 1955. Speeches that the boxing colleges in my own -- Worcester. Where Kenny said about the Cold War. I believe religion itself is that the root of a struggle not in terms of the physical organizations -- christianity verses those of atheism. But in terms of good vs evil right vs wrong. And remember how the liberals went nuts when Kennedy talked about the evil empire here -- I mean great integrity evil empire here's Kennedy in 1955 -- had. And -- that in 1946. When he first ran as a congressman. Talking about how America's basic religious ideas were being challenged at home in the political philosophy of many very intellectuals. Abroad in the doctrine of collective -- You know he he he reached an even -- the inaugural address straight you know you can't accuse -- -- -- Pandering to a conservative audience in the inaugural address -- -- been elected. And -- talking about ask not what your country can do for you right we've got to ask not what your country do for you to obamacare. Does. Grandma and that's. I know it's it's just that it's just amazing what what's happened at a level of it was led by his brother I mean what what happened. But the Teddy by the way you get into that would be what was it what was Teddy like when Jack was it and the old man were still around. Well I think that's that that's a plus for other -- -- Yet to date he's much younger. And we've -- for four. Of his siblings died violent death. So it's you know it's it's it's hard it's hard to figure. -- to -- -- with Ted Kennedy. I guess you know early in in Ted Kennedy's career he he deregulated air airline industry. Even you know he meant to work with George W. Bush on No Child Left Behind. And Ted Kennedy. -- -- I can't I can't explain how we do our attitude is that Ted Kennedy Alec are maybe you can explain things. Twelve basket you know I don't I don't get that I had I don't. I don't see how what how it could happen that way I mean how much of this is let's go back to muzzle me I mean it did this if by the way -- you wanna get on board 1877469432. To -- got a question for Ira -- he's the yeah. Author of JFK conservative. Mean how much this conservative club background is permits from his father who was sort of be on conservative too reactionary. Which went one -- great. Well you know. It's Joseph Kennedy senior did serve in the Franklin Roosevelt administration. Where you know woo hoo -- FDR obviously with and who was out of the big bureaucratic too conservative. But did you know that you know the old story that so why you make a Mac I have a the FCC in the senate takes a thief to catch the chiefs general that's apocryphal or not. So -- Kennedy. Senior broke with FDR and some of the new deals over Regis he opposed the wealth tax of 1935. Which raised the top income rate to above 75%. And and -- of Kennedy actually when he came back. From his job as ambassador to Great Britain. Gave a speech warning about what he called Santa -- government he said it -- stated to dominate the individuals sustain him in slavish dependence. And the winning of the Second World War will prove to hollow victory so that added that ideas and a cut government Joseph Kennedy. You know you can penetrate that and to ask not what your country can do. So that's a good race in a close government and remember that -- It what we're up I mean -- you really think you wrote in your book about -- Sorenson. Saying that the or rising tide lifts all boats that tax cut speech in 62 was. He said it was the worst speeches ever made. He he so he wasn't he wasn't influenced by these the heat it was surrounded by these guys who who later became ultra liberals. Like Sorenson and slashed -- Well sort of reflection are the ones that wrote the book straight but there are a lot of conservatives in the Kennedy administration who didn't write books I write a lot about Douglas Dillon net the Treasury Secretary he a Wall Street investment banker. Who had actually donated to the Nixon campaign. In Al Gore senior was so alarmed that he was going to be named Treasury Secretary. That that he actually may have visited Kennedy to try to talk him out of it. So so. I think Dylan was more important in shaping economic policy of the Kennedy administer and that any of these Ivy League economics professors. 18774694322. Let's take a couple of calls -- this -- Irish polio author of a new book it's period. It's -- quite good habits -- door I think Arizona at a munitions its option price of one is written. Written this this directly. Bit about the JFK until now. Yeah well I think it's important for people to apply it in the -- spread that word and -- this meant that JFK it was some kind of liberal peacemaking factor if it was a tax cutter who who increased spending on a military. Right and ended and you know the other -- courses that you know somehow. The -- just look at the front page of the globe for -- sixty 63 that day today in the you know they described are we Harvey Oswald as the Castro Wright and you know it the New York Daily News -- left Winger you know but let me and I. I would guess most people who've just gone to public schools in the last 2030 years probably think that Lee Harvey Oswald was appointment. You know. You know what does that mean that all this hype about the so called right wing atmosphere in Dallas now Kennedy was shot by a Marxist. Guy who would come back from Russia. It didn't making radio should be working at the radio factory Minsk. At it it's it's just it's just amazing how history is written by the victors -- I guess right now the liberals of the victors so that's that's why it's a term about the way it has. Mike your next with powered car and -- poll. The author of the new book JFK conservative. Thanks very actuality. This sort out. That the political so that it will -- concerns particularly -- -- -- state election. You know the eight minutes of the introduction of the debate reflection. Do that would generation that is should be ready into the evil people. The -- guy at least imagine that. Russia and Richard can be -- by name. I hate he wanted -- -- green -- he was CI Asia institute green -- He was sure absolutely. He person that I believed to have freedom so great. And I had a major book. They have a lot of memories of Canada got a -- but are still Brothers. Back a little tiny they're low opinion of both of them. Thanks for the call Mike what everybody was about it Bobby was started out as a conservative to write up everybody and he went to Joseph McCarthy's field right in just eight. To senator McCarthy JFK flew back from his own honeymoon to go to to McCartney's wedding. And even you know it in his it is -- presidential campaign. Robert -- The New York Times wrote an article about him called Kennedy meat to conservatives here's. Robert Kennedy in 1968. Quote we gotta get away from the welfare system they hand out system and the idea that dole. We've got to have jobs instead of welfare. We can't have the federal government in here telling people what's good for them. I -- bring back controlled back through localities so that people can decide for themselves what they think is best for the itself. I'm thinking of actually. Making up T -- with some of these techniques. You know. Selling on this. -- like a Ronald Reagan quote that you just wrapped. It does a lot of these quotes from from JFK and those -- from from from Bobby Kennedy. Sound like Reagan Clinton and Reagan used to talk about JFK all the time in making too big case for his tax. Rightly another quote you have in the book advocates -- Reagan I read a review today in the weekly standard. The is that the case it would not Reagan got his tax cut passed an 82 we said the system this is the first significant tax cut we've had since Jack Kennedy right. That's right and he talked about it again and again and he said it. It's nothing make my opponents tear their hair out more than what I talked about Kennedy. Because it shows how far the Democratic Party has moved since that since that time. Yeah. Mark your next with how we car in Ira Stoll author of the new book JFK conservative go ahead mark. And government our father Korean War diet aid to our. Apologize. Back to you voted for Jack at that -- -- series why should. It sounds like a guy who would be a great Republican. Edit right. What why where I mean you you talk about another thing you talk about his during the debates I mean he was he wants to the right of Richard in 1960 he was top right of Richard Nixon when he came there when it came to dealing with what. Communism it or just Cuba in -- or Cuba specifically. Well certainly Castro. And and -- and admitted that in his memoirs and he wrote in those debates nick in recalled that. Kennedy left tens of millions of television viewers with the impression that Kennedy was. Further to the right. Castro and more anti Communist than Nixon was. It had to be honest it it will mean that'd been -- fault and oppression I mean after all. Make him. It open American diplomatic relations with Communist China. And he Kennedy's there are people pushing him to do that people pushing him to elect Communist China into the US. And Kennedy resisted it Kevin he had actually criticized Truman. For -- China -- a Communist. And a troop and Truman responded by saying about his candidacy it's it's not the -- -- the pop and what the one of the better phrases of of last half century or so Todd your next with how we -- Ira -- author of JFK conservative go ahead Tug. Yes good afternoon. The economist who talked. That your opinion of the tax cuts as a guy named Gartner likely -- they have of the economic department at Michigan. And I bring that up for a couple of reasons and one of them is we always have somebody. From an Ivy League school and there are a lot of very good Carter economics departments -- level. The country who could provide leadership they always go to the I believe him actually comes from the University of Michigan. Which is one of the best apartments in the world. He did he. So Kennedy on the idea that there was a lot of slack in the economy unused capacity. And a tax cut would generate demand for goods and services. And when you reduce taxes on capital you got more capital equipment. Detonated label more efficient and you could give labor good wage increases without cost push inflation. Again I don't -- Barack Obama would like hearing from they've got from the University of Michigan -- Do you -- In fact some of the Harvard professors are trying to -- Kennedy out of this tax cut I mentioned John Kenneth Galbraith the keynesian. Economics professor he was six. -- -- All he was Kennedy's ambassador to India he actually flew back from India to try to talk Kennedy out of this tax cut. Because he preferred more government spending instead that was his plan for stimulating the economy like he Obama's stimulus. And he reaped the and Galbraith went down after that meeting with Kennedy went down to the White House mess and he told the other economists in the administration. You know -- you guys you want the president finally told me to shut up. About my -- What we don't have much time left but that would Pope told me about the Diem Brothers at that you know they weren't they weren't there were in south Vietnam that were murdered three weeks before JFK was it was shot and Dallas. Mean what what happened there I mean why would he -- that was a big big mistake. It it was it was probably a miscommunication. Kennedy's arrival from the 1952. Senate election in Massachusetts Henry Cabot Lodge. With the American ambassador in Vietnam at the time it was a Republican. And there are a lot of conflicting advice. They were there words a table orders issued. And I think Kennedy -- that that the -- that is the end we're going to be able to escape with their lives. What when he heard that -- been killed and you know this story was that they committed suicide. You know he that they were -- -- -- -- -- us doubted that they -- done you know in fact that they were you know brutally. Murder -- in cold blood -- just there in the back from a trucker saw the writer was banned some public that. Solicited this is a great book -- -- report to reading it and you know watched JFK conservative and what what that what you background just very quickly just tell tell me what your background us. I grew up in Massachusetts. I. I knew I was journalists. For a long time it worked at the New York -- did some consulting for the wall street journal editorial page. And I also wrote a book called Samuel Adams a life. About the person who gave the order to start the original Boston Tea Party. All right our thanks for being with us we appreciated and a good luck with the book and I hope to see around town now -- -- back in Boston my pleasure okay thanks a lot higher. One -- Ira Stoll of titled his book is JFK conservative and it's a -- that some think about it your room watching all this. Propaganda. On on has his wife JFK's life and times of how we card.