Talk:Joseph P. Kennedy, Sr.

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RJJ, we're just not having it, equating left wing, liberal anti-Semites and anti-communists as "conservatives." Rob Smith 12:26, 28 August 2009 (EDT)

1. Joe was NOT liberal; 2) he was right wing; 3) he did use anti-semitic language; 4) he was a major supporter of many conservative causes. He represented the conservative, Catholic, pro-business, anti-union, anti-Communist wing of the Democratic party. Is there anyone who thinks he was a liberal or left-wing? RJJensen 13:11, 28 August 2009 (EDT)
Show me sources, and Jack, Bobby, or Ted, maybe FDR too, would be the best. Rob Smith 13:15, 28 August 2009 (EDT)
Doris Kearns Goodwin, The Fitzgeralds and the Kennedys: An American Saga (1987) is a good place top start. What details bother you? RJJensen 13:17, 28 August 2009 (EDT)
The noted liberal apologist, Doris Kearns Goodwin? For most conservatives, she is little better than a troll. It is astounding anyone conservative would consider her a reliable source! What's next, Maureen Dowd? --ṬK/Admin/Talk 14:14, 28 August 2009 (EDT)
My own views are based on reading his private letters, which have been published. But what about Joe Kennedy makes people think he was a liberal, that's the mystery! I think they assume that since the Kennedy brothers have been liberal for 40+ years it must have been true for Joe, but not so. Bobby Kennedy in the 1950s for example was close to Joe McCarthy (who was godfather to one of Bobby's kids--for Catholics, that's pretty close). I've listed the major issues of the day on every one of which Kennedy took the conservative position--economics, social issues, foreign policy, Communism, labor unions, taxes, religion. He funded conservative causes and was vehemently denounced by liberals as a conservative. RJJensen 14:24, 28 August 2009 (EDT)

I propose that instead of arguing the matter, we use either of two criteria:

  1. how have historians (or politicians) labeled him?
  2. list the positions or activities which CP regards as liberal or conservative, and make a chart.

Anti-communism probably qualifies as conservative, but I personally don't regard anti-Semitic language that way. The latter sounds more like an anti-right-wing smear. We need to get clear on stuff like this - including whether ending discrimination against blacks is a cause more supported by Republicans and conservatives, or by Democrats and liberals. I daresay there is a lively dispute over who "owns" the race issue.

I'm reading this article from the Claremont Institute to try to learn something about this mess. So far, it sounds like an anti-Republican smear campaign. --Ed Poor Talk 14:35, 28 August 2009 (EDT)

Joe Kennedy did use anti-semitic language privately, but he also was the person who tried--and succeeded--in getting the Catholic Church to silence the radio priest Charles Coughlin, who was broadcasting anti-semitic attacks every week. The context is that there was a terrific battle going on inside the Democratic party, 1930s-1950s, in major states (New York especially) between the more conservative Irish Catholics (led by Kennedy) and the much more radical-leftwing Jews (who led the American Labor Party and the garment unions). They had very hard words about each other: Anti-Semite! Anti-Catholic! The Jews were especially bitter about Kennedy because he was an isolationist in 1940. Our article on Eleanor Roosevelt touches on this (ER was not Jewish but they were her base in NY, where she fought the Irish hard.) See for example Abie's Irish Rose, which tried to defuse the tension with humor. Ron Bayor has written a major book on the conflictRJJensen 14:51, 28 August 2009 (EDT)
TK, based on RJ's response, I'm getting the idea that there's more to history than, "Are you, or are you not, a liberal?" Let's take advantage of Prof. Jensen's vast knowledge - and more importantly - his willingness to devote countless hours to this project. :-) --Ed Poor Talk 15:55, 28 August 2009 (EDT)
Are you discussing policy with me on-wiki, Ed? I thought this was supposed to be a collaboration. --ṬK/Admin/Talk 04:25, 29 August 2009 (EDT)
Ed, Prof. Jensen has introduced into this discussion, "GOP racism in South";" this is entirely exraneous to what is being discussed. Joe Kennedy is a New Englander; the Kennedy clan is regarded as the heirs of the Roosevelt dynasty of New England liberal democrats; GOP alleged racism in the South did not exist, to the best of my knowledge or anyone elses, in Joseph P. Kennedy's lifetime. The GOP barely existed in the South in Joe Kennedy's lifetime.
I assume Prof. Jensen introduces this entirely irrelelvent slander on conservatives & the GOP because he cannot provide an answer to the topic in dispute, that is, is there such a thing as leftist, liberal anti-Semitism? One is given the impression Prof. Jensen is arguing all racism is inherent to the so-called "right", conservativism, and the Repbulican Party.
A discussion of the so-called "Southern strategy" is totally out of context here. This is a discussion focussing on anti-communism, and leftist anti-semitism Rob Smith 15:34, 29 August 2009 (EDT)
On GOP racism in South issue, I think Dan Carter is quite wrong and I plan to wrote that up at length. Basically the GOP in the South is based on the white collar/business/better educated groups that are the least racist and the most hostile to Wallace. (Wallace was very bad for business.) RJJensen 15:59, 28 August 2009 (EDT)
RJJ, let's look at your writing,
  • New_Deal#Relief.2C_Recovery.2C_and_Reform : "Liberal" no longer referred to classical liberalism but now meant a supporter of the New Deal; conservative meant an opponent.
  • New_Deal#Government_Role:_balance_labor.2C_business_and_farming : Reform was based on the assumption that the depression was caused by the inherent instability of the market and that government intervention was necessary to rationalize and stabilize the economy, and to balance the interests of farmers, business and labor. It included ...regulation of Wall Street (SEC, 1934)..."..
Comment: Joe Kennedy was the first head of SEC. So, as an opponent of the New Deal, in your words, as a conservative, Joe Kennedy was a New Deal reformer who believed in government intervention in the market place. Again,
  • Great_Depression#Causes : "Socialists tend to call it a failure of the free market system, while advocates of free markets blame the depression on government efforts to transform the U.S. economy into Socialism. The political realignment of the New Deal Coalition could take an anti-business tone because bankers were in bad odor in 1933 (just as they are in 2009). ...In historical terms, the "lessons" of the Great Depression have been applied to preventive measures, and in the Financial Crisis of 2008, helped determine what remedies to apply.
Comment: So was Joe Kennedy an advocate of the free market, or a socialist who claimed it was a failure of the free market system?
What I asked for above was primary source data, Jack, Bobby, Ted, FDR, even Tip O'Neill (Man of the House) to verify your claim. As to Doris Kearnes Goodwin, a Lyndon Johnson groupie (bimbo would be the Clintonian term) does not impress us, whatever academic credentials she may have. I demand primary source data.
The only argument you have is, he was an anti-Semite, therefore he was conservative. Rob Smith 18:42, 28 August 2009 (EDT)
I listed a dozen ways Joe was a conservative. The SEC is an interesting case--conservatives then and now SUPPORT the SEC because the way Kennedy set it up it gives confidence to investors by requiring transparency and blocking fraud. Kennedy was picked because FDR needed a conservative acceptable to the bankers and financiers. As for RobSmith's demand for primary sources he needs to read Hostage to Fortune: The Letters of Joseph P. Kennedy edited by Amanda Smith (2002) RJJensen 00:19, 29 August 2009 (EDT)

You can read below, good examples I pulled from conservative websites, as to what makes a conservative. If you can show, conclusively, that old Joe subscribed to conservative beliefs, as shown below, and epitomized by Ronald Reagan, I can accept what you say RJ. If not, I remind you that you are not canine, so you should let go of this particular bone. ;-) --ṬK/Admin/Talk 01:17, 29 August 2009 (EDT)

TK's problem is his complete lack of historical sensibility. His criteria for example lack any historical context--but for the record Kennedy agreed with every one of TK's listed points. Lack of historical sensibility gives a very weak basis on which to edit historical articles. In Joe Kennedy's case, he was not in the 1950s liberal on any major issue--TK has not found one example--(meanwhile Reagan was a liberal in the 1950s). So I suppose TK means Reagan-as-model at a somewhat later date--date unspecified. The advantage of historical perspective is that you can see change over time--and how the present has emerged from the past. RJJensen 01:31, 29 August 2009 (EDT)
We would need to hear Eleanor Roosevelt speak for herself for a claim like this,
Joe's conservatism was a major reason the liberal wing of the Democratic party --typified by Eleanor Roosevelt distrusted John Kennedy.
and Eleanor's chief biogrpaher (or any progeny thereof), Joe Lash, is highly suspect. Rob Smith 15:10, 29 August 2009 (EDT)

What does being a "conservative" mean? Look here. and reflect upon the following:

"Conservative principles are just that -- principles. Principles are like natural laws: they don't change with time. Yes, indeed, all kinds of changes spin and weave all around them. But Liberals are always looking for a new system. Well, all systems break down sooner or later. But principles never break down. Liberals typically associate the "spiritual" with the "religious"--and of course they despise religions because religions by their nature put limits on the kinds of behavior they are suppose to engage in. But spirituality does not have to be Christian, or Jewish, and it does not have to be of any religion at all. Spirituality, once again, is really a life lived according to unchanging principles.

Liberals hate that. They have no core, no center--and so, as another great poet said, "Things fall apart, The center cannot hold." Liberals pervert the concept of being unlimited, as they pervert every concept they come across. That which is ageless and timeless means nothing to their limited minds. If it's not new and always morphing into the next new thing, it's no good for them.

Conservatives are not "mired in" tradition. Conservatives respect tradition, just as those Conservatives who are not Christians respect the Judeo-Christian heritage of our great nation. They might not agree with it, but they quietly go their own way. They don't try to obliterate it like the mad Libs. And this all comes back to the fact that Conservatives of any religious beliefs are people who abide in principles--ageless, timeless principles that guide their decisions and behavior."

Top 10 Conservative Beliefs

1. The rights of the individual are supreme. We are endowed by our Creator with certain unalienable rights, that among these are life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness. Individuals living in a free society should therefore make every effort to place and ensure limitations on their government. The First Congress of the United States recognized this supposition, and passed a Bill of Rights which both clarifies the rights of individuals and places restrictions on government.

2. All persons are created equal, and are of equal and inestimable worth. Any government program which seeks to discriminate against or in favor of a person on the sole basis of race or ethnicity should never be tolerated.

3. The money one earns as the result of his work and industriousness, and the goods he acquires with that money, are his private property. Tax systems should never be designed to appropriate one's private property for the purpose of distributing that property to another person who has done nothing to earn it. Nor should personal achievement be punished or discouraged by confiscatory taxation. The Fifth Amendment to the U.S. Constitution declares, in part, that private property shall not be taken for public use, without just compensation. One's earnings are his private property, and taxes should therefore only be collected through consumer activity.

4. Wealth is created only by private enterprise. A society flourishes best in an atmosphere where competition is encouraged, and citizens are properly rewarded for their excellence. The government does not create wealth, and should therefore only do the things the private sector can not or will not do. Public services the government should provide for its citizens include a standing army, law enforcement and other such protections, roadways, and schools. The government should never raise more money than is required to find direct, basic services.

5. The best parents for a child are that child's parents. The government should never create programs which usurp the duty of parents. Although the government should provide good schools and staff them with competent teachers, parents should bear the primary responsibility for their children's well-being and education. The role of discipline must be shouldered by the parents, and parents should send their children to school with the clear understanding that they are there to learn. Our teachers are not daycare providers. In addition, a child's character and moral underpinnings should be instilled by his parents -- not the public education system.

6. Private charities, religious or otherwise, are necessary institutions in a free society, because they are designed to extend benevolence to individuals who are temporarily in need. Charities exist because individuals are compelled, by their own desire, to share a portion of their own money (not other people's money) with the full faith that those charities will spend that money wisely, frugally, and solely for the purposes which they advertise. The government should therefore only provide social services in very limited cases to those individuals who absolutely cannot help themselves. The welfare state is anathema to a free, capitalist society.

7. Elected officials and government employees are public servants, and should never concern themselves with improving anyone's life. Americans have the distinct privilege of residing in a country where we, and only we, decide what improves our lives. Although no one can be promised and equal outcome life, everyone should be afforded equal opportunity to pursue happiness for himself and his family. Therefore, no citizen seeking public office should ever do so under the pretense that he will take property from one and give that property to another in order to improve his life. An elected official's primary concern should be to facilitate and perpetuate the free society to which he belongs.

8. Governments do have their place, do provide some worthwhile services, and taxes are therefore necessary. However, those charged with the power to levy taxes should recognize foremost that their fellow citizens have many obligations, goals, and priorities for themselves and their families which are tantamount to funding the government.

9. Immigrants are welcome, but the government has the duty to place restrictions on immigration, and should do whatever is necessary to execute those restrictions. Those who seek to immigrate into the United States in order to enjoy our freedoms and opportunties must do so legally, and with the understanding that they will be expected to support themselves and their families, live by our laws, pay their taxes, and learn our language.

10. There is a Supreme Being, and there are very clear distinctions between right and wrong. This is why laws are necessary. In addition, the government should never make laws which restrict or even discourage the free exercise of religion.

Liberalism, like atheism, is really a superstition. It takes great courage to believe in God, especially in academia with all the persecution of scientists or anyone who takes a stand for religious faith. Liberals, and atheists, are a cowardly lot, always afraid of anything that places responsibility on them, as they would rather blame "society" for our ills, and always, always they run from anything that hints there should be, could be, punishment for what is immoral or amoral.

--ṬK/Admin/Talk 00:00, 29 August 2009 (EDT)