Sept. 2, 2016
It was July 15, 1999.
Camelot still shined bright.
The Kennedy family had taken on near insurmountable tragedies starting more than half a century earlier.
Joe Kennedy Jr. was groomed by his father and predicted to be the first Roman Catholic Irish-American President of the United States. When he was born, his grandfather, Mayor John F. Fitzgerald told the news, “This child is the future President of the nation.” He often boasted that he would be president even without help from his father. He was a delegate to the Democratic National Convention in 1940. Kennedy planned to run for Massachusetts’s 11th congressional district in 1946.
Those dreams were cut short when Joe Jr. was killed participating in a top-secret World War II mission in 1944. His plane, carrying explosives, burst into flames Over Blythburgh, East Suffolk (UK) and the remains never recovered. The high expectations of the father then fell upon Joe Jr.’s younger brother, Jack, who was later elected President.
Camelot shined brightest in the early 1960’s. Jack (John F. Kennedy) was elected President in November of 1960, and indeed “the torch [had] been to a new generation of Americans,” as President Kennedy declared in his inaugural address.
On November 22, 1963, Kennedy was gunned down by sniper fire in the streets of Dallas, Texas. With the country shattered to pieces, younger brother Robert Kennedy took the mantle of family power and ran for President in 1968.
On his way to winning the Democratic nomination, he too was killed by gunfire, in the kitchen of the Ambassador Hotel (Los Angeles), following a victory speech from the California Primary.
The youngest son of Joe Sr., Edward, tried but failed to keep the Presidential dream alive. Too many self-inflicted scandals (including vehicular homicide) brought him down.
But there was still one dynamic Kennedy left. Someone who especially embodied the mystique of Camelot in the early 60s. Someone once considered the prince of the family dynasty.
John F. Kennedy Jr., the son of the late President, was born into royalty, during his father’s administration. Adorable and charismatic, “John John” as he was referred to by members of the press and White House staff, was America’s Prince.
He embodied the looks of his mother and the charisma of his father. He was a magnet.
No one will forget the images of a 3-year-old John, saluting his father’s flagged-draped casket, as it was wheeled in procession from the Capitol Rotunda to its burial spot at Arlington National Cemetery. First Lady, Jackie Kennedy, lit an eternal flame at her husband’s grave, where it has stayed lit for over a half-century.
John carried the weight of the family expectation for the next three decades, having to go to school while being chased by paparazzi. His grades and two failed New York Bar Exams were plastered all over national newspapers. Bike rides and romantic walks were captured at all times of the day and night. In essence, he was the world’s first reality star – only, he never asked for it. He was born to it.
John Jr. became an assistant District Attorney in New York, and eventually came into his own by starting the successful political/social magazine “George.”
But the pressures of running for political office were never going to go away. Friends and family have hinted that he sensed he had a duty.
Near the turn of the century, rumors were swirling that John would soon take a swing at high office politics – first starting with a New York Senate run. Eventually, that would naturally lead to a run for President, possibly in 2008 when he would be 47.
But Camelot’s light burnt out.
On the morning of July 16, 1999 at age 38, John’s small plan he was piloting, along with his wife Carolyn Bessette-Kennedy and her elder sister Lauren, crashed in the Atlantic Ocean, off the coast of Martha’s Vineyard.
With it, the dominoes fell. Hillary Clinton, instead of John, ran for senator of New York, and in 2008 Barack Obama won the Presidency.
Hillary accepted her coronation as the Democratic nominee this year, and with it, Donald J. Trump emerged from the pack of Republicans to carry the mantle.
Trump Family Dynasty
The images and the similarities of the Trump family to the Kennedy family was on full display at the Republican National Convention.
It was unmistakable that the beauty and grace of both Melania and Ivanka, Trump’s wife and daughter respectively, would conjure memories of the late First Lady Jackie Kennedy.
Donald Jr. and Eric, no doubt, filled the American imaginations with memories of brothers, Jack and Bobby.
The stage filled with Trump’s magnificent family defined beauty, grace, riches and the perception of royalty.
The Trump family, like the Kennedys, are from a populous northeastern state. The patriarch, Donald, like Joe Sr., had money, but turned that small family fortune into a giant, becoming one of the most recognizable and richest families in the world. Trump’s kids are all well educated, successful, smart, and eloquent.
It’s almost unfathomable that they have absolutely no warts or dirty laundry that the media has on them. Trust me, the media would have already tried to bury them.
The similarities are unmistakable to the human mind. Don’t get me wrong, a terrific and coherent argument can be made against the similarities of the Trump and Kennedy family. But even the critics of this comparison, can’t escape the reality that the Kennedys enter their mind as well when thinking of the Trump family.
Just as Bostonites will make unreasonable comparisons to Ted Williams, every time a sweet swinging lefty rookie makes an early impression at Fenway Park.
Is that irrational? Without a doubt.
Is it what we all do? Without a doubt.
When Americans go to the polls this November, they have a couple of choices. They can cast their vote with Hillary Clinton, keeping the status quo, and watch an old, tired and withered political family continue to corrupt the American Government. Or they can vote for Trump and pass the torch “to a new generations of Americans,” watching the new Camelot grow up before their eyes.