If you want to start an online fight with a young person, tell them that as bad as things appear to be now — and they do appear to be quite bad — it’s nothing compared to 1968.
Our heroes in search of justice and equality were being picked off one by one. A presidential aspirant was committing treason by using back channels to undo a peace agreement in an unjust war, in which poor people were scooped up off the street and sent half a world away, that a sitting president had negotiated.
Dissent was being supressed and National Guard troops were being sent to Chicago, scene of the Democratic National Convention, with orders to shoot to kill.
Fast forward 50 years and we’re inundated with gas bags like Boston Herald columnist Howie Carr, who wrote a book about Kennedy and doesn’t quite understand what political hope was about.
Despite all the millions of gallons of ink that have been spilled about his “growth” and “evolution” in the groovy Sixties, Bobby was indisputably a homophobe and an anti-Semite. From Roy Cohn to Bayard Rustin to J. Edgar Hoover, he really despised gays. As for Jews, Bobby took after his dear old dad, big time. Joe called him a “hater,” and the old man was a guy who described Jews as “pants pressers,” among many, many other slurs.
Then there’s Bobby’s reputation as a “good family man.” But he caught the “adultery virus,” as his brother-in-law Peter Lawford put it, from JFK. When the Soviet Union fell, one of the documents discovered in the KGB archives was a note about asking for a woman to be sent up to his hotel room during a visit to Moscow in 1956.
But the one name you’re never going to hear or read anywhere else in the next 72 hours is Marilyn Monroe. She was originally JFK’s girlfriend and the president passed her down to Bobby.
“It’s a pity we were 1 assassin short back then,” one of Carr’s 2018 a acolytes writes today in response, referring to the Kennedy brother left alive.
In 1968, much of America’s promise died on a hotel kitchen floor. 2018 proves it so.