JFK Conspiracy Theories: An Analysis

JFK conspiracy theories abound and there are many reasons why. President Kennedy held a multitude of forward looking ideals. He planned a broad variety of changes for a society that he saw as stalled in old ideas. He said, `A new generation has come forth’, and he was out to prove it. New ideas are fine with most people as long as they are small modifications or gentle nudges to old ideas that are proven, in their view, to be successful. But overwhelming changes, that often promise an uncertain future, seldom sit well. Especially if those people are heavily invested in the status quo. John Kennedy was an articulate man and a charismatic speaker but, after all is said and done, describing a utopian future and achieving it are two very different things.

When you look at JFK conspiracy theories it is helpful to identify who might benefit from the death of the president. Who had he angered or whose life-style had he threatened so greatly that they would resort to such drastic action?

He had launched a failed attempt to invade Cuba and assassinate its leader.

He was investigating organized crime and trying to put in place measures to dismantle their monopoly of certain legitimate businesses which were being used to launder money, among other things.

He had dramatic initiatives in mind to further the goals of the civil rights movement.

He was against the secret services and believe the people of America would be better served by transparency and openness.

He was facing off with powerful labor unions who, he declared, were stealing and manipulating funds entrusted to them by their members for the benefit of the few: the leadership.

The list is long one, much longer than this.

When looking at JFK conspiracy theories you also have to ask yourself why would this list of people, or any list of people, conspire? How would they get together to scheme? Have you ever tried to agree on a restaurant with half a dozen people? What commonality do they have that would allow them to trust each other? Why would they feel the necessity to work with outsiders, people unlike themselves? What would they gain  by cooperation? Why would potential conspirators give up part of what they want in order to achieve some part of the goals of another? Who would be in charge? My experience with simple committees trying to achieve simple things, lawful things, getting people to work together isn’t as easy as you might wish.

So I don’t have the answer, only questions. So I will close with this. John Kennedy, like Martin Luther King jr., was a dreamer. It is written somewhere: Behold here cometh the dreamer. Let us slay him and see what becomes of his dreams.

Read I Am Diving for a theory of coincidence.

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