Tomorrow, Memorial Day 2017, is the Centennial of the birth of John F. Kennedy.
It is nearly 54 years since his tragic death by assassination in Dallas, Texas.
The potential of what JFK could have accomplished is all speculation, impossible to know.
We know for sure that he was a dynamic leader with great goals for a nation, but under bitter attack from Southern Democrats and conservatives for his initiatives on civil rights, education, health care, the environment, and his unannounced plans for a War on Poverty.
We know that he was a fantastic orator, who appealed to our better nature, and our optimism.
We know that he was glamorous in his appearance, his wife, and his young children.
We know that he is looked back upon as an ideal time when America seemed to be moving forward, but was also entering a very difficult decade of turmoil and tumult, as his two successors, Lyndon B. Johnson and Richard Nixon, escalated a war in Vietnam that divided the nation in a way not seen since the Civil War.
But we also do not know that he would not have done the same thing, escalate the war in Vietnam.
And we also do not know that he would have won reelection, with the likely loss of Southern states that were crucial to a reelection victory.
If he had been running in 1964, would Senator Barry Goldwater, the right wing Republican who likely would have still been the nominee of his party, been able to win, when he lost in a massive landslide to Lyndon B. Johnson?
Or what if JFK was running, if somehow, New York Governor Nelson Rockefeller had somehow overcome opposition within the Republican Party for being a “New York Liberal”, and been the GOP Presidential nominee, could Rockefeller have defeated JFK?
Would a living JFK been able to wage a War on Poverty; passage of Medicare; enactment of expanded federal aid to education: promoted environmental and consumer laws; and been able to gain two major Civil Rights laws, all accomplished by LBJ?
The tragedy is that we will never know what the future would have been with a President JFK beyond November 22, 1963!