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Should JFK Airport be Renamed?

Updated on July 16, 2018
Tom Lohr profile image

Tom Lohr is a navy veteran, world traveler, adventurer, baseball fans and hot dog aficionado. He loves dogs and hates political correctness.

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Nation Rebuilding

For years, buildings were named and statues erected of people that helped shape the nation. While it can be argued that some of their influence in nation building was less than desirable, they are still part of America's history. Statues of heroes of the Confederacy, for example, stood on town squares and in parks for decades without harming anyone. Sure, some folks walked by and jeered at the likeness of a person with whom they, in their mind, had forged some sort of hate for. Regardless of reasoning, a monument to someone they felt was less than deserving offended them.

Nothing changed for nearly 100 years and many of those memorials stood guard in public without so much as a peep. The same could be said for schools, airports, bridges and highways named after well known politicians and generals. Then something happened. Something that made the United States a laughing stock in the international community. As some point, where it is hard to determine, we decided that anything that offended anyone had to be either abolished, hidden or destroyed. Forget the fact that many of the offended's arguments were weak. Tossing out terms like “racist” or “genocide” was their war cry in an attempt to shame officials in to ridding the area of something that hurt their tender sensibilities. In some cases, they didn't wait for legally sanctioned action, they formed a 21stcentury lynch mob to force their beliefs upon all by tearing down monuments on their own.

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The Rise of Idiocracy

These mobs and their childish temper tantrums, astonishingly, have made significant progress in erasing subtle reminders of our nation's history. Calling anyone that stood in their way racist, fascist or a nazi, and playing on the fears of those who did not wish to be branded as such, they pushed much of their agenda through. Their cause, while it had a percentage of support at the beginning, turned into a ridiculous game of erasing the names of persons that they have proclaimed, as judge and jury, unworthy.

But it is a slippery slope to start demanding that every person who has even a minuscule of wrongdoing in their past have their memorial removed or demolished. One can make an argument for many beloved historical figures to have their name or likeliness removed from buildings or parks. To demonstrate just how insane this mob mentality has become, there is even a movement to have a statue of Abraham Lincoln removed from a college campus. While it should have never been allowed to start in the first place, we have ask ourselves: where will it stop?

Hey, Hey, Ho, Ho, JFK Has Got to Go

To demonstrate just how easy it is to make a case for changing the name of a structure or removing a monument is, I propose renaming one of America's busiest airports: John F. Kennedy International Airport, or better known as JFK Airport. If hunting down and removing reminders of items that are detrimental to the reputation of our nation, why have we not renamed JFK Airport? Our 35thpresident is held in high esteem by many. There are dozens of places, building and bridges named after him, he even adorns one of our coins. But what did he do to deserve such recognition? If being good looking and charismatic are the qualifications to be honored, then I assume they will be erecting a statue in my honor soon.

President Kennedy was assassinated. In short, he became a national martyr. He was no doubt popular with most of the citizenry, but after his death many began to view his short stint as president through rose colored glassed. His mediocracy and outlandish deeds were conveniently forgotten. The sad fact is, JFK should have his named removed from public view long before we start worrying about how Christopher Columbus behaved on his voyages. I suggest banishing Kennedy's name from any public venue, starting with the one place that prompts his named to uttered tens of thousands of time a day: JFK Airport. Why you ask? What did JFK do to offend me? He actually offended all of us by his behavior and legacy. Here are four good reasons anything honoring JFK has to go:

1960 Electoral Map
1960 Electoral Map | Source

He Stole the Presidency

The 1960 election was a tight race. Nixon, the former vice-president in the Eisenhower administration, seemed to have the upper hand. Following a televised debate in which Kennedy demonstrated television's power to influence people, the election was up for grabs. In one of the closest elections in history, Kennedy received an extremely narrow majority of the popular vote with 112,827 (.17%) votes. But, as we all have learned, it is the electoral votes that count, and Kennedy garnered 303 votes to Nixon's 219. By the electoral college count, Kennedy won the election easily. Or did he?

Two states, and their electoral votes, could have changed the outcome of the election. Namely, Illinois and Texas. It is no secret that Kennedy chose Lyndon Johnson, a Texas senator, as his running mate to win Texas and improve his chances in the south. However, it is doubtful that Johnson was enough for Texans to vote for a northern socialite. There were widespread accusations that the Johnson's political machine had perpetrated voter fraud in order to sway the state's election outcome in Kennedy's favor. There was, in fact, voter fraud.

Kennedy won by a large margin in Fannin County, Texas. He received the majority of the 6,138 votes cast. The problem is, there were only 4,895 registered voters in the county. In Angelina County, Kennedy won 187 votes in a county with only 86 registered voters. There were other irregularities, but those two counties alone should have been significant cause for a recount. And a recount was sought, except that the Texas Board of Elections, all of who were Democrats, quickly certified the election to prevent it from being contested.

In Illinois, with Chicago famous for its corruption, Nixon won 92 of the state's 101 counties. It fell to Chicago to turn the tide in Kennedy's favor. Chicago's Mayor Daley held back the city's vote count until the wee hours in the morning, likely to gain time to alter the vote tally. Kennedy ended up winning Chicago's Cook County by an unrealistic 450,000 votes. Later investigations into Chicago's meddling in the election found that numerous deceased persons had voted, and one abandoned house had 56 voters registered. How strong was the evidence that Chicago threw the election in order for Kennedy to get Illinois' 27 electoral votes? Three election workers ended up serving jail time for voter fraud. While Texas likely should have gone to Nixon, there is no question that Illinois was his. John F. Kennedy, was fraudulently elected president of the United States.

Fidel Castro
Fidel Castro | Source

He Imprisoned Thousands of People

Communist Cuba is no people's paradise. Under the iron-fisted rule of Fidel Castro, things were so bad that thousands fled the island on makeshift rafts in an attempt to reach the United States. Many of those died in the process. Cuba truly was/is an island prison. But it didn't have to be that way. Castro's rise to power caused concern in the Eisenhower administration. Having a communist country at America's doorstep was unacceptable. Late in his tenure as president, Eisenhower approved plans for a CIA backed invasion to overthrow Fidel Castro.

Kennedy took office knowing of the Cuban invasion plan. He had been briefed while still a candidate. He allowed the plan to proceed, and the Bay of Pigs Invasion began on April 17, 1961. The invasion had a good chance of success. Using US supplied aircraft, and later air support, the invasion force would land near a city with a large anti-Castro citizenry, and destroy the Cuban air force on the ground. However, Kennedy, in an attempt to lessen America's involvement, cut the number of bombers for the initial strikes on the Cuban airfields in half. The result was a largely intact fleet of attack aircraft that would mercilessly pound the pro-American landing force. Kennedy also had the landing site changed. The initial site was substituted for the pro-communist area surrounding the Bay of Pigs.

It was very early in his presidency and Kennedy was hoping to distance himself from what was looking more and more like a defeat. And thanks to JFK's waffling and indecision, that is exactly what happened. After lying to the Soviet Union and the United Nations about US involvement, a few days later he was forced to acknowledge that the Bay of Pigs catastrophe was largely an American CIA operation.

The result was the solidification of Castro's leadership over the cuban people, and the resulting communist culture thrust upon them. Not allowed to leave, the entire population became prisoners on the island. The failed invasion also caused Castro to become a close ally of the Soviet Union, who would later place medium range nuclear missiles in the country that resulted in the world's closest brush with nuclear war: the Cuban Missile Crisis.

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He Got the United States Involved in Vietnam

To be fair, it was the Eisenhower administration that originally sent military advisors to Vietnam. Using mainly special forces, Ike was attempting to keep the Domino Theory from making all of southeast Asia a communist stronghold. He provided South Vietnam millions of dollars of equipment and training as well as US military expertise though the advisors. When Eisenhower left office, there were 900 American military advisors in Vietnam.

By the time Kennedy turned his attention to Vietnam, he already had a crisis of reputation. He had his ass handed to him in the Bay of Pigs Invasion, allowed a wall to be built around West Berlin, and allowed the US to far fall behind in the space race. He told a New York Times reporter that "Now we have a problem making our power credible and Vietnam looks like the place." In an attempt to make up for his other failures, Kennedy began sending US troops to Vietnam. By the time Kennedy was assassinated, 19,000 American troops were in Vietnam, and JFK was complicit in the coup and murder of South Vietnam's president.

Kennedy's escalation in Vietnam cemented the United States' commitment to keeping the communists out of the south to a point there was no turning back. The war dragged on for years and cost thousands of American lives. Ending in defeat for the US as our nation withdrew in the early 70s; from the grave JFK provided one last humiliation for our country.

Alford and JFK
Alford and JFK | Source

He Was a Philandering Lech

Kennedy's appetite for women is well known and well documented. But in his defense, it is hard to name any president that didn't have a mistress on the side. Reagan was too old to care, Carter too religious to stray. Others are up for debate, except Clinton of course. However repulsive Clinton's behavior was, he was a boy scout compared to JFK.

There were a slew of dalliances. Although it can be said he actually had pretty good taste in mistresses. Who could forget that he and Marylin Monroe were friends with benefits. But the tryst that really put him at the top of the list of perverts is his 18 month affair with Mimi Alford.

Ms Alford was a 19 year old intern in the White House press office. She was there only days before she was bedded by JFK, in which the president took her virginity. That would be lecherous enough, but while swimming with the president at the White House pool, he ordered her to perform oral sex on one of JFK's compadres; which she did. In the following months, he introduced her to drugs (amyl nitrate, aka poppers), and wanted her to perform oral sex on his brother Teddy Kennedy, which she did not. While Kennedy did not overtly rape his teenage intern, the disparity in power and his position far above her in the administration is what we call sexual harassment today. If you want to know more about the lurid details of JFK and his teenage mistress, her book is a good read. While there is significant fake outrage at a president talking about grabbing women by the genitals, JFK actually did. Did I mention she was 19?

Marilyn Monroe Sings to JFL

Good Looks and Charisma Do Not Make a Great President

But on the bright side, John F. Kennedy started the Peace Corps, although one would be hard pressed to prove that it provides anything of value to our nation. And he did eventually get us on track to enter and eventually surpass the Soviet Union in the conquering of space. Either of those are hardly reasons for naming a major airport after him. He was good looking, charismatic, and a damn good orator, which is apparently enough for a segment of our population to remember him as a great president.

Which returns us to the original debate: does a president that did little for the nation, and caused significant harm to its reputation while bedding teenage girls deserve anything, be it a building or monument in his honor? If you can think objectively the answer is “no.” In the context that people are demanding the removal of all things that could even slightly offend someone be torn down or renamed, JFK should be near the top of that list; and we should start with JFK Airport.

The People's Opinion Counts

Does JFK Airport Deserve to be Renamed?

See results

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    • bradmasterOCcal profile image

      Brad Masters 

      5 months ago from Orange County California BSIT BSL JD

      Tom

      I think you missed the part in my piece where it states there were at least 3 persons jailed in Illinois for voter fraud. And when there are more votes than voters something definitely is illegal.

      B:

      I am sure there is voter fraud in every election because the democrats resist photo ID. 3 people jailed compromises what percentage of the election being tainted. This was a localized list using the people in the cemetery to vote. And that still happens to today and it will continue under we know who is voting are eligible to vote. Again the democrats resist that movement.

      But as far as fraud changing the election results in JFKs case, not really.

      ---------------------------

      If Castro would have been outed in the bay of pigs, no soviet missiles. No missiles no crisis.

      B:

      "if" ??

      ------------

      Vietnam. LBJ did takes us to the deep end of the pool. It was Ike that put our tow in the water, but JFK who jumped in.

      B:

      JFK had both feet on the sand. You are the one making a big leap:) here. There was no escalation when JFK was president. You can't really say what JFK was going to do, can you?

      LBJ and congress could have stopped Vietnam from becoming a war. But for LBJ moving forward, and committing 550,000 troops there wouldn't have been a war.

      LBJ was president and he could have done that, but he didn't so he rightfully takes the entire blame for the war. But For his actions it became a war, when no war existed before that!

      -----------------------

      JFK was a WWII quasi hero no doubt. But would have been better had he not allowed his boat to get plowed by a Jap destroyer.

      B:

      Really cold! I never said anything about hero!

      ----------------------------------------

      As far as the assassination, I'd love to know who and why. The fact that they won't declassify many of the documents tells me that something fishy went on but no one knows for sure. It could have just been a crazy Oswald. Hinkley/Reagan tells us there does have to be a good reason to shoot the president.

      B:

      Crazy Oswald? seriously that is a red herring. The point is as you said there has to be a good reason. And as you also said, they have no reason to not declassify unless it was a real good reason.

      In England, I believe they have the 30 year rule to declassify. We are getting close to twice that number. Why?

      ------------------------------

      FYI, if you have Amazon prime watch the LBJ movie with Woody Harellson as LBJ. Not a whole lot of relevation but a great movie. Woody does a great LBJ

      B:

      Three things

      1. I don't like Woody

      2. I didn't like LBJ

      3. I don't watch any political movies, and only a few documentaries.

      For all we know, LBJ could have been the demise of JFK. It is more than coincidence that it happened in Dallas Texas?

      Thanks for your response.

    • Tom Lohr profile imageAUTHOR

      Tom Lohr 

      5 months ago from Santa Fe, NM

      Bradmaster

      I think you missed the part in my piece where it states there were at least 3 persons jailed in Illinois for voter fraud. And when there are more votes than voters something definitely is illegal.

      If Castro would have been outed in the bay of pigs, no soviet missiles. No missiles no crisis.

      Vietnam. LBJ did takes us to the deep end of the pool. It was Ike that put our tow in the water, but JFK who jumped in.

      JFK was a WWII quasi hero no doubt. But would have been better had he not allowed his boat to get plowed by a Jap destroyer.

      As far as the assassination, I'd love to know who and why. The fact that they won't declassify many of the documents tells me that something fishy went on but no one knows for sure. It could have just been a crazy Oswald. Hinkley/Reagan tells us there does have to be a good reason to shoot the president.

      FYI, if you have Amazon prime watch the LBJ movie with Woody Harellson as LBJ. Not a whole lot of relevation but a great movie. Woody does a great LBJ

    • bradmasterOCcal profile image

      Brad Masters 

      5 months ago from Orange County California BSIT BSL JD

      Tom

      The point is, all of those things are reason enough in today's snowflakey climate. The bar for removing and renaming is very low these days.

      1. True, but won it quite illegally. That counts for something

      B:

      There was nothing illegal. Accusations don't count. We have a justice system, that presumes innocence until proven guilty in a court of law. It doesn't matter as it was three years since the election, and there was no court action. No illegality.

      ------------------------------------

      2,No Castro no missile crisis. JFK handled his self created crisis well, but it didn't need to happen.

      B:

      Really why do you say that?

      -----------------------------------

      3. LBJ did ramp it up to a full fledged war, but it was JFK that got us in enough that there was little chance of getting sucked in further. The strategic hamlet program was his administration.

      B:

      There is no way to know how JFK would have handled the 15,000 advisers and observers into a war. But, we do know for a fact and a certainty what LBJ actually did escalating the 15,000 to 550,000. And he still lost the war. JFK didn't escalate it, LBJ did and he should get the credit for the loss.

      -----------------------

      4. I personally don't care, but remember ANY offense to ANYONE these days us cause for renaming/removal. It was his taking advantage of a teen that disgusted me. The others? Don't really care.

      B:

      I don't care either, but at least his wife didn't do what Hillary did with those Bill had.

      -----------------------------

      You avoided my reference to WWII and his assassination. The assassination alone says that he was doing something really good. You don't get flak until you are over the target.

    • Tom Lohr profile imageAUTHOR

      Tom Lohr 

      5 months ago from Santa Fe, NM

      Bradmaster

      Thanks for the comment.

      The point is, all of those things are reason enough in today's snowflakey climate. The bar for removing and renaming is very low these days.

      1. True, but won it quite illegally. That counts for something

      2,No Castro no missile crisis. JFK handled his self created crisis well, but it didn't need to happen.

      3. LBJ did ramp it up to a full fledged war, but it was JFK that got us in enough that there was little chance of getting sucked in further. The strategic hamlet program was his administration.

      4. I personally don't care, but remember ANY offense to ANYONE these days us cause for renaming/removal. It was his taking advantage of a teen that disgusted me. The others? Don't really care.

    • bradmasterOCcal profile image

      Brad Masters 

      5 months ago from Orange County California BSIT BSL JD

      Tom

      I found none of your 4 reasons compelling to change anything about JFK.

      1. He won the presidency, second guessing doesn't change the result.

      2. Wasn't the CUBAN missile crisis more important than Cuba isolation. And no other president has changed that isolation!

      3. It was LBJ that got us into a War in Vietnam. JFK had 15,000 observers, and advisers. LBJ escalated that into 550,000 in a War with Vietnam. LBJ also lost that war, and didn't go for reelection so that he wouldn't be tagged as a loser.

      4. As far as philandering, is that really the prime issue of evaluating the presidency.

      5. If for nothing else he should be remember as giving his life to his country as fighting in WWII, and being assassinated when he was president. Both of those things show that he did something right.

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