Brent Budowsky: JFK Then, Obama Now

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tags: nuclear weapons, Barack Obama, The Hill, JFK, American University

Budowsky was an aide to former Sen. Lloyd Bentsen and Bill Alexander, then chief deputy majority whip of the House. He holds an LL.M. degree in international financial law from the London School of Economics. He can be read on The Hill’s Pundits Blog and reached at

On June 10, 1963, at American University, President John F. Kennedy gave a speech about the world that changed the world. On Nov. 22, 1963, America lost a historic man of presidential greatness in the first of three murders within five years that did incalculable damage to the world, the nation and the progressive ideal.

In 1963 a world leader, for the first time since Hiroshima and Nagasaki, offered a vision and charted a course to save the world from nuclear extermination. Kennedy did not count the number of missiles or drones he would launch. He issued a call to action to the world on behalf of the water we all drink, the air we all breathe and the children we all love who will live or die because of what grown-ups do.

In five momentous years, from 1963 to 1968, America lost John Kennedy, Robert F. Kennedy and Martin Luther King Jr. The imprint they left was timeless. The legacy they left was precious. The dreams they left remain with us. The void they left has never been fully filled, though many in power quote their words and hang their pictures on their walls....

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