Repensar JFK

CAMBRIDGE – No dia 22 de Novembro assinalar-se-á o 50 º aniversário do assassinato do Presidente John F. Kennedy. Para as pessoas que viveram essa época, tratou-se de um acontecimento de tal modo chocante que ainda se lembram onde se encontravam quando ouviram a notícia. Eu estava a sair de um comboio em Nairobi, quando vi o título da trágica notícia.

Kennedy tinha apenas 46 anos quando foi assassinado, em Dallas, por Lee Harvey Oswald, um antigo fuzileiro naval que, descontente, desertara para a União Soviética. Embora a sua vida tenha sido martirizada pela doença, Kennedy projectou uma imagem de juventude e de vigor que contribuiu para aumentar o drama e a pungência da sua morte.

O martírio levou muitos americanos a elevar Kennedy à categoria de grandes Presidentes como George Washington e Abraham Lincoln, porém, os historiadores têm sido mais comedidos nas suas apreciações. Os críticos apontam-lhe um comportamento sexual por vezes imprudente; um fraco desempenho a nível legislativo e o fracasso em assegurar a correspondência entre as palavras e os actos. Embora Kennedy tenha falado a respeito de direitos civis, redução de impostos e redução da pobreza, foi o seu sucessor, Lyndon Johnson, que, fazendo uso do martírio de Kennedy e dotado de uma competência política bastante mais impressionante, aprovou uma legislação histórica nestes domínios.

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