President John F. Kennedy
HONOLULU (China Hawaii Today) - The New York Post’s recent article of the ‘new book out’ on John F. Kennedy’s affair with 19-year-old press office intern and then Wheaton College student Mimi Alford, rings a particularly discordant note deep in heart. I recall the pride and joy of a six, or seven-year-old when my mother told me I was named after two John’s- President Kennedy and Pope John XXIII.
Chappaquiddick Island by user Kelisi on Wikipedia
That I am Catholic bleeds even more ambivalence. The only Catholic president in the history of the United States of America took the virginity away from a college student and ‘pimped’ her to his “first friend” Dave Powers. As a republican, I had written critically of Bill Clinton’s ‘redefinition of sex’ in his own impeachment trial, and critiqued Edward Kennedy’s escape from responsibility at Chappaquiddick in Mary Jo Kopechne's death. As a candidate 2010, I went head to head in a similar issue as Mimi Alford’s, concerning New York Times headline, “Accusations against Hawaii Senator . . . “ I was endlessly criticized as ‘going negative-’ ultimately true.
But this hits close to home. My namesake, ‘John,’ very popular in my generation due to Kennedy’s prescient standing- performed such actions casually. Of course, the temptation for myself, in discovering one’s namesake falling so below the bar, is to “rationalize,” or explain, which I will not do.
(Now, the hypocrisy) Positions of power enable people to do things- that were they in lesser positions, they would not do. This- in no way excuses any, whether John or Edward Kennedy or possibly a Hawaii senator- or anyone else for that matter. If any of these individuals were simply a butler there would not be so vast an opportunity to abuse power. But even a butler, in presence of one ‘lesser,’ may somehow force another so he can “have his way.”
Who is to say what any one of us, ‘lesser people’ would not do if in a similar position? It is too easy to judge when not in grasp of such power- in hand. Probably that is why I was so critiqued for going ‘negative’ in the 2010 campaign. I am simply a counselor, a ‘no-name’ going against someone revered by so many for what he did for them. Who am I to criticize possible indiscretions of power?
As detailed in Time magazine article on the affair, the prior media did not delve. Now it does. So- leaders, officials, candidates, churches, pastors, and presidents, are all held to a much higher standard. This is good. Ethics evolves over time- we are forced to be as prior, was pretense.
Do we forgive those who died so soon in leadership positions- for their ‘lack of judgment?’ Or do we forgive leaders very old, but of prior who in past performed as John F. Kennedy? We probably do, but that does not mean we re-elect them.
John Roco, a counselor and faculty of psychology on Oahu Hawaii with practice in Waikiki, is also a GOP Republican primary candidate for the U.S. Senate in Hawaii 2012, in a race with fellow republicans Linda Lingle and John Carroll.