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How JFK Gave Us Donald J. Trump (Videos)

When image trumps ideology: How JFK created the template for the modern presidency

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President John F. Kennedy watches as planes conduct anti-sub operations during maneuvers off the North Carolina coast in April 1962. Associated Press

Steven Watts, University of Missouri-Columbia
Even at John F. Kennedy’s centennial on May 29, 2017, the 35th president remains an enigma. We still struggle to come to a clear consensus about a leader frozen in time – a man who, in our mind’s eye, is forever young and vigorous, cool and witty. The Conversation

While historians have portrayed him as everything from a nascent social justice warrior to a proto-Reaganite, his political record actually offers little insight into his legacy. A standard “Cold War liberal,” he endorsed the basic tenets of the New Deal at home and projected a stern, anti-Communist foreign policy. In fact, from an ideological standpoint, he differed little from countless other elected officials in the moderate wing of the Democratic Party or the liberal wing of the Republican Party.

Much greater understanding comes from adopting an altogether different strategy: approaching Kennedy as a cultural figure. From the beginning of his career, JFK’s appeal was always more about image than ideology, the emotions he channeled than the policies he advanced.


Generating an enthusiasm more akin to that of a popular entertainer than a candidate for national office, he was arguably America’s first “modern” president. Many subsequent presidents would follow the template he created, from Republicans Ronald Reagan and Donald Trump to Democrats Bill Clinton and Barack Obama.


A cultural icon

JFK pioneered the modern notion of the president as celebrity. The scion of a wealthy family, he became a national figure as a young congressman for his good looks, high-society diversions and status as an “eligible bachelor.”

He hobnobbed with Hollywood actors such as Frank Sinatra and Tony Curtis, hung out with models and befriended singers. He became a fixture in the big national magazines – Life, Look, Time, The Saturday Evening Post – which were more interested in his personal life than his political positions.


Later, Ronald Reagan, the movie actor turned politician, and Donald Trump, the tabloid fixture and star of “The Apprentice,” would translate their celebrity impulses into electoral success. Meanwhile, the saxophone-playing Bill Clinton and the smooth, “no drama” Obama – ever at ease on the talk show circuit – teased out variations of the celebrity role on the Democratic stage.


President Bill Clinton plays ‘Heartbreak Hotel’ on his saxophone during an episode of ‘The Arsenio Hall Show’ in 1992.AP Photo/Reed Saxon


After Kennedy, it was the candidate with the most celebrity appeal who often triumphed in the presidential sweepstakes.

A master of the media

Kennedy also forged a new path with his skillful utilization of media technology. With his movie-star good looks, understated wit and graceful demeanor, he was a perfect fit for the new medium of television.

He was applauded for his televised speeches at the 1956 Democratic convention, and he later prevailed in the famous television debates of the 1960 presidential election. His televised presidential press conferences became media works of art as he deftly answered complex questions, handled reporters with aplomb and laced his responses with wit, quoting literary figures like the Frenchwoman Madame de Staël.


John F. Kennedy gave the first live televised presidential press conference in history on Jan. 25, 1961. AP


Two decades later, Reagan proved equally adept with television, using his acting skills to convey an earnest patriotism, while the lip-biting Clinton projected the natural empathy and communication skills of a born politician. Obama’s eloquence before the cameras became legendary, while he also became an early adopter of social media to reach and organize his followers.

Trump, of course, emerged from a background in reality television and adroitly employed Twitter to circumvent a hostile media establishment, generate attention and reach his followers.


The vigorous male

Finally, JFK reshaped public leadership by exuding a powerful, masculine ideal. As I explore in my book, “JFK and the Masculine Mystique: Sex and Power on the New Frontier,” he emerged in a postwar era colored by mounting concern over the degeneration of the American male. Some blamed the shifting labor market for turning men from independent, manual laborers into corpulent, desk-bound drones within sprawling bureaucracies. Others pointed to suburban abundance for transforming men into diaper-changing denizens of the easy chair and backyard barbecue. And many thought that the advancement of women in the workplace would emasculate their male coworkers.

John F. Kennedy smokes a cigar and reads The New York Times on his boat off the coast of Hyannisport. U.S. National Archives and Records Administration

Enter Jack Kennedy, who promised a bracing revival of American manhood as youthful and vigorous, cool and sophisticated.

In his famous “New Frontier” speech, he announced that “young men are coming to power – men who are not bound by the traditions of the past – young men who can cast off the old slogans and delusions and suspicions.”


In a Sports Illustrated article titled “The Soft American,” he advocated a national physical fitness crusade. He endorsed a tough-minded realism to shape the counterinsurgency strategies that were deployed to combat Communism, and he embraced the buccaneering style of the CIA and the Green Berets. He championed the Mercury Seven astronauts as sturdy, courageous males who ventured out to conquer the new frontier of space.


JFK’s successors adopted many of these same masculine themes. Reagan positioned himself as a manly, tough-minded alternative to a weak, vacillating Jimmy Carter. Clinton presented himself as a pragmatic, assertive, virile young man whose hardscrabble road to success contrasted with the privileged, preppy George H.W. Bush. Obama impressed voters as a vigorous, athletic young man who scrimmaged with college basketball teams – a contrast to the cranky, geriatric John McCain and a stiff, pampered Mitt Romney.


More recently, of course, Trump’s outlandish masculinity appealed to many traditionalists unsettled by a wave of gender confusion, women in combat, weeping millennial “snowflakes” and declining numbers of physically challenging manufacturing jobs in the country’s post-industrial economy. No matter how crudely, the theatrically male businessman promised a remedy.


So as we look back at John F. Kennedy a century after his birth, it seems ever clearer that he ascended the national stage as our first modern president. Removed from an American political tradition of grassroots electioneering, sober-minded experience and bourgeois morality, this youthful, charismatic leader reflected a new political atmosphere that favored celebrity appeal, media savvy and masculine vigor. He was the first American president whose place in the cultural imagination dwarfed his political positions and policies.

Just as style made the man with Kennedy, it also remade the American presidency. It continues to do so today.

Steven Watts, Professor of History, University of Missouri-Columbia
This article was originally published on The Conversation. Read the original article.

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Beyoncé, Media Hype, 2016 Super Bowl Madness

Beyoncé, Media Hype, 2016 Super Bowl Madness

Beyonce and her Girl Gang

NB Commentary: I enter this discussion kicking and screaming and swearing to myself that I am not, and I mean, am not gonna fall prey to the hype. But today, I had to come forth with another blog post.  I was compelled by the comments under many of the pictures posted of her and her girl gang at the Super Bowl and how some folks were actually seeing it as a Powerful Movement, a statement about Black Power, a high five to Malcolm X, and the insane indicators of it being an Illuminati ritual. But what really took me to the top of the clock was the actual lyrics, which in no way seem to reflect any of this, in fact quite the contrary. So here I am again, with something to rant on about That!!!

Let me begin my rant with a shout out to Cookie Couture who posted the lyrics to Beyoncé song.

“Thank you for this. You know how you witness something and something inside you goes off and tells you that there is something wrong with this because inside of you, you can feel it going in all kinds of different directions. Well, thanks again, I really appreciate you posting those lyrics!!”

Nowadays, we cannot take lightly the impact of the media. It’s in your face in an instant and manipulating you and brainwashing you in the millisecond. Nowadays, it’s more dangerous due to the advance technology they can use to grab your brain and do all kinds of trickery with it.
The invention of motion pictures and later television, herald the beginning of an epic age, where the minds of the masses are in the hands of the elite controllers who can massage, manipulate, brainwash and control the narrative to such a degree that people believe that what they see is real and true.
People identify with the character on the screen so much so that they protect them as if they have an intimate relationship with them, all because of what they see on the screen. People project themselves into the personification of a made up image on the screen and it becomes their alters. For that matter, fans are as much MK-Ultra slaves as much as the people they Idolize and Adore. The Cult of Personality has replaced the Gods and Goddesses of ancient times.
The people on the big screen are fallible human beings, but the masses need Gods so they elevate them to the status of “Gods” and defend their “Persona” as if it’s real, or actually means anything. The psychological irony of this is that their “Persona” does mean something for the hungry masses, but 99% of them won’t use this power for anything other than maintaining the status quo of the Elite Moguls who control them from behind the scenes. Their true creativity is eclipsed by the greed, avarice and debauchery that is the world of celebrity. If they step out of the mold that was designed for them, they will fail or meet a worse fate. Thus the hype is just that, hype, form no substance, yet the impact of such superficiality is as deadly has a thousand poison arrows.

And Now to the Lyrics. You decide, how progressive these are.
What happened at the New Wil’ins?
Bitch, I’m back by popular demand
[Refrain: Beyoncé]
Y’all haters corny with that illuminati mess
Paparazzi, catch my fly, and my cocky fresh
I’m so reckless when I rock my Givenchy dress (stylin’)
I’m so possessive so I rock his Roc necklaces
My daddy Alabama, Momma Louisiana
You mix that negro with that Creole make a Texas bama
I like my baby heir with baby hair and afros
I like my negro nose with Jackson Five nostrils
Earned all this money but they never take the country out me
I got a hot sauce in my bag, swag
[Interlude: Messy Mya + Big Freedia]
Oh yeah, baby, oh yeah I, ohhhhh, oh, yes, I like that
I did not come to play with you hoes, haha
I came to slay, bitch
I like cornbreads and collard greens, bitch
Oh, yes, you besta believe it
[Refrain: Beyoncé]
Y’all haters corny with that illuminati mess
Paparazzi, catch my fly, and my cocky fresh
I’m so reckless when I rock my Givenchy dress (stylin’)
I’m so possessive so I rock his Roc necklaces
My daddy Alabama, Momma Louisiana
You mix that negro with that Creole make a Texas bama
I like my baby heir with baby hair and afros
I like my negro nose with Jackson Five nostrils
Earned all this money but they never take the country out me
I got a hot sauce in my bag, swag
[Chorus: Beyoncé]
I see it, I want it, I stunt, yellow-bone it
I dream it, I work hard, I grind ’til I own it
I twirl on them haters, albino alligators
El Camino with the seat low, sippin’ Cuervo with no chaser
Sometimes I go off (I go off), I go hard (I go hard)
Get what’s mine (take what’s mine), I’m a star (I’m a star)
Cause I slay (slay), I slay (hey), I slay (okay), I slay (okay)
All day (okay), I slay (okay), I slay (okay), I slay (okay)
We gon’ slay (slay), gon’ slay (okay), we slay (okay), I slay (okay)
I slay (okay), okay (okay), I slay (okay), okay, okay, okay, okay
Okay, okay, ladies, now let’s get in formation, cause I slay
Okay, ladies, now let’s get in formation, cause I slay
Prove to me you got some coordination, cause I slay
Slay trick, or you get eliminated
[Verse: Beyoncé]
When he fuck me good I take his ass to Red Lobster, cause I slay
When he fuck me good I take his ass to Red Lobster, cause I slay
If he hit it right, I might take him on a flight on my chopper, cause I slay
Drop him off at the mall, let him buy some J’s, let him shop up, cause I slay
I might get your song played on the radio station, cause I slay
I might get your song played on the radio station, cause I slay
You just might be a black Bill Gates in the making, cause I slay
I just might be a black Bill Gates in the making
[Chorus: Beyoncé]
I see it, I want it, I stunt, yellow-bone it
I dream it, I work hard, I grind ’til I own it
I twirl on my haters, albino alligators
El Camino with the seat low, sippin’ Cuervo with no chaser
Sometimes I go off (I go off), I go hard (I go hard)
Get what’s mine (take what’s mine), I’m a star (I’m a star)
Cause I slay (slay), I slay (hey), I slay (okay), I slay (okay)
All day (okay), I slay (okay), I slay (okay), I slay (okay)
We gon’ slay (slay), gon’ slay (okay), we slay (okay), I slay (okay)
I slay (okay), okay (okay), I slay (okay), okay, okay, okay, okay
Okay, okay, ladies, now let’s get in formation, cause I slay
Okay, ladies, now let’s get in formation, cause I slay
Prove to me you got some coordination, cause I slay
Slay trick, or you get eliminated
[Bridge: Beyoncé]
Okay, ladies, now let’s get in formation, I slay
Okay, ladies, now let’s get in formation
You know you that bitch when you cause all this conversation
Always stay gracious, best revenge is your paper
[Outro]
Girl, I hear some thunder

Golly, look at that water, boy, oh lord

AND NEXT,
 TRENDING ON THE OTHER END OF THE MASS MIND CONTROL SCALE
COMES THE FOLLOWING ARTICLE.
BELIEVE IT OR NOT????
FEBRUARY 10, 2016
ARE BEYONCE’S ‘FORMATION’ LYRICS ANTI-COP, PRO-BLACK OR JUST PLAIN PERFECT?
The lyrics and video to Beyonce’s new single “Formation” shouldn’t be surprising to any fans who have been closely following the political leanings of the pop artist and her husband Jay-Z. While the power couple have often tried to keep it quiet, they’ve been huge financial supporters of the Black Lives Matter movement. Last year, activist Dream Hampton revealed that the couple had poured in tens of thousands of dollars in bail money without a second thought when Baltimore and Ferguson protestors were jailed. After those tweets were deleted, he later suggested that they didn’t really want to largely publicize the fact, reported The Guardian.
That attitude seems to be shifting when peering into the video, performance and lyrics behind Beyonce’s “Formation.” Just as she gained accolades for aligning herself with feminism on her 2013 surprise self-titled album, Beyonce has once again recognized the power of pop and the cult of her own artistry to send a message. This time, it’s about the police violence faced by the black community.

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