The Kennedy Treason Poster

kennedy-treason-poster

Right-wing extremism has a long history in US politics. President John F. Kennedy generated many enemies within conservative circles. This leaflet was distributed throughout Dallas, Texas in 1963 prior to President Kennedy’s arrival. He would later be assassinated in the Southern city. The atmosphere of hate had reached a fever pith. Southern segregationists hated his stance on civil rights, while anti-communist fanatics despised his negotiation with Soviet leader Nikita Khruschev over Cuba. The leaflet above is a mix of John Birch Society conspiracy theories and racist hate. The leaflet condemns the United Nations and claims it it communist controlled. The reality was both the US and U.S.S.R had more influence over the international body compared to the non-aligned nations. It designates Yugoslavia as an “enemy nation.” Yugoslavia under the leadership of  Broz Tito was part of the non-aligned movement. This meant it neither favored the United States or the Soviet Union in its foreign policy. The literature claims that the Nuclear Test Ban Treaty and the solution to the Cuban missile crisis endangered the US. These actions of removing US missiles from Turkey and the U.S.S.R removing missiles from Cuba ensured nuclear war would not happen. The limitation of nuclear arms guaranteed security form both nations. Then the writing states that President Kennedy inspired race riots through a communist insurgency. Using the term “race riot” is coded language for civil rights activism and the movement for racial equality. Then comes the claim he is “illegally” invading sovereign states in the union. This was not an invasion, but forcing the South to comply with federal law and stop them from restricting citizen’s rights based on race or ethnicity. The last bullet point shows that it has a fundamentalist Christian extremist philosophy.  The charge that society is becoming “anti-Christian” has constantly been used to mobilize social conservatives. At this time fundamentalist Christians did not vote in large numbers, but later they would become a major part of the Republican Party. Even if President Kennedy lived, he would have faced a divided and highly polarized nation.

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