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JFK a conservative? 12 quotes from the liberal icon that you won't believe

Individual rights. Tax cuts. Christianity over Communism. Liberal hero?

(Screengrab via TheBlaze TV)

In the wake of the 50th anniversary of John F. Kennedy's assassination, and in light of Ira Stoll's new book JFK, Conservative, we decided to pull together 12 of JFK's most conservative quotes. Use these to astonish both friends and enemies alike!

1. The American character has been not only religious, idealistic, and patriotic, but because of these it has been essentially individual. Independence Day Oration, July 4th, 1946

2. Conceived in Grecian thought, strengthened by Christian morality, and stamped indelibly into American political philosophy, the right of the individual against the State is the keystone of our Constitution. Each man is free. Independence Day Oration, July 4th, 1946

[sharequote align="center"]The right of the individual against the State is the keystone of our Constitution[/sharequote]

3. In Revolutionary times, the cry "No taxation without representation" was not an economic complaint. Rather, it was directly traceable to the eminently fair and just principle that no sovereign power has the right to govern without the consent of the governed. Anything short of that was tyranny. It was against this tyranny that the colonists "fired the shot heard 'round the world." Independence Day Oration, July 4th, 1946

4. The ever expanding power of the federal government, the absorption of many of the functions that states and cities once considered to be responsibilities of their own, must now be a source of concern to all those who believe as did the great patriot, Henry Grattan that: “Control over local affairs is the essence of liberty.” Commencement Address, University of Notre Dame, January 29, 1950

5. I’d be very happy to tell them I’m not a liberal at all…I’m not comfortable with those people. Saturday Evening Post, June 1953 

[sharequote align="center"]There is room in a totalitarian system for churches- but there is no room for God[/sharequote]

6. I say this not because I believe Christianity is a weapon in the present world struggle, but because I believe religion itself is at the root of the struggle, not in terms of the physical organizations of Christianity versus those of Atheism, but in terms of Good versus Evil, right versus wrong… Our minds, like the headlines of our newspapers, are intent upon the present and future conflicts of armed might, and upon the brutal, physical side of that ominous war upon which we have bestowed the strange epithet "cold". We tend to forget the moral and spiritual issues which inhere in the fateful encounter of which the physical war is but one manifestation. We tend to forget those ideals and faiths and philosophical needs which drive men far more intensively than military and economic objectives. Commencement Address, Assumption College, June 3, 1955

7. But in "the stern encounter", in the moral struggle, religion is not simply a weapon- it is the essence of the struggle itself. The Communist rulers do not fear the phraseology of religion, or the ceremonies and churches and denomination organizations. On the contrary, they leave no stone unturned in seeking to turn these aspects of religion to their own advantage and to use the trappings of religion in order to cement the obedience of their people. What they fear is the profound consequences of a religion that is lived and not merely acknowledged. They fear especially man's response to spiritual and ethical stimuli, not merely material. A society which seeks to make the worship of the State the ultimate objective of life cannot permit a higher loyalty, a faith in God, a belief in a religion that elevates the individual, acknowledges his true value and teaches him devotion and responsibility to something beyond the here and now [Emphasis ours]. The communist fear Christianity more as a way of life than as a weapon. In short, there is room in a totalitarian system for churches- but there is no room for God [Emphasis ours]. The claim of the State most be total, and no other loyalty, and no other philosophy of life can be tolerated. Commencement Address, Assumption College, June 3, 1955

8. This administration is pledged to a Federal revenue system that balances the budget over the years of the economic cycle – yielding surpluses for debt retirement in times of high employment that more than offset the deficits which accompany – and indeed help overcome – low levels of economic activity in poor years…Debt retirement at high employment contributes to economic growth by releasing savings for productive investment by private enterprise and State and local governments.” Special Message to the Congress: Program for Economic Recovery and Growth, February 2, 1961

[sharequote align="center"]We want prosperity and in a free enterprise system there can be no prosperity without profit.[/sharequote]

9. If it is in the public interest to maintain an industry, it is clearly not in the public interest by the impact of regulatory authority to destroy its otherwise viable way of life. Special Message to the Congress on Regulatory Agencies, April 13, 1961

10. While government economists can point out the necessity of increasing the rates of investment, of modernizing plant and productivity, while Washington officials may urge responsible collective bargaining and responsible wage-price decisions, we also recognize that beneath all the laws and guidelines and tax policies and stimulants we can provide, these matters all come down, quite properly in the last analysis, to private decisions by private individuals. Address Before the United States Chamber of Commerce on Its 50th Anniversary, April 30, 1962

11. We want prosperity and in a free enterprise system there can be no prosperity without profit. We want a growing economy and there can be no growth without the investment that is inspired and financed by profit. We want to maintain our natural security and other essential programs and we will have little revenue to finance them unless there is profit. We want to improve our balance of payments without reducing our commitments abroad, and we cannot increase our export surplus, which we must, without modernizing our plants through profit…In short, our primary challenge is not how to divide the economic pie, but how to enlarge it. Address Before the United States Chamber of Commerce on Its 50th Anniversary, April 30, 1962

[sharequote align="center"]Our primary challenge is not how to divide the economic pie, but how to enlarge it[/sharequote]

12. This administration intends to cut taxes in order to build the fundamental strength of our economy, to remove a serious barrier to long-term growth, to increase incentives by routing out inequities and complexities and to prevent the even greater budget deficit that a lagging economy would otherwise surely produce. The worst deficit comes from a recession, and if we can take the proper action in the proper time, this can be the most important step we could take to prevent another recession. That is the right kind of tax cut both for your family budget and the national budget…Every dollar released from taxation that is spent or invested will help create a new job and a new salary. And these new jobs and new salaries can create other jobs and other salaries and more customers and more growth for an expanding American economy. Radio and Television Report to the American People on the State of the National Economy, August 13, 1962

One last thing…
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