The 50th anniversary of JFK's assassination approaches. JFK, MLK and RFK live on forever as examples of wonderful, virtuous liberal heroes who were gunned down right before they could achieve maximum reach. A film was recently made on RFK's assassination. The dream was cut short. Oliver Stone's terrible conspiracy film JFK motivated enough citizens to push for more release of records. There is always talk of something bigger behind their deaths. No lefty can accept that one person would kill each man. The big, evil system ordered it, man, and that system wanted them silenced. Is it so hard to believe a sole figure could be deranged, angry, and feel the need to assassinate someone? Let's review some American history.
John Wilkes Booth had no major backers with the Lincoln assassination. He tried to orchestrate multiple assassinations with the help of some fools, but it's not like the Confederacy was creating the expanded plot.
James Garfield was shot by a lone nut.
Leon Czolgosz shot President McKinley as a lone gunman. No one was backing Czolgosz. He was an anarchist, so maybe he shunned a network of organized support on principle.
Giuseppe Zangara took potshots at FDR prior to his inauguration.
A duo of Puerto Ricans, so not a lone gunman but not a conspiracy, tried to kill Truman over the issue of Puerto Rican independence.
Gerald Ford had two separate attempts on his life by two separate women.
Ronald Reagan was shot by a lone gunman, John Hinckley, obsessed with Jodie Foster. Kind of a weird thing and funny considering our knowledge of her sexual orientation. It is also weird how the media did not explore Hinckley's dad being a big contributor to Vice President Bush's 1980 presidential campaign.
All of these attempts involved lone gunmen without giant conspiracies. No one crafted giant conspiracy theories afterwards. Why? Those leaders were not progressive icons. There was no need to create a mythology. The pre-Great War assassinations represented the old order that progressives replaced. Newer attempts were on political enemies of the movement. It's similar to Waterloo being associated with defeat. The Son of the Revolution, Napoleon, upending order and spreading revolution and change across Europe, was defeated by an aristocratic force of reaction led by Wellington. The physical symbol of the revolution was finally vanquished at that battle, therefore it is framed to future generations as a great loss.
Think of these three assassination victims and the lost dreams of the left. JFK didn't want to get deeper into Vietnam! Without MLK, the black movement lost a peaceful leader and devolved through the '70s and '80s! RFK would've pulled us out of Vietnam faster! Their deaths become excuses for the failures of liberal leadership, policies and beliefs. LBJ was not a true believer. Blacks never properly replaced MLK. They are practically Scooby Doo schemers, "Oh I would've brought about a socialist utopia if it hadn't been for that murky conspiracy of reactionary agents". Liberalism has not been tried hard enough, but in the misty eyes of aging Boomers, with those men, it would have happened.
Those points are all bunk when the facts are reviewed. JFK was handsome, glib and awful. He also had multiple Republicans in his cabinet. JFK was committed to Vietnam, approving a coup that killed Diem to get better allies in place, since he would not "lose" a country. MLK was a flawed man funded by wealthy northern interests. MLK was already beyond peak influence by '68 (where is he in the Watts/Detroit race riots?) as black nationalists, the Panthers and Muslims were gaining ground that they would expand upon in the '70s. RFK was still expressing commitment to Vietnam (unwinnable but we're committed). In this hysterical article destroying the RFK myth, the Socialist Worker writes how JFK and RFK were wealthy, conservative sons from a powerful family leading the ruling party, not vanguard fighters for the revolution. Progressives cannot understand why anyone would question their policies, challenge their belief system or want to kill their leaders. Few religious acolytes can see their leaders as they are, and these true believers need hagiographies and martyrdom. All religions need their saints and require their sacrifices.