The two Presidential candidates of 1960 were certainly better behaved and more dignified than Orange Plague was a couple of nights ago. Seriously, what a degradation in standards and values (spiritual, cultural) and it’s all on the boomers — the elitist greed of older urban liberals in the 21st Century and and especially the despair and nihilism of the bumblefuck boomers and GenXers.
Nixon would live another 34 years; Kennedy would be dead just over three years (roughly 38 months) hence.
Nixon’s sometimes decisive but often arch and paranoid presidency would end in disgrace in ’74, and yet he pushed for universal health care and established the Environmental Protection Agency.
Kennedy turned out to be a far less progressive president than his successor, Lyndon Johnson. His greatest moment was his mature and measured handling of the Cuban Missile Crisis; his achievements were more defined by a certain spirit and verve than concrete legislative advancements.
JFK would have sailed to victory over Barry Goldwater in ’64, but to achieve this he would have had to pledge to stop worldwide Communism whenever or however. His hand would’ve been subsequently forced in Vietnam — commit to a massive military investment or cut bait and let North Vietnam overrun the South. I’m having trouble imagining that he would have firmly stood up to the military-industrial complex and totally followed the advice of George Ball.
However you slice it the mid ’60s (SDS, Stokely Carmichael, burning cities, anti-establishment counterculture, anti-war protests) would have been a dispiriting ordeal for the nation’s 35th President. Fate saved him from all that, not to mention the dispiriting possibility of Nixon succeeding him in ’68.