JFK inaugural was 50 years ago today: “Ask not what your country. . .”

John F. Kennedy delivered his inaugural address 50 years ago today, a speech   many analysts believe is one of the top political speeches in our nation’s history.

The most famous line:  “And so, my fellow Americans, ask not what your country can do for you; ask what you can do for your country.”

Also this great rhetoric: 

We dare not forget today that we are the heirs of that first revolution. Let the word go forth from this time and place, to friend and foe alike, that the torch has been passed to a new generation of Americans — born in this century, tempered by war, disciplined by a hard and bitter peace, proud of our ancient heritage, and unwilling to witness or permit the slow undoing of those human rights to which this nation has always been committed, and to which we are committed today at home and around the world.

Let every nation know, whether it wishes us well or ill, that we shall pay any price, bear any burden, meet any hardship, support any friend, oppose any foe, to assure the survival and the success of liberty.

The world is a very different place than it was 50 years ago, and our political parties are, as well.  Many of Kennedy’s policies would be in the Republican, not the Democrat, platform today. 

What do you think?

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About Jim Jewell

I am a writer and consultant on faith and public life, active for many years in management and communications in the evangelical community. I now work as the director of the nonprofit practice at The Valcort Group (www.valcort.com). Everything on this blog, however, is my personal opinion and is not read or approved before it is posted. Opinions, conclusions and other information expressed here do not necessarily reflect the views of Valcort.
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