“Ask not what your country can do for you, ask what you can do for your country”.
When the winner of the 1960 election, John F. Kennedy, spoke those words at his presidential inauguration, he was exhorting every American to find ways to contribute to the public good. Be civic-minded. Look outward.
And this was before we were all burying our faces in a 3×5″ screen all day.
Kennedy emphatically did NOT mean that Americans should be paying more in taxes. “Do for your country” didn’t mean that, not at all.
He took office with a 7% unemployment rate and an economy that had stagnated for three years. Proclaiming that a “rising tide lifts all boats”, the Navy vet called for lowering income tax rates from a range of 20-93% to a range of 14-60% and lowering the corporate tax rate too. Many Republicans and even some Democrats warned that cutting taxes while increasing social spending would crash the economy. Instead, it began to recover by the time of his assassination.
If only the 2020 field of Democratic presidential candidates could meet this man, instead of waiting in line to kiss Al Sharpton’s ring. If only.
The candidates of the ’20 field are putting a way different spin on Kennedy’s inaugural catch-phrase. Their message: you freeloading ingrates don’t deserve this government, and you’re not paying nearly enough for it. “Do for your country” means tax increases and other compulsory behaviors like closed union shops, not the free choices the “New Frontier” president called for.
Have you noticed that every day, every headline, is a call for higher taxes? Less liberty? Multi-trillion dollar schemes? Most of us are not too impressed with the functions currently carried out by Uncle Sam, but to these Democrats, there’s SO much more that he can do!
You “do for your country” when you raise a respectful, well-rounded child. Pick up trash in your neighborhood. Coach girls’soccer. Support the schools and churches in your community. Love your neighbors, and watch out for them.
The 1960 Democrat invited you to choose to do good, and trusted you. The 2020 Democrat is holding you up for more of your paycheck.