All Republicans voted last week against the advancement of President Joe Biden’s “budget blueprint,” which passed in the House. It’s the first step in drafting his $3.5 trillion rebuilding plan.

Our U.S. Rep. Rick Crawford put out this statement last Tuesday: “There are no moderate Democrats in Congress anymore, as today’s vote shows once again. JFK would not recognize this Democratic party. Today, Washington Democrats voted for trillions in new spending from Bernie Sanders’ socialist wish list. They voted for more inflation, and increased, crushing debt on our children and grandchildren. The pretend, face-saving ‘win’ those fantasy moderates will spin to their constituents will fool no one.”

Earlier in August our Republican Sens. John Boozman and Tom Cotton both voted against the $1 trillion infrastructure measure that passed in the Senate with bipartisan support, even from Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell.

Cotton said: “Arkansans support real infrastructure projects like roads, bridges, waterways, rural broadband, and ongoing maintenance. They do not want President Biden’s ‘social infrastructure’ and climate alarmism, especially under the threat of increased inflation and higher taxes.”

Boozman said: “I have long supported responsible infrastructure investment, but this bill increases deficit spending with too little to offer in return. Hardworking Arkansans are paying more for groceries, gas and other everyday goods, yet this legislation ignores that reality and piles up more costs that threaten to make living even more unaffordable. I’m disappointed we couldn’t reach a fiscally responsible solution to modernize and upgrade roads and bridges, water systems and broadband deployment, but instead are choosing to increase the burden on future generations of Americans to pay for more spending that’s occurring right now, while also paving the path for a $4.2 trillion spending spree of liberal wish list items.”

Well, if JFK, gone from this world 58 years come November, wouldn’t be able to recognize today’s Democratic Party, he would certainly have no trouble recognizing the rhetoric against it with scary words like ‘socialist’ and ‘liberal.’ For what it’s worth, posters depicting JFK as ‘Wanted For Treason’ in Dallas the day he was assassinated weren’t circulated because he was considered a moderate.

Ronald Reagan, who famously said: “I didn’t leave the Democratic Party. The party left me,” actually made the switch from Democrat to Republican in 1962, when it was President Kennedy’s party. Even going back to 1960, in a letter to Vice President Richard Nixon, Kennedy’s opponent in that year’s presidential election, Reagan wrote this about JFK: “Unfortunately, he is a powerful speaker with an appeal to the emotions. He leaves little doubt that his idea of the ‘challenging new world’ is one in which the Federal Government will grow bigger and do more and of course spend more. I know there must be some short-sighted people in the Republican Party who will advise that the Republicans should try to ‘out liberal’ him. In my opinion this would be fatal.”

The letter also included this tidbit: “One last thought – shouldn’t someone tag Mr. Kennedy’s bold new imaginative program with its proper age? Under the tousled boyish haircut is still old Karl Marx – first launched a century ago. There is nothing new in the idea of a Government being Big Brother to us all. Hitler called his ‘State Socialism’ and way before him it was ‘benevolent monarchy.’”

Say! Let’s compare him to Marx and Hitler while he’s alive, and hijack him as a moderate or even a conservative after he’s dead!

I’ve used JFK’s own words in my column before in response to these constant attempts to separate his memory from his own political party, and here I go again. After accepting not only the Democratic nomination for president in 1960, but the Liberal Party nomination in New York state, he said: “What do our opponents mean when they apply to us the label, “Liberal”? If by “Liberal” they mean, as they want people to believe, someone who is soft in his policies abroad, who is against local government, and who is unconcerned with the taxpayer’s dollar, then the record of this party and its members demonstrate that we are not that kind of “Liberal.” But, if by a “Liberal,” they mean someone who looks ahead and not behind, someone who welcomes new ideas without rigid reactions, someone who cares about the welfare of the people – their health, their housing, their schools, their jobs, their civil rights, and their civil liberties – someone who believes that we can break through the stalemate and suspicions that grip us in our policies abroad, if that is what they mean by a “Liberal,” then I’m proud to say that I’m a “Liberal.””

JFK also shared this: “I believe in human dignity as the source of national purpose, in human liberty as the source of national action, and the human heart as the source of national compassion, and in the human mind as the source of our invention and our ideas. It is, I believe, this faith in our fellow citizens as individuals and as people that lies at the heart of the liberal faith, for liberalism is not so much a party creed or a set of fixed platform promises as it is an attitude of mind and heart, a faith in man’s ability through the experiences of his reason and judgment to increase for himself and his fellow men the amount of Justice and freedom and brotherhood which all human life deserves.”

A lot has changed since JFK was president, but if he really couldn’t recognize the modern Democratic Party, then today’s Republican Party, compared to the early ’60s, would be unfamiliar to him as well – and to some Republicans – like Abraham Lincoln, Teddy Roosevelt, Dwight Eisenhower, even Reagan.

Steve Gillespie is an editor with Paxton Media Group. Email him at

Steve Gillespie is an editor with Paxton Media Group. Email him at