"How do you tell a Communist? Well, it's someone who reads Marx and Lenin. And how do you tell an anti-Communist? It's someone who understands Marx and Lenin." - Ronald Reagan, September 25, 1987 -- remarks in Arlington, Virginia
Oh those Kennedys. Our republic is in a sad state of affairs when so-called Conservatives invoke any Kennedy on a regular basis, including JFK, for almost anything good. Examples are numerous, worthy of a long book, but I will stick to just a few. The first example is of a Senator Edward Kennedy absurdity is near the end of a tediously long speech, given in New York city on 12 AUG 1980 with respect to a progressive income tax:
The vast majority of Americans cannot afford this panacea from a Republican nominee who has denounced the progressive income tax as the invention of Karl Marx. I am afraid he has confused Karl Marx with Theodore Roosevelt--that obscure Republican president who sought and fought for a tax system based on ability to pay. Theodore Roosevelt was not Karl Marx, and the Republican tax scheme is not tax reform.
The luxuries and vanities of life occasion the principal expense of the rich, and a magnificent house embellishes and sets off to the best advantage all the other luxuries and vanities which they possess. A tax upon house-rents, therefore, would in general fall heaviest upon the rich; and in this sort of inequality there would not, perhaps, be anything very unreasonable. It is not very unreasonable that the rich should contribute to the public expense, not only in proportion to their revenue, but something more than in that proportion.Progressive taxation was first recorded on paper during the French Revolution in the Declaration of the Rights of Man and of the Citizen of 1789:
A common contribution is essential for the maintenance of the public forces and for the cost of administration. This should be equitably distributed among all the citizens in proportion to their means.However, The Gipper was substantially correct, in the works of Marx and Engles, The Communist Manifesto of 1848, progressive taxation comes up right after abolishing private ownership of land:
Trust Buster and Progressive "Bull Moose" Party founder Teddy Roosevelt. Yes, he was a Republican for a little while, but they were just not progressive enough for him. He was at war with anybody who was too successful, just like his cousin Franklin Delano Roosevelt was when he began his National Socialist reign. Senator Kennedy's remarks become even more comical when you read his brother John F. Kennedy's remarks in Madison Square Garden almost 20 years earlier, on 21 OCT 1960:
This issue which divides Mr. Nixon and myself, which divides the Republican Party and the Democratic Party, has divided us through many years of our history. It divided the country in l932, and the American people choose progress. It divided the country in 1912, and the American people chose the New Freedom and Woodrow Wilson.(Emphasis mine)
The 1932 reference is to FDR, who prolonged a depression into the Great Depression. New Freedom must be newspeak for the totalitarian regime that Wilson enacted in America. Since JFK's speech was given to an audience of the Brotherhood of Electrical Workers, newspeak is a safe bet.
Full disclosure, I got the idea from this William F. Buckley, Jr. lecture.
Update: Tracking down the Reagan quote in the Ted Kennedy speech proved difficult. For one thing, I made the stupid assumption that Kennedy's speech writer was referencing something from in or around the 1980 campaign. Not even close. I found an old James J. Kilpatrick article that reveals Kennedy was attacking Reagan for a then sixteen year old statement.
It would be great to find the 1964 version of the Reagan speech that Kilpatrick wrote about, but even with our advanced research tools the closest references I could find are these and no transcript or video -
1961: Dec. 11 "The Danger of Losing Our Freedom by Installments," Annwl Dinner of the Huntington Memorial Hospital's Medical Staff, Huntington Sheraton Hotel, Pasadena, Calif.
1962: Feb. 21 "Losing Freedom By Installments," Uvalde Chamber of Commerce Banquet, Southwest Texas Junior College, Uvalde, Texas.
Kilpatrick also notes some of what I noticed in his critique of the Kennedy speech.