1960 was a different world | Unsorted comments | NewJerseyNewsroom.com -- Your State. Your News.

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1960 was a different world

I almost completely agree with your column, but I think you make a mis-step in this: "...what drove him to take the huge risk of having an affair in the White House, beginning it in his wife’s bedroom. It is unimaginable to me that the president of the United States would possibly compromise his marriage and his status in the world with such a dalliance. " What was unimaginable in the early 1960s was that such an affair could be consider a risk or ever compromise his position as President. Remember that this was before the victory of feminism, before the digital rebirth of yellow journalism, before advertising became relentlessly psychologically manipulative. The press would never have published the details of the affair had they known it. His wife would not have left him when she found out (especially not his particular wife). The Soviets may well have known it but it would have availed them no more than our knowledge of their affairs did. The truth is that an extramarital affair for almost any man in that era ran much less risk of exposure than it does today. For powerful men it was actually less than average, effectively the reverse of the higher scrutiny public figures face today. So censor JFK all you like for his personal morals, but let's not gild the lily. He wasn't running very much risk at all, no matter what the breathless booksellers of today would have you believe.

 

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