59 years today since the last real US President was executed in broad daylight. This country has never recovered from the JFK assassination.
After Kennedy's murder, Vietnam started for real with LBJ's National Security Action Memorandum 273, which undid JFK's own NSAM 263 that was going to draw down all US military personnel in Southeast Asia. Interestingly enough, the draft of NSAM 273 that resides in the LBJ library is dated 11/21/63, which can only mean the Johnson was at least aware of what was going to happen the next day, even if he wasn't directly involved.
The embargo on Cuba persists to this day and there's no logical reason for it. Kennedy was opening up communication with Castro through an intermediary in the French media. Instead, the open hostility toward the tiny island nation has continued to this day.
Kennedy and Khrushchev has already signed the historic nuclear test ban treaty (which W let lapse) and they were working towards an end to the Cold War. Instead, the war hawks in the Pentagon and the MIC won out and continued the US and the world on a potentially destructive path of never ending arms build up and brinkmanship until the fall of the Soviet Union. The United States military budget now exceeds the next 24 countries combined, 20 of which are our allies.
We didn't just lose a President that fateful day in Dallas, we lost a chance at a better world. Instead, we've been plunged ever further into chaos and exist under a never ending cloud of war. Our tax dollars continue to feed an insatiable war machine that produces weapons that execute people all over the world and line the pockets of defense contractors. All the while, so many citizens of this once great nation suffer under the weight of poverty, homelessness and despair.
The perfect way to sum up what was lost on November 22nd, 1963, read the following excerpt from Kennedy's speech to the graduating students of American University in June 1963. And if you've never seen this speech, go find it on YouTube.
"What kind of peace do I mean? What kind of peace do we seek? Not a Pax Americana enforced on the world by American weapons of war. Not the peace of the grave or the security of the slave. I am talking about genuine peace, the kind of peace that makes life on earth worth living, the kind that enables men and nations to grow and to hope and to build a better life for their children--not merely peace for Americans but peace for all men and women--not merely peace in our time but peace for all time."