Federalist Publisher Ben Domenech urged Americans to follow the lead of former President John F. Kennedy and take risks for the sake of their country.
“In his call for a project of immense national importance, President Kennedy comes across as the leader of a free people committing us to a clear-eyed task of achieving something that seemed utterly impossible,” Domenech explained. “…Instead of patronizing the audience, he walks Americans through a challenge with clear language to explain why it’s important. In the Tocquevillian sense, he speaks to us as citizens, not subjects. Kennedy called us to undertake the moonshot as a free people for the good of all mankind. Such a national mega-project commitment with a nine-year horizon is basically unthinkable today. The politics of the 1960s allowed for it, but those of today do not.”
Despite the United States’s involvement in the Cold War, Domenech said Kennedy “understood America needed this win.”
“This isn’t just a president taking on a risky game, he’s taking on an impossible one that would today seem impossible, involving a million new tasks never before achieved,” Domenech explained.
Kennedy believed in Americans and tasked civilians with undertaking the Apollo project. The same feat, Domenech said, would not be feasible under the current federal government, which would “almost certainly” give authority to the “armed forces, with a flag officer placed in charge.”
“What does that say about the state of the republic, one where our trust for every major institution, with the exception of the military, has decayed beyond the point of usefulness and audacious endeavors?” Domenech asked.
Americans are destined for something greater, Domenech continued, but they must realize it.
“You see, Apollo was supposed to be a beginning, not an end,” Domenech explained. “…We are meant to push farther to sail for further shores than this.”
To progress, Domenech said Americans must be willing to take risks.
“Risk is not something we handle well as Americans these days, and the pandemic surely proved that point better than anything else could,” Domenech said. “But it’s not just fear in the face of disease. We live in a country where teenagers don’t want to get driver’s licenses, where schools can’t fail kids for giving the wrong answers, where teachers refuse to teach, even with precautions and vaccinations, and where local authorities won’t put down riots. JFK called the nation to dare, men died as a result. We pushed forward. It’s one thing for a single daredevil or even 20 to take on such a risk. It’s a lot more for a country to do so.”
Domenech concluded that not all hope is lost, but it’s up to Americans to “wake up.”
“The American spirit is still there. It still beats in the heart of this great nation. We need to honor it and unite around it again. That will require more than just a fine speech from a politician. It will require something of you as well. It will require you to wake up,” he said.
"The American spirit is still there. It still beats in the heart of this great nation. But we need to honor it and unite around it again. And that will require more than just a fine speech from a politician…It will require you to wake up," –@bdomenech pic.twitter.com/CNOFzal7pa
— The Federalist (@FDRLST) June 1, 2021