Jack and Rick


To the Editor:

There is an ironic aspect to the current political scene upon which I have not seen comment by the usual pundits.

Rick Santorum has just a slim chance of taking the Republican nomination from Romney. If nominated, Santorum will probably lose to Obama. Still, there is a possibility — if slight — that Santorum could become the second Roman Catholic to occupy the White House.

The irony lies in the contrast between Santorum and Jack Kennedy. In important respects, the two men are polar opposites.

Jack Kennedy was rich, elegant, sophisticated. Rick Santorum is a pedestrian, earnest soul who appeals to blue collar workers by invoking the memory of his immigrant coal miner grandfather.

Jack Kennedy’s club at Harvard would never have accepted an unvarnished plebeian like Santorum.

Kennedy avowed emphatically and unequivocally that he would never allow the Pope and the Catholic hierarchy to influence his decisions as president.

Santorum wears his religion on his sleeve and is passionately dedicated to the Vatican’s goal of stamping out American women’s access to abortion.

Kennedy was an unrestrained Casanova whose sexual exploits in the White House make Bill Clinton’s dalliance with Monica look pathetically sophomoric.

Santorum is a devout Catholic husband who wholeheartedly embraces his church’s abhorrence of contraception and whose wife has experienced eight pregnancies.

Can anyone imagine Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis with eight pregnancies?

Jack Kennedy and Rick Santorum — both Catholics. Otherwise, about as different as two men can be.

R.E.L. Knight

West Tisbury

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