Monday, 13 February 2012

JFK - a man with a fan

Family man

The latest revelations about the sexual exploits of President John F Kennedy are of no surprise. He was the ultimate playboy, whose ambition pushed him to high office and whose  libido was a threat to any attractive woman within his reach.

There’s nothing new about men in powerful positions seeking the company of women for consensual relations. Many women are co-conspirators in clandestine love affairs and their encounters are addictive and intoxicating experiences. Regardless of the circumstances, the laws of attraction are often too potent to fight. We are social animals led and held hostage by hormonal cravings. That’s the biology but my concern is with morality.

JFK was a man with a weakness. Mimi Alford just happened to be in the right place…..but at the wrong time for an impressionable girl who was still a virgin.
Teenage dream

Fifty years ago, Mimi Alford, was a nineteen year old intern, at the White House under JFK’s administration. She has published an engaging memoir of what happened to her during that time and her introduction to the most powerful man, the President.
JFK was forty five years old, married to Jackie and with two children.

You might think that the President had grave affairs of state, at home and abroad, to contend with and he did….but it still left time for him to pursue this young woman (and no doubt countless others). Ms Alford says that she was mesmerized that a man of this stature would want her and accepted the “relationship” without question.
After all, powerful men expect young women to fall at their feet and fawn over them!

Ms Alford tells a lurid tale of being invited to swim with the President, seduction techniques and meetings engineered by his aides.

It makes for uncomfortable reading and not merely for the pornographic aspects but due to the fact that a forty five year old man targeted a teenager for his carnal pleasure .  Not any man…. but the President of the United States…. who was a Catholic, married and respected as a great orator and statesman the world over.

The Kennedys are a family veiled in mystery and scandal. There was speculation that the male members of the Kennedy clan had a sexual addiction and had inherited these traits from their father. True though that may be, it’s no excuse for a man with intellect and privilege to abuse his position.

Cure for addiction?
It would seem that JFK was an eloquent idol with feet of clay and Achilles heel. He did support the Civil Rights movement though it made him unpopular.
He was praised for his handling of the Cuban Missile Crisis but beyond that his two years in office were unremarkable….until Ms Alford’s memoirs.
He had style, personality and idealism and he put it to good use.

Ms Alford further states that, during their “dangereuse liaisons” she always called him, “ Mr President” and never by his first name. I’m sure he enjoyed his ego trip until it was cut short by a trip to Dallas.

“I’ll see you when I get back from Dallas,” the optimistic JFK told her.
It was the last time she would see him alive. Fate or a higher power intervened and the 22nd of November 1963 is indelibly etched in the minds of people who lived at that time. I may have jumped in my mother’s womb when the shots rang out. 

I can’t help feeling that it was a happy release for the hundreds of women that were held captive by his charm and  presidential power.



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