The JFK Survival of Liberty Quote:
Let every nation know, whether it wishes us well or ill, that we shall pay any price, bear any burden, meet any hardship, support any friend, oppose any foe to assure the survival and the success of liberty. -JFK on the Survival of Liberty
Unlike many current Democratic nominees, JFK was a patriot. Sure, he might have made some decisions that we conservatives don’t agree with. But still, he loved America and the values such as liberty that make it great. And that’s what this quote by JFK on the survival of liberty is about. Because JFK was so eloquent, there’s little to explain this quote of his. But, I do think examples of what it actually means would be helpful.
Yes, America should try to avoid foreign entanglements. We shouldn’t get involved in forever wars to try to establish democracies in the Middle East, nor should we fight to protect corrupt regimes like the Kennedy administration did in Vietnam (as described in The Best and The Brightest).
But, in places where liberty already exists and is a vibrant part of that nation’s culture, we should work to defend that liberty. Places like Hong Kong, for example, where liberty and democracy is at risk of being crushed by an evil, totalitarian state. Everything is at stake in Hong Kong, and it’s our job to defend it. As the world’s sole superpower, it is our responsibility to do so.
So, what is the difference between Hong Kong and Vietnam? What makes this JFK quote on the survival of liberty apply to one, but not the other? The citizens of Hong Kong value their liberty and are actively trying to defend it against all odds. In Vietnam, however, its citizens didn’t seem to value the liberty we so desperately tried to give them. They refused to fight and often even fought against their own government in support of the communists. Hong Kong deserves the protection described in this JFK quote on the survival of liberty; Vietnam didn’t.
JFK knew what he was talking about. America needs to ensure the survival of liberty around the world. But only in nations that deserve and value our protection of their liberty.
Image at top from AZ Quotes