Wednesday, March 13, 2013

Butterball kids and JFK's The Soft American

Putin restores Stalin's Fitness Tests for kids.  Mayor Bloomberg attacks the Big Gulp.  Michelle wants kids eating more veggies.  Ike and JFK seemed to have struck a better chord in my mind.  The closer from JFK's The Soft American in Sports Illustrated of December 1960.
FOURTH: The President and all departments of government must make it clearly understood that the promotion of sports participation and physical fitness is a basic and continuing policy of the United States. By providing such leadership, by keeping physical fitness in the forefront of the nation's concerns, the federal government can make a substantial contribution toward improving the health and vigor of our citizens.
But no matter how vigorous the leadership of government, we can fully restore the physical soundness of our nation only if every American is willing to assume responsibility for his own fitness and the fitness of his children. We do not live in a regimented society where men are forced to live their lives in the interest of the state. We are, all of us, as free to direct the activities of our bodies as we are to pursue the objects of our thought. But if we are to retain this freedom, for ourselves and for generations yet to come, then we must also be willing to work for the physical toughness on which the courage and intelligence and skill of man so largely depend.
All of us must consider our own responsibilities for the physical vigor of our children and of the young men and women of our community. We do not want our children to become a generation of spectators. Rather, we want each of them to be a participant in the vigorous life.

It was a different sort of Liberalism JFK offered in 1960.  A liberalism expecting strength and responsibility of free citizens.  Liberals don't talk like that much anymore. 

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