Let’s face it, even if John F. Kennedy was a philandering cad who was also loosely in bed with the mafia thanks to his patriarch, he was the most progressive president the U.S. had ever known. Yes, some will say it was actually FDR or Obama, but when one thinks of the last time America was in a state of any kind of “envy” from other nations, it is always the image and iconography of JFK that comes to mind. The glamor and hope that came with the man who has remained, to this day, the youngest president ever to be elected to office at the age of forty-three (Theodore Roosevelt, instead, assumed the presidency at forty-two after William McKinley’s assassination).
He was someone close enough in age to a younger demographic to understand that no good future can come from an antiquated worldview in the present. But more than his “youth,” it was his ability to take risks and understand what needed to be done. To not fear an unpopular opinion by pandering or playing both sides. That’s why I, Jen O’Malley Dillon, campaign manager for Joe Biden, am not only resigning, but advocating that we instead nominate Kennedy’s hologram for president (and it’s more than just because of the schoolgirl crush I had on him as a teenager, when his poster was up in my Massachusetts bedroom–what can I say? I’m a sucker for an Irish Catholic).
I know for a fact that we have the technology and frame of reference necessary to make this possible, and sustainable. Being that everyone is still skittish about a woman, person of color, homosexual, or pinko taking office (we can’t even have the conversation about gender non-binary people running for the position yet), I genuinely feel this is the best compromise for all involved. With his barrage of eloquent speeches on file, we can not only reuse them, but repurpose the words into the things we want and need to hear. Things that really only the Silent Generation and boomers have had the luxury of bearing witness to (goddamn, they had so many luxuries, didn’t they? Not that I’m bearing a grudge the way millennials and Gen Z are)–yet seemed to take for granted. He is a man who can speak to and affect all walks of life (except maybe Protestants, but why not just leave their kind in England?). He is a man who can captivate and hypnotize. He is the sense of calm we need in what feels like this never-ending storm. And again I must say that, if it has to be a white man in order to put America at ease (which, clearly, it does), let it please be this hologram. One day, holograms are going to rule the world anyway, so why not start with allowing one that will make a real difference? As his tangible form once did.
What’s more, it can be argued that everything went awry in the U.S. the moment JFK was killed (either by “Lee Harvey Oswald”–himself perhaps already a hologram to begin with–or the mafia–or maybe even white supremacists who couldn’t handle the “radical” views he was “imposing” a.k.a. simple equal rights). That America as some sort of “dynasty” has been in a perpetual state of atrophy since that shot was fired. The blood on Jackie’s pink Chanel suit (the one that was something of a “knockoff” as it wasn’t made by Coco in France) being the blood of every American as they felt the death of a nation. A nation that was, under Jack’s stewardship, one of hope, prosperity and forward-thinking.
Jackie didn’t take the suit off when she was offered something new to wear on the plane. She said, “Oh, no … I want them to see what they have done to Jack.” But she could just as well have said, “Oh, no … I want them to see what they have done to the United States.” They maimed a symbol that hasn’t regenerated since, not even in Bill Clinton or Barack (though both men employed the same “spirit of change”). For too much had happened since that moment in American history–too many lies and deceptions–for the people to ever have any real faith again. Without trust in government, the “tiny crack” in society’s veneer grows into a chasm, as we have seen.
We have been lost at sea without Jack’s kind of leadership. Yes, he had his foibles, who among our presidents has not? But his were harmless, by and large. A classic symptom of his white privilege as he recklessly pursued women and ingested drugs for his back pain (spurred by all the fucking, one imagines–even though he was known for the lazy position of lying on his back. Still, a man should be allowed to be lazy in some facets of his life when other aspects of it are so demanding). Also, his hologram will not have these types of needs to be fulfilled anyway, making him immune to such temptations.
Is it easy to glorify a man cut down in his prime? A man who barely got to serve the full length of his term? Sure. But what we had seen of Jack indicated that he would have taken the country in an entirely different direction. One not filled with such hate and injustice; schisms or prejudices. Plus, we might have actually been permitted to see him cop to that affair with Monroe, or maybe even playing a part in her demise (again, no one said that any president was perfect, but you have to look to the feelings he evokes in his people).
The only problem is, voters might want Jackie dredged up out of “retirement” as well. The two are viewed almost as a set, like Ken and Barbie. The only problem in this instance is that Jackie specifically stipulated in her Last Will and Testament that she did not want to be rendered into a hologram at any point post-mortem. That caveat, along with her pink Chanel suit not being displayed until the year 2103 (though this last bit is actually Caroline’s doing–depriving the world of this iconic blood-stained suit), was of the utmost importance to Jackie. Not, evidently, the preservation of democracy.
However, if you can get past having John back without Jackie, I again must urge you this election year to cast a vote for real change: Kennedy’s hologram. Combining the best we have of the past with the potential of the future in this new form of technology, the U.S. might just be able to redeem itself for all of these wasted decades. The only other stipulation is that Jimmy Hoffa’s hologram is not allowed to enter the arena at any point.