Friday, July 29, 2016

John F. Kennedy for President

My final day: Boston. I tried to sleep in as long as I could and enjoy the privacy and quiet of my hostel until check-out at 11 a.m. I wouldn't be catching my flight until 9:10 p.m. so I had a long day ahead of me. I packed my things up, put them in the storage room at the hostel, and set off for the John F. Kennedy Presidential Library and Museum. It was one of those things I decided to do once arriving in Boston and I'm  glad I did. It was a bit of a journey, but well worth the trip. 

This is when my historical journey fast forwards to the 1960s. I have always loved the Kennedy family and the 60s is a decade that I am often obsessed with. Seeing the museum that is dedicated to the short lived presidency of JFK,was extremely intriguing to me. Typically, I go through museums at a pretty quick speed, but not this one. I stopped to watch nearly every video playing and read every bit of information. It filled me with pride and admiration of President Kennedy. I especially enjoyed the Office of the Attorney General exhibit, because it was for Bobby. I love JFK, but at times I love RFK more. I, like many Americans, love to wonder what may have happened in our nation's history if Bobby would have been able to run for president in 1968.
The John F. Kennedy Presidential Library and Museum is a small journey from downtown Boston, but can be serviced by public transportation. In it, you will go through a short journey in time as JFK campaigned for president, won the election, and served in the White House. The museum sits 1.5 miles from the nearest subway stop and when arriving there I walked that distance to the museum. Later I found out I could have taken a free shuttle, oh well, I did it on the way back.

This blog is not typically very political, but in light of the recent Republican National Convention followed by the Democratic National Convention I want to make one or two comments. I think it's fitting within this post, which looks at a  time that is being mimicked by our current state of international and domestic affairs. Also a president who's energy and sentiment is being channeled by our current democratic leadership.

What is clear to see is that the recent RNC was filled with high amounts of hate, fear, cynicism, and individualism. While the DNC seemed to be a place full of love, hope, and togetherness. Sitting here, just a few shorts weeks before I plan to leave the country for a year or two, my American pride is reinvigorated. I've not been more hopeful about this country for many years. Despite all the hateful acts going on here, and dealing with that embarrassment, the DNC has made me more hopeful than ever. I will be casting my vote for president this year, though from afar, but I can't miss this opportunity to make my mark on this historic election.

Democracy is not a spectator sport. I know many people do not want to engage in political conversation because it happens to be a topic that is very polarized in the United States. Somebody always has to walk away mad. I find this unfortunate, because a democracy is for the people, by the people. It should not be a taboo subject or something you are afraid to bring up. It is our lives. The fact that we have the right to vote for our leadership is a privilege, especially for minorities and women, who have not always been so fortunate. Furthermore, it is a duty. Informed voting is what is most important of all. I do not care what your political views are, I do not care if we disagree, I only care that you have taken the time to research issues and candidates on reputable sources so you are making choices based on facts and unbiased opinions. Be cognizant of what information you are taking in, question things, and never be a slave to media sensationalism. I know politics can be frustrating with the banter, mudslinging, and gridlock. However, lets be thankful that we live in a country where issues can be argued over, scrutinized, and we don't have to accept what we don't agree with without putting up a fight.

Your politicians are working for you. Take time to remind them of that. Write letters, contact them, and realize that at the state and local level is where most of the decisions are being made that will effect your life.

Visit Project Vote Smart online to find a wealth of information on most all elected officials. Hundreds of dedicated individuals put in countless hours gathering information about their political stances, views on issues, and voting records. Also find addresses to write them letters and tell them exactly what you want from them.

If you don't know who represents you in congress, look them up here.

Travel details
What: The John F. Kennedy Presidential Library and Museum
Where: Columbia Point, Boston, MA
Cost: $14 for an adult
Why go: If you enjoy learning about the early 1960s and John F. Kennedy.