JFK, what did he really do?…

JFKDr. Michael J. O’Connell, PainCare, New Hampshire noted that prior to the 50th anniversary of the assassination of President John F. Kennedy, he endured at least three weeks of a constant barrage of John F. Kennedy stories in the mainstream media.  How many times have we seen the abandoned book depository in Dallas, discussions of conspiracy theorists, the video of Jacqueline trying to flee for her life clambering over the trunk of the limousine after her husband was shot, the subsequent shooting of Lee Harvey Oswald – the murderer of Kennedy, the barrage of recitations of the incident that fatal day by teary eyed reporters.  We hear of the great hope and optimism inspired by the President, and…and….and what else did President Kennedy accomplish?  What beyond great speeches, the vast majority of which were written by others, did this man actually do?

He backed and then prematurely abandoned a gang of thugs in the failed Bay of Pigs ‘invasion’ to oust Fidel Castro; he committed “training troops” to South Vietnam (in a ‘police action’) thus starting the long ten years of futile conflict with North Vietnam; he brought us to the very push-of-a-button brink of nuclear destruction by multiple and massive miscalculations and misjudgments of the USSR; he was the most overt philanderer ever to inhabit the White House (save perhaps Bill Clinton).  He expressed the necessity of civil rights for all but it required President Johnson and Bobby Kennedy to actually create that legislation and enact it.

But surely there must be something President Kennedy did that so inspires us today, except for mere dramatic speeches composed by his writers.  Ah, the Peace Corps.  Yes he can take ownership of this.  Difficult to evaluate the effectiveness of the Peace Corps through the decades of history, did it do more for the increasingly dependent recipients of Peace Corp services (many of whom have hated us for our wealth to this day), or more for the young Americans who staff it?  Who knows?

At a time when a President’s legacy is apparently more important than actual tangible accomplishments (Obama being a prime regrettable example), it is fact that Kennedy did precious little in his three years in office.  Yet, for one solid month this past November, there was a constant gush of anguish over this man’s loss.  But articulating his accomplishments? – little is said, conspicuously little.

A tragic event in our history his assassination was, but can we not sober up?  Do we commemorate Abraham Lincoln’s assassination?  Does anyone even know when he was murdered? This was a truly great man, a great president, a self-made scholar (not a near flunkie from Harvard), a savvy politician, a man who stayed true to his wife, and as much a doer as a sayer.  Where is the justice in the homage we pay (or the press pays) to a do-little assassinated president some 50 years ago this past Novermber?

About Dr. Michael J. O'Connell, New Hampshire
Dr. Michael J. O'Connell of Barrington, New Hampshire, has forged a distinguished career spanning over three decades, as entrepreneur, physician, businessman, philanthropist and healthcare consultant. As former owner, administrator and CEO of a 225+ employee multi-specialty medical practice, Dr. O'Connell has dedicated his entire professional life to helping patients with family medicine and especially those experiencing chronic pain and all aspects of addiction. Since selling his family of healthcare businesses, he has never once contemplated retirement despite his rich and fulfilling journey, but instead has turned his focus to consulting in an industry starved for courage and creativity. Having weathered many political, technological and legal challenges, there is hardly a storm he has not confronted, a tempest he has not quelled, an urgent need he has not met. While the talking heads and self-proclaimed experts in the field have assumed the conventions and standards of the times, Dr. O'Connell does not believe in merely reflecting the herd mentality, but rather in leading the charge. Eschewing political correctness, Dr. O'Connell says and does what needs saying and doing, and not what the mindless masses expect. In addition to the continual education afforded by his variegated life experiences, Dr O'Connell earned his BS in Biochemistry at the University of NH in 1975, his Medical Degree from Dartmouth College in 1981, interned at Walter Reed Medical Center in 1982, Residency/Fellowship at UCSF in1986, and finished his Masters in Healthcare Administration at UNH in 1995. Dr. O’Connell enjoys many outdoor activities, including rock climbing, snowboarding, hiking, and golf. Through the decades Dr. O'Connell has supported many non-profit charities to include the St. Charles Home in Rochester NH, the Tri City VNA and Hospice, Hyder House, and Cocheco Valley Humane Society. To the latter organization alone Dr. O'Connell has donated over $180,000 and pledged another $250,000 in the “Bring-Us-Home” campaign for a new building. His “Matching Donations Christmas drive” has generated over $175,000 in charitable giving from the community. In addition Dr. O'Connell has participated in many dozens of other volunteer and donation efforts locally as well as in Africa and the Dominican Republic. For a listing of how I gave back to the community during my career and continue to do see: https://michaeloconnellmdnh.wordpress.com/

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