We watched President Kennedy perform on Sunday, May 20th before the hand-packed elderly audience of the administration-sponsored National Council of Senior Citizens. Although he said little and spoke in generalities, we gathered that he is for medical care for the aged, and that it had better be by his way of social security - or else.
The talk was homey and off-the-cuff, and it was our impression that he wowed his audience with boyish charm and adolescent enthusiasm. Probably in deference to their brittle bones, he did not invite them to Central Park for a game of touch football, but he did lead them in song, along with Mitch, through a solemn chorus of "God Bless America." It was an address calculated to stir the emotions of the oldsters, and at its end seemed to have them properly aroused and inching forward in their chairs eagerly anticipating catastrophic illness with senile palms outstretched awaiting federal handouts.
The rally was given the full treatment of a competently handled, professional "television special," and was staged with all the drama of a Nazi spectacular, complete with a flag-decked raised dais, a draped background picture of White Father, FDR, and special lighting. It shared with its archetype some familiar Hitlerian echoes - and more than a few of the overtones.
(c) The Doctor's Lounge, Muscogee County (Georgia) Medical Bulletin, Vol XX, No. 1, 1963, p20