This afternoon I have been reading in one of Joseph A. Citro‘s wonderful books: Cursed in New England – Stories of Damned Yankees (2004) I love his way of bringing to light mysteries and stories from the past, in Citro’s case of New England, a cluster of five States that is full of strange characters and weird happenings. If you do not know his books, check them out, and those of another favorite of mine, doing the same digging in the archives of Ohio: Chris Woodyard.
Among the treasures found in Citro’s book is a chapter: The Crash of Camelot. It’s about the ‘curse’ of the Kennedy’s, something we all heard about. I’m not going into that, but I was flabbergasted reading about the guy JFK’s father was, the father of the dynasty.
Citro didn’t know about Trump when he wrote this, but I’m almost certain that now he has similar thoughts as I have after reading this story.
Let me explain.
Joseph Patrick Kennedy (1888-1969) was the son of an Irish saloonkeeper from Boston, Roman Catholic, and not hindered by modesty. He was born with an arrogant craving for power and money, and a lack of instinct for democracy, which is, or was, one of the pillars of good old America.
His dream, and his relentless ambition was to become president of the United States, and to make that happen he needed influence, and to become rich. Very rich.
Although he wasn’t rich in his school days, and his brain was not sufficient for intellectual accomplishments, he bought his way through Harvard by using people, influencing them, giving them presents and thereby avoiding any studying. He got what he wanted. Always. He made it. And he learned many things about power.
After marrying the daughter of Boston’s Mayor the founding of Joe’s kingdom, his ‘Camelot’, as Citro calls it, was a fact..
Four sons and five daughters were born. Joe in the meantime learned how to manipulate the stock market. He partnered up with Frank Costello during the Prohibition period, smuggling liquor and making great profits from it. His pursuit of money, legal and illegal, worked, and brought him many enemies too. Writes Citro: “His resumé of curse-worthiness reads like a satanic rap sheet.”
In 1926 he left his family in Boston while going to California, to get more money and to womanise unchecked, a thing he very much liked to do whenever he saw opportunity. In Hollywood he enjoyed a star, Gloria Swanson, and bought and took over studio’s and companies and theaters. When a certain theater boss didn’t fall for him, that poor man was accused of raping a 17 year old, which ended in a conviction of 50 years in jail. Shortly after that the girl confessed that she was bought with $ 10.000 and the promise to make her a star. She was killed by cyanide.
Writes Citro: “For the Patriarch, exploiting friendships and ruining lives was business as usual. It’s likely a whole trail of damaged people cursed Joseph Kennedy’s name.”
With his own daughters Joe wasn’t very friendly either. His oldest daughter Rosemary , not too bright, was seen as an embarrasment. She was in dad’s way, and he ordered a lobotomy which is always a bad thing to do, but in this case it went totally wrong and the poor girl spent the rest of her life in an institution.
In 1929 he helped orchestrate the crash of the stock market, which had great consequences for all Americans and the rest of the western world, but he got $500 million out of it. With that money Joe was ready for Presidency. But first there was Roosevelt, and Joe helped him to become elected in 1932, and consequently bullied himself in the position of ambassador in England. He wasn’t exactly the man they needed, blunt, belligerent, always pushy and full of self interest.
Another minor point was his openly admiration for Hitler, whose hate of the Jews was applauded by Joe, “They brought it upon themselves”.
Just before the outbreak of WWII he was called back to the States. Fate would have it that his return happened on the day of the Jewish New Year, Rosh Hashana, and on board was a group of orthodox Jews, fleeing for the Nazi’s. They were involved in rituals and prayer to celebrate their Holy Day. But Joe Kennedy, as a good Catholic and antisemite, complained to the captain that the Jews were an abomination which could not be tolerated in sight of the first class passengers. The captain listened. Money talks.
And the Lubavitcher Rebbe Israel Jacobson put a curse on the arrogant American, and on his offspring.
It must have been a mighty one.
Joe never became president, as we know. He tried, but failed, because he was an unreliable, brutal, insensitive criminal with no morals at all, intimidating and bullying his way into power. But in those days there were some people who kept their wits about them and saw the clouds hanging if a man like Joe was allowed to become the most powerful man in the world. So he was stopped.
So why am I writing this?
Because the personalities of Joe Kennedy and Donald Trump are so obviously one of a kind, and I wondered, with a wink, if Joe maybe reincarnated in Trump, or cloned, to fulfill, at last, Joe’s wish for the Throne of the World he never saw materialise when alive…