Robert Kennedy and Ronald Reagan

By Matt Neely and Mark Lindberg

Matt Neely and Mark Lindberg are next door neighbors on Cypress Point Drive in Mountain View. MN has a John Kerry for President in his window and ML has a Re-elect Bush-Cheney in his window.

Robert Kennedy and Ronald Reagan were two men of character, coincidence, and especially original IDEAS.  Each demonstrated leadership “thinking outside the box”.

RK “should have” done so much more to change history and RR “did so much more” than anybody could have assumed.

RK died too young from an assassination

RR died too old after a decade of Alzheimer’s and an earlier assassination attempt

Each was demonized by opponents after challenging existing political and global thinking.

RK was disgusted with and would have stopped the Vietnam War in the 1960’s

RR was disgusted with a 40 year Cold War based on “peaceful coexistence.” (and

set about to stop the tyranny of the Soviet Union over hundreds of millions of people)

RK as JFK’s Attorney General took on the Mafia and organized crime that might have supported JFK in IL , LA, and TX.

RR took on the Air Controllers who had supported him but then violated their

Contract. Those not reporting for work in 48 hours were fired.

RK was shot and died in RR home state of CA,

RR was shot and survived in RK’s home area of DC

RK challenged the infrastructure of the Dem party and helped force LBJ from running for re-election.

RR challenged Gerald Ford in 1976 and came within a sliver of winning the nomination

from that sitting GOP President.

Both RK and RR were fervent anti Communists.

RK used the CIA efforts in Cuba against Castro in the early 1960’s

RR used the CIA to support Afghanistan fighters in the 1980’s against a Soviet invasion.

RK helped avoid what might have been a nuclear confrontation in 1962 over the Cuban missiles with careful diplomacy. A quarantine instead of the invasion suggested by the Joint Chiefs of Staff, led to a peaceful resolution.

RR scared the stripes suits off the State Dept and called the Soviet Union an “Evil

Empire”. Then began a military competition that forced a new Soviet leadership to

abandon the tyranny of Soviet communism. The potential for nuclear war ended with a similar

peaceful resolution.

RK’s favorite saying was  “ If not now… when”

RR expressed a similar theme with  “Mr. Gorbachev, when he said ”..tear down this wall”

While RK came from privilege and wealth, he died pursuing his principles of public service in 1968.

RR came from poverty and after achieving privilege and wealth also devoted his golden

years to public service running for President at the ripe old age of 68..

The two men died in Southern CA on a June day:

RK on June 6th from an assassination at age 43

RR on June 5th after almost a decade with Alzheimer’s and 50 years older at age 93

They were from different political parties with careers peaking decades apart. However, each shared many values and would not tolerate the status quo for the burning issues of the day.   Americans, yearning for similar leaders, are grateful for each in their time:        Senator Robert Kennedy and President Ronald Reagan