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President Kennedy Talks Extremism in Los Angeles

Nov. 19, 1961 - President Kennedy spoke out last night against the right-wing John Birch Society and the so-called Minutemen in a speech at a Democratic party dinner in Los Angeles. The President mentioned neither group by name but left no doubt whom he meant. “There have always been those fringes of our society who have sought to escape their own responsibility by finding a simple solution, an appealing slogan, or a convenient scapegoat,” Mr. Kennedy said. “They find treason in our finest churches, in our highest court, and even in the treatment of our water. They equate the Democratic party with the welfare state, the welfare state with socialism, and socialism with communism.” The President said he and most Americans “take a different view of our peril.” “We know that it comes from without, not within. It must be met by quiet preparedness, not provocative speeches,” he said.


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