Woke up to go to school yesterday morning,

Came back home and the president was dead.

I turned nine years old today, November 23, 1963.

Today’s my birthday and it ain’t no fun.

 

Do you want me to cry for the president?

I don’t hardly know who he was.

They kept quoting that business about doing something for your country.

The schools seemed to like that one.

 

Not one person warned him not to go.

How did they keep it a secret from Bobby?

Not one person warned him not to go to Dallas,

How many people knew what was waiting for him there?

 

How many people knew what was waiting for him?

Who could have warned him? Maybe Lyndon was the only one.

People say Lyndon was insecure as president,

He kept Jack’s cabinet; he wasn’t his own man.

 

Bullshit.

 

Lyndon did not walk onto the nation’s stage an insecure man.

This was Lyndon Johnson, the Master of the Senate.

The biggest, baddest liar this side of the Rio Grande,

A man who could twist your balls while he kissed your forehead.

 

Lyndon wasn’t a miserable president because he was insecure.

Lyndon was insecure because he was a miserable president.

Miserable in his heart, he was. Why was he miserable in his heart?

Because he knew why President Kennedy died.

 

You can’t do your work well when you know how you come into office.

Politics were a blood sport, you know: Lyndon knew that, Jack knew it, too.

Lyndon may have been yellow deep down – people with power want to be brave.

For Lyndon, cowardice and insecurity amount to the same thing.

 

Talk about limits to power!

Talk about the tragedy of Lyndon Johnson!

You aim for the presidency because you’re savvy and ambitious,

You get to the presidency and you’re nothing but a puppet.

 

Imagine knowing that your predecessor

Stepped across the red, indelible line.

Got his head blown off – executed Mafia-style in the sunshine on Dealey Plaza.

Now that’s a public demonstration of power.

 

They say people die as they live.

Jack and Bobby lived like gangsters – kind of.

They died like gangsters, too.

Charismatic, unusual leaders who died in a brief spray of bullets.

 

How many times must LBJ have wished he had warned Jack?

Told him not to go to Dallas instead of arguing with him about

Which limousine would carry John and Nellie Connally?

I’m sure the shooters had instructions, “Don’t hit the wives.”

 

You can’t pin it on Oswald if you kill the wives, too.

The shooters almost killed Connally and they still pinned it on Oswald.

Imagine that: a spray of bullets from so many directions,

But they managed to pin it on hapless Lee Oswald.

 

Life isn’t fair, that’s fer sure. Don’t count on nothin’.

Don’t count on nothin’ ‘cept the Man gets his way.

There’s nothing extraordinary about political assassination,

But they did it at noon in public and got away with it.

 

So Earl Warren stakes his reputation on a lie and people swallow it.

I swallowed it when I was nine years old. So did my parents.

What citizenship! What did we say to Jim Garrison and the others?

Shut up, you nut! Don’t you talk about that! Be quiet!

 

When the social organism doesn’t want to talk about something,

It doesn’t talk about it. Jack Kennedy died for the nation’s sins. So did Lee.

So, for that matter, did Jack Ruby: the only hit man who executed his hit in public.

He’s the powerless man, the powerless, obedient man who extinguished Lee’s voice.

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