Earth to Crazy MSNBC, The Guardian: Was JFK A ‘Fascist Fitness’ Zealot?

News & Politics

You can’t make it up. Some leftist media sites are so desperate to find fascism under every rock that they’ll even find it at the gym.

Over there at MSNBC the other day was this gem proclaiming that “Pandemic fitness trends have gone extreme — literally.” It reads in part this

Physical fitness has always been central to the far right. In Mein Kampf, Hitler fixated on boxing and jujitsu, believing they could help him create an army of millions whose aggressive spirit and impeccably trained bodies, combined with ‘fanatical love of the fatherland,’ would do more for the German nation than any ‘mediocre’ tactical weapons training.

Catch that first line? Again, it was this: “Physical fitness has always been central to the far right.” Then they went right to Hitler.

Not to be outdone, over here a year ago at the UK’s leftist site for The Guardian: 

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‘Fascist fitness’: how the far right is recruiting with online gym groups

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This absurdity speaks volumes about modern day leftist media and its cult-style followers’ sheer historical ignorance of their own country.

Safe to say MSNBC – and one Cynthia Miller-Idriss, the author of this historically illiterate opinion piece – have zero idea both she and MSNBC (and The Guardian) have, among other things, just essentially labeled America’s 35th president – Democrat John F. Kennedy – as some sort of American fascist.


While no one at MSNBC or The Guardian clearly has a clue, Politico headlined a 1961 story in this December 5, 2017 piece by reporter Andrew Glass:

JFK calls on Americans become physically fit, Dec. 5, 1961

The Politico story reported: 

On this day in 1961, President John F. Kennedy called on Americans to participate in sports and other forms of physical activity.

‘We are under-exercised as a nation,’ Kennedy said in addressing some 1,500 football fans seated in the grand ballroom of New York’s Waldorf-Astoria Hotel at an annual black-tie dinner. He spoke after receiving the Gold Medal Award of the National Football Foundation and Hall of Fame for having played on Harvard’s freshman and junior varsity football teams in the late 1930s. 

‘We look instead of play, ride instead of walk,’ the president said. ‘The remedy, in my judgment, lies in one direction,’ he went on. ‘That is in developing programs for broad participation in exercise by all of our young men and women, all of our boys and girls.’

In fact, there had been a beginning effort on making sure Americans were getting physically fit by his Republican predecessor, Dwight Eisenhower, when Ike established the President’s Council on Youth Fitness – in 1956. 

JFK picked up on this in a major fashion, with today’s Department of Health and Human Services recording this bit of JFK history: 

In 1961 “President Kennedy changes the name to the President’s Council on Physical Fitness to address all age groups and amended the Executive Order by one objective – enlisting the aid of citizens, civic groups, etc.

With the aid of the Advertising Council, a nationwide public service advertising campaign was launched with President Kennedy promoting taking the 50 mile hikes previously required of U.S. Marine officers. His brother, Attorney General Robert Kennedy, completed the challenge in the snow and slush wearing dress shoes.

State demonstration centers were designed in 1961 to showcase model elementary and secondary schools.

In other words? No less than Democrat President John F. Kennedy personally led a serious national effort to get Americans to exercise and get themselves in peak physical condition. It made such an impact that every presidential successor’s administration, from Lyndon Johnson to Joe Biden and all Republicans in between have been continuing to carry the very bipartisan ball on this.

And yes, the federal government is very much involved in this move to push physical fitness. Here at this Department of Health and Human Services website is chapter and verse focused on the health of Americans. It includes “guidelines” on everything from dietary suggestions to physical activity, hunger, nutrition and overall health.

Not to mention, these things being inevitably political, there is the latest on President Biden’s activities in this area, including “renewing the President’s Council on Sports, Fitness & Nutrition.”

The bottom line here?

MSNBC, in its obsession to cast conservatives as part of some “far right” Hitlerian cult of physical fitness has stepped in it.  

In fact, Americans out there have all sorts of very common things in common – eating, breathing, wearing clothes and, yes, exercising for fitness – that hardly counts as “fascism.”

Today, the far-left  – and clearly the historically clueless MSNBC – is in essence saying that JFK and his insistence on promoting physical fitness – and using the government to do it! – made JFK, yes indeed, somehow a far right fascist. Downright Hitlerian. And that to pursue JFK’s goals of physical fitness for Americans today is “far right”, “extremist” and “fascist.”

In two words? Laughable baloney. 

One doesn’t know whether to laugh or cry at such incredible historical ignorance in the liberal media.

I’ll try and decide when I’m at the gym living out JFK’s wisdom.

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