The Death of Camelot
By Sue Schuurman
NOVEMBER 23, 1998:
An American icon like Jackie Kennedy should have known better than to marry the older, filthy-rich foreigner Aristotle Onassis--that's how much of her formerly adoring public reacted to her wedding, according to the following petty Harris poll. Jackie O is dissected like a ladybug in a petri dish for "ruining her image" while the moralistic masses obediently side with the ever-condemning Catholic church in punishing her for marrying a (gasp!) divorcé. Notably, the poll didn't ask whether her happiness was a factor worth considering.
"The Harris Survey:
"The marriage of Jacqueline Kennedy to Aristotle Onassis stirred up controversy among the American public as few private events in recent times. ... Those who personally approved of the marriage only slightly outnumbered those who did not, 35 to 31 percent. ... Catholics said they disapproved by 40 to 31 percent. By 52 to 25 percent, the American people feel the Catholic Church was 'right not to recognize the marriage and not to give the former Mrs. Kennedy the Sacraments of the Church.' ... Key positive attitudes volunteered were: 'She is a gracious, warm lady' (13 percent); 'good-looking, attractive' (12 percent); 'good mother, devoted to her children' (12 percent); 'was a good first lady and wife to J.F.K. (11 percent); 'has grace and composure' (5 percent), and 'was brave and courageous after the assassination' (8 percent).
"The chief negative reactions to the marriage centered on
the criticisms that 'she could have married a better man' (18
percent); 'Onassis is too old' (8 percent); 'did it for money'
(7 percent); 'ruined her image as wife of the President' (3 percent),
and 'was wrong to marry a foreigner' (3 percent).
... A national cross section of 3367 persons was asked between Nov. 1 and 3. ...
"Typical of those commenting favorably was a 27-year-old
man, a Catholic, who said: 'It doesn't matter to me whom she marries.
I especially like her elegance, her poise. She acts real cool,
the way she acted when her husband was killed.'
... The criticisms were equally firmly held. Typical was this comment from a 54-year-old Catholic woman: 'The legend of Camelot died.'
... A 72-year-old Catholic woman said: 'She gave up her religion,
married a man entirely too old. A woman of her status could have
done so much
--compiled by Susan Schuurman
Source: Albuquerque Journal;
Nov. 18, 1968
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