Idaho Dist. 16 Has a JFK-Style Democrat Candidate

By James Wilson

Editor’s note:  See our overview of JFK’s positions at the end of this article. 

Justin Mitson, a Democrat candidate for the Idaho State Senate’s District 16, calls himself a JFK Democrat. Mitson says, “John Fitzgerald Kennedy was a classic Democrat, totally opposed to what we call cancel culture today, and utterly in favor of letting our views hang out so the best ideas win by popular acclaim.” He adds, “I have no use for Dems or GOPs who punish people – not for bad behavior – but for holding viewpoints with which the powers-that-be disagree.”

He points out that John Kennedy loved his televised debates with Richard Nixon. Those were real debates, in which moderators asked the same questions of both candidates without trying to make their favorite look good and their unfavorite look uncomfortable. He adds an anecdote Kennedy told about Tricky Dick for his habit of changing his views to appeal to different audiences. Kennedy said he did not have to work as hard as Nixon because he (JFK) had a single story to tell, while his opponent had to keep multiple scenarios straight in his mind to avoid giving the wrong word to the wrong crowd.

Mitson says, “In today’s political culture all of us are pressured to keep our views compartmentalized. Not to avoid being caught lying, but to avoid getting caught being real.” It’s an astute observation. “When we’re not allowed to discuss hard things we are pretty soon prohibited from discussing anything meaningful at all.”

What meaningful things? Mitson riles at people on both sides of the aisle over school choice. He opposes it, “because previous bills have been so poorly crafted they hurt public schools without benefitting students inside or outside. I don’t want a vendetta against public education.” He adds, “I am passionate for the freedom of parents to educate their children as they see fit. Competition provides that; vendettas do not.”

Even though Mitson is accused by establishmentarian Democrats as being anti-gay, Mitson, owner of a gun shop, dismisses that, as some of his best gun customers are lesbian women. “You say you’re gay and you feel unsafe? Learn to carry – and use – a gun. This is Idaho.”

On the topic of abortion, Mitson says, “I’m not part of the death cult, and that’s what abortion is, the worship of death. Truth is, Margaret Sanger was a notorious racist, who founded Planned Parenthood as a method of suppressing minorities – especially black people.”

Mitson continues, saying, “The pro-choice crowd is not pro-choice at all – unless abortion is chosen. They want straight-up government-funded abortion services targeting minorities. Why else are two-thirds of Planned Parenthood clinics in neighborhoods housing twelve percent of the population?”

When asked about assisted suicide, Mitson says, “It’s just the next step down the Margaret Sanger road to death-cult.” Mitson referred to scripture, saying, “The secret things will be revealed.”

Is Mitson dismayed that Idaho’s Democratic Party has endorsed his primary opponent? “I proudly do not have the endorsement of the Idaho Democratic Party. Jack Kennedy – the wealthy son of a rum runner – fought the Democrat establishment all his life. They eventually took him out, but while he had the chance, he cut taxes, and that sparked an economic recovery from the recession that happened on Eisenhower’s watch.”

Mitson continued, “He fought – he and Bobby – organized crime and government corruption. Here in Idaho, you cannot tell me that we have a fourteen billion dollar state budget – much of it funded with federal dollars – and that there is no DC-style corruption here.”

As a JFK Democrat, with whom would Mitson caucus if elected? His answer: “I’ll caucus with the transparency crowd, thank you.”

Justin “Justice” Mitson is fifty years old and a lifelong entrepreneur. Born in Montana, he went to work for Micron as a young immigrant to Idaho because Micron was outside the box. He has owned or managed twenty-one companies in his 50 years, ranging from gun manufacturing to a feminist publishing company. He said he will still take a job working for someone – if the business excites curiosity or his sense of adventure – while keeping his hand in his own business enterprises.

Why enter politics? “I keep waiting for good men to stand up and they mostly don’t. So I will stand up, as Deborah did … That’s Deborah from the Old Testament time of the judges. And like Deborah, I won’t be bribed, bought or outgunned. I surely won’t be outgunned.”

Asked his vision, Mitson imagines Idaho as, “[T]he innovation center of the United States, with the Idaho and Montana work ethos coupled to the amazing creativity we have here.” Mitson points to Micron’s founding. “Micron was just a bunch of cowboys who did what everybody knew nobody could do.” Mitson says he sees Idaho becoming “a mega prosperous steward – again in the biblical sense – of natural resources from water to trace minerals.”

When asked about the Second Amendment culture in Idaho, Mitson says, “The second amendment is really a culture of self-reliance across all of our cultural strata. Like I said, a bunch of lesbian ladies are my best gun clients. They’re not your typical John Wayne fans.”

As a senator, Justin Mitson sees himself blowing daylight into smoke-filled rooms. He wants to publicly call out Majority Leader Chuck Winder’s habit of burying good bills in his drawer. For example. He refers to much of today’s Democratic party as a Marxist enterprise. “As a JFK Democrate I am more conservative than many in the GOP or the Democrats are today – and with a lot more integrity than today’s GOP in Idaho or anywhere else.”

What does Mitson want to accomplish in office? Reduce regulations. He says Idaho has become a place where we require licensing for everything imaginable. He also wants to reduce spending of anything not found in our charter or constitution.

JFK-style Democrats were thought to have disappeared. Mitson says not so, and he aims to be the next senator for Idaho’s District 16.


James A. Wilson is the author of Living As Ambassadors of Relationships.



Here is an overview of JFK’s political views and policy positions:

  1. JFK was fiscally conservative and pro-business, supporting tax cuts and only a limited government control over the economy.
  2. On social issues, JFK opposed racial quotas and affirmative action, which are now core Democratic policies. He also supported the death penalty, which is at odds with the Democratic Party’s stance today.
  3. In foreign policy, JFK believed in a strong military and deterring enemies through strength. JFK was willing to take decisive military action, as shown by his response in the Cuban Missile Crisis.
  4. JFK was a lifetime member of the NRA and supported the Second Amendment.
  5. On abortion, JFK nominated a Supreme Court justice who dissented in the Roe v. Wade decision.

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