Many of the Republicans jumping over to support Kennedy in the 1960 election did so because he was of their religion. But not all had that as a motivating factor.
Nixon’s vice presidency under Eisenhower might have prepared him for the White House, but he was not well known at the national level, and in 1960 he didn’t have the public charms required in a television election. Kennedy on the other hand possessed charms in abundance, and Kennedy was able to convey his message, a message that resonated with people across the country and across party lines.
It seems the current election is possibly one in which the less than flowery message from the Republican nominee might appeal across party lines. Is his message like Kennedy’s, a message that encourages America to face the hard challenges because they are hard? That is part of it, but not the part that will gain cross-party voters. Trump’s message might resonate with some Democrats in one way, though.
With Trump, political correctness collapses, and the American people can once again relax and say what is on their minds. There are Democrats who believe in an American culture of appreciation for the gifts this country has been blessed with, and they don’t get why their party is so obsessed with multiculturalism, the seeming tribalism that threatens to balkanize our country. They love diversity, love cultural things that are available, but they believe in an American Culture. They are not interested in what their party seems to push in their faces every day. They want to say, “As long as we all appreciate and have protection from our government and bad citizens under our constitution, who really wants to know everyones personal business? Can we please start focusing on the national debt?”
If there are any Democrats who feel this way, I hope you will feel free to switch your vote this one time. My parents did that in 1960 and voted for a Democrat for the first time. I love that legacy of my parents.