John F Kennedy's Domestic Image

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“No decade in the twentieth century painted a more distinct and powerful image of America than the 1960’s” (Brinkley, 720). At the beginning of this decade, President John F. Kennedy took office as a young and strong liberal leader. He had countless dreams and ideas of what he wanted to accomplish during his term. Those ideas included federal aid for education, tax cuts to stimulate the economy, civil rights acts, government regulated medical care, and the creation of the Peace Corps. He soon faced congressional resistance and many of these new ideas failed which caused him to back off. His overarching goal was to spread reform in rural and urban areas, and he named this reform the “New Frontier” (“Domestic”). Kennedy’s presidential career …show more content…
“More than any other president of the century. . . Kennedy made his own personality an integral part of his presidency and a central focus of national attention” (Brinkley, 696). Kennedy wanted to create an image of a strong, intelligent, and vibrant leader, and he tried to use that image to help push reform through congress; however he was largely unsuccessful in this endeavor. He faced early rejection for some of his major ideas, but he was successful in raising the minimum wage and establishing the Peace Corps (“Domestic”). Even though President Johnson was similarly known for his personality in office, it was different from Kennedy’s personality. Brinkley explains, “. . . Much of the nation took comfort in the personality and performance of Kennedy 's successor in the White House, Lyndon Baines Johnson. . . Johnson 's rough-edged, even crude, personality could hardly have been more different from Kennedy 's. But like Kennedy, Johnson was a man who believed in the active use of power” (698). Both presidents’ use of personality resulted in an array of reactions and consequences to happen during their terms in office. For example, Kennedy’s personality did not aid in congress’ belief in his reform programs because they did not pass, but it did help with the nation’s perceptions of him because of how genuine he was. President Johnson, on the other hand, used his hard edge to …show more content…
President Kennedy wanted his domestic reform to be titled “The New Frontier” however, President Johnson later called his reform “The Great Society” (Brinkley, 698). Both reforms though had similar items on their agendas, such as an aim to end poverty, improve healthcare, protect the environment, and spread racial equality (“Domestic”). When President Kennedy first entered office, he attempted to start all of his reform programs right away, but was unsuccessful. Then in his second year he authorized an attack in Cuba that did not end well for the U.S. because Castro’s soldiers easily overcame our troops. This event came to be known as the Cuban Missile Crisis and was one of the defining moments during his presidency. This event was important because it opened the door for better relations with the USSR and with the Latin American population, because the Americans had to figure out how to better defend against the communist attacks and to try and block the different launching pads aimed at the U.S.’s soil. Later, under the Johnson administration, the Cuban Missile Crisis would prove important because of the Immigration Act of 1965, which outlawed the “national origins” system and opened the door for immigrants to come to America from places other than northern Europe (Brinkley, 699). These actions reveal how Johnson’s

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