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Compare and contrast Kennedy and Reagon's Inaugural Address - Essay Example

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They were men of a similar age, but they had very different backgrounds. Reagan grew up poor and impoverished and fought his way to be a movie star. John Kennedy was born rich and his father bought him every election he ever…
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Compare and contrast Kennedy and Reagons Inaugural Address
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"Compare and contrast Kennedy and Reagon's Inaugural Address"

Download file to see previous pages However, only Reagan, by far the better man manages to achieve this.
John Kennedy became President as a youngish man. America was dawning in the 1960s and they were swept up with enthusiasm. He noted in his inaugural speech that there was great promise, but also great danger ahead:
The world is very different now. For man holds in his mortal hands the power to abolish all forms of human poverty and all forms of human life. And yet the same revolutionary beliefs for which our forebears fought are still at issue around the globe-the belief that the rights of man come not from the generosity of the state but from the hand of God. (110).
He evokes God and purpose in his speech and it is powerful in its way. What is sad about his speech, however, is how his administration did not live up to the principles it espouses. Kennedy did very little as President. He spent much of his time leading an absolutely scandalous personal life, which surely proved a great distraction. He led America into the humiliating Bay of Pigs fiasco and nearly destroyed the world through Cuban Missile Crisis. He was not a man in touch with the people. He was a millionaire who was President as a kind of hobby.
We dare not tempt them with weakness. For only when our arms are sufficient beyond doubt can we be certain beyond doubt that they will never be employed. But neither can two great and powerful groups of nations take comfort from our present course-both sides overburdened by the cost of modern weapons, both rightly alarmed by the steady spread of the deadly atom, yet both racing to alter that uncertain balance of terror that stays the hand of mankinds final war. (110)
In a sense this is similar to Reagan’s own political philosophy of building up America’s nuclear arsenal and defences. However, Reagan did this simultaneously while engaging in reasoned negotiations not brinksmanship. He knew what he was doing, while Kennedy was just playing at it.
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