President John F. Kennedy: Pros of His Presidency

About the pros or positives aspects and acheivements of John F. Kennedy's presidency.

His 2 Years, 306 Days as President

PRO

Though the disastrous Bay of Pigs invasion had been planned and orchestrated by the previous Administration, Kennedy took full responsibility for the fiasco-and learned never to trust military "experts" again. In the Cuban missile crisis of '62, Kennedy ignored his military advisers and took a cool and moderate course-which prevented the outbreak of nuclear war, and brought about America's greatest cold war victory. In his handling of the Laos situation, Kennedy also moved the world closer to peace by accepting a neutralist Government and avoiding a U.S. commitment to an Asian land war. His success in negotiating a test ban treaty ended the threat of atmospheric fallout, and was the 1st step toward international disarmament. Under Kennedy, the U.S. began to acknowledge its obligations to underdeveloped nations. The Peace Corps won worldwide praise, and JFK's generous "Alliance for Progress" made him a hero throughout Latin America.

PRO

Kennedy championed a progressive and enlightened domestic program, including Medicare, aid to education, tax reform, and a strong new civil rights bill. In his successful effort to force the big steel companies to retract their announced price hike, Kennedy worked effectively to curb inflation, and showed that a strong President can overcome corporate power. Under Kennedy, unemployment declined and America prospered.

PRO

Kennedy brought new style, vigor, and intelligence to the Presidency; during his Administration, the American people were fascinated by the 1st family as never before. Kennedy's youthful leadership awakened the so-called "silent generation" from the long sleep of the Eisenhower years, and Americans developed a new commitment to the welfare of their country. In the White House, Kennedy entertained Nobel Prize winners, listened to classical music and Shakespeare, took an active interest in Washington architecture, and generally gave American cultural life an important boost.

PRO

At the time of his death, Kennedy was just shifting his gears as President. All observers agree that his commitment to black Americans had deepened significantly in the last year of his life. On a host of other issues, Kennedy was preparing to move forward, preparing to take on the big oil companies and other corporations on issues like tax reform and public welfare. His plan was to take his case to the people in a vigorous reelection campaign, and to sweep into office with him a more progressive and flexible Congress. He had also told his aides that as soon as possible after the election, he intended to terminate the American commitment to the faltering government in South Vietnam. If Kennedy had lived, the U.S. would have avoided the Vietnam War and entered a new era of social progress.

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