Posted: November 27th, 2013
Early Years of John Fitzgerald Kennedy
Early Years of John Fitzgerald Kennedy
John Fitzgerald Kennedy, the son of Joseph Patrick and Rose, was born on 29 May 1917 in Brookline. Patrick Kennedy, who was his great grandfather, had moved abroad from Ireland. “John Fitzgerald Kennedy was a greatly victorious entrepreneur who later served in Great Britain (1937-40) as ambassador” (Hamilton, 1992). Kennedy graduated from Harvard University In 1940 with a degree in science. During the same year, he came a cross publication of Why England Slept of 1940 that concerned foreign policy. This book inspired him to join the American Navy in 1941 where he became an intellect officer. Subsequent to the United States joining the World War II, Kennedy was shifted to the Motor Boat Squadron where he was given command over the PT boat.
In August 1943, he was sent to the South Pacific where during his voyage, his boat was hit by a Japanese destructive force. Two men from his squad were shot dead but the other six of the crew managed to fit tightly on to the remnants of the boat. Following the five hour of fight back, Kennedy and his crew managed to settle in an island that was five miles far away from where they had been attacked. Kennedy became ill with a bad back wound and in 1943 December, he was relocated back to the United States for treatment. When he gained good health, he was lifted to the position of lieutenant where he became the instructor of a PT in Florida. Once an advance operation was done on his back, he was restored back in the military life in 1945. During the twelve months that followed, he served as a member of the press dealing with the United Nations Conference that is located in San Francisco and the Britain General Election that took place in 1945.
As a Democratic Party affiliate, in 1946, Kennedy was successful in his bid as he acquired more votes. In the period of his ruling, he succeeded in connecting and establishing himself as a devoted follower of Truman. In the house of Congress, he advocated for the progressive tax system, the conservatory of social wellbeing and reduction in the cost of the public housing. Kennedy took advances in the area of politics where he was capable of becoming the leading challenger of the Hartley Bill.
In 1951, Kennedy took a strong concentration on matters of foreign strategy where he toured various parts of Europe including Yugoslavia, Italy, Britain, France, West Germany and Spain. On his come back, he informed the Senate commission on foreign dealings through which America had to maintain the policy of assisting to protect regions of the Western Europe. In addition, he urged the countries that participated in the defense operation to support Western Europe financially in order to meet the cost of operation.
In June 1951, Kennedy managed to visit various parts of the Middle East including Malaya, India, Korea, Pakistan and Indochina. As an opponent of the colonial kingdoms that existed during that time, “Kennedy advocated that France should depart from Algeria and give the people of Algeria freedom” (Hamilton, 1992). In addition, he also advocated for increased monetary support to the underdeveloped countries such as Africa and some other parts of India. In all his visits, he aimed at promoting peace and unity in all the countries of the world. This was with the personal aim of gaining popularity from which he would be able to become an influential leader in the world.
In 1952, Kennedy won the election to the Senate. In the following year, he married Jacqueline who was the daughter of financial department in New York City. Over the next years, he had four children where only two of them (John and Caroline) survived babyhood. “The continual illness of the Kennedy’s back problems made him to undergo two operations in 1954 and 1955” (Perret, 2001).During his recovery period in the hospital, he was able to write Pulitzer Prize, which was an award winning Profiles in Courage. Kennedy was an outstanding advocate of communal wellbeing and civil rights of the legislation in the governing body. Kennedy also funded bills for providing national financial support to education, adjusting the Americans’ immigration regulations and a measure that was necessary in stating the full revelation of all workers’ pension and wellbeing finances.
In 1960, Kennedy became the presidential candidate in Democratic Party in America. In the Democratic primaries, Kennedy won in Wisconsin, West Virginia, New Hampshire, Indiana, Nebraska, Maryland, Ohio and Oregon. “In July 1960, Kennedy was chosen on the first ballot during the national convention where he selected Johnson, as his running partner” (Fleming, 2002). Still in the same year, Kennedy vied for the presidential candidate through the Democratic Party. Kennedy again won the Democratic principals in Wisconsin, West Virginia, Indiana, Ohio, Maryland, Oregon, Nebraska and New Hampshire. During the national convention that was held, Kennedy emerged the winner through defeating his main opponent Johnson.
During his first speech that he made to the Americans as their leader, Kennedy brought into the attention of the people that he intended to facilitate the Eisenhower’s strategy of sustaining the Vietnamese administration. He also advocated that if Vietnam would indulge and convert into a communist state, “then the whole world of the non-communist would be at danger” (Perret, 2001). This is with the basis that the fall of South Vietnam would also lead to the subsequent fall of Burma, Laos, Philippines, Cambodia, Australia and New Zealand. Therefore, it was argued that if the communism were not eliminated in Vietnam, it would progressively spread all through the world. This view of communist adventure was called the Domino speculation. “Kennedy continued to argue that there was no other confronts which were more praiseworthy of the American energy and effort” (Kennedy, Guthman & Shulman, 1988). In addition, he advocated for cohesion through supporting his fellow countries, which had political instability. In this case, “he pledged to offer security to other countries that needed support of military in order to solve the problem of insecurity and promote liberty across all the nations in the world” (Fleming, 2002).
The fascinating biography explores John Kennedy’s disposition through which it examines his presidential control and ability to make decisions. In the same light, it is noted that this attention brought the divergence in his personal stance and that of Camelot. In addition, there is a disclosure of how unconcerned Kennedy was to the ethical and lawful violations that were occurring as a result of the Bay of Pigs insurgence. The removal from power of the Diem regime in Vietnam, and strategy for the elimination of Castro in Cuba are among the tactical ideas that did not bear much fruit. The author brings about the inference that Kennedy utilized his power for the gratification of his own agenda.
No issue is more fervently presented than the possibility and extent of the influence of a leader’s private life on how he performs his duties. Reeves (1991) probes into this issue to find out whether John F. Kennedy’s private life was a factor into how he run his public affairs and whether this situation was supposed to be so. Thomas who was a respected historian and biographer brings out the divergence between Kennedy public personality, which was thought to have reached the mythic scope, and his shocking private conduct. Most revealing is the invariable subject matter where he has influenced the life and behavior of his son Joe through politics. According to an article released in Los Angeles Times, Kennedy is described as a man who was not born to be of good character but he is credited for his winning ability in leadership.
The most straightforward and unprejudiced assessment of Kennedy’s life to date has been incorporated with plenty of sorrow and anger that were associated with his character. There also arises a question where a leader’s personal life is varied against his leadership ability in the national matters. This is with an exploration of how personal life influences a person in his leadership ability and the extent to which personal or private life can influence leadership of a country when it is not checked upon. Therefore, the bad leadership that entailed poor decision-making reveals out the innermost character of Kennedy. This is because, it was hard to define his life until a person reaches to the extent where his life was put under scrutiny in order to clear the public suspicion that had arose during his reigning period.
For many years, when the unlikable information about Kennedy surfaced, it was alleged to be the work of bad people who wanted to destroy the life of the leader. Thus, many evils that he accomplished were blame-shifted to his political opponents. This was a strategy to build up his dignity and convince people that the evil things that his subjects had heard were propaganda that was plotted by his opponents to destroy his career.
From the beginning to the end, the actual life of John Fitzgerald Kennedy had few in commonness with the unreal man pictured into history volume by executive Kennedy historians. In place of the considerate and audaciously intelligent character of youthful President built by his publicists, the selfish, sociopathic character still dominates most of his entire life. He is described to be a man who is incapable of understanding the emotions and feelings of his people. In addition, he was also unable to accept that he was subject to abide with the regulations he understood. Furthermore, “he is a man so triggered by his sexual desires that made him to be constantly supplied with ladies” (Reeves, 1991).
We are also able to learn that Kennedy critically destroyed the records of his war. For instance, in the PT 109 commander, he was not the conqueror as described by others. Hence, rather that being received for the good news, he is seriously abandoned. In addition, we learn that the Pulitzer gift he received for the Courageous profile was the work of another author. Thus, he was capable of seeking fame in all the means in order to preserve his dignity and influence upon his subjects. However, some of the fame and good deeds he did were to cover the bad activities that he did in secret life. These evils were witnessed during his presidential campaign where “he used corruption in order to influence his non-supporters” (Reeves, 1991).
However, in 1963, President Kennedy arrived in Dallas. It was determined that Kennedy and his merrymaking that included his wife, Jacqueline, Vice President, Governor and Senator would travel in a demonstration of cars through the central business district. Several motorcycles and pilot cars were ahead of the presidential limousine. At about 12 noon, the limousine was in the street of Elm where people stood cheering. Suddenly shots were heard ringing out on the road. Kennedy had been hit by bullets in the head and again in the left shoulder. A few seconds after the shots, the limousine accelerated off at high velocity towards Parkland Memorial Hospital. Kennedy’s head wounds were serious hence he was unable to survive thus he was declared dead at 1 pm. “This was a tragic event that American leadership records as numerous records the place and the time of the incidence” (Kennedy, Guthman & Shulman, 1988). Despite his weaknesses, Kennedy was an influential leader who brought changes to the American nation through his deeds and his inspirational speeches.
Fleming, D. B. (2002). Ask what you can do for your country: The memory and legacy of John F. Kennedy. Clearwater, FL: Vanda mere Press.
Hamilton, N. (1992). JFK, reckless youth. New York, NY: Random House.
Kennedy, R. F., Guthman, E. O., & Shulman, J. (1988). Robert Kennedy, in his own words: The unpublished recollections of the Kennedy years. Toronto: Bantam.
Perret, G. (2001). Jack: A life like no other. New York, NY: Random House.
Reeves, T. C. (1991). A question of character: A life of John F. Kennedy. New York, NY: Free Press.
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