Analysis of John F. Kennedys Inaugural Address 1
Analysis of John F. Kennedys Inaugural Address 2
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ANALYSIS OF JOHN F. KENNEDYS INAUGURAL ADDRESS
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Analysis of John F Kennedys Inaugural Address
J. F. Kennedy was elected as the American president in 1961. He won the presidential race on a Democratic Party ticket. However his presidency was short lived because three years later he was shot dead by a professional sniper. However the generations of the United States that have existed, that exists and that will live in the years to come remember him not because of his short tenure as the American president but by the dreams, aspirations, thoughts, positive, attitude, good faith and the love that he had for the America and the entire world in general. The inaugural speech, which was made in January of the year 1961, helps us to see through what john Kennedy lived up to. Therefore this speech is in fact the subject of analysis as we seek to find out word by word the kind of leadership that he would have practiced in the United States as well as his influence in the politics world since as a super power America has since time immemorial had significant say on major social-cultural/political as well as economic issues in the world agenda (Brinkley 2008).
John Kennedy believed that as the human being we have all the solutions to each of the problem that affected the America and the entire world. This I have found absolutely true in every aspect since as a superior being God vested a lot of ability and capacity to the human race so that he can conquer the world, and to conquer the world simply means to overcome all the problems, difficulties and challenges facing the human race. Man should turn the world upside down and create a trouble free society. Kennedy particularly notes that poverty is a dominant problem affecting the world in his times and evidently more than forty years from his time the issue of poverty is still top of the agenda in the major forums today. It was still a problem affecting millions of Americans in his times and even presently. He notes that man by his very mortal nature holds in his hand the power to conquer the poverty and make the world a better place through what he termed as creating human life because normally life comes from God. He simply meant to improve the standards of living of the American population as well as assist the perished nations in the world to achieve a better life.
He is also very keen to see America upholds its liberty as well as its citizens. A country must always strive to further its liberty and independence and resist subjugation from whatever quarters. He notes that America will join hands with its friends and allies that wish prosperity in its efforts to emancipate its citizens from any act of oppression and threat of peace. He also adds that America will make any sacrifice, incur any costs and fight with the enemies who attempt to disserve in its effort to protect the liberty of its citizen. This burning desire comes from that what had been destroyed by the war and of that there is no peace owing to civil strife that had rocked the world and America in the past. He further stresses the fact that a torch had been passed to the American generations. However, this makes us to view him as a person who was war-like and who could have used war and force to deal with the enemies of the America. He describes Americans as the heirs of revolution and so by extension this means that a child of a revolutionary is himself/herself a revolutionist by nature.
However, Kennedy is not blind to the vitality of world peace and cooperation .This is because he notes that countries can do nothing in isolation. He stresses the need to form alliances with other likeminded nations as the nations and people who wish America well in all its endeavors to bring economic, social and political prosperity in the United States of America. There is need to assist the poorer states and people. This need arises not because of the need to garner votes or improve popularity but because it is just its right and its necessary to do it. A president and a government that is democratically elected by its people have an immense task to improve the welfare of its citizens because people place their faith in a government by electing the leaders who will steer the country to economic prosperity. However Kennedy is quick to deter the people from sitting back, doing nothing and expecting the help from the state, also he adds that everybody has an immense role to play in improving and promoting their own economic and financial prosperity through a culture of hard work and sole responsibility to freedom from poverty. He cautions the Americans not to always ask themselves what the American government is doing for them but instead to ask the critical question as to what they themselves were doing in their individual capacity to ensure that the United States of America is always on a path to economic progress (MacAskill, 2011).
In his quest to ensure world participation and commitment to peace he does not underestimate the critical role played by the United Nations in promoting world peace stability and the very cohesion. He pledges continued support for the United States to the United Nations. He explains that there is a need for it to further its mandate and become active in its mandate so that it does not exist to be a toothless bulldog. He emphasized that there was need to strengthen the United Nations capacity to foster peace and world cooperation. He described this as vital because most countries were barely free from their colonialist hence they were very weak and thus they needed holistic support from a neutral platform like the United Nation that was in existent to further this vital agenda among others.
John F. Kennedy also emphasized the need to depolarize the world. He was aware that though the World War was over, the world was still polarized into supporters of communism and sympathizers of capitalism. He noted that many nations were using science in the manufacturing of the atomic and other lethal weapons of mass destruction. He noted that by being peaceful and civil should not be misconstrued to mean that it is a sign of being militarily weak. He emphasized on the need to entrench dialogue and peaceful methods of conflict revolution rather than heightening tensions and suspicion in the world. He noted that science and technology could be used in a more beneficial manner to solve the space exploration, fight deceases and exploit natural resources above, on or beneath the surface of the earth. This was a wakeup call to the Americans since eight years later though he was in grave the Americans made a significant step in the space exploration by successfully landing on the Moon. In his opinion the nations that were strong economically and military should have been just in their actions and those that were weak in all aspects should have felt secure in their very existence (Lawrence, 1961).
As he concludes his address he notes that the problems of the America cannot be fully solved by a single administration. He assures them that he and his government can never find solutions to the problems faced by the majority of the Americans neither can a single generation do. He told the Americans that there was a beginning of the struggle and everybody should feel responsible for the destiny of America and should sacrifice and be devoted towards achieving the dream of the America. Those actions explained for what he has been attributed to and remembered for, by telling the American people as well as the world that they should not ask themselves what the America can do for them but what each of them can do to further the welfare of the America, because this is the only way to encourage people to invest in their hard work and strive towards financial and economic independence instead of looking up to the state for their problems.
In conclusion the speech by John Kennedy was philosophical and displayed him as a person who had vast interest of the American people and also displayed him as a person who have lived to make America and Americans more proud of their land. God rest his soul in eternal peace.
Lawrence, WH 1961, Kennedy Sworn in, Asks 'Global Alliance' Against Tyranny, Want, Disease, and War; Republicans and Diplomats Hail Address, The New York Times: p. 1
Kennedy, JF 2008, Inaugural Address, American Rhetoric. Retrieved July 7, 2008.
Brinkley, A 2008, The Unfinished Nation - A Concise History of the American People, New York City, NY: McGraw Hill.
MacAskill, E 2011, JFK's Inauguration Speech: 50 Years, The Guardian (London). Retrieved 31 May 2011.
Kennedy JF 1961, Joint Congressional Committee on Inaugural Ceremonies, Retrieved 2009-01-21.