John F Kennedy's Influence On Government

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Many have regarded the American presidency as the most influential position a US citizen can hold. Since the inauguration of General George Washington, the President of the United States has expanded the power and overall influence of the office. In becoming increasingly prominent especially in recent decades, presidents use a variety of tools such as media and public opinion, domestic, or national security policies to expand that power.
During his presidency, John F. Kennedy utilized the opinions of the media and public to gain traction in the 1960 general election through the ever-increasing usage of the television as well as Kennedy’s “…vibrant and reassuring image”(352). This vibrant personality and relationship with the media also helped
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While radio listeners “call the debate a tie or lean to the side of Nixon, TV views overwhelmingly took to Kennedy’s charming demeanor” which would ultimately aid in his ascent to the White House through a steady rise in public opinion. Yet another example of Kennedy’s appeal to the public eye was his appeal the civil rights issue afflicting the nation at the time. Weeks prior to the general election, JFK’s brother and campaign manager Robert F. Kennedy secured the release of known civil rights activist, Rev. Martin Luther King Jr. Later that same day, MLK Jr. expressed his gratitude and thanks to the Kennedy administration, placing JFK on an elevated pedestal in the otherwise lightly voiced area of civil rights. It was the release of MLK Jr. that gave Kennedy a foothold in the minority community, and he used this foothold to garner support to pass the Civil Rights Act of 1964, illustrating his leadership through “policy responsiveness”. 3 Kennedy did have his missteps however, most notably during the ‘Bay of Pigs’ invasion of 1961. The failed invasion and overthrow of…show more content…
Foremost was the President’s implementation of a “conservative…New Deal” (373) 1 in which he challenged the new deal and formed it to a more conservative liking, focused primarily on feeding the American people decentralized solutions of state and local governments, rather then federal handouts. Out of this, a sort of paradox emerged; “to reduce federal power, it was necessary to increase presidential power” (373). 1 Out of which came a centralization of management in the White House, or a more consolidated power within the White House itself in terms of domestic policy decisions. Branded ‘New Federalism’, Nixon started off by issuing executive orders further emphasizing ‘affirmative action’ or “granting employment, contracting or education on the basis of race or gender” (372) 1 by having the secretary of labor to authorize a compliance of hiring reports, effectively forcing the hiring of minorities. Next, Nixon would further expand the power of the presidency through impoundments, or not spending money that has been appropriated thought congress. Unlike Nixon’s predecessors, he did not use the impounded funds to funnel back into the economy; instead, he actively tried to sabotage governmental agencies such as the Office of Economic Opportunity (OEO) as it did not fit his administrations agenda due to its liberal agenda and “war on poverty” (377). 1 In this sense,
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