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President John Fitzgerald Kennedy was the 35th president of the United States until his assassination. Even under his relatively short presidency of around three years, he has managed to have approval ratings scoring consistently well even until this day and age. been constantly put on par with Lincoln, Reagan, Roosevelt, and Washington in terms of popularity. His goodwill among Americans has stemmed from Kennedy’s accomplishments, personality, charisma, and much more.Kennedy has had a bold image printed into the American people’s minds right from the start. He was an attractive young male with an attractive wife and cute small kids. His family was the ideal American family, during the late Baby Boomer’s period. With his arrival, he brought new ideas and hopes and dreams. However, he had huge hurdles to overcome before he could hold the presidency. Kennedy’s opponent, Nixon, was more politically experienced than he was. Nixon was in the Congress since the 40’s at the time of the elections. In addition, he was the vice president of an administration that was in place during some of the best economic times the country has seen. Kennedy was the only Roman Catholic president this country (of Protestants) would see. Many people expressed their doubts about Kennedy’s leadership due to a conflict of interest. As a Roman Catholic, he would have to be loyal to the Pope, the Church, and Rome. Critics opposed Kennedy on the grounds that he would become a mere puppet in the hands of the Pope. Not only was his religious denomination a problem, his age was too. He was the youngest elected president to be inaugurated into office at age 43 years and 236 days. Many people believed that his young age could be unsuitable for leading the nation(History staff). Another major issue was that he would agitate right-white groups with his support for civil rights. However, in spite of all the challenges, Kennedy won by 300,000 votes. The main reason why was because of the television. The television was slowly creeping into every American household. The Kennedy-Nixon debate was the first debate to be televised, and the debate attracted millions of viewers. Kennedy used it to his advantage. He was coached for his television appearance. In addition, he looked much younger and attractive than Nixon. Even though both men often held the same viewpoint on several issues, radio listeners often called Nixon the debate winner while television viewers supported Kennedy. Kennedy (and Nixon) both sympathized with African-Americans but did not do anything “concrete.” However, Kennedy called Dr.King’s daughter-in-law when he was jailed and used his contacts to free Dr.King (Cooper 1). This move helped Kennedy’s campaign immensely as Dr.King endorsed Kennedy as a candidate and swooped black votes for Kennedy’s win.  During Kennedy’s administration, he had brought with him several new ideas that starkly contrasted his precedents. Kennedy was starting to take a stance on international issues. Kennedy’s inaugural address mentioned his support for free European, Latin American, and African nations. He also warned against his enemies, such as communists in China and the USSR against the oppression of democracy. He backed the United Nations and gave it even more global power and called for the eradication of nuclear weapon use. He also encouraged the citizens of America to “assure the survival and success of liberty.” This was different than the past office holders, who wanted to eradicate and/or contain communism at any cost. His precedents create the protection of the free world through nuclear weapons and mutually assured destruction. Kennedy, instead, opened an era towards peacemaking, talks, and negotiations while ensuring the progress of mankind. In Kennedy’s speech, Kennedy’s New Frontier, he calls upon Americans to step up and create change. He believes that if we want America to progress, it depends on the collective efforts of America, and not just his administration. Kennedy believes that America and capitalism can compete with the “single-minded advance of the Communist system.”In the end, his assassination played a crucial role in the image of Kennedy. And according to the Bayesian analysis of the psychology behind the fascination of presidential assassinations, ” Journalist Tom Bethell has advanced the hypothesis that conspiracy explanations of Presidential assassination are popular because people have an irrational need to explain big and important events with proportionately big and important causes.”(McCauley 1) In addition, the media plays a huge role in this: “The media has had a central role in the development of this phenomenon and documentation and illustration via news and film has been central to much of the interpretation of JFK and the Kennedys. This paper considers media fascination with this subject and examines exploitation of this interest at three, contrasting sites.”(Foley 1) And even though it has been decades since he has died, and several stories about Kennedy has been leaked, nothing has ever tarnish his reputation in the minds of Americans(Brinkley 1): “Much has been written about Kennedy’s covert private life. Like his father, he was obsessed with the ritual of sexual conquest—before and during his marriage, before and during his presidency. While he was alive, the many women, the Secret Service agents, and the others who knew of his philandering kept it a secret. Still, now that the stories of his sexual activities are widely known, they have done little to tarnish his reputation.” President J. F. Kennedy, even though his death has been several years ago, he has remained an American cultural phenomenon. Even though historians have always had lower approval ratings, he has managed to be put on par with Lincoln, Reagan, Roosevelt, and Washington in terms of popularity under the eyes of the American public. His goodwill among Americans has and will be an influential role in America and the future of American presidents and approval ratings. MLA CitationsBrinkley, Alan. “The Legacy of John F. Kennedy.” The Atlantic, Atlantic Media Company, 19 Feb. 2014, Staff. “The Kennedy-Nixon Debates.”, A Television Networks, 2010,”JFK and dark tourism: A fascination with assassination.” Taylor & Francis, Tandforonline, 18 Apr. 2007,”JFK: Civil rights leader or bystander?” Al Jazeera America, Al Jazeera America, 11 November 2016, 11:55 am,, Andrew. “JFK’s America.” Pew Research Center, Pew Research Center, 20 Nov. 2013,, Clark, and Susan Jaques. “The popularity of conspiracy theories of presidential …” Research Gate, Research Gate,,5064.1.

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