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Unformatted text preview: Kennedys Domestic Program 30 March 2006 Reading: Once Kennedy was elected there was a tremendous sense of anticipation as he was preparing to take office. There was a sense that something dramatic was going to happen. Almost like a piece of theatre. Kennedy seemed to embody a new model character for the American man based on intelligence and sophistication. The impression was that this was a wordly cosmopolitan figure, yet he had not traveled and relied on his wife. He was full of wit and irony. He had a supurb sense of humor, often self deprecating. As a result he was a president who was widely imitated by the generation coming of age. He had a distinctive message. Above all, he called attention to neglect of the public sphere of American life. He attacked the privatizm that had been all too typical of 1950s America. He appealed to Americans to emerge from their restricted suburban lives, to stop worrying only about themselves and their families, to expand their vision to include the rest of the country. In particular, Kennedy insisted that the government needed to be a major force in our society. (It seems incredible that a government official would say that, but the early 60s sent the message that the government was critical to enable Americans to lead a good life.) He wanted government to help guarantee prosperity by providing coordination and control to the economy. He felt the government could manage the economy in such a way that Americans would be able to enjoy sustained prosperity. Government should also deal with societys worst problems, such as poverty, racism, and illiteracy. Beyond that, he wanted a government that could make its weight felt in world affairs on the side of democracy and freedom. In short, he wanted a government that the people of the country would take enormous pride in. They would feel good about being the people of the country would take enormous pride in....
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This note was uploaded on 04/29/2008 for the course HIST 320 taught by Professor Singal during the Spring '06 term at Hobart and William Smith Colleges.
- Spring '06