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America Needs a President Like JFK

By taking a look at JFK's accomplishments, we can look ahead to possibly repairing the damage and seek a more humane President in 2020.

President John F. Kennedy once said, “Ask not what your country can do for you—ask what you can do for your country.”

I was tempted to buy a shirt with this quote on it, but decided to pass. Nonetheless, JFK raised a point. How can we make America better? We tend to always point the fingers at the government, questioning why aren’t they doing more. Yet, what are we doing for each other?

Once ballots are cast and officials are elected, our hands are sort of tied. Whatever feelings we have toward certain members of Congress—or even the President himself—are obsolete. Congress and the President will decide what they decide. We have little to no control. Though it is important to remember that the one time we have full power and our voices matter is in elections. It is so important to vote, to choose who will lead the country to greatness. By voting, we are coming together as a country and sharing our thoughts. By encouraging others to vote, you’re able to start conversations about how your views align with those in political power. Yet when people don’t vote or really analyze the candidates, the country falls into the hands of dictators who only want the tile of “being President,” but don’t want to take on the responsibility.

John F. Kennedy was not a perfect President, but he was a good one. Those who voted him into office knew of his capability. When JFK addressed the country, he addressed its people... no matter their race, gender/gender identity, sexual orientation, or economic background. He made promises. He kept them. He shook the hands of men struggling below the poverty line and listened to women as they pleaded for equal rights. He thought very low of racial discrimination and asked the white supremacists how they would feel if they weren’t allowed to attend school or had to use a separate, unmaintained bathroom, just because they were white.

It is clear to see that JFK was for the people. In 2020, we need to have a President like John F. Kennedy. He implemented various laws and regulations that were non-discriminatory. Some are still in place today—it’s just hard to see whether they are being enforced. John F. Kennedy had the best interest of the country. He was not a selfish man. JFK was a man of honor and decency. Below is an outline of a few of JFK’s greatest achievements that really spoke to me:

Individuals with disabilities were given more opportunities.

JFK had a sister with a disability, and during his term, he created a law granting those with disabilities the chance to have the same rights as everyone else. During this time, individuals with disabilities were often misunderstood, labeled as “retarded,” and were unable to work or attend school because of their disability.

The minimum wage was raised.

Before his presidency, the minimum wage in the US was $1. JFK pushed for the minimum wage to $1.25, expressing that there would be no harm in earning $50 per week.

Schools became integrated.

Without Kennedy’s statements about the importance of allowing black students to go to school alongside the whites, there may still be a heavy presence of segregation today! (It is still prevalent in certain parts of the United States.) Until Kennedy’s presidency, blacks had minimal rights, often facing the cruelties of racism as they were just trying to get an education. Black schools were not on the same level as white schools at this time and they were provided insufficient learning materials for their students; for example, outdated textbooks.

Women had a voice.

In the 1960s, men were getting paid significantly more than women. Yet, in 1963, he established the Equal Pay Act, which ended discrimination based on gender and erased the pay hierarchy between men and women. (Today, it’s a different story as our President tells a woman, “I know you’re not thinking. You never do.”)

It is important that we reflect on how much progress was made when JFK was President. By doing so, we can compare it to now, and see how much further we need to go. John F. Kennedy was a family man, he respected women, and he didn’t discriminate. He had incredible style and went boating. While he battled with health issues, JFK didn’t let that stop him. His life ended tragically, but I think if he was still alive today, JFK would still be highly respected and honored in various ways. One way that he is honored today is at his own Presidential Library in Boston, Massachusetts. I visited there this past weekend and was overwhelmed by all Kennedy had accomplished, as well as his morals and values. The library was beautiful, well-put-together, and family friendly. There was a sense of calm and gentleness throughout the museum, matching how Kennedy approached his presidency.

America needs another President like JFK—someone who we are proud of, and doesn’t manipulate others via Twitter. Currently, we are faced with too many hardships to keep up with, but those can be easily solved if we had a peaceful and compassionate President like John F. Kennedy. JFK wasn't a President to seek revenge. Instead, he was one to only act on rational thought and logic. If we continue to place officials who use violence and degradation as a way to express power, we will surely be corrupt.

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