Image And Reality


Valery Potakh
Mr. Anderson
US History 1A, P.7
24 November 1998
Image and Reality
In the years since the thousand days many questions have been raised and are still being studied about John F. Kennedy. A Life of John F. Kennedy: A Question of Character is a book written by Thomas C. Reeves, in which Reeves discusses these issues. JFK was a great man, and yet there are still some things that one must take into consideration. His morality was always somewhat of an uncertainty; be that as it may, these questions are still not openly discussed. People were always taken aback by his personality, good looks, and youth. After his death, it was quite difficult for most people to accept some of the newly discovered negative information about him. The man meant so much to some people that it was impossible to say something less than perfect. But all the same, facts can not be denied.
While one may think that each is responsible for his or her actions, that is not always the case. Much of Jack's character develops and originates from his family. He applied these beliefs to his life as well as his presidency. His great grandfather Joseph Kennedy's indifference toward people, and the will to do anything to get what he wants, helped to shape much of the character in the entire Kennedy line. Inferior treatment of women also originated from this source.
The lacking of a sufficient background as well as a good role model helped shape much of Kennedy's negative characteristics. This was reflected in most of his decisions, as a result. So therefore, diversity between Kennedy's presidential appearance, and his private life of scandals, was unmistakable. His indifference to the values of proper judgement, unselfishness, and sincerity to his wife and work was also reflected in his ability to make thought out decisions. Though interesting enough, his greatest talent was the ability to manipulate himself well enough that it appeared as though he contained the qualities of an effective leader.
In spite of some obvious differences between his acting and the reality, John F. Kennedy was probably one of the most liked presidents. During and after his era people felt inspired to go out and make a difference. JFK had a look to him that made him likable to others. One may even say he was a people person. He had the ability to enrapture people with his capriciousness and elegant personality. Therefore much of the books written about Kennedy felt that his unblemished reputation was important to keep. Maybe this is because the authors were often close friends of Kennedy. As a result not all of the books told the complete truth about some of the fundamentals before and during JFK's presidency. While on the other hand, other authors, who were close to JFK, did disclose a lot of information, which is how most of the crimination today, is known. The congressional investigation in 1975, generated some alarming questions concerning Jack's character (Reeves xii). Consequently, a greater gap could be seen between the image presented to the public and that of the factual. Despite his superlative leadership and his portrayal as a great and morally sound-man, John F. Kennedy was really a man with lack of ethical values and integrity.
A lot can be said about a man's character from the way he runs his household. If one takes this stand, than not much can be said about John F. Kennedy. Jack's marriage was his father Joe's idea originally. The elder Kennedy believed that it would be undoubtedly good for JFK's career. At one point the Ambassador says, ?a wife and a family [are] political necessities? (111).
Jack's consistent unfaithfulness to his wife was completely immoral. The night before his senatorial election, Jack and his inner circle of friends were out watching a pornographic movie (166). During Jack's presidential campaigns he continued his infidelity. Just before a debate with Nixon, jack inquired if there were any girls waiting for him. ?Ninety minutes before airtime, Kennedy was in a hotel room with a call girl (202).
JFK was also involved with a woman named Inga Arvad. She was suspected of being a German spy at the time, and was being watched by the FBI (56). J. Edgar Hoover was director