Heros Are They Born Or Made
Heros. Are They Born Or Made? JFK & A ; LBJ Essay, Research Paper
Heros, are They Born or Made?
Throughout recorded history, world has followed their leaders where of all time they lead.
Be it with John Fitzgerald Kennedy to Camelot, or Lyndon Baines Johnson to the Gulf of
Tonkin. In their ain several manners, both of these work forces were great heroes and scoundrels.
James Reston ( 1994 ) wrote that & # 8220 ; the calamity of John Fitzgerald Kennedy was greater than the
achievement, but in the terminal the calamity enhances the achievement and revives hope. & # 8221 ;
( Hilty, 1994 p. 418 ) . Henry F. Graff ( 1994 ) inscribed that & # 8220 ; the long and dearly-won war in Vietnam
that Johnson had non avoided, could non win, and did non stop will long stay the dark shadow
on his record. The domestic statute law and the generous spirit that actuated it will be his
reflecting memorial when and if, a longer perspective reduces at last the size of that shadow & # 8221 ;
( Morton, 1994 p. 393 ) . Of these two really different work forces, one was molded into a hero and one
was destined to go a hero from birth. Are our greatest heroes born or are they made? I feel
strongly that heros are made, non born.
In domestic affairs, Kennedy accomplished small during his thousand yearss in office. He
gave small attending to domestic personal businesss. His inaugural reference contained non one word about
race dealingss or the civil rights motion. Robert Kennedy, John & # 8217 ; s brother, admitted that they
had & # 8220 ; & # 8230 ; lost no slumber over the Negroes & # 8221 ; ( Hilty, 1994 p.422 ) . The Kennedys foremost urged leaders
such as Martin Luther King Jr. to be patient and avoid the incidents harmful to America & # 8217 ; s image
abroad. Escalating crisis sucked the Kennedys into the whirl of the motion ( Hilty, 1994
p.422 ) . Kennedy did seek and obtained a minor addition in the minimal pay and Social
Security coverage, plus money for public lodging, and forced a impermanent push back in steel
monetary values ( Sellen, 1987 p.1297 ) . By November of 1963, he had well increased American
military committedness to South Vietnam and created the necessary conditions for farther
American engagement which occurred under President Johnson ( Morton, 1994 p.421 ) . On the
positive side, Kennedy endorsed the Peace Corp, Food for Peace, and Agency for International
Development. These plans improved America & # 8217 ; s image in emerging states of Africa and
Asia. Kennedy & # 8217 ; s Alliance for Progress gave hope for Latin America ( Morton, 1994 p.422 ) .
Kennedy besides sought a revenue enhancement cut to excite the economic system, federal assistance to instruction and Medicare,
but since he lacked dependable bulks in Congress, these plans remained tied up in Congress
until after Kennedy & # 8217 ; s decease ( Patterson, 1995 ) .
One must besides take into consideration that John Kennedy besides had his portion of military
calamities. Least we of all time bury the severely fumbled effort to envade Cuba to subvert
Castro? Many Cuban expatriates were either killed or captured at the Bay of Pigs. Kennedy & # 8217 ; s greatest
crisis in foreign policy was the state of affairs which arose when Khrushchev tried to set up atomic
missiles in Cuba in 1962. Kennedy choose to obstruct Cuba and endanger Khrushchev by
keeping in modesty an air onslaught on the missile sites. At first, armed struggle seemed likely
and the universe lingered on the brink of atomic war for about two, highly tense, hebdomads
( Hilty, 1994 p. 421 ) .
During his two old ages as frailty president, Johnson greatly expanded upon the responsibilities
assigned to that place. With Kennedy & # 8217 ; s approvals, the hardy frailty president became a wandering
embassador doing legion trips abroad to confabulate with foreign caputs of province. His most
noteworthy trip took topographic point in mid-1961 when Johnson officially visited Southeast Asia. His brief
stay in Vietnam deepened his strong belief that the South Vietnam authorities must be supported
about at all costs ( Morton, 1994 p.396 ) .
There were two other places in which the frailty president played meaningful functions in the
Kennedy disposal. Since Johnson had long been interested in infinite geographic expedition, Kennedy
suitably gave Johnson the place of supervising the infinite plan by naming him
president of the Space Council. Johnson & # 8217 ; s 2nd country of premier concern was civil rights. As
president of the freshly created President & # 8217 ; s Committee on Equal Employment, Johnson headed
the federal authorities plan to procure occupation chances particularly for inkinesss. The Civil
Rights attempts of the Kennedy old ages, led by Vice President Johnson, were rather perchance a
necessary preliminary to the transition of historic Civil Rights Acts of 1964 and 1965 under President
Johnson. Despite mensurable accomplishments in the countries of infinite geographic expedition and civil rights,
Johnson & # 8217 ; s term of office as frailty president was one of defeat. Serving as he did in the shadow of the
popular, vernal JFK, there was seemingly small opportunity for him to go president of the
United States ( Morton. 1994 p. 396 ) .
On November 22, 1963, while on a trip to Dallas to seek to mend a split in the Texas
Democrats, Kennedy was tragically assassinated. In this minute of entire and incredible
horror, Johnson assumed the responsibilities and adversities of the presidential term.
After being elevated to the White House, Johnson rapidly proved to be a consummate and
reassuring leader in the kingdom of domestic personal businesss. In 1964, Congress passed a tax-reduction jurisprudence
that promised to advance economic growing and the Economic Opportunity Act, which launched
the plan called the War on Poverty. Johnson proved to be really adept in geting a strong
Civil Rights Act in 1964. In future old ages, this Act proved to be a critical beginning of legal authorization
against racial and sexual favoritism ( Morton, 1994 p. 397 ) .
In the 1964 presidential election, Lyndon B. Johnson was overpoweringly elected to the
office of President of the United States. Johnson & # 8217 ; s victories gave him a authorization for his Great
Society, as he called his domestic plan. Congress responded by eventually go throughing the Medicare
plan, O.K.ing federal assistance to simple and secondary instruction, heightening the War on
Poverty, and making the Department of Housing and Urban Development ( Patterson, 1995 ) .
The huge sum of reform statute law that Johnson passed in his first three old ages in office was
awesome. His Great Society plan represented an accomplishment about unparalleled in
American history ( Morton, 1994 p. 397 ) .
Johnson will doubtless be remembered non for his domestic reform, but for his
expansion of the progressively unpopular war in Southeast Asia. Johnson did non originate the
engagement of the United States in Vietnam. He did, nevertheless, enlarge upon a U.S.
committedness to the Saigon authorities in South Vietnam. This committedness was made by
Johnson & # 8217 ; s three predecessors, Presidents Truman, Eisenhower, and Kennedy. Logically
following the attempts of these three work forces to back up the corrupt and undemocratic authorities of
South Vietnam, by 1965 Johnson had increased the war attempt to such an extent that there were
over 200,000 Americans contending the Viet Cong and North Vietnamese. By February of 1968
Johnson increased the count of American military personnels by 206,000, conveying the US forces count to
over 700,000. Somehow, an unwanted and misunderstood struggle in Southeast Asia had
go a major war which would non merely interrupt the bantam state in which it was being fought,
but would besides turn out to hold desperate effects on President Johnson and his state ( Morton,
1994 pp397-398 ) .
These two great work forces put furrows in the history of the United States. Both are
proclaimed as heroes in their ain right.
Kennedy led us to Camelot. But what function did he play? Was he the staunch and devoted
Arthur or the womanizing and fallacious Lancelot? His superficiality and indifference to the demands
of the multitudes seems to hold been ingrained at an early age. & # 8220 ; The Kennedys passed the old ages of
the Great Depression in privileged epicurean isolation from America & # 8217 ; s societal and economic
torture & # 8221 ; ( Hilty, 1994 p. 419 ) . John Kennedy was seemingly more interested in the visual aspect
of the United States to the universe than he was in the domestic personal businesss of his
ain people. This was
demonstrated by his indifference to the racial agitation which was brewing within his ain state.
If non for the goad of his brother, Robert Kennedy, John would ne’er hold passed any civil
rights measures. It was more of import to Kennedy that the United States stop Communism and provender
the hungry of emerging states than it was to hold racial and sexual favoritism and feed the
hungry of this state.
Kennedy besides was a & # 8220 ; user & # 8221 ; . He used his male parent & # 8217 ; s money to finance his runs, his
male parent & # 8217 ; s friends as political foremans and to assist him print his first book, his war narrative of
gallantry, the aid of his Plutos to win a Pulitzer Prize and his young person, personal appeal and household name, to
appeal a state into believing what they were seeing, through the shade of rose coloured spectacless,
was the manner of a new coevals ( Hilty, 1994 p. 420 ) . The state was finished with live overing
the yesteryear, and was now ready to travel into the hereafter. John Fitzgerald Kennedy was the adult male
chosen to take them.
Lyndon Baines Johnson, on the other manus, was born and raised on a farm in cardinal
Texas. He knew first manus what it was like to work the land and to make without. While the
Kennedy kids were reared in an ambiance of household intimacy and trueness, Lyndon
assumed the function of older brother who often helped his somewhat priggish female parent and
capricious male parent raise his siblings. Lyndon became about a alternate male parent to his younger
brother and three younger sisters ( Morton, 1994 p.393 ) .
During his college old ages, Johnson demonstrated to his Hispanic junior high school
pupils his concern about equal intervention to people irrespective of their colour or beginning. He
encouraged his pupils to take their instructions earnestly. He was besides concerned about the
unemployment rate of immature people. This was demonstrated by his action as the Texas manager
of the National Youth Administration ( Morton, 1994 p. 394 ) .
Johnson & # 8217 ; s lift through political relations resulted from difficult work get downing at the & # 8220 ; grass-roots & # 8221 ;
degree. Unlike Kennedy, Johnson started at the underside and worked his manner to the top. His
strength and willingness to negociate were his strong suit & # 8217 ; in winning him his elected seats
( Patterson, 1995 ) .
Unfortunately, Johnson inherited a war no 1 wanted. Since it was his responsibility to seek to win
this war, he performed in the lone mode he trusted. Many of Johnson & # 8217 ; s ascendants had fought in
the Alamo, and war and struggle were no aliens to Johnson. Therefore, with what he may
hold considered the approvals of his sires, he set out to win an unwinable war by
increasing the figure of combatives who were contending for unknown causes ( Morton, 1994
p.393 ) .
But alas, Johnson did win some of the domestic wars which were booming in this great
state. He pushed through the Medicare plan to do certain that aged individuals would be
able to obtain nice medical attention, he was instrumental in the passing of the most of import of
the civil rights measures, he established a assortment of alleviation and services bureaus such as VISTA,
work-study, and a Job Corps. He attempted to win the war on poorness by assailing the major
causes of poorness & # 8211 ; viz. illiteracy, unemployment, and unequal public services ( Morton,
1994 p. 397 ) .
Which of these two powerful work forces is to be considered the greatest hero? Will it be the
rich, fine-looking Kennedy who was born into the life style of a politician? Who had his political
calling bought and paid for by a affluent and powerful household. Who was born into the lap of
luxury with a Ag spoon in his oral cavity. Or is the better pick Johnson, who was born into a
household which steadfastly believed that the state and its people came before ego? Who understood
and respected the difficult work and attempts of others. Who made his ain manner in political relations without
the assistance of affluent parents. Webester & # 8217 ; s Ninth Collegiate Dictionary describes a hero as & # 8220 ; & # 8230 ; degree Celsiuss: a
adult male admired for his achievments and baronial qualities vitamin D: 1 that shows great bravery & # 8230 ; & # 8221 ;
( p.566 ) . But which adult male was made into a hero?
This author feels that Johnson is the better pick. Johnson arose from the ashes of
Camelot, non unlike a Phoenix bird, with his tail plumes singed by the fires of Vietnam. He
assumed the amazing responsibilities that were handed to him without inquiry. He finished the work of
his predessor without having recognition where recognition was truly due. ( Even after his decease,
Kennedy was still having recognition for work that others had accomplished. ) Johnson accepted the
war of three anterior Commander-in-Chiefs and battled it the lone manner that he knew how. Because
his strong hawkish idiosyncrasies will forever shadow his domestic achievements, Johnson may
ne’er receive full acknowledgment for the forceful and effectual domestic plans that he pushed
through Congress. If Johnson had non cared so much about his state of people, would he hold
fought so diligently for plans such as Medicare, VISTA, work-study plans, and Job
Corps? Johnson foremost illustrated his concern for the equal rights of all work forces to his Latino junior
high school pupils: therefore, began his long and successful battle to go through some of the most
of import civil rights measures of this state. Without his attempts, The Great Society would ne’er
hold had a opportunity.
The reply to this inquiry will non be available until future historiographers can research and
compile facts in a wholly non-judgmental and indifferent mode.
When I foremost began research for this paper, I steadfastly believed that John Kennedy was my
& # 8220 ; knight in reflecting armor. & # 8221 ; I believed all that I had been told by my senior coevalss about how
Kennedy had fought the conflict for civil rights because he believed in equality for everyone. I had
religion in the belief that Kennedy had fought his manner up through the political circus to go one
of the most powerful work forces in the universe. I knew in my bosom that Kennedy cared more about his
ain state of people than he cared about an full universe of people. After all, wasn & # 8217 ; t it Kennedy
who stood up to Castro and Khrushchev? So what if the cost of his base about equaled atomic
war? Kennedy was merely protecting HIS people from the depredations of Communism and the Big
Red Monster. And as for Kennedy & # 8217 ; s injudiciousnesss with adult females, after all that he had done for his
state, lets & # 8217 ; merely forgive him. After all, he was merely human, and he was a & # 8220 ; born hero. & # 8221 ;
Equally far as I had been told, Lyndon B. Johnson was merely an & # 8220 ; old war trader & # 8221 ; who sent
1000s of American young person to Vietnam. He had no concern for this state. All he was
worried about was winning this war at what of all time the cost was. Unfortunately, the cost was
1000s of deceases of some of America & # 8217 ; s finest immature work forces and adult females.
Now, as I take off my & # 8220 ; rose tinted spectacless & # 8221 ; , I can see for the first clip who the hero of my
former coevals was. It wasn & # 8217 ; t the brassy war hero who had been born into political relations, and bought
his manner into office with his household & # 8217 ; s money and name. It was the & # 8220 ; froward old codger & # 8221 ; who
spent over 30 old ages in the state & # 8217 ; s capital doing his manner to the top. It was through this adult male & # 8217 ; s
tireless attempts that the civil rights motion began to take signifier, that the War on Poverty began
to contend back, and that the Great Society was conceived and born. Johnson was a adult male made into
an obscure hero.
I can & # 8217 ; t assist but inquire if the American society could really stand to see one of its & # 8217 ;
favorite folklore narratives crushed. I think non. After all, everyone needs person to title-holder and
to be their hero.
Hilty, J. ( 1994 ) . Historic World Leaders. Vol. 4 pp 418-424
Detroit, Mi. Gales Research Inc.
Morton, J. ( 1994 ) . Historic World Leaders. Vol. 4 pp 393-398
Detroit, Mi. Gales Research Inc.
Sellen, R. ( 1987 ) . Great Lives From American History. Vol 3 pp 1295-1298
Pasadena, Ca. Salem Press
Patterson, J. ( 1995 ) . Groiler Multimedia Encyclopedia. Version 7.0
Packard Bell for IBM computing machines
Webester & # 8217 ; s Ninth New Collegiate Dictionary ( 1990 ) .
Springfield, Mass. Merriam-Webester Inc.