Kennedy's Involvement During The Cold War

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In a time of war and uncertainty, society turns to powerful leaders and the words they speak for guidance. The American people rely on simple phrases of encouragement and hope to persuade them they are indeed safe. In President John F. Kennedy’s inauguration, “Ask Not What Your Country Can Do For You,” he uses current concerns of the American people to argue that the world must peacefully unite as one while inspiring nationalism throughout America. Using worries of the Cold War, Kennedy encourages international unitement. The Cold War, starting in the early 1950s, was still prominent during Kennedy’s inauguration in 1961, causing tension worldwide. Specifically, the world was divided into the East’s democracy and the West’s communism with…show more content…
Nuclear Warheads--easily destructive to an entire city, state, or nation-- were starting to be built and tested among both sides of the Cold War around 1950. These new weapons, capable of mass death, caused Americans to fear even further because “any major Soviet attack would be met with a massive nuclear response” (Kuran). Ultimately, Kennedy must convince not just America, but the world that a peaceful resolution is the best way to solve a problem rather than devastating warfare. When describing, “man holds in his mortal hands the power to abolish all forms of human poverty and all forms of human life” (Kennedy), Kennedy immediately instills fear in the American people through the emotional appeal, pathos. This residing fear of death will later help him in his speech when convincing the nation that rather than fighting a dangerous war, the world must unite through a “peaceful revolution of hope” (Kennedy). Kennedy then expresses, “remembering on both sides that civility is not a sign of weakness” (Kennedy). Because Kennedy implies that using atomic weaponry shows a “sign of weakness,” he attempts to persuade other countries that peaceful unity is more powerful. Conversely, he argues that physical warfare is not the best decision. Emphasizing the power of atomic weaponry, which creates fear through pathos, Kennedy argues for a peaceful end to the
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