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Kezia Barrio


English 101

8 November 2018

Political Tensions

Political Tensions in the United States are by far no new affair, however within our

current climate we seem to be regressing. It’s all a matter of how these issues are handled and

how our President takes the responsibility. There are several problems now that go hand in hand

with issues we’ve had throughout our history. When thinking of other pastimes of political

apprehension, often John F Kennedy’s presidency is thought about. With that being said, JFK

dealt with many similar problems we have today with Donald Trump, even with them being on

opposite ends of the spectrum.

Civil Rights may have been significantly tougher to go about during the sixties, although

what some don’t understand is, that just because segregation has been abolished does not mean

racism is over. It seems our current problem now deals with a whole lot of white supremacy, an

issue we’ve expected our president to confront. Yet instead we see Trump upfrontly admit he is a

nationalist. “Trump's nationalist politics reflected a deep, abiding racial and ethnic animus.

Trump's raging barn-fire hatred of Hispanic immigrants and refugees reached a dehumanizing

endpoint this spring with kids in cages. Nationalism excuses their hatreds, their resentments, and

ultimately their violence... and that violence is the almost inevitable endpoint of most successful

nationalist movements in the last hundred years.” ( Trump Shoves Nationalist, Parr. 11 & 22).

Something that is becoming more and more detrimental to our progress of equality. JFK on the
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other hand, had previously made certain mistakes with civil rights during the early years of his

presidency as well, but he never abandoned the idea that all men are equal. It wasn’t until the

March on Washington where he really took to the problem, he was hesitant, but yet still he

gathered black American leaders of the movement to hear what they needed to say. Without this

it would have never been possible for Martin Luther King Jr to make his “I have a dream” speech

(Matthews,David). Kennedy had always stuck to what he believed in, he had continued

advocating equality for all Americans. The same thing definitely cannot be said for Trump, as it

seems our progress is astray.

Political corruption is of strong subject matter, because of what our lawmakers are able to

get away with. What exactly qualifies Then? Nepotism does in fact fall under this category.

“President John F. Kennedy’s controversial appointment of his brother Robert as attorney

general, causing the bill to be nicknamed the “Bobby Kennedy Law.” President Donald Trump

has come under fire for appointing his daughter Ivanka and son-in-law Jared Kushner as White

House senior advisers”("Political Corruption", Parr. 12 ). There is not much of a double standard

here, JFK being the firestarter of this bill, is just another example of the mistakes that are

constantly made on both sides. However the difference is that Kennedy may have affected public

and professional interest, but his brother did meet qualifications for the job. The same thing

cannot be said about Trump, for his daughter has no political experience. Donald even came up

with excuses on this matter. “Trump contends that the provision should not be applied to

presidents despite memos issued by the Department of Justice (DOJ) to previous administrations

explicitly stating that presidents were not exempt” ("Political Corruption",Parr.12 ).

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Foreign affairs in the United States will forever be a never ending complication, though it

once again comes down to how the problem is handled and who takes responsibility for certain

actions. The nineteen sixty one Bay of Pigs invasion ended up being an excruciating mistake at

the hands of John F. Kennedy, simply because he stuck to all his statements and opinions.

However this quickly became the biggest miscalculations of his presidency. “Kennedy,

moreover, had taken a strong stand against Castro in the 1960 presidential campaign, railing

against his Republican rival Richard Nixon for being part of an administration that had failed to

prevent the Cuban revolutionary from coming to power. JFK pledged to take robust action to

overthrow Castro if elected president and so, once he’d won that election, felt compelled to

honor his promise and support the CIA plan.” (“Bay of Pigs”, Parr. 9). After the first failed

attempt Kennedy did in fact opt out in further attacks for fear of U.S involvement becoming a

bigger problem. “I have had two full days of hell – I haven’t slept – this has been the most

excruciating period of my life. I doubt my presidency could survive another catastrophe like

that”(“Bay of Pigs”, Parr. 2). Although this quote of his by no means could fix what had already

been done, JFK publicly admitted his mistakes and put further thought into how they could

change it the next time around.

So far throughout Trump's presidency we have already gone through a whirlwind of

foreign affairs to say the least. Though he generally considers his mistakes as no problem of his,

along with stringing along political corruption throughout the process. "Everywhere we go in the

Middle East it's Iran, Iran, Iran behind every problem," Mr. Trump said. Mr. Trump also

reiterated his promise to construct a wall with Mexico and to crack down on lawmakers who

seek to protect undocumented immigrants”( "The curtain falls”, Parr. 9 & 10). This is a primary
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example of Trump avoiding issues, laying down blame and focusing on insubstantial ideas, such

as the building of “The Wall”. Along with an example of blatant misuse of power “Mr. Trump

fired Secretary of State Rex Tillerson and named Mike Pompeo, the director of the U.S. Central

Intelligence Agency and a staunch ally of the President's with hawkish views on foreign policy,

to replace him” ( "The curtain falls”, Parr. 1). He did this in order to receive more power by

replacing the Secretary of State whom did not agree with his views on foreign policy, to

someone who simply does. An act that should be considered treason and abuse of power that he

as president, should not carry. Along with not accepting nor addressing responsibilities of things

he has done wrong.

As it does in fact seem that history repeats itself in certain ways, our president being an

elected official should have the integrity to lead this nation with responsibility and thought. John

F. Kennedy had certainly made big mistakes when in office, yet he used honesty and even owned

up to his wrongdoings. With the likeness of problems faced throughout both presidencies there is

undeniably a distinction with how complications are faced. It already appears that within these

two years of Trump’s presidency that political tensions are at a high. We as people are in need of

great change, for as we cannot continue to regress in a time like this.

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Works Cited

“Bay of Pigs invasion: Kennedy’s Cuban catastrophe”



Matthews, David “Kennedy White House had jitters ahead of 1963 March on Washington”

© 2018 Cable News Network. Turner Broadcasting System, Inc. All Rights Reserved.

CNN Sans ™ & © 2016 Cable News Network.


Michael, George. "The Alt-Right Continues the American Tradition of White Nationalism."

Opposing Viewpoints Online Collection,​ Gale, 2018. ​Opposing Viewpoints in Context,​


VIC&xid=ae6612e9. Accessed 30 Oct. 2018. Originally published as "The Seeds of the

Alt-Right, America’s Emergent Right-Wing Populist Movement," ​The Conversation​, 23

Nov. 2016.

"Political Corruption." ​Opposing Viewpoints Online Collection​, Gale, 2018. ​Opposing

Viewpoints in Context​, ​http://link.galegroup.com/apps/doc/PC3010999214/OVIC​?

"The curtain falls on Rex Tillerson; Donald Trump fires Secretary of State, names ally CIA

director Mike Pompeo to replace him at a time of high tensions in U.S. foreign
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policy." ​Globe & Mail [Toronto, Canada], 14 Mar. 2018, p. A1. ​Opposing

Viewpoints in Context​,


"Trump Shoves Nationalist Needle Into His Followers' Veins." ​Daily Beast,​ 24 Oct.

2018. ​Opposing Viewpoints in Context,​


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