The Cold War Essay

Submitted By aes2014
Words: 1467
Pages: 6

The topic of the Cold War parallels with one ideal, the ideal of Communism. The threat of Communism in our country and our allies dominated the United States’ mindset throughout the mid to late 20th century. It seemed as though war and hardship had a way of following the United States. The people of the United States looked to one person, the president, to pave the road through this time period and find a final solution for peace. The decades of the Cold War are marked by three presidents who brought their own ideology into this search; John F. Kennedy and his vow on the protection in the United States and peace throughout the world in the 1960s, Richard Nixon and his focus on building an alliance with the Chinese in the 1970s, and Ronald Reagan’s struggle to unite old and new conservatives while creating an “aggressive foreign policy” with the Soviets. The presidential race in 1960 focused almost solely on the threat of Communism. Both the Democratic candidate, John F. Kennedy, and the Republican candidate, Richard Nixon, viewed it as “ubiquitous and unremitting” (Doc 33). Yet, many of Kennedy’s ideas differentiated from the previous administration which ultimately won him the presidency. Kennedy knew that in order to keep our country safe, increasing spending on defense was necessary. Yet, Kennedy was very skeptical on threatening thermonuclear war on enemy countries, and rightfully so. Kennedy strived for the safety of our country above all else. He also wished to find peace with those countries which the United States had conflict with. In his Inaugural Address in 1961 he focused mainly on how to achieve these goals. Kennedy viewed our nation at the time as “tempered by war, disciplined by hard and bitter peace, proud of our ancient heritage” and said that he was “unwilling to witness the undoing of those human rights to which our nation had always been committed” (Doc 33). Kennedy would stop at nothing to stop the treat of communism that was upon us at the time. Kennedy knew that he was dreaming big and was open in saying that these dreams would not be completely fulfilled during his time in office but that it was time to begin a “quest for peace” (Doc 33). In his Inaugural Address, Kennedy pointed out a few efforts that were to take place to embark on the process. The United States was to offer help to the countries and villages on the globe that were “struggling to break the bonds of mass misery” (Doc 33). He made clear that it was not his mission to seek the approval and “vote” of these countries over the Communists but only because it was the right thing to do. Kennedy wished to have these countries trust the United States and to know that our intentions were good. Secondly, he wished to build a new alliance with South America. His goal was to help release South America from the extreme poverty they were experiencing at the time. Ultimately, this would “oppose aggression anywhere in the Americas” (Doc 33) and keep Communist invasion from taking over in South America. Lastly, Kennedy addressed our country’s foes. He requested for both sides to “begin anew the quest for peace.” By embarking on this quest for peace both sides could dodge the bullet of more war and conflict. Kennedy then addressed our nation and asked for support by using one of the most powerful quotes known to this day, “ask not what your country can do for you-ask what you can do for your country” (Doc 33). In turn, he addressed the world as a whole by saying “Ask not what America will do for you, but what together we can do for the freedom of man” (Doc 33). Unfortunately, Kennedy’s dream was short-lived. President Kennedy was assassinated on November 22, 1963, sparking even more controversy and digging the United States even deeper into the war.
A decade later, the Cold War raged on. Kennedy’s former opponent for presidency, Richard Nixon, now held the title. The Communist power in China was a direct threat and concern