How important was the presidency of John F Kennedy?

February 7, 2013 | By

Question by courtney lynn: How important was the presidency of John F Kennedy?
Was his presidency important or not?
Was he a good or bad president in your view?
Can you compare him to any other presidents? If so, who and why?

Best answer:

Answer by g-yam
important enough to have been murdered.

What do you think? Answer below!

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Comments (13)

  1. phule_poet

    I don’t think civil rights would be were it is at without him

  2. El Tecolote

    Not very important or ground-breaking at all… that is, until he got assassinated. Then he suddenly became the greatest President of all time.

  3. GC8

    It would have been more important if our own government didn’t assassinate him

  4. FatPizza9

    No more than any other. He just faced the Cuban missile crisis and stood down the Russians.

    He was the first young and attractive president. He was also the first Catholic.

  5. Ashes to ashes

    Kennedy defused the Cuba missile crisis. What would have been instead is always hard to say, but it is likely that a war, fought with atomic weapons, was thus averted. I would not want to imagine what would have happened then and what the world would look like today.

  6. Drew Bloodsd

    If he was indeed a good president, then what did he do that was so great? He botched the invasion of Cuba with the Bay Of Pigs, he almost started World War III with the Russians during the Cuban Missile Crisis, he got this country involved in the Vietnam War, and he was sleeping with Maralyn Monroe. What good did he actually do except look good in family White House pictures?

  7. Critical_rationalist

    he was only pres for 2 years. He did OK dealing with Kruschev, but bungled in his repeated plans to have Castro assassinated. His security staff would go on to help LBJ escalate the Vietnam War.

    he signed no significant legislation into law

    he started to build up our conventional forces after Ike had warned againt the military industrial complex. Then Vietnam escalted. Coinicidence?

  8. jiminjersey

    Well he got us into Vietnam and cost 58,000 american soldiers their lives.

    oh and he almost got the entire nation blown up with that little missile crisis thing down in Cuba.

    Oh and he handled the bay of pigs thing really well too.

  9. justagrandma

    Its not what he was, so much as what he represented.
    Before he was elected we had been involved in two wars and were warming up for a third, in Viet Nam, which Eisenhower had laid the ground work for and Johnson took up.
    When you older relatives speak of a strong, and happy American they are talking of before and during Kennedy. While not perfect we still held morals and real values, not just trotted out for campaign values.
    When Kennedy died so did a kind of national innocence, a feeling that the bad part was over and we could accomplish anything.
    Hes often compared for that reason to LIncoln, the country was one way before, and a wholly different thing after.
    The Bay of Pigs wasn’t organized by him, it took place less than a month after he took office, and was orchestrated by the CIA.

  10. Poyzin

    not very important. He was only in office for 2 years. Very few presidents were in office for such a short period of time. He was only important because he was murdered in full color, and everyone could see his brains spraying all over the place, and then his coward wife ran away because she was scared and didn’t like John’s brains and blood spraying on her ugly face.

  11. Morpheus

    Probably it wasn’t as important as it’s often viewed. Sure ended up real sh*tty though with that LBJ zero in the White House.

    Claims have been made that Mr. Kennedy would have taken us out of Vietnam – but I don’t see much evidence for that. Hard to say what good the guy was. He kept us out of a shooting war over Cuba – that was sure something. I remember those days well – it was scary how close we came to heaving nuclear bombs back and forth.

    But Kennedy never pushed the civil rights envelope like LBJ did! Holy Cow – for a scumbag, LBJ really did get a lot done for the betterment of America.

    Too bad about Vietnam though.

  12. patticharron

    All presidencies are important simply due to the fact the president has, not on in the U.S., but the world over. Since all presidencies have an impact, they are all important.

    Kennedy was assassinated halfway through his first term. Because of the assassination, he has been deified and memorialized in ways that he would not have been had he lived to complete his term.

    Kennedy was an inexperienced Junior Senator. He was not an achiever as his dad had hoped he would be. Generally speaking, Joseph Kennedy bought the presidency for his son. Getting JFK elected was much more about the senior Kennedy’s obsession with getting the recognition he felt he deserved.

    Kennedy shot off his mouth with regard to foreigh relations because he had no clue. As a result, the Soviet Union handed him his a$ $ .

    Kennedy failed miserably with regard to the Bay of Pigs and a lot of people died as a result of his spinelessness.

    Kennedy’s past as a “naval hero” is largely fiction that was promoted by newspaper publisher Randolph Hearst, a good friend of Joseph Kennedy. The public was manipulated with the promise of “Camelot” by this youthful, good looking Senator from Massachusetts and his lovely, charming, classy wife (who was threatened and paid off by Joseph Kennedy to stay in the marriage, despite Kennedy’s philandering).

    Kennedy saw to it that the Peace Corps was established and put his brother-in-law in charge of it. He signed the bill to create the Food Stamps program, which is regrettable because it did nothing to solve a problem and subsequently created many more.

    Kennedy was a typical Democrat, keen on big government, big spending and the Dependency Class.

    Again, the only reason he is a “stand out” president is because of the assassination. For the most part, he was a reckless, philandering, irresponsible man who carried the mantle of the presidency for his father and family name.

    In terms of comparing him with other presidents, I’d say he was better than Carter, no worse than Clinton and can’t even be considered in the same class of human being with Reagan or either of the Bushes.

    If you’re really interested in this subject, read “The Dark Side of Camelot” by Seymour Hersh. Fascinating.

  13. Jani

    I was in elementary school when JFK was shot. We were in disbelief and grief. It was a surreal week. LBJ’s inauguration on the plane, the funeral, Oswald’s assassination by Ruby. How can you possibly not be influenced by all of that?

    He was a unique president who was protected by the press. We haven’t had a president since who could have gotten away with what we now know he did.

    I think it was good to have him as president during the civil rights movement, although I think LBJ always put that as a top priority list also.

    But, because of that week, it would be hard to say anything negative about him. He probably didn’t accomplish enough in his short time to be a great president, but I think he was important.