Image And Reality Valery Potakh Mr. Anderson US History 1A, P.7 24 November 1998 Image and Reality In the years since the thousand days many questions have been raised and are still being studied about John F. Kennedy. A Life of John F. Kennedy: A Question of Character is a book written by Thomas C. Reeves, in which Reeves discusses these issues.
JFK was a great man, and yet there are still some things that one must take into consideration. His morality was always somewhat of an uncertainty; be that as it may, these questions are still not openly discussed. People were always taken aback by his personality, good looks, and youth. After his death, it was quite difficult for most people to accept some of the newly discovered negative information about him. The man meant so much to some people that it was impossible to say something less than perfect.
But all the same, facts can not be denied. While one may think that each is responsible for his or her actions, that is not always the case. Much of Jacks character develops and originates from his family. He applied these beliefs to his life as well as his presidency. His great grandfather Joseph Kennedys indifference toward people, and the will to do anything to get what he wants, helped to shape much of the character in the entire Kennedy line. Inferior treatment of women also originated from this source.
The lacking of a sufficient background as well as a good role model helped shape much of Kennedys negative characteristics. This was reflected in most of his decisions, as a result. So therefore, diversity between Kennedys presidential appearance, and his private life of scandals, was unmistakable. His indifference to the values of proper judgement, unselfishness, and sincerity to his wife and work was also reflected in his ability to make thought out decisions. Though interesting enough, his greatest talent was the ability to manipulate himself well enough that it appeared as though he contained the qualities of an effective leader. In spite of some obvious differences between his acting and the reality, John F. Kennedy was probably one of the most liked presidents.
During and after his era people felt inspired to go out and make a difference. JFK had a look to him that made him likable to others. One may even say he was a people person. He had the ability to enrapture people with his capriciousness and elegant personality. Therefore much of the books written about Kennedy felt that his unblemished reputation was important to keep. Maybe this is because the authors were often close friends of Kennedy.
As a result not all of the books told the complete truth about some of the fundamentals before and during JFKs presidency. While on the other hand, other authors, who were close to JFK, did disclose a lot of information, which is how most of the crimination today, is known. The congressional investigation in 1975, generated some alarming questions concerning Jacks character (Reeves xii). Consequently, a greater gap could be seen between the image presented to the public and that of the factual. Despite his superlative leadership and his portrayal as a great and morally sound-man, John F. Kennedy was really a man with lack of ethical values and integrity.
A lot can be said about a mans character from the way he runs his household. If one takes this stand, than not much can be said about John F. Kennedy. Jacks marriage was his father Joes idea originally. The elder Kennedy believed that it would be undoubtedly good for JFKs career.
At one point the Ambassador says, a wife and a family [are] political necessities (111). Jacks consistent unfaithfulness to his wife was completely immoral. The night before his senatorial election, Jack and his inner circle of friends were out watching a pornographic movie (166). During Jacks presidential campaigns he continued his infidelity. Just before a debate with Nixon, jack inquired if there were any girls waiting for him.
Ninety minutes before airtime, Kennedy was in a hotel room with a call girl (202). JFK was also involved with a woman named Inga Arvad. She was suspected of being a German spy at the time, and was being watched by the FBI (56). J. Edgar Hoover was director of the FBI and friends discouraged Kennedy from his reappointment.
But what they did not know was that he had tapes of Jacks wartime escapade with Inga Arvad (217). Jacks first day in office was somewhat of an event. He and Jackie attended many inaugural balls. At the time he was involved with an actress named Angie Dickinson. So as not to arouse suspicion she was escorted by one of Jacks friends, Red Fay, to the inaugural festivities.
At the second ball, Jack left the presidential box and went to a private party hosted by Frank Sinatra, where Angie was in attendance, along with Kim Novak. Jack slept with some woman at the last party he attended, hosted by columnist Joe Alsop (235-36). Two of the most frequent visitors to the White House included Judith Campbell and Mary Pinchot Meyer. Judith Campbell went to many places with Jack. She saw him during the summer of 1961, and she made at least 20 or more visits to the White House.
Many times she was asked to join the president on Air Force One, but declined (240). Judith was also the link between Jack and mobster Sam Giancana (214). Mary Pinchot Meyer made about 30 visits to the White House between the months of January 1962 and November 1963 (240). In essence there was always a swarm of girls being secretly admitted into the White House. Jack would even have employees search family quarters for accusatory evidence after the visiting lady orladiesleft (241). Last of his more important affairs was with Marilyn Monroe.
The affair with her started sometime in the 1950s. It was so obvious then what was going on that they were warned to keep things quiet, but they refused to listen to the advice they were given. (319). There was one time where Jack, his brother Bobby, and a couple of other male friends showed up at her door (320) undoubtedly for some kind of sexual favors. Jacks adultery made him appear as some sort of playboy and pimp rather than a man of honest dignity and credibility, which was supposed to be the president. Jacks objectionable behavior did not end there.
Jack took numerous drugs while in office. One of them was a sex drug brought to the White House by one of Jacks friends. Jack was afraid of one of its side effects so he gave it to Fiddle and Faddle to see what would happen. Fiddle and Faddle were the nicknames of two of the women that worked at the White House (242). JFK hired a doctor who was known for lacing injections with drugs such as speed.
Soon Jack and Jackie were using this doctors services regularly (295). The doctors name was Dr. Jacobson. When Jack was warned about these drugs they were given to the Food and Drug Association (FDA) for examination. It was found that they contained amphetamines and steroids, and were very dangerous. Yet Jack would not quite taking them because he said they worked to relieve his pain, and gave him instant euphoria (296).
During every major crisis he faced, including the Soviet missiles in Cuba, Jack summoned Dr. Jacobson to administer shots (296). The virtue and moral rectitude of a man must be questioned if he is willing to risk his life and the reputation of an entire country for a cheap thrill, resulting from his selfishness. John F. Kennedys whole political career appears to be a big hoax. During his campaign he made promises to everyone, to win votes, but once elected to the White House, he did not do a thing (225). He was moving against communism in part because he was afraid of looking bad in front of voters (289).
He did a lot of things because it was the politically proper tings to do. There was some fraud also taking place in the election. It took place in Illinois. Nixon had 93 counties of 102, but lost by 8,858 votes. Yet a recount was prohibited (114), which makes the whole affair suspicious. Also a former fiance was given money to put down a possible unfaithfulness suite, in the future, because Jack had made the woman pregnant (218). Kennedys would lay it on thick to the press in order to keep a good public image (250).
JFK gave his friend Bradlee FBI information in exchange for good coverage in Look Magazine (251). In addition Jack tried to conceal his Addisons disease (92). However if he did not have the disease, how can his regular cortisone doses be explained (93). Telling the media that he sometimes walks with a cane at the White House because it is fashionable helps to conceal his back pain (294). Lastly Jack regarded civil rights as a moral issue. Democrats wanted to be part of the …