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American Presidents Should Always Empathize With Their People

1162 words - 5 pages

American culture is an important element in the decision-making process of any United States President. They know that their decisions will never be fully supported, as there will always be those that oppose them, so Presidents should think from the perspective of the American people to secure the most support possible. This strategy was especially evident during the Cold War, when presidents were dealing with many issues like the Vietnam War to how to handle inner communist threats. These decisions would have been more popular if the President had thought about what the American people really wanted, and how they would react to his choices.When making decisions, especially those which seem controversial, the President should take American culture into consideration in order to ensure the support of the American people.

Joseph McCarthy’s creation of the second Red Scare was an example of when someone in the Government thought about the culture and tone of the Unites States when making a decision. Although his decision was not used for good, McCarthy thought carefully about what would capture America’s attention in order to increase his political status. In 1950, during a speech, McCarthy presented a list of what presumably contained 205 names of U.S. State Department employees who were known “card-carrying communists”. He “managed to stay ahead of his critics by making new charges instead of admitting that he had fabricated old ones” ( McCarthy). McCarthy was smart with his timing; he knew that announcing his list in the midst of a nation-wide anti-communism hysteria would be beneficial in that it would make more Americans believe he was telling the truth. Americans were all in favor of eradicating communist threats; especially if they were in their own country. Joseph McCarthy was so efficient in gaining the trust of Americans because he knew what Americans wanted and what they feared and used it to his advantage. His accusations, although completely false, captured the attention of Americans and instigated an era of nation wide distrust.

President Johnson’s years in office are strong examples of how a leader did not think about the desires and culture of his people when making decisions for his country. During the controversial Vietnam War, Johnson increased United States participation more and more despite numerous protests and opposition on the home front. The 60s was a time when a new generation of young people seen as passionate idealists seeking to establish a more peaceful and loving world were flourishing (“Hippies and the Counterculture”). Music promoting world peace and unity were immensely popular, with bands like the Beatles and the Rolling Stones taking center stage in the music world. The people, often referred to as Hippies, dreamt of a better, war-free world. Many were strongly political, focusing on then current events like the Vietnam War. At the time, Johnson had to be either completely unaware of his nation’s...

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