He insisted that the American people should go beyond their differences and to think of “today not a victory of party but a celebration of freedom” (3). Kennedy urged the people to celebrate the history of their nation and embrace the future as a united people as he declared that “we are the heirs of that first revolution” (10). A nation and people that were “tempered by war” and “disciplined by a hard and bitter peace” both recognize the importance of American history and how it lays a foundation for the new generation to learn from the past and move forward.
Kennedy described the voice of the new generation as a group with extraordinary principles and character. The “torch has been passed to a new generation” is symbolic of not only the transfer of authority, but generational change as well (11). He portrayed this new generation of people as those who are “willing to sacrifice for an ideal,” an ideal of a unified nation and the protection of liberties around the world. Kennedy persuaded his audience effectively by painting an idealized portrait of the American people, motivating them to embrace common values and ambitions that he expresses through his inaugural address.
He explicitly accepted the limitations of his power as the head of the executive branch by acknowledging that he attributes his power to the people when he reminds them that he swore the “same solemn oath our forebears prescribed nearly a century and three-quarters ago.” By doing so, he sugg...
... middle of paper ...
...nited States and “common enemies” of mankind such as disease, poverty, tyranny and war.
As he spoke of abstract ideals such as liberty, the enemies that he had in mind were clearly the tyrannies of communism. He warned us that “nations who would make themselves our adversary” were obviously the Soviet Union and proponents of communism. Because they opposed the idealistic view of liberty in the United States, he suggested that those that oppose our sanctioned view of freedoms to be untrustworthy. To further his visions of defending the freedoms of the United States, he pledged to bear any burden and provide sufficient arms beyond doubt to promote liberty around the world.
Towards the end of Kennedy’s inaugural address, he appeared to be more conciliatory as he encouraged both sides to “begin anew” in hopes for peace, and that “civility is not a sign of weakness.”
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