Kennedy Inaugural Address Analysis

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Change, freedom, duty, god, government and hope, these are the common threads that tie former Presidents Kennedy, Reagan and current President Barack Obama together in their first inaugural addresses. This common tradition of the presidential inaugural address in the United States is very well established. Inaugural addresses usually aim to unite our nation and provide a vision for the future. They are supposed to be eloquent and pleasing to the ear. Each speaks of starting anew, hope over fear and renewed determination. Each presidential term faced it’s own challenges. In the sixties President Kennedy faced the backdrop of the Cold War, the space race, and the nations volatile civil rights scene. When Ronald Reagan became president, his speech…show more content…
Many presidents who follow have tried to mirror his style. President Reagan is no exception. Being an actor and politician Reagan brought to his game, style and charisma. Often referred to as the “Great Communicator” he would use television as a tool to pass legislation. In President Reagan’s 1981 inaugural speech he too speaks of renewed determination, renewed faith and hope. He however draws a line between parties noting the weaknesses of the previous party. He speaks of an afflicted economy, a struggling tax system, a growing deficit and our national security. Reagan is more factual than eloquent in his speeches compared to Kennedy. Like Kennedy, Reagan displays a confidence in the people to exercise their freedom to revive America. In contrast to Kennedy and Obama, he asserted his familiar campaign phrase: "Government is not the solution to our problem, government is the problem", embedding a thought of a smaller government. A conservative Reagan advanced domestic policies that featured a lessening of federal government responsibility in solving social problems, reducing restrictions on business, and implementing tax…show more content…
President Barack Obama, our nations first African American president was sworn in to office. Obama’s speech was well written and well read something that critics say can’t be said of inaugural addresses since 1996, the days of Bill Clinton. President Obama spoke clearly and well paced, pausing when necessary with expression and emotion. Some criticized his use of the teleprompter others applauded him. President Obama’s twenty-one minute inaugural speech conveyed confidence, authority and command. Obama’s speech like the others’ ushered in a new era of leadership and communication. He too spoke of change and hope. Like Reagan, he speaks of “petty grievances, false promises, and the recriminations and worn out dogmas that for far too long have strangled our politics”, once again using the previous parties as scapegoats. Like Kennedy, President Obama laid out the case that the world was in extreme crisis and that tough choices plus sacrifice would need to be made by all but not without optimism that these problems could be solved. Like Reagan, he criticized old ideologies’ and expressed his core beliefs. Obama is not afraid to suggest that these radical times will require radical solutions, and on the other hand, he is as mainstream, moderate, and reassuring as they come. However when it comes to the governments role, Obama says “The question we ask today is not

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