John Fitzgerald Kennedy and Richard Nixon represent two very different faces in America's postwar history. JFK was glamorous and beloved, with his beautiful wife, appealing family man image, and aristocratic clan. He was optimistic, speaking in uplifting terms of an America that would conquer the stars and spread American values like freedom, truth, justice, and democracy across the globe. He and his brother Robert used the justice department to begin exposing and dismantling organized crime. He put Civil Rights legislation on the table that set a path for his successor Lyndon B. Johnson to have the necessary political capital to sign major Civil Rights victories into law. Nixon, meanwhile, was not such an adored president. He was grumpy and corrupt and became the first president to resign.
However, it's not quite that simple. Under all the gloss, JFK was a serial cheater, and of course, he took America into Vietnam, probably its greatest postwar mistake. Meanwhile Nixon corrected the error of Vietnam by getting America out, and more importantly, he opened up trade with China, which paved the way for an explosion of prosperity that lifted billions from poverty in the subsequent generations. Neither man as all devil or all angel, and each, in his way, was arguably a patriot. Which of them are you more like? The wily one who never gets credit for the good due to being so tarred by the bad, or the shining one who gets away with everything? Let's find out!
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