The Cold War
Prior to attaining the Presidency, JFK proved himself as a bonafide “Cold Warrior” (Matthews, 2011). He formed an early relationship with another congressman by the name of Richard Nixon, from California, and a senator from Wisconsin, Joseph McCarthy. Kennedy and these men did not come from the same political party; they were Republicans and he a democrat. Unlike today, political allegiance didn’t begin and end with party alone. The Kennedy family was close friends of McCarthy’s. JFK had even secured $1,000 from his father to donate to Richard Nixon’s campaign for the U.S. Senate (Matthews, 2011). Men such as Kennedy, Nixon and McCarthy were cut from the same cloth. They were fighting The Cold War. Kennedy began the fight from day one in The House of Representatives. Under the direction of President Harry Truman, the country began a reversal of FDR’s pro-Russia policies. Kennedy lead the charge, in one memorable exchange with Russ Nixon, one of Kennedy’s former Harvard professors, Kennedy asked Nixon to defend the communists’ willingness to “resort to all sorts of artifices, evasions, subterfuges, only so as to get into the trade unions and remain in them and to carry on Communist work into the trade unions and remain in them and to carry on Communist work in them, at all costs.” Nixon replied, “I didn’t teach you that at Harvard did I?” To which Kennedy retorted, “No, you did not. I am reading from Lenin, in which is described the procedure which should be adapted to get into trade unions and how they conduct themselves once they are in.” (Matthews, 2011) Kennedy went on to win a perjury citation against a Communist labor leader. This was a time different from today, when calling someone a communist or claiming to be a communist was not taken lightly. The country was engaged in a battle between the freedom of capitalism and the tight restraints of communism.