Question 25 - Social Studies Practice Test for the HiSET Test

Does the attached passage suggest that we need a continuation of the presidential style of the 1950s or a significant change?

This is an excerpt from a speech made by John F. Kennedy to the National Press Club in January 1960 about the role of the presidency in modern times.

During the past eight years, we have seen one concept of the Presidency at work. Our needs and hopes have been eloquently stated – but the initiative and follow-through have too often been left to others. And too often his own objectives have been lost by the President’s failure to override objections from within his own party, in the Congress or even in his Cabinet.

The American people in 1952 and 1956 may well have preferred this detached, limited concept of the Presidency after twenty years of fast-moving, creative Presidential rule. Perhaps historians will regard this as necessarily one of these frequent periods of consolidation, a time to draw breath, to recoup our national energy. …

But the question is what do the times – and the people – demand for the next four years in the White House? They demand a vigorous proponent of the national interest—not a passive broker for conflicting private interests. They demand a man capable of acting as the Commander-in-Chief of the Grand Alliance, not merely a bookkeeper who feels that his work is done when the numbers on the balance sheet come out even. They demand that he be the head of a responsible party, not rise so far above politics as to be invisible – a man who will formulate and fight for legislative policies, not be a casual bystander to the legislative process.

Retrieved from: Bailey, Jeremy. The American Presidency: Core Documents (p. 209). Ashbrook. Kindle Edition.

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