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The United States of America and Why It is not on The Tiger's Back

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Are the United States of America officially getting on the back of the tiger? In JFK’s inaugural speech found in Norton Reader, he famously said, “those who foolishly sought power by riding the back of the tiger ended up inside” . The tiger represents power, it should be fearfully respected, don’t get to close and don’t ignore it otherwise you will end up inside of the tiger. He is saying in the past and present that everyone who has turned corrupt and wanted power, always failed and have fallen to justice and liberty. It is now 2018, and America may be headed to the Tigers back. Comparing the times from 1961 to 2018 will give the evidence needed to prove our fall from grace.

JFK’s purpose for writing this essay was to unite the country and deliver his first big impression onto the people as the new president of the United States. He also wrote his speech to provide his stance on certain critical topics/ problems that face the country and to send this message to the rest of the world have it be enemies, allies or neutral. This was a very good and powerful essay because it’s an essay that had a big impact in the United States and across the world which was needed due to the world events at the time of the essay. According to the, 1961 the world was transitioning from WW2, into the cold war and space race, Soviets put the first man into space (Yuri Gagarin), East Germany began construction of the Berlin wall, Freedom Riders fighting for civil rights, JFK okays’ the Bay of Pigs Invasion in Cuba and the United States of America committed to getting a man on the moon ( Taylor).

In 1961 after the world war was over, the United States of America began transitioning into the cold war with the Soviet Union. JFK seemed to foreshadow that the United States will not back down to any foe. As JFK says in the Norton Reader,” Let every nation know, whether it wishes us well or ill, that we shall pay any price, bear any burden, meet any hardship, support any friend, oppose any foe to assure the survival and success of liberty” (804). Shortly after JFK says,” To that world assembly of sovereign states, the United Nations, our last best hope in an age where the instruments of war have far outpaced the instruments of peace, we renew our pledge of support—to prevent it from becoming merely a forum for invective—to strengthen its shield of the new and the weak— and to enlarge the area in which its writ may run. Finally, to those nations who would make themselves our adversary, we offer not a pledge but a request: that both sides begin anew the quest for peace, before the dark powers of destruction unleashed by science engulf all humanity in planned or accidental self-destruction” (804). This was said in 1961 and our president was trying to get both sides of the war to come together and settle our differences before we let our differences destroy our very existence. He said this to reason for peace amid tense times, and the world at a “one up you” mentality. This was an essential tone setter by the president of the United States, that regardless of how we feel about each other, we must come together before we destroy each other. This is a vastly different view from the world now. The president of the United States currently, doesn’t share the same views as the former presidents. CNN Reported that Trump said,” A perfectly executed strike last night. Thank you to France and the United Kingdom for their wisdom and the power of their fine Military. Could not have had a better result. Mission Accomplished!” (Stracqualursi). The difference between the two presidents is that one advocated for peace with open arms while the other one acts on violence and with an iron fist. JFK is basically saying let’s stop the cold war, the hate, the fighting and just work together to save lives while securing our future on this planet. No problem is worth the extinction of both groups. Meanwhile, CNN reported that just about a week ago on April 14th, 2018, The United States launched 105 missiles according to the Pentagon, the initial report was successful hits on the targets, but it later surfaced that 3 civilians were injured in the attacks (Stracqualursi). These are the actions of someone who wants to be respected regardless if its respected love or respected fear. Respect should be earned through love not taken from hate and fear.

Then it comes to civil rights, and JFK had a big part of civil rights. According to AMERICAN, JFK had sent armed federal marshals to Washington D.C. to Birmingham, Alabama to help protect “Freedom Riders” from racist groups when they are peacefully protesting (JFK and Civil Rights). This was JFK’s decision to protect the people while they exercise their rights legally and safely. The leader of the free world now is very different from the past great presidents. Reported by The, at an Alabama public address, president Donald Trump said “Wouldn’t you love to see one of these NFL owners, when somebody disrespects our flag, to say, ‘Get that son of a b**** off the field right now. Out! He’s fired. He’s fired!’” (Graham). This is the exact opposite of what JFK did as the president, JFK protected people that wanted to peacefully protest, which is their right to do so. Meanwhile, President Donald Trump is calling for the NFL players to be fired for peacefully protesting against racial discrimination and police brutality. Not only is Donald Trump calling for the jobs of citizens of the United States, but he is berating them with hateful names and slandering their names with the entire nation listening to his comments. This outraged the NFL players, trainers, coaches, general managers, owners and fans. Before Donald Trump’s comments, there were only a few players around the league that took a knee during the national anthem. Following the president’s comments, all 32 NFL teams from the top of the organization to bottom, stood together arms locked together on the field or in the locker room during the playing of the national anthem. Far more players kneeled now than before his comments but everyone on both teams stayed together with arms locked together in protest against the president comments. This sparked national discussion across the country and possibly all over the world.

These are just a few examples showing how the times have changed and how the United States of America isn’t “on the Tigers back” but certainly are inching toward it. The citizens of the United States should care tremendously about what is going on in the world around them because if things don’t change and we keep taking baby steps the wrong way, we will become the very thing we swore to destroy. The land of the free and the home of the brave may not be what it once was.

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The United States of America and Why It is Not on the Tiger’s Back. (2018, October 22). GradesFixer. Retrieved April 1, 2023, from
“The United States of America and Why It is Not on the Tiger’s Back.” GradesFixer, 22 Oct. 2018,
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