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The Cuban Missile Crises, more than any other single factor, contributed to Kennedy's success as President and his charismatic leadership abilities. His decisive handling of the situation, which led to a back down of the Soviet Union, sent a strong message to the citizens of the United States and the world that he would stand firmly by his inaugural promise to not back down at any cost, which cemented his charismatic leadership (O'Brien, 2005). When Kennedy first learned that the Soviet Union was building missile silos in Cuba, he and his administration complained to the Soviet government about the development, and suggested that the arms race and such aggressive tactics did not serve the interest of either country or the rest of the world, for that mater (Spartacus). Eventually, this line of reasoning and the talks that ensued would lead to the test-ban treaty of 1963 between the United States and the Soviet Union (Parekh, 2005). In the meantime, however, Kennedy was firm in his assertion that attacks from Cuba would be considered Soviet in origin.
The crisis truly came to a head when Kennedy established a naval blockade, barring approaching Soviet shipped from harboring or delivering goodswhich were suspected to be missilesto Cuba (Spartacus). War between the two nuclear superpowers was very possible, and seemed inevitable to many of the anxious people around the world who were watching. The Soviets backed down, however, and Kennedy immediately began pursuing diplomatic tactics to maintain a safe balance n the world (O'Brien, 2005). In this way, he was able to avoid war and yet remain a very strong figure, which propelled his public image very high. It was his handling of this crisis that cemented his charismatic leadership in the eyes of the citizens of the United States.
These same citizens were the "people in distress" that social scientists have deemed it necessary for a charismatic leader to come to the aid of. Kennedy did this in part by assuaging some fears with the Cuban Missile Crisis (though the outcome could easily have been different), but there were other more direct ways…[continue]
"John F Kennedy As A Charismatic Leader" (2009, January 22) Retrieved March 8, 2014, from http://www.paperdue.com/essay/John-F-Kennedy-as-a-25345
"John F Kennedy As A Charismatic Leader" 22 January 2009. Web.8 March. 2014. <http://www.paperdue.com/essay/John-F-Kennedy-as-a-25345>
"John F Kennedy As A Charismatic Leader", 22 January 2009, Accessed.8 March. 2014, http://www.paperdue.com/essay/John-F-Kennedy-as-a-25345