Ask Not What Your Country Can Do For You Poem
By Curtis Johnson
When I was born in 1949, Harry Truman was the President of The United States. Of course I do not personally remember him. Mr. Truman was followed by Mr. Dwight Eisenhower, but I don’t remember him either. However, the first President that I recall was Mr. John Kennedy who was elected in 1960. Therefore, in my lifetime I have experienced 12 U. S. Presidents, 10 of which I remember from my childhood of about 10 years of age until the present. I am now 65 years of age.
I am by no means a historian, but I have been consciously engaged as an American for more that 50 years. If I were asked to summarize America in relation to the life, times, and events of the last 10 Presidents, I would entitle my summary America 101. This narrative would cover the period from 1960 to the present 2015.
If I were an artist, the portrait would be filled with blood, weapons of war, some symbol of measured peace, government spent dollar bills, aborted babies, new cars, fine homes, and other symbols of prosperity, the homeless and unemployed people, stock markets of bulls and bears, airplanes flying into twin towers. The list could be endless. But I am neither historian nor artist, but please allow me to demonstrate in ‘a first person format’ as best I can. The portrait in words would be as follows:
My name is John F. Kennedy, and as president of the United States, I challenged my fellow Americans with just a few and simple words. I said, “Ask not what your country can do for you, but what you can do for your country”. I faced a huge crises with the Soviet Union over missiles being shipped and set up in Cuba. I stood up to the threat and potential war was averted.
As President, I was commander-in-chief and fought two wars. I fought the war in Vietnam and the war on poverty. I’m sorry to say that I lost them both. I pushed for and signed into law civil rights bills, and I implemented several antipoverty programs. I declined to run a second term. My name is Lyndon B. Johnson
As President I took foreign policy seriously and opened up China. On the home front I sought to establish law and order. I know that I caused a lot of problems, but I told the American people, “I’m no crook”. I was elected two terms, but I resigned midway through my second term. My name is Richard Nixon.
I became your President, but I was never elected by you. I served for a short period, and I did my best by seeking to united the American people. I pardoned President Nixon to bring stability to my country.
For many years I served as Senator from the State of Michigan. My name is Gerald Ford.
I was born again, and I promised America that I would not lie. I worked hard for peace in the Middle East. However, I failed in my attempt to free the hostages in Iran. I was also a peanut farmer and a Governor of the State of Georgia. My name is Jimmy Carter.
By the time I became your president I was close to 70 years of age, but I did free the hostages. I taught that in foreign policy, we needed to ‘trust but verify’. I said to the President of Russia, “Tear down these walls”.
By the time I left office, those walls came tumbling down. My name is Ronald Reagan.
When Iraq attacked Kuwait, I united a lot of countries to stop his advance. I insisted on establishing world order and forced Sadam Housan to leave Kuwait. The American people loved me for that. Nevertheless, when the American economy started to deteriorate, my popularity began to unravel. I said for the people to “read my lips”. They read my lips and denied me a second term as President. My name is George Bush.
In my administration, the U.S. economic was turned around. I did not tell the whole truth and nothing but the truth so help me God, but I was right about “The Economy Stupid”. My name is Bill Clinton.
When asked what I wanted to do in Iraq, I repeatedly said time and time again, “Regime change”. I finally went to war against Iraq and Saddam Hussein. I drove him out of office and forced him to be brought to justice. On the home front the American economy grew sour. The war was frustrating and longer that I had hoped, but I held to my convictions and was elected to a second term. My name is George W. Bush.
By the time I was elected to office, the American economy was in shambles, and it would get far worse before it got better. I came to the oval office with the idea of bringing hope to the American people. We found and killed Osama Bin laden and brought most of our soldiers home from Iraq. I have been spending more money that anyone in the history of the world. We did bail outs, loans, takeovers, grants, and we even helped to stabilize the stock market. My administration brought healthcare to the forefront, and a national program is underway. It is very costly, and there is much controversy over my healthcare program.
My administration is still in progress, and I guess only history will reveal the success or failure of all we are doing. We are still hoping. My name is Barack Obama. cj06152015
Copyright © curtis johnson | Year Posted 2015