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One romantic view of the 60s is that is represented an idealistic picture of a Camelot that was succeeded by the tragedy of a paradise lost through lies conspiracy and assassination To what extent is that view justified by simple facts as we know them and to what extent is it simply a product of imagination It is impossible to generalise a whole decade in the way that the above statement does Although during the early sixties public opinion was high Kennedy was a failure in American domestic policy and the threat of the USSR culminating in the Cuban Missile Crisis undermines the view of America as a Camelot In the latter years of the sixties despite the assassinations and disastrous Vietnam War campaign Johnson was able to effect significant changes with landmark civil rights legislation and a legislative record which has not been matched since The ethos that emerged at the turn of the decade of conflict protest and idealism the latter was personified by the newly elected president John Fitzgerald Kennedy For the bulk of middle class Americans the fifties had been a very prosperous decade although relatively quiet and conservative and in entering the sixties the civil rights movement was in full swing and many African Americans felt equality was a realistic goal The new president embodied the emotions and sentiments of many Americans and with polished rhetoric he spoke of a New Frontier In one of his most memorable speeches he said Ask not what your country can do for you ask what you can do for your country If as the question suggests that America in the sixties was comparable to a Camelot then John F Kennedy would have to have been its King Arthur On November 22nd 1963 this Camelot was destroyed when its King Arthur was assassinated in Dallas Texas Kennedy was elected on a platform of liberal interventionism following on the democratic trend
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