Profiles in Courage Short Essay - Answer Key

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1. How does the book reflect John Kennedy's admiration for certain former U.S. Senators?

He selects eight former Senators and recounts how they had the courage to vote their conscience rather than take the easy way of voting as their constituents want them to vote.

2. What advice was Kennedy given when he first went to Congress?

Someone told him in Congress that the way to get along was to go along, or, in other words, to compromise and avoid conflict.

3. What are the three pressures Kennedy identifies for any elected official?

The need to be liked; the need to be re-elected; and the need to go against the constituency when what they want is not what is good for them and the country.

4. What metaphor does Kennedy use illustrating the elected official and constituency relationship?

He says it is a bit like a father-child relationship where sometimes the elected official knows what is best for the constituency.

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