Bottom up and top down models are usually related to the flow of knowledge, from bottom to up or from top to bottom given a specific structure construed for the flow of any given information. It means more or less the same when it comes to political structural modelling. You have the bottom up model, which would suggest the flow of information from bottom to up. Bottom being the people in general within a society giving consent to form a government of their liking to the top, up, being the government duly formed with the application of such a consent. So all the rights, legislations and laws, all the conduct of government more or less, flows from bottom to up. Now it doesn’t necessarily mean that each person can make an amendment in the government’s workings, it means each person’s consent matters which the government needs to obtain; the majority will allow the government the right it needs to proceed. So in this way, the government always strives to maintain and protect the livelihood of its people and seek its approval. Now, top down as you would imagine would be the extreme opposite. But it’s very important to notice and observe at this juncture is that they are not opposites of each other as they are usually portrayed. Opposites would suggest that they were formulated by opposite minds, and in thinking so we would condemn all socialist to evil, if one seems good to us than the other has to be evil. Not necessarily. It is just different. The government decides what is good for the people and what is not. The government has absolute power and authority to maintain and protect a social order, and so that each is dealt with justly.
John F Kennedy, being a president of a diplomatic country was a bottom up modelled politician.
“The state of war is a state of enmity and destruction: and therefore declaring by word or action, not a passionate and hasty, but a sedate settled design upon another man’s life, puts him in a state of war with him against whom he has declared such an intention, and so has exposed his life to the other’s power to be taken away by him, or any one that joins with him in his defence, and espouses his quarrel.” – Locke, John, The Second Treatise of Civil Government, 1690.
Kennedy was not of the idea of a full-fledged war against anyone unless it became necessary but that doesn’t mean he had a weakness. In his speech he indicated that US will protect their friends and fight their enemies at no matter what cost, but no matter what cost not always necessarily means till death as most people think it to be. It means winning by defeat, to live another day, to fight another day. What happened with Cuban Missile Crisis was very evident of this, Kennedy did a closed door negotiations to withdraw the missiles from Turkey and to never invade Cuba in order to protect its own territory and the interests of the people. To some it would seem defeat but this is exactly what he was ready to do, at any cost. Going on a war with the Soviet Union at that time could have proved devastating to the US. Imagine what state the government and people of US would have been if that would have happened, a full victory would have been impossible at such a scale, it would have crippled all progress that US has made just by avoiding that confrontation, so that to me seems like the biggest American victory, by claiming defeat.
“The greatest enemies of freedom are the extremely rich and the extremely poor, because one is willing to buy it while the other is willing to sell it.” ― Jean Jacques Rousseau, Social Contract
Obviously Kennedy was not of the idea, he purported capitalism, buying and selling doesn’t inherently make you extremely rich or poor, buying and selling are intertwined with each other in the sense of one perpetrating the other to keep cycle going.
“As soon as any man says of the affairs of the State “What does it matter to me?” the State may be given up for lost.” ― Jean-Jacques Rousseau, The Social Contract
The reasons why Kennedy went on the offence with North Vietnam were to defend the reasons of the United States of America. When a person asks what does it matter to me the state is not given up for lost, the state is wide open for a full out criticism, constructive if we are lucky enough, and is widely open for a win or a loss. If you never ask what it matters to you, you will never be committed to what a government would or would not do. Each individual has a right to influence their government through collective or individual means, but by giving every right to the government you are forcing yourself to be herded as sheep; you have essentially accepted a new religion, where you can’t influence anything of value in the governance of this life or the life after.