Lyndon Baines Johnson Architect of the 'Great Society'
"Nothing..is unchangeable but the inherent and inalienable rights of man." Thomas Jefferson "We know what happens to people who stay in the middle of the road. They get run down." Aneurin Bevan "Where ever public spirit prevails, liberty is secure." Noah Webster
Lyndon B. Johnson's Administration Accomplishments Johnson took office determined to secure the measures that Kennedy had sought. Immediate priorities were bills to reduce taxes and guarantee civil rights. Using his skills of persuasion and calling on the legislators' respect for the slain president, in 1964 Johnson succeeded in gaining passage of the Civil Rights Bill. Introduced by Kennedy, it was the most far-reaching piece of civil rights legislation enacted since Reconstruction. Soon Johnson addressed other issues as well. By the spring of 1964, he had begun to use the name "Great Society" to describe his reform program, and that term received even more play after his landslide victory over conservative Republican Barry Goldwater in the presidential election of that year. On the economic front, Johnson pushed successfully for a tax cut, then pressed for a poverty program Kennedy had initiated. "This administration today, here and now, declares unconditional war on poverty in America," he announced. The Office of Economic Opportunity provided training for the poor and established various community-action programs to give the poor themselves a voice in housing, health and education programs. Medical care came next. Truman had proposed a centralized scheme more than 20 years earlier, but had failed to gain congressional passage. Under Johnson's leadership, Congress enacted Medicare, a health insurance program for the elderly, and Medicaid, a program providing health-care assistance for the poor. Similarly, Johnson succeeded in the effort to provide aid for elementary and secondary schooling where Kennedy had failed. The measure that was enacted gave money to the states based on the number of their children from low-income families. Funds could be used to assist public- and private-school children alike. The Great Society reached even further. A new housing act provided rent supplements for the poor and established a Department of Housing and Urban Development. An immigration measure finally replaced the discriminatory quotas set in 1924. Federal assistance went to artists and scholars to encourage their work. The Johnson administration also addressed transportation safety issues, in part because of the efforts of a young lawyer, lobbyist and consultant named Ralph Nader. In his 1965 book, Unsafe at Any Speed: The Designed-In Dangers of the American Automobile, Nader argued that many cars could cause death or damage in even low-speed accidents. Nader said that automobile manufacturers were sacrificing safety features for style, and he named specific models in which faulty engineering contributed to highway fatalities. In September 1966, Johnson signed into law two transportation bills. The first provided funds to state and local governments for developing safety programs, while the other set up federal safety standards for cars and tires. In all, the Great Society was the greatest burst of legislative activity since the New Deal. Johnson Quotes American Covenant And here at home one of our greatest responsibilities is to assure fair play for all of our people. Every American has the right to be treated as a person. He should be able to find a job. He should be able to educate his children, he should be able to vote in elections and he should be judged on his merits as a person. They came here--the exile and the stranger, brave but frightened--to find a place where a man could be his own man. They made a covenant with this land. Conceived in justice, written in liberty, bound in union, it was meant one day to inspire the hopes of all mankind; and it binds us still. If we keep its terms, we shall flourish." The American city should be a collection of communities where every member has a right to belong. It should be a place where every man feels safe on his streets and in the house of his friends. It should be a place where each individual's dignity and self-respect is strenghtened by the respect and affection of his neighbors. It should be a place where each of us can find the satisfaction and warmth which comes from being a member of the community of man. This is what man sought at the dawn of civilization. It is what we seek today. Lyndon B. Johnson, 1965 Barry Goldwater He wants to repeal the present and veto the future. Lyndon Baines Johnson Source:The Johnson Humor, Bill Adler Bath Every man has a right to a Saturday night bath. Lyndon Baines Johnson Source:http://www.quotegarden.com/ Comments on signing the Medicare Bill
No longer will older Americans be denied the healing miracle of modern medicine. No longer will illness crush and destroy the savings that they have so carefully put away over a lifetime so that they might enjoy dignity in their later years. No longer will young families see their own incomes, and their own hopes, eaten away simply because they are carrying out their deep moral obligations to their parents, and to their uncles, and their aunts. And this is not just our tradition--or the tradition of the Democratic Party--or even the tradition of the Nation. It is as old as the day it was first commanded: "Thou shalt open thine hand wide unto thy brother, to thy poor, to thy needy, in thy land." Compromiser I'm a compromiser and a maneuverer. I try to get something. That's the way our system works. Lyndon Baines Johnson Source:NY Times, Dec 8, 1963 Democratic Party The Democrats of this day and age are providing this Nation with the kind of leadership that the world requires. Ours is a party that is responsible and is responsive, this is progressive and prudent. It is a party of vision and a party of common sense. It is a party where all expect full hearing and receive fair play. Lyndon B. Johnson, Democratic Convention 8-28-64 Deal With It I am the only President you've got. Lyndon Baines Johnson Source: Reminder to US Senators, Apr 27, 1964 Destiny "For every generation, there is a destiny. For some, history decides. For this generation, the choice must be our own." President Lyndon Johnson in his inaugural address Differences We all have differences. Men of different ancestries, men of different tongues, men of different colors, men of different environments, men of different geographies, do not see everything a like. If we did, we would all want the same wife--and that would be a problem, wouldn't it? Lyndon Johnson Source:Speech Feb 11, 1964 Disagree If we must disagree, let's disagree without being disagreeable. Lyndon Baines Johnson Source:Remarks to US Senators, 1965 Education Education is not a problem, Education is an opportunity. Lyndon B. Johnson Environment "No one has the right to use America's rivers and America's Waterways, that belong to all the people as a sewer. The banks of a river may belong to one man or one industry or one State, but the waters which flow between the banks should belong to all the people." Lyndon B. Johnson, signing the Clean Water Act of 1965 Source:http://www.epa.gov/Region2/library/quotes.ht Equality It is not enough just to open the gates of opportunity. All our citizens must have the ability to walk through those gates. This is the next, and the most profound stage of the battle for civil rights. Lyndon B. Johnson While the races may stand side by side, whites stand on history's mountain and blacks stand in history's hollow. Until we overcome unequal history, we cannot overcome unequal opportunity....It's time we get down to the business of trying to stand black and white on level ground. Lyndon B. Johnson Farmer "Whenever I see so many country people in a big city like this, I think of that old definition of a farmer: 'A person who occasionally visits the city to see where his sons and his profits went.' " Lyndon B. Johnson Ford Jerry Ford is so stupid he couldn't chew gum and crap at the same time. Johnson reportedly would tap his head in mock sorrow when asked about Ford, saying, "Too bad, too bad — that's what happens when you play football too long without a helmet." Lyndon B. Johnson Source:By ANN SANNER, Associated Press Writer Fri Dec 29, 2006 Freedom "Freedom is not enough. You do not wipe away the scars of centuries. You do not take a man who for years has been hobbled by chains, liberate him, bring him to the starting line of a race saying, 'You are free to compete with all the others', and still justly believe you have been completely fair. Thus it is not enough to open the gates of opportunity." Harry S Truman The people of the United States love and voted for Harry Truman, not because he gave them hell--but because he gave them hope. Headline "If one morning I walked on top of the water across the Potomac River, the headline that afternoon would read PRESIDENT CAN'T SWIM." Hoover Better to have him inside the tent pissing out, than outside pissing in. (on Edgar Hoover Head of the FBI) Law Law is the great civilizing machinery. It liberates the desire to build and subdues the desire to destroy. And if war can tear us apart, law can unite us--out of fear, or love, or reason, or all three. Law is the greatest human invention. All the rest give man mastery over his world. Law gives him mastery over himself. Lyndon B. Johnson You do not examine legislation in the light of the benefits it will convey if properly administered, but in the light of the wrongs it would do and the harms it would cause if improperly administered. Lyndon Johnson, [This quote appears on page 130 of "Gun Control" by Robert J. Kukla, (edited by Harlon Carter), 1973, Stackpole Books, ISBN 0-8117-1190-0. Macy's Window I want real loyalty. I want someone who will kiss my ass in Macy's window, and say it smells like roses. Nixon When I was President I had 5 phones on the Oval office desk with 6 buttons each, if I wanted to know something I'd be on the phone to a clerk at some agency if needs be to get the info. Nixon has one phone with 2 buttons! Lyndon B. Johnson Noble The noblest search is the search for excellence. On Reading a Complimentary Article about Himself I wish my mother and father could read this. My father would enjoy it and my mother would believe it. Lyndon Baines Johnson Source:The Johnson Humor, Bill Adler Politics I never think of politics more than eighteen hours a day. Lyndon Baines Johnson Source:The Johnson Humor, Bill Adler Power [Asked why he would accept second place on the 1960 ticket with John F. Kennedy, with less power than the Senate majority leader:] Power is where power goes. Lyndon Baines Johnson Source:Remarks, 1960 Poverty ... I have called for a national war on poverty. Our objective: total victory. ... Our fight against poverty will be an investment in the most valuable of our resources--the skills and strength of our people. And in the future, as in the past, this investment will return its cost many fold to our entire economy. ... ... I do not intend that the war against poverty become a series of uncoordinated and unrelated efforts--that it perish for lack of leadership and direction. ... Today, for the first time in our history, we have the power to strike away the barriers to full participation in our society. Having the power, we have the duty. ... The new program I propose is within our means. Its cost of 970 million dollars is 1 percent of our national budget--and every dollar I am requesting for this program is already included in the budget I sent to Congress in January. ... And this program is much more than a beginning. Rather it is a commitment. It is a total commitment by this President, and this Congress, and this nation, to pursue victory over the most ancient of mankind's enemies. Let us, above all, open wide the exits from proverty to the children of the poor. Lyndon B. Johnson, Economic Report, 1964 Poverty has many roots, but the taproot is ignorance. Lyndon B. Johnson, 1-12-2965 Presidency The presidency is not just a place to protect the present. It is a focus for the posibilities of the future. Lyndon B. Johnson Prospective Assistant I want his pecker in my pocket. Question You're asking the leader of the Western world a chickenshit question like that? Radical Ideas "Free speech, free press, free religion, the right of free assembly, yes, the right of petition... well, they are still radical ideas." President Lyndon B. Johnson Source: Speech, 3 August 1865 Republicans Lincoln was right about not fooling all the people all the time. But Republicans haven't given up trying. Lyndon B. Johnson 1964 Society As man increases his knowledge of the heavens, why should he fear the unknown on earth? As man draws nearer to the stars, why should he not also draw nearer to his neighbor? Lyndon B. Johnson 8-29-1965 The Great Society is not a safe harbor. The Great Society is a place where men are more concerned with the quality of their goals than the quantity of their goods. Lyndon B. Johnson 5-22-1964 Steer You fellows know what a steer is. That's a bull who's lost his social standing. Lyndon Baines Johnson Source:The Johnson Humor, Bill Adler Succeeding and Failing If we fail now, we shall have forgotten in abundance what we learned in hardship: that democracy rests on faith, that freedom asks more than it gives, and that the judgment of God is harshest on those who are most favored. If we succeed, it will not be because of what we have, but it will be because of what we are; not because of what we own, but, rather because of what we believe. Two Types Of Speeches The Mother Hubbard speech which, like the garment, covers everything but touches nothing; and the French bathing suit speech which covers only the essential points. Lyndon Baines Johnson Source:The Johnson Humor, Bill Adler Unity There are not problems we cannot solve together, and very few we can solve by ourselves. Lyndon B. Johnson, 1964 to the NATO alliance We come to reason, not to dominate. We do not seek to have our way, but to find a common way. Lyndon B. Johnson, Georgetown University, 1964 Upon President Kennedy's Death I will do my best. That is all I can do. I ask for your help, and God's." Waste Controlling waste is like bailing a boat--you have to keep at it. Lyndon Baines Johnson Source:Speech Dec 4, 1964 Words Words wound. But as a veteran of twelve years in the United States Senate, I happily attest that they do not kill. Lyndon Johnson Source:Speech, Denver, Aug 26, 1966 - News of death of Lyndon B. Johnson Cabinet: Secretary of State Dean Rusk (1963-69) Secretary of the Treasury C. Douglas Dillon (1963-65) Henry H. Fowler (1965-68) Joseph W. Barr (1968-69) Secretary of Defense Robert S. McNamara (1963-68) Clark M. Clifford (1968-69) Attorney General Robert F. Kennedy (1963-65) Nicholas Katzenbach (1965-67) Ramsey Clark (1967-69) Postmaster General John A. Gronouski (1963-65) Lawrence F. O'Brien (1965-68) W. Marvin Watson (1968-69) Secretary of the Interior Stewart L. Udall (1963-69) Secretary of Agriculture Orville L. Freeman (1963-69) Secretary of Commerce Luther H. Hodges (1963-65) John T. Connor (1965-67) Alexander B. Trowbridge (1967-68) Cyrus R. Smith (1968-69) Secretary of Labor W. Willard Wirtz (1963-69) Secretary of Health, Education, and Welfare Anthony J. Celebrezze (1963-65) John W. Gardner (1965-68) Wilbur J. Cohen (1968-69) Secretary of Housing and Urban Development Robert C. Weaver (1966-69) Robert C. Wood (1969) Secretary of Transportation Alan S. Boyd (1967-69) Email
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