from the start if I left the woman I really loved - The Great
Society - in order to get involved with that bitch of a war on the
side of the world, then I would lose everything at home. All my
programs ... All my hopes ... All my dreams.
Lyndon Baines Johnson (August 27, 1908 - January
22, 1973), a skilled and savvy Washington operator for decades, was
right. American escalation in the Vietnam War led to increasingly
negative public opinion toward him and overshadowed his cherished
social programs, and would eventually figure into his decision to
drop out of the race for re-election in 1968.
always the same. It is young men dying in the fullness of their
promise. It is trying to kill a man that you do not even know
well enough to hate. Therefore, to know war is to know that there
is still madness in the world.
Johnson's Great Society, his agenda presented to
Congress in 1965, was a landmark set of programs to tackle social
concerns, chief among which were poverty and racial injustice. He
also introduced programs addressing transportation, education,
disease, Medicare, urban renewal and crime.
administration here and now declares unconditional war on
Congress enacted many of Johnson's programs, many
of which, such as Medicare and federal education funding, remain to
this day, while others languished as more and more money was spent
on Vietnam. Johnson also elected the first black person to the
cabinet as well as the first African American Supreme Court Justice (Thurgood
justice is blind to color, until education is unaware of race,
until opportunity is unconcerned with the color
of men's skins, emancipation will be a proclamation but not a
Anti-war candidate Eugene McCarthy's surprising
showing in the 1968 New Hampshire presidential primary revealed
that not only was the American public divided on the War, but the
Democratic Party was split as well. Johnson withdrew his candidacy
in March, paving the way for Robert Kennedy to step in. Johnson
died from a third heart attack at age 64 in 1973.
I'm tired of feeling rejected by the American people. I'm
tired of waking up in the middle of the night worrying about the