Lyndon B Johnson Quotes

Quotes tagged as "lyndon-b-johnson" Showing 1-11 of 11
Noam Chomsky
“Since Jimmy Carter, religious fundamentalists play a major role in elections. He was the first president who made a point of exhibiting himself as a born again Christian. That sparked a little light in the minds of political campaign managers: Pretend to be a religious fanatic and you can pick up a third of the vote right away. Nobody asked whether Lyndon Johnson went to church every day. Bill Clinton is probably about as religious as I am, meaning zero, but his managers made a point of making sure that every Sunday morning he was in the Baptist church singing hymns.”
Noam Chomsky

Lyndon B. Johnson
“A man without a vote is a man without protection.”
Lyndon B. Johnson

Robert A. Caro
“President Kennedy’s eloquence was designed to make men think; President Johnson’s hammer blows are designed to make men act.”
Robert A. Caro, The Passage of Power

Robert A. Caro
“Ask not what you have done for Lyndon Johnson, but what you have done for him lately.”
Robert A. Caro, The Passage of Power

Glenn Greenwald
“A president who is burdened with a failed and unpopular war, and who has lost the trust of the country, simply can no longer govern. He is destined to become as much a failure as his war.”
Glenn Greenwald, A Tragic Legacy: How a Good vs. Evil Mentality Destroyed the Bush Presidency

Robert A. Caro
“He was to become the lawmaker for the poor and the downtrodden and the oppressed. He was to be the bearer of at least a measure of social justice to those whom social justice had so long been denied. The restorer of at least a measure of dignity to those who so desperately needed to be given some dignity. The redeemer of the promises made by them to America. “It is time to write it in the books of law.” By the time Lyndon Johnson left office he had done a lot of writing in those books, had become, above all presidents save Lincoln, the codifier of compassion, the president who wrote mercy and justice in the statute books by which America was governed.”
Robert A. Caro, The Passage of Power

Robert A. Caro
“It is not clear who will bring to the Whitehouse those useful commodities of vivid language, a sense of history and most important - a sense of humour, but Johnson himself will provide many other attributes. He is effective precisely because he is so determined, industrious, personal and even humourless, particularly in dealing with Congress. (…) Kennedy had a detached and even donnish willingness to grant a merit in the other fellow’s argument. Johnson is not so inclined to retreat and grants nothing in an argument, not even equal time. Ask not what you have done for Lyndon Johnson, but what you have done for him lately. This may not be the most attractive quality of the new administration but it works. The lovers of style are not too happy with the new administration, but the lovers of substance are not complaining.”
Robert A. Caro, The Passage of Power

“He [Lyndon Baines Johnson]turned out to be so many different characters he could have populated all of War and Peace and still had a few people left over.”
Herbert Mitgang

“In truth, there will never be enough power in the presidency for an incumbent to make good on a purely constructive leadership project, and it is unlikely that there will ever be another president stretched so thinly by a determination to use great power to do just that. Lyndon Johnson was a full-service president who had at his disposal an alignment of political resources, economic resources, international resources, and military resources unmatched in the annals of presidential history. The problem is that in a full-service presidency, where no interest of political significance is denied a modicum of legitimacy, resources turn fickle; the exercise of power consumes authority. Committed to a wholly affirmative result, Johnson could not rest content to let anyone carry the brunt of change.”
Stephen Skowronek, The Politics Presidents Make: Leadership from John Adams to Bill Clinton

“I speak tonight for the dignity of man and the destiny of democracy. . . . At times history and fate meet at a single time in a single place to shape a turning point in man's unending search for freedom. So it was at Lexington and Concord. So it was a century ago at Appomattox. So it was last week in Selma, Alabama.

There, long-suffering men and women peacefully protested the denial of their rights as Americans. Many were brutally assaulted. One good man, a man of God, was killed.

There is no cause for pride in what has happened in Selma. There is no cause for self-satisfaction in the long denial of equal rights of millions of Americans. But there is cause for hope and for faith in our democracy in what is happening here tonight.

For the cries of pain and the hymns and protests of oppressed people have summoned into convocation all the majesty of this great Government--the Government of the greatest Nation on earth.

Our mission is at once the oldest and the most basic of this country: to right wrong, to do justice, to serve man.

In our time we have come to live with moments of great crisis. Our lives have been marked with debate about great issues; issues of war and peace, issues of prosperity and depression. But rarely in any time does an issue lay bare the secret heart of America itself. Rarely are we met with a challenge, not to our growth or abundance, our welfare or our security, but rather to the values and the purposes and the meaning of our beloved Nation.

The issue of equal rights for American Negroes is such an issue. And should we defeat every enemy, should we double our wealth and conquer the stars, and still be unequal to this issue, then we will have failed as a people and as a nation.

For with a country as with a person, "What is a man profited, if he shall gain the whole world, and lose his own soul ?"

There is no Negro problem. There is no Southern problem. There is no Northern problem. There is only an American problem.

. . . But even if we pass this bill, the battle will not be over. What happened in Selma is part of a far larger movement which reaches into every section and State of America. It is the effort of American Negroes to secure for themselves the full blessings of American life.

Their cause must be our cause too. Because it is not just Negroes, but really it is all of us, who must overcome the crippling legacy of bigotry and injustice.

And we shall overcome."

-Lyndon B. Johnson, 15 March 1965”
Andrew Aydin John Lewis

Sue Monk Kidd
“Sssh,’ she said, waving her hand.
I had to get the news from the TV man. ‘Today, July second, 1964,’ he said, ‘the president of the United States signed the Civil Rights Act into law in the East Room of the White House…’
I looked over at Rosaleen, who sat there shaking her head, mumbling, ‘Lord have mercy,’ just looking so disbelieving and happy, like people on television when they have answered the $64,000 Question.
I didn’t know whether to be excited for her or worried. All people ever talked about after church were the Negroes and whether they’d get their civil rights.”
Sue Monk Kidd, The Secret Life of Bees