American Politician, 36th President of the United States
Lyndon Johnson, fully Lyndon Baines Johnson, aka LBJ
American Politician, 36th President of the United States
I believe that the essence of government lies with unceasing concern for the welfare and dignity and decency and innate integrity of life for every individual. I don?t like to say this and wish I didn?t have to add these words to make it clear but I will regardless of color, creed, ancestry, sex or age.
I pray we are still a young and courageous nation, that we have not grown so old and so fat and so prosperous that all we can think about is to sit back with our arms around our money bags. If we choose to do that I have no doubt that the smoldering fires will burst into flame and consume us -- dollars and all.
If we stand passively by while the centre of each city becomes a hive of depravation, crime and hopelessness?if we become two people, the suburban affluent and the urban poor, each filled with mistrust and fear for the other?then we shall effectively cripple each generation to come.
In the Great Society, work shall be an outlet for mans interests and desires. Each individual shall have full opportunity to use his capacities in employment which satisfies personally and contributes generally to the quality of the Nations life.
Did you ever think that making a speech on economics is a lot like pissing down your leg? It seems hot to you, but it never does to anyone else.
For Negroes are not the only victims. How many white children have gone uneducated, how many white families have lived in stark poverty, how many white lives have been scarred by fear, because we have wasted our energy and our substance to maintain the barriers of hatred and terror? So I say to all of you here, and to all in the Nation tonight, that those who appeal to you to hold on to the past do so at the cost of denying you your future. This great, rich, restless country can offer opportunity and education and hope to all: black and white, North and South, sharecropper and city dweller. These are the enemies: poverty, ignorance, disease. They are the enemies and not our fellow man, not our neighbor. And these enemies too, poverty, disease and ignorance, we shall over, come.
I believe that we must always be mindful of this one thing, whatever the trials and the tests ahead. The ultimate strength of our country and our cause will lie not in powerful weapons or infinite resources or boundless wealth, but will lie in the unity of our people.
I report to you that our country is challenged at home and abroad: that it is our will that is being tried and not our strength; our sense of purpose and not our ability to achieve a better America.
If you do this, then you will find, as others have found before you, that the vote is the most powerful instrument ever devised by man for breaking down injustice and destroying the terrible walls which imprison men because they are different from other men.
In the last few decades entire new categories of waste have come to plague and menace the American scene. Pollution is growing at a rapid rate. Pollution destroys beauty and menaces health. It cuts down on efficiency, reduces property values and raises taxes. Almost all these wastes and pollutions are the result of activities carried on for the benefit of man. A prime national goal must be an environment that is pleasing to the senses and healthy to live in. Our Government is already doing much in this field. We have made significant progress. But more must be done.
Education is 'the guardian genius of our democracy.' Nothing really means more to our future, not our military defenses, not our missiles or our bombers, not our production economy, not even our democratic system of government. For all of these are worthless if we lack the brain power to support and sustain them.
For the individual, education is the path to achievement and fulfillment; for the nation, it is a path to a society that is not only free but civilized; and for the world, it is the path to peace ? for it is education that places reason over force.
I believe the destiny of your generation - and your nation - is a rendezvous with excellence.
I seldom think of politics more than 18 hours a day.
If you let a bully come in your front yard, he'll be on your porch the next day and the day after that he'll rape your wife in your own bed.
Education is the key to opportunity in our society, and the equality of educational opportunity must be the birthright of every citizen. No other challenge concerns me more than this one. None is of greater importance to the American people.
For this is what America is all about. It is the uncrossed desert and the unclimbed ridge. It is the star that is not reached and the harvest that is sleeping in the unplowed ground.
I believe we can continue the Great Society while we fight in Vietnam.
I shall never forget the faces of the boys and the girls in that little Welhausen Mexican School, and I remember even yet the pain of realizing and knowing then that college was closed to practically every one of those children because they were too poor. And I think it was then that I made up my mind that this nation could never rest while the door to knowledge remained closed to any American.
If you're I politics and you can't tell when you walk into a room who's for you and who's against you, then you're in the wrong line of work.
Education will not cure all the problems of society, but without it no cure for any problem is possible.
Freedom is not enough.
I believe, with abiding conviction, that this people - nurtured by their deep faith, tutored by their hard lessons, moved by their high aspirations - have the will to meet the trials that these times impose.
I shall not seek, and I will not accept, the nomination of my party for another term as your President.
If you've got 'em by the balls, their heart and mind will follow.