Lyndon Baines Johnson: The Great Society

Decent Essays
As Lyndon Baines Johnson’s Presidency came to its final months he desired a last chance at pleasing the people. This chance would come in the form of a book. Having lost the faith of many Americans through his decisions on Vietnam, Johnson resorted to begging twenty-five year old Doris Goodwin to help him with his memoir. As great a story teller Johnson had been, he was never able to apply his colorful techniques to an unknown audience, which is apparent as a major weakness shown throughout his political career. Thus the dullness that was recorded in his interviews led to an inevitable unsuccessful book. Johnson soon began making it clear that he no longer wanted any part in the formal writing of his life. This in turn led to the passionate …show more content…
The purpose of the Great Society was to help fight poverty, aid education, end the racial inequality, bring healthcare to the needy, and many more solutions to help America retain its position as greatest in the world. Johnson greatly believed his programs would fulfill the hopes of his people and bring prosperity. Johnson signed many bills in order for each of his programs to be a success. It soon came to the point of, “Pass the bill now, worry about its effects and implementation later…” (218). Johnson had his ways of getting the Congress to be on board with his bills. He would let them feel as if they had a hand in creating the bill thus giving them a feeling of participation and of recognition when the bill was successful. Many major laws were signed by Johnson, including, the Elementary and Secondary Education Act, the Voting Rights Act, and the Immigration Act. He was on the path to be the greatest president in domestic affairs until Vietnam …show more content…
Johnson’s reasoning behind his decision to escalate the war was to prevent the the Communists from defeating democracy and ultimately preventing the start of World War III. His inability to use his personal talents of observation and manipulation in the fields of foreign policy caused him to act without proper knowledge. Robert Kennedy was also a factor in Johnson’s decision. Johnson saw Kennedy as the enemy who would use the war against him to gain popularity, so when Kennedy began opposing the war, Johnson’s pride forced him to continue the escalation. So the decision to escalate was accepted and backed by many high level individuals and the bombing of Vietnam commenced. Though it was not solely Johnson’s decision, by his patriotic nature he was destined to fight the communists to protect the American. The justification of the bombing was that it would destroy the morale of North Vietnam, but in reality it had the opposite effect. The enemy was becoming stronger while South Vietnam was becoming more reliant on America’s aid. Thus the change from bombing to sending troops in was made, all without the approval or knowledge of Congress. Even this resulted in failure, causing the numbers of troops to rise to nearly 500,000 and the number of casualties to around 100,000, all the while Johnson was losing more and more support from his people. Throughout all of this, Johnson had tried to keep his Great

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