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Lyndon Baines Johnson

Geburtstag: 27. August 1908
Todesdatum: 22. Januar 1973

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Lyndon Baines Johnson , aufgrund seiner Initialen auch LBJ genannt, war ein US-amerikanischer Politiker der Demokratischen Partei und von 1963 bis 1969 der 36. Präsident der Vereinigten Staaten. Zuvor vertrat er von 1937 bis 1949 den Bundesstaat Texas im US-Repräsentantenhaus sowie von 1949 bis 1961 im US-Senat. Im Senat war er darüber hinaus seit 1953 Vorsitzender der demokratischen Fraktion. Ab 1961 bekleidete er das Amt des Vizepräsidenten unter John F. Kennedy. Noch am Tag von dessen Ermordung, dem 22. November 1963, wurde Johnson an Bord der Air Force One als neuer US-Präsident vereidigt. Johnson führte die verbleibenden 14 Monate von Kennedys Amtsperiode zu Ende und wurde der Präsidentschaftswahl im November 1964 mit der größten Mehrheit im Popular Vote der US-Geschichte im Amt bestätigt.

Zitate Lyndon Baines Johnson

„John Kennedy wurde ermordet, und auch ich werde ermordet (...) der einzige Unterschied ist: Ich lebe.“

— Lyndon Baines Johnson
gegen Ende seiner Amtszeit und vor dem Hintergrund des schleppend verlaufenden Vietnamkrieges; Der Spiegel: Ich lebe, Heftsausgabe vom 20. Januar 1969

„I do not want to be the President who built empires, or sought grandeur, or extended dominion. I want to be the President who educated young children to the wonders of their world. I want to be the President who helped to feed the hungry and to prepare them to be taxpayers instead of taxeaters. I want to be the President who helped the poor to find their own way and who protected the right of every citizen to vote in every election. I want to be the President who helped to end hatred among his fellow men and who promoted love among the people of all races and all regions and all parties. I want to be the President who helped to end war among the brothers of this earth.“

— Lyndon B. Johnson
Context: This is the richest and most powerful country which ever occupied the globe. The might of past empires is little compared to ours. But I do not want to be the President who built empires, or sought grandeur, or extended dominion. I want to be the President who educated young children to the wonders of their world. I want to be the President who helped to feed the hungry and to prepare them to be taxpayers instead of taxeaters. I want to be the President who helped the poor to find their own way and who protected the right of every citizen to vote in every election. I want to be the President who helped to end hatred among his fellow men and who promoted love among the people of all races and all regions and all parties. I want to be the President who helped to end war among the brothers of this earth.

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„There is no constitutional issue here. The command of the Constitution is plain. There is no moral issue. It is wrong–deadly wrong–to deny any of your fellow Americans the right to vote in this country. There is no issue of States fights or national rights. There is only the struggle for human rights.“

— Lyndon B. Johnson
Context: The Constitution says that no person shall be kept from voting because of his race or his color. We have all sworn an oath before God to support and to defend that Constitution. We must now act in obedience to that oath. There is no constitutional issue here. The command of the Constitution is plain. There is no moral issue. It is wrong– deadly wrong– to deny any of your fellow Americans the right to vote in this country. There is no issue of States fights or national rights. There is only the struggle for human rights.

„All Americans must have the privileges of citizenship regardless of race.“

— Lyndon B. Johnson
Context: All Americans must have the privileges of citizenship regardless of race. And they are going to have those privileges of citizenship regardless of race. But I would like to caution you and remind you that to exercise these privileges takes much more than just legal right. It requires a trained mind and a healthy body. It requires a decent home, and the chance to find a job, and the opportunity to escape from the clutches of poverty. Of course, people cannot contribute to the Nation if they are never taught to read or write, if their bodies are stunted from hunger, if their sickness goes untended, if their life is spent in hopeless poverty just drawing a welfare check. So we want to open the gates to opportunity. But we are also going to give all our people, black and white, the help that they need to walk through those gates.

„It is empty to plead that the solution to the dilemmas of the present rests on the hands of the clock. The solution is in our hands.“

— Lyndon B. Johnson
Context: It is empty to plead that the solution to the dilemmas of the present rests on the hands of the clock. The solution is in our hands. Unless we are willing to yield up our destiny of greatness among the civilizations of history, Americans — white and Negro together — must be about the business of resolving the challenge which confronts us now.

„The Constitution says that no person shall be kept from voting because of his race or his color.“

— Lyndon B. Johnson
Context: The Constitution says that no person shall be kept from voting because of his race or his color. We have all sworn an oath before God to support and to defend that Constitution. We must now act in obedience to that oath. There is no constitutional issue here. The command of the Constitution is plain. There is no moral issue. It is wrong– deadly wrong– to deny any of your fellow Americans the right to vote in this country. There is no issue of States fights or national rights. There is only the struggle for human rights.

„This right to vote is the basic right without which all others are meaningless. It gives people, people as individuals, control over their own destinies.“

— Lyndon B. Johnson
Context: In 1957, as the leader of the majority in the United States Senate, speaking in support of legislation to guarantee the right of all men to vote, I said, "This right to vote is the basic right without which all others are meaningless. It gives people, people as individuals, control over their own destinies."

„Men want to be a part of a common enterprise—a cause greater than themselves. Each of us must find a way to advance the purpose of the Nation, thus finding new purpose for ourselves. Without this, we shall become a nation of strangers.“

— Lyndon B. Johnson
Context: We aspire to nothing that belongs to others. We seek no dominion over our fellow man, but man's dominion over tyranny and misery. But more is required. Men want to be a part of a common enterprise—a cause greater than themselves. Each of us must find a way to advance the purpose of the Nation, thus finding new purpose for ourselves. Without this, we shall become a nation of strangers.

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„Of those to whom much is given, much is asked.“

— Lyndon B. Johnson
Context: Of those to whom much is given, much is asked. I cannot say and no man could say that no more will be asked of us. An allusion to the Parable of the Faithful Servant

„America would be a place where each man could be proud to be himself: stretching his talents, rejoicing in his work, important in the life of his neighbors and his nation.“

— Lyndon B. Johnson
Context: Liberty was the second article of our covenant. It was self-government. It was our Bill of Rights. But it was more. America would be a place where each man could be proud to be himself: stretching his talents, rejoicing in his work, important in the life of his neighbors and his nation. This has become more difficult in a world where change and growth seem to tower beyond the control and even the judgment of men. We must work to provide the knowledge and the surroundings which can enlarge the possibilities of every citizen. The American covenant called on us to help show the way for the liberation of man. And that is today our goal. Thus, if as a nation there is much outside our control, as a people no stranger is outside our hope.

„A democracy works best when the people have all the information that the security of the Nation permits. No one should be able to pull curtains of secrecy around decisions which can be revealed without injury to the public interest. At the same time, the welfare of the Nation or the rights of individuals may require that some documents not be made available.“

— Lyndon B. Johnson
Context: A democracy works best when the people have all the information that the security of the Nation permits. No one should be able to pull curtains of secrecy around decisions which can be revealed without injury to the public interest. At the same time, the welfare of the Nation or the rights of individuals may require that some documents not be made available. As long as threats to peace exist, for example, there must be military secrets. A citizen must be able in confidence to complain to his Government and to provide information, just as he is– and should be– free to confide in the press without fear of reprisal or of being required to reveal or discuss his sources.

„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.“

— Lyndon B. Johnson
Context: 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.

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„Our enemies have always made the same mistake.“

— Lyndon B. Johnson
Context: Our enemies have always made the same mistake. In my lifetime—in depression and in war—they have awaited our defeat. Each time, from the secret places of the American heart, came forth the faith they could not see or that they could not even imagine. It brought us victory. And it will again. 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 sleeping in the unplowed ground. Is our world gone? We say "Farewell." Is a new world coming? We welcome it—and we will bend it to the hopes of man.

„There is no issue of States' rights or National rights. There is only the struggle for human rights.“

— Lyndon B. Johnson
Context: There is no Constitutional issue here. The command of the Constitution is plain. There is no moral issue. It is wrong—deadly wrong– to deny any of your fellow Americans the right to vote in this country. There is no issue of States' rights or National rights. There is only the struggle for human rights.

„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.“

— Lyndon B. Johnson
Context: 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.

„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. For we are a nation of believers. Underneath the clamor of building and the rush of our day's pursuits, we are believers in justice and liberty and union, and in our own Union. We believe that every man must someday be free. And we believe in ourselves.“

— Lyndon B. Johnson
Context: In each generation, with toil and tears, we have had to earn our heritage again. 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. For we are a nation of believers. Underneath the clamor of building and the rush of our day's pursuits, we are believers in justice and liberty and union, and in our own Union. We believe that every man must someday be free. And we believe in ourselves.

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