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Lyndon Baines Johnson

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

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 bei der Präsidentschaftswahl im November 1964 mit der größten Mehrheit im Popular Vote der US-Geschichte im Amt bestätigt. Wikipedia

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 http://www.spiegel.de/spiegel/print/d-45849661.html, Heftsausgabe vom 20. Januar 1969
Zugeschrieben

„Fuck your parliament and your constitution. America is an elephant. Cyprus is a flea. Greece is a flea.“

—  Lyndon B. Johnson

If these two fleas continue itching the elephant, they may just get whacked good ... We pay a lot of good American dollars to the Greeks, Mr. Ambassador. If your Prime Minister gives me talk about democracy, parliament and constitution, he, his parliament and his constitution may not last long ...
Comment to the Greek ambassador to Washington, Alexander Matsas, over the Cyprus issue in June 1964. As quoted in I Should Have Died (1977) by Philip Deane, pp. 113-114.
1960s

„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.“

—  Lyndon B. Johnson

1960s, Inaugural address (1965)
Kontext: 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.

„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.“

—  Lyndon B. Johnson

An allusion to the Parable of the Faithful Servant
1960s, October surprise speech (1968)

„We are challenged to demonstrate that there are no sanctuaries within our law for those who flaunt it. We are challenged, also, to demonstrate by our prompt, fitting and adequate response now that the hope of our system is not force, not arms, not the might of militia or marshals-but the law itself.“

—  Lyndon B. Johnson

1960s, Special message to Congress on the right to vote (1965)
Kontext: The issue presented by the present challenge to our Constitution and our conscience transcends legalism, although it does not transcend the law itself. We are challenged to demonstrate that there are no sanctuaries within our law for those who flaunt it. We are challenged, also, to demonstrate by our prompt, fitting and adequate response now that the hope of our system is not force, not arms, not the might of militia or marshals-but the law itself.

„I have concluded that I should not permit the Presidency to become involved in the partisan divisions that are developing in this political year.“

—  Lyndon B. Johnson

1960s, October surprise speech (1968)
Kontext: What we won when all of our people united just must not now be lost in suspicion, distrust, selfishness, and politics among any of our people. Believing this as I do, I have concluded that I should not permit the Presidency to become involved in the partisan divisions that are developing in this political year. With America's sons in the fields far away, with America's future under challenge right here at home, with our hopes and the world's hopes for peace in the balance every day, I do not believe that I should devote an hour or a day of my time to any personal partisan causes or to any duties other than the awesome duties of this office — the Presidency of your country. Accordingly, I shall not seek, and I will not accept, the nomination of my party for another term as your President.

„It is from the exercise of this right that the guarantee of all our other rights flows. Unless the right to vote be secure and undenied, all other rights are insecure and subject to denial for all our citizens. The challenge to this right is a challenge to America itself. We must meet this challenge as decisively as we would meet a challenge mounted against our land from enemies abroad.“

—  Lyndon B. Johnson

1960s, Special message to Congress on the right to vote (1965)
Kontext: In our system, the first right and most vital of all our fights is the right to vote. Jefferson described the elective franchise as "the ark of our safety." It is from the exercise of this right that the guarantee of all our other rights flows. Unless the right to vote be secure and undenied, all other rights are insecure and subject to denial for all our citizens. The challenge to this right is a challenge to America itself. We must meet this challenge as decisively as we would meet a challenge mounted against our land from enemies abroad.

„But even if we pass this bill, the battle will not be over.“

—  Lyndon B. Johnson

1960s, The American Promise (1965)
Kontext: 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. 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.

„We must preserve the right of free speech and the right of free assembly. But the right of free speech does not carry with it, as has been said, the right to holler fire in a crowded theater. We must preserve the right to free assembly, but free assembly does not carry with it the right to block public thoroughfares to traffic. We do have a right to protest, and a right to march under conditions that do not infringe the constitutional rights of our neighbors.“

—  Lyndon B. Johnson

1960s, The American Promise (1965)
Kontext: We must preserve the right of free speech and the right of free assembly. But the right of free speech does not carry with it, as has been said, the right to holler fire in a crowded theater. We must preserve the right to free assembly, but free assembly does not carry with it the right to block public thoroughfares to traffic. We do have a right to protest, and a right to march under conditions that do not infringe the constitutional rights of our neighbors. And I intend to protect all those rights as long as I am permitted to serve in this office. We will guard against violence, knowing it strikes from our hands the very weapons which we seek — progress, obedience to law, and belief in American values.

„One hundred years ago, the slave was freed. One hundred years later, the Negro remains in bondage to the color of his skin. The Negro today asks justice. We do not answer him“

—  Lyndon B. Johnson

we do not answer those who lie beneath this soil — when we reply to the Negro by asking, "Patience."
1960s, Memorial Day speech (1963)

„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“

—  Lyndon B. Johnson

1960s, Inaugural address (1965)
Kontext: 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.

„This was the first nation in the history of the world to be founded with a purpose. The great phrases of that purpose still sound in every American heart, North and South: "All men are created equal" — "government by consent of the governed" — "give me liberty or give me death." Well, those are not just clever words, or those are not just empty theories.“

—  Lyndon B. Johnson

1960s, The American Promise (1965)
Kontext: This was the first nation in the history of the world to be founded with a purpose. The great phrases of that purpose still sound in every American heart, North and South: "All men are created equal" — "government by consent of the governed" — "give me liberty or give me death." Well, those are not just clever words, or those are not just empty theories. In their name Americans have fought and died for two centuries, and tonight around the world they stand there as guardians of our liberty, risking their lives. Those words are a promise to every citizen that he shall share in the dignity of man. This dignity cannot be found in a man's possessions; it cannot be found in his power, or in his position. It really rests on his right to be treated as a man equal in opportunity to all others. It says that he shall share in freedom, he shall choose his leaders, educate his children, and provide for his family according to his ability and his merits as a human being.

„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.“

—  Lyndon B. Johnson

1960s, Statement on the Freedom of Information Act (1966)
Kontext: 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.

„For every generation, there is a destiny. For some, history decides. For this generation, the choice must be our own. […] Our destiny in the midst of change will rest on the unchanged character of our people, and on their faith.“

—  Lyndon B. Johnson

1960s, Inaugural address (1965)
Kontext: For every generation, there is a destiny. For some, history decides. For this generation, the choice must be our own. [... ] Our destiny in the midst of change will rest on the unchanged character of our people, and on their faith.

„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

1960s, Inaugural address (1965)
Kontext: 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.

„Justice means a man's hope should not be limited by the color of his skin“

—  Lyndon B. Johnson

1960s, State of the Union Address (1966)
Kontext: I hope these measures will be adequate. But if the necessities of Vietnam require it, I will not hesitate to return to the Congress for additional appropriations, or additional revenues if they are needed. The second road is justice. Justice means a man's hope should not be limited by the color of his skin. I propose legislation to establish unavoidable requirements for nondiscriminatory jury selection in federal and state courts—and to give the Attorney General the power necessary to enforce those requirements. I propose legislation to strengthen authority of federal courts to try those who murder, attack, or intimidate either civil rights workers or others exercising their constitutional rights—and to increase penalties to a level equal to the nature of the crime. Legislation, resting on the fullest constitutional authority of the federal government, to prohibit racial discrimination in the sale or rental of housing. For that other nation within a nation—the poor—whose distress has now captured the conscience of America, I will ask the Congress not only to continue, but to speed up the war on poverty. And in so doing, we will provide the added energy of achievement with the increased efficiency of experience. To improve the life of our rural Americans and our farm population, we will plan for the future through the establishment of several new Community Development Districts, improved education through the use of Teacher Corps teams, better health measures, physical examinations, and adequate and available medical resources.

„Throughout my entire public career I have followed the personal philosophy that I am a free man, an American, a public servant, and a member of my party, in that order always and only.“

—  Lyndon B. Johnson

An allusion to the Abraham Lincoln's House Divided Speech and a reference to the Gospel of Matthew, 12:25: "[Every] city or house divided against itself shall not stand."
1960s, October surprise speech (1968)
Kontext: Throughout my entire public career I have followed the personal philosophy that I am a free man, an American, a public servant, and a member of my party, in that order always and only. For 37 years in the service of our Nation, first as a Congressman, as a Senator, and as Vice President, and now as your President, I have put the unity of the people first. I have put it ahead of any divisive partisanship. And in these times as in times before, it is true that a house divided against itself by the spirit of faction, of party, of region, of religion, of race, is a house that cannot stand.

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