107 Notable Quotes By Lyndon B. Johnson
36th President of the U.S.A
Stonewall, Texas, United States
Founder / Co Founder:
National Endowment for the Arts, Office of Economic Opportunity, United States Department of Housing and Urban Development, Corporation for Public Broadcasting
Lyndon B. Johnson was the 36
th President of the United States. He was the predecessor of Republican leader Richard Nixon. Johnson accomplished an extraordinary feat of being one out of only four politicians ever to serve as President, Vice President, Senator and Representative. Before the New Deal era, many believe that Johnson’s tenure as president marked the zenith of modern liberalism of the United States. Johnson’s initiated several legislative reforms in the realms of civil rights, public broadcasting, aid to education, urban and rural development, the arts and public services. His ‘War on Poverty’ act helped millions of American to peeve a way across the poverty line which increased the standard of living in the country. As a statesman, Johnson expressed his views and thoughts on several issues ranging from politics to society. We have collected Lyndon B. Johnson’s quotes from his speeches, writings, articles, interviews and policies. Here are some of the most intriguing quotes from this domineering leader in the history of the United States.
Yesterday is not ours to recover, but tomorrow is ours to win or lose. Books and ideas are the most effective weapons against intolerance and ignorance. That bitch of a war killed the lady I really loved -- the Great Society. We can draw lessons from the past, but we cannot live in it. The land flourished because it was fed from so many sources--because it was nourished by so many cultures and traditions and peoples. [T]he 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. A man without a vote is a man without protection. If one morning I walked on top of the water across the Potomac River, the headline that afternoon would read "President Can't Swim. I may not know much, but I know chicken shit from chicken salad. While you're saving your face, you're losing your ass. Guns and bombs, rockets and warships, are all symbols of human failure. Education is not a problem. Education is an opportunity. The noblest search is the search for excellence Until justice is blind to color, until education is unaware of race, until opportunity is unconcerned with the color of men's skins, emancipation will be a proclamation but not a fact. We did not choose to be the guardians of the gate, but there is no one else. Don't Spit in the Soup, We All Gotta Eat Emancipation was a proclamation, but not a fact. Why does Sea World have a seafood restaurant I'm halfway through my fish burger and I realize Oh man....I could be eating a slow learner. I'll have those niggers voting Democrat for the next 200 years. He’s [Gerald Ford] a nice guy but he played too much football with his helmet off. If the American people don't love me, their descendants will. Only two things are necessary to keep one's wife happy. One is to let her think she is having her own way, and the other is to let her have it. There are no favorites in my office. I treat them all with the same general inconsideration. There are plenty of recommendations on how to get out of trouble cheaply and fast. Most of them come down to this: Deny your responsibility. The CIA is made up of boys whose families sent them to Princeton but wouldn't let them into the family brokerage business. The separation of church and state is a source of strength, but the conscience of our nation does not call for separation between men of state and faith in the Supreme Being. You know, doing what is right is easy. The problem is knowing what is right. The moon and other celestial bodies should be free for exploration and use by all countries. No country should be permitted to advance a claim of sovereignty. It may be, it just may be, that life as we know it with its humanity is more unique than many have thought. Our society is illuminated by the spiritual insights of the Hebrew prophets. America and Israel have a common love of human freedom, and they have a common faith in a democratic way of life. In our home there was always prayer - aloud, proud and unapologetic. I'd rather give my life than be afraid to give it. I don't believe I'll ever get credit for anything I do in foreign affairs, no matter how successful it is, because I didn't go to Harvard. The Russians feared Ike. They didn't fear me. Whoever won't fight when the President calls him, deserves to be kicked back in his hole and kept there. They call upon us to supply American boys to do the job that Asian boys should do. Greater love hath no man than to attend the Episcopal Church with his wife. I seldom think of politics more than eighteen hours a day. I feel like I just grabbed a big juicy worm with a right sharp hook in the middle of it. When things haven't gone well for you, call in a secretary or a staff man and chew him out. You will sleep better and they will appreciate the attention. I believe the destiny of your generation - and your nation - is a rendezvous with excellence. This is a moment that I deeply wish my parents could have lived to share. My father would have enjoyed what you have so generously said of me-and my mother would have believed it. 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. Just like the Alamo, somebody damn well needed to go to their aid. Well, by God, I'm going to Viet Nam's aid! You might say that Lyndon Johnson is a cross between a Baptist preacher and a cowboy. When I was a boy we didn't wake up with Vietnam and have Cyprus for lunch and the Congo for dinner. If two men agree on everything, you may be sure that one of them is doing the thinking. No member of our generation who wasn't a Communist or a dropout in the thirties is worth a damn. It is always a strain when people are being killed. I don't think anybody has held this job who hasn't felt personally responsible for those being killed. The fifth freedom is freedom from ignorance. Our most tragic error may have been our inability to establish a rapport and a confidence with the press and television with the communication media. I don't think the press has understood me. I'm the only president you've got. I want to make a policy statement. I am unabashedly in favor of women. We are not about to send American boys 9 or 10 thousand miles away from home to do what Asian boys ought to be doing for themselves. One lesson you better learn if you want to be in politics is that you never go out on a golf course and beat the President. I am concerned about the whole man. I am concerned about what the people, using their government as an instrument and a tool, can do toward building the whole man, which will mean a better society and a better world. The fact that a man is a newspaper reporter is evidence of some flaw of character. When the burdens of the presidency seem unusually heavy, I always remind myself it could be worse. I could be a mayor. John F. Kennedy was the victim of the hate that was a part of our country. It is a disease that occupies the minds of the few but brings danger to the many. Our numbers have increased in Vietnam because the aggression of others has increased in Vietnam. There is not, and there will not be, a mindless escalation. Whether we are New Dealer, Old Dealer, Liberty Leaguer or Red, whether we agree or not, we still have the right to think and speak how we feel. Jack was out kissing babies while I was out passing bills. Someone had to tend the store. It is important that the United States remain a two-party system. I'm a fellow who likes small parties and the Republican Party can't be too small to suit me. I believe we can continue the Great Society while we fight in Vietnam. Doing what's right isn't the problem. It is knowing what's right. We have the opportunity to move not only toward the rich society and the powerful society, but upward to the Great Society. Being president is like being a jackass in a hailstorm. There's nothing to do but to stand there and take it. We live in a world that has narrowed into a neighborhood before it has broadened into a brotherhood. The noblest search is the search for excellence. There are no problems we cannot solve together, and very few that we can solve by ourselves. You've got to work things out in the cloakroom, and when you've got them worked out, you can debate a little before you vote. Every President wants to do right. The last thing I wanted to do was to be a wartime President. Presidents quickly realize that while a single act might destroy the world they live in, no one single decision can make life suddenly better or can turn history around for the good. To conclude that women are unfitted to the task of our historic society seems to me the equivalent of closing male eyes to female facts. It is the genius of our Constitution that under its shelter of enduring institutions and rooted principles there is ample room for the rich fertility of American political invention. A man without a vote is man without protection. There is but one way for a president to deal with Congress, and that is continuously, incessantly, and without interruption. If it is really going to work, the relationship has got to be almost incestuous. A man can take a little bourbon without getting drunk, but if you hold his mouth open and pour in a quart, he's going to get sick on it. I am a freeman, an American, a United States Senator, and a Democrat, in that order. The presidency has made every man who occupied it, no matter how small, bigger than he was; and no matter how big, not big enough for its demands. The guns and the bombs, the rockets and the warships, are all symbols of human failure. This administration here and now declares unconditional war on poverty. This is not Johnson's war. This is America's war. If I drop dead tomorrow, this war will still be with you. I will do my best. That is all I can do. I ask for your help - and God's. You do not examine legislation in the light of the benefits it will convey if properly administered, but in the light of the wrongs it would do and the harms it would cause if improperly administered. I once told Nixon that the Presidency is like being a jackass caught in a hail storm. You've got to just stand there and take it. Poverty must not be a bar to learning and learning must offer an escape from poverty. I am making a collection of the things my opponents have found me to be and, when this election is over, I am going to open a museum and put them on display. The atomic bomb certainly is the most powerful of all weapons, but it is conclusively powerful and effective only in the hands of the nation which controls the sky. A President's hardest task is not to do what is right, but to know what is right. 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. When I was young, poverty was so common that we didn't know it had a name. I have learned that only two things are necessary to keep one's wife happy. First, let her think she's having her own way. And second, let her have it. If one morning I walked on top of the water across the Potomac River, the headline that afternoon would read: 'President Can't Swim.' We must open the doors of opportunity. But we must also equip our people to walk through those doors.
Jerry Ford is so dumb he can't fart and chew gum at the same time.
You aren't learning anything when you're talking.
Every man has a right to a Saturday night bath.
Peace is a journey of a thousand miles and it must be taken one step at a time.
If future generations are to remember us more with gratitude than sorrow, we must achieve more than just the miracles of technology. We must also leave them a glimpse of the world as it was created, not just as it looked when we got through with it.
We have entered an age in which education is not just a luxury permitting some men an advantage over others. It has become a necessity without which a person is defenseless in this complex, industrialized society. We have truly entered the century of the educated man. Our purpose in Vietnam is to prevent the success of aggression. It is not conquest, it is not empire, it is not foreign bases, it is not domination. It is, simply put, just to prevent the forceful conquest of South Vietnam by North Vietnam.