Greatness of LBJ
Many Presidents over the years have shown greatness through their leadership. Each has shown this in their individual way. It takes the ability to deal with whatever may come up, as far as politics are concerned, and handle it with care. Also it takes making a difference in society instead of just settling for the United States being ok as it is. The extra step that some take, separates the normal from the great. Lyndon B. Johnson was one of the Presidents who stood out by taking the extra step. LBJ showed presidential greatness through passing groundbreaking legislation and improving society.
To get a feel for how Lyndon Johnson came to achieve greatness, let us look at how his journey began. In 1908, Lyndon was born on a farm near Stonewall, Texas to his loving parents Samuel and Rebekah. His father was a man who had a love for politics and instilled it into his son at an early age. Lyndon would hide “under tables or stand behind doors, straining to hear every word of his father’s evening bull sessions with political friends” (Schulman, 7). His father would also take him on trips with Sam Johnson, a member of the Texas State Legislation. On such trips, he learned his father’s liberalism and also learned a strategy of Sam’s by “getting really close to someone, nose to nose, when he wanted to convince them of something” (7). These tactics and others such as Sam’s honesty in regards to not taking bribes were characteristics which helped mold him.
After finishing his schooling, LBJ took his first steps in the political world. At a state railroad commission meeting, a former governor, Pat Neff, never showed up to give his speech. This gave LBJ an opportunity of a lifetime. LBJ stood up with great confidence and made a speech for him, showing his skills in public speaking. The speech, although generic, had a great affect on his political career. His initiative gave him his break into politics because a man by the name Welly Hopkins. After hearing the speech, Hopkins felt Johnson was a bright man and appointed him manager of his campaign. Later he recommended him to Richard Kleberg, who was a federal representative for the state of Texas. This was his passage into Washington. As secretary for Kleberg, he did most of the work and worked his way on up the government ladder to become President of the United States. These factors of initiative, brightness, and strong public speaking are all early signs of his leadership ability.
Next Lyndon Johnson started on his journey through his presidency. Johnson’s first step after becoming president was to help the citizens of the U.S. and the world cope with the death of JFK. “American people actually were 190,000,000 dazed individuals; he had to give them that unity and confidence; he had to represent it to the world” (Wicker, 161). This was a great task for any man to take on and he did so with care. He showed compassion and provided comfort for the people,...