25 July 2014
Lyndon B. Johnson: American Hero, Villain and Victim
! On November 22, 1963 John F. Kennedy, our nation's 35th P\president, was assassinated
in the prime of his life. Lyndon Baines Johnson, the nation's Vice president was sworn in shortly
thereafter becoming one of the only presidents in history to assume the office due to a death.
Lyndon B. Johnson was born in Stonewall Texas where he was the oldest of five siblings. He is
one of few people who served in all four elected federal offices: Representative, Senator, Vice
president, and president. As president, Johnson had many obstacles to overcome, such as the
deeply complex issues of segregation and racism, American poverty and the Vietnam War. There
are numerous ways to view Johnson's presidency through contrasting lenses, and perceptions
vary regarding his presidential success. Some think he's a hero because of his undeniable success
for the civil rights movement, others portray him as a villain for his escalation of the Vietnam
war. Many people see him as a victim of his own mind, believing that his failure to run for a
second term was a result of the devastating psychological effects of Vietnam. For these reasons,
LBJ can be portrayed as a hero, a victim as well as a villain.
Five days after the assassination of John F. Kennedy, Johnson gave a heroic speech to
Congress that comforted a nation. "All I have I would have given gladly not to be standing here
today" (Scribner's Sons). The courageous tone of this famous quote represents how difficult it
was to assume the presidency under such dire circumstances, and how significant it was in
American history to become a president in such a horrific matter. Johnson's speech consoled
Americans and projected true...