Lyndon B. Johnson
Topics Lyndon B. Johnson Quotations
Lyndon Baines Johnson often referred to as LBJ, was an American politician. After serving a long career in U.S. legislatures, Johnson became the Vice President under John F. Kennedy (1961–1963) and later succeeded to the 36th Presidency (1963–1969) after Kennedy's assassination.
- And I just want to tell you this — we're in favor of a lot of things and we're against mighty few.
- Campaign statement (1964), as quoted in The Making of the President, 1964 (1966) by T. H. White, p. 413
- 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 is no Negro problem. There is no southern problem. There is no northern problem. There is only an American problem. Many of the issues of civil rights are very complex and most difficult. But about this there can and should be no argument. Every American citizen must have the right to vote...Yet the harsh fact is that in many places in this country men and women are kept from voting simply because they are Negroes... No law that we now have on the books...can insure the right to vote when local officials are determined to deny it... 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.
- You do not wipe away the scars of centuries by saying: 'now, you are free to go where you want, do as you desire, and choose the leaders you please.' You do not take a man who for years has been hobbled by chains, liberate him, bring him to the starting line of a race, saying, "you are free to compete with all the others," and still justly believe you have been completely fair... This is the next and more profound stage of the battle for civil rights. We seek not just freedom but opportunity—not just legal equity but human ability—not just equality as a right and a theory, but equality as a fact and as a result.
- We do not want an expanding struggle with consequences, that no one can perceive, nor will we bluster or bully or flaunt our power, but we will not surrender and we will not retreat, for behind our American pledge lies the determination and resources, I believe, of all of the American nation.
- I do not find it easy to send the flower of our youth, our finest young men, into battle.
- News Conference (28 July 1965)
- We know that most people's intentions are good. We don't question their motives, we've never said they're unpatriotic. Although they say some pretty ugly things about us. And we believe very strongly on preserving the right to differ in this country, and the right to dissent, and if I have done a good job of anything since I've been president, it's to insure that there are plenty of dissenters.
- I shall not seek, and I will not accept, the nomination of my party for another term as your President.
- It's probably better to have him inside the tent pissing out, than outside the tent pissing in.
- On FBI Director J. Edgar Hoover, as quoted in The New York Times (31 October 1971)
- Making a speech on economics is a lot like pissing down your leg. It seems hot to you, but it never does to anyone else.
- Private comment, as quoted in Name-Dropping (1999) by John Kenneth Galbraith, p. 149
- Fuck your parliament and your constitution. America is an elephant. Cyprus is a flea. Greece is a flea. 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. Quoted in I Should Have Died (1977) by Philip Deane, pp. 113-114
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