Was Lyndon B Johnson An Underrated President Essay

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In 1964 Johnson’s opponent was Barry Goldwater. In 1963 Goldwater appealed to a large branch of the Republican party as a strong leader. Public perception at the time was that Kennedy was a weak leader. Goldwater served in World War II as a pilot assigned to fly aircraft supplies to war zones throughout the world. Goldwater began his political career in 1952 when he won the Senate seat for Arizona becoming the second Republican elected to the Senate in Arizona since its admittance into the union. Goldwater became the leading voice of the conservative wing of the Republican party. He served on the Senate Labor Committee on Public Welfare, Veteran’s Affairs, Education, and Migratory Labor. Goldwater ran his campaign on rigid conservatism …show more content…

Johnson is ranked 12th in his APSA ranking, however, I think he deserves to be higher. Domestically Johnson was a powerhouse and passed some of the most influential legislation of the past century. Johnson revolutionized the Civil Rights debate and argument. Johnson also pushed Medicare through which revolutionized the healthcare industry. Medicare today provides coverage for one in three Americans. Also, while Johnson was revolutionizing many domestic policies he also changed Immigration policy drastically. Prior to Johnson immigration was quota and race-based. With his leadership, Immigration policy took a step towards a meritocracy system rather than based on racial origin. However, with all of his success domestically and in instances internationally, his presidency has been stained by his leadership and decisions in Vietnam. Johnson’s decisions in Vietnam are complex and debated about to this day. Johnson was left with this issue from Kennedy and as a strong proponent of the Domino Theory he believed that going to war with Vietnam was the right decision. The Vietnam war would devolve into disastrous policy and resulted in the loss of life of numerous Americans. However, while his decisions were disastrous he recognized that a continuation of his presidency would only seek to divide the country more. This and other factors led Johnson to not seek reelection in 1968 in hopes of reuniting the country and admittance of his failures. Therefore, I believe Lyndon Johnson is underrated because of his domestic policy that revolutionized the country along with his decision to not seek the presidency in 1968 under the pretense that he was not fit because of the Vietnam

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