Lyndon B. Johnson Quotes

Being president is like being a jackass in a hailstorm. There's nothing to do but to stand there and take 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 won't have you electioneering on my doorstep. Every time you get in trouble in Parliament you run over here with your shirttail hanging out. (To Prime Minister Harold Wilson)
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.
If you let a bully come in your front yard, he'll be on your porch the next day and the day after that he'll rape your wife in your own bed. (On appeasement)
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 Negro says, 'Now.' Others say, 'Never.' The voice of responsible Americans ... says, 'Together.' There is no other way.
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.
I greet you as the shapers of American society.
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.
All that Hubert needs over there is a gal to answer the phone and a pencil with an eraser on it.
I seldom think of politics more than 18 hours a day.
I believe the destiny of your generation-and your nation-is a rendezvous with excellence.
Poverty must not be a bar to learning and learning must offer an escape from poverty.
Every man has a right to a Saturday night bath.
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.
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.
Jack was out kissing babies while I was out passing bills. Someone had to tend the store.
Organized crime constitutes nothing less than a guerilla war against society.
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 CIA is made up of boys whose families sent them to Princeton but wouldn't let them into the family brokerage business.
If two men agree on everything, you may be sure that one of them is doing the thinking.
It is the common failing of totalitarian regimes that they cannot really understand the nature of our democracy. They mistake dissent for disloyalty. They mistake restlessness for a rejection of policy. They mistake a few committees for a country. They misjudge individual speeches for public policy. (Answering North Vietnamese charge that US could not endure)
The noblest search is the search for excellence.
I'm tired. I'm tired of feeling rejected by the American people. I'm tired of waking up in the middle of the night worrying about the war.
Light at the end of the tunnel We don't even have a tunnel we don't even know where the tunnel is.
The American city should be a collection of communities where every member has a right to belong. It should be a place where every man feels safe on his streets and in the house of his friends. It should be a place where each individual's dignity and self-respect is strengthened by the respect and affection of his neighbors. It should be a place where each of us can find the satisfaciton and warmth which comes from being a member of the community of man. This is what man sought at the dawn of civilzation. It is what we seek today.
I will do my best. That is all I can do. I ask for your help-and God's.
I'd rather give my life than be afraid to give it.
We have talked long enough in this country about equal rights. ... It is time now to write the next chapter-and to write it in the books of law.
This administration here and now declares unconditional war on poverty.
I want to make a policy statement. I am unabashedly in favor of women. (On appointing 10 women to top government positions)
We have the opportunity to move not only toward the rich society and the powerful society, but upward to the Great Society.
We Americans know-although others appear to forget-the risk of spreading conflict. We still seek no wider war. (On ordering retaliatory action against North Vietnam)
They call upon us to supply American boys to do the job that Asian boys should do.
When I was a boy ... we didn't wake up with Vietnam and have Cyprus for lunch and the Congo for dinner
A rioter with a Molotov cocktail in his hands is not fighting for civil rights any more than a Klansman with a sheet on his back and mask on his face. They are both more or less what the law declares them lawbreakers, destroyers of constitutional rights and liberties and ultimately destroyers of a free America.
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.
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.
In this age when there can be no losers in peace and no victors in war, we must recognize the obligation to match national strength with national restraint.
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 good.
War is always the same. It is young men dying in the fullness of their promise. It is trying to kill a man that you do not even know well enough to hate. Therefore, to know war is to know that there is still madness in the world.
I knew from the start if I left a woman I really loved -- the Great Society -- in order to fight that bitch of a war in Vietnam then I would lose everything at home. My hopes my dreams.
I believe, with abiding conviction, that this people-nurtured by their deep faith, tutored by their hard lessons, moved by their high aspirations-have the will to meet the trials that these times impose.
What we won when all of our people united ... must not be lost in suspicion and distrust and selfishness and politics. ... Accordingly, I shall not seek, and I will not accept, the nomination of my party for another term as president.
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.
A compassionate government keeps faith with the trust of the people and cherishes the future of their children.
Democracy is a constant tension between truth and half-truth and, in the arsenal of truth, there is no greater weapon than fact.
America has not always been kind to its artists and scholars. Somehow the scientists always seem to get the penthouse while the arts and humanities get the basement.
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 can draw lessons from the past, but we cannot live in it.
It is the excitement of becoming - always becoming, trying, probing, falling, resting, and trying again- but always trying and always gaining...
Yesterday is not ours to recover, but tomorrow is ours to win or to lose.
America is not merely a nation but a nation of nations.
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