Lyndon Baines Johnson

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Lyndon B. Johnson was the 36th President of the United States. One of his biggest projects was the "Great Society," which created the social welfare programs in the United States.

Williams connection

“By executive order the President forthwith created a National Youth Administration, with Aubrey W. Williams as executive director, [and] Assistant Secretary of the Treasury Josephine Roche as executive committee chairman. Following the usual New Deal formula, there were to be 48 State Youth Divisions under 48 State Youth Directors, plus Youth Committees in cities, towns, counties.” The young man selected as youth director for the state of Texas was the 26-year-old future president of the United States Lyndon Baines Johnson.

Johnson had begun his political career as the congressional secretary and assistant to Congressman Richard Mifflin Kleberg. In 1935 he left the service of Congressman Kleberg to become Texas state director of the National Youth Administration, headed by Williams. During his tenure, the two men established a lasting friendship. In his new position, with headquarters in Austin, Texas, Johnson soon put an elaborate program into effect. Years later, a notable African American leader of the time reportedly said: "In the middle thirties we didn't know Lyndon Johnson from Adam," and continued, "We began to get word up here that there was one NYA director who wasn't like the others. He was looking after Negroes and poor folks and most NYA people weren't doing that." Johnson carried that same progressive spirit into his presidency, as exemplified in his War on Poverty program and the Great Society. It has also be said that these early youth programs were the inspiration for such Johnsonian initiatives as the Job Corps and Upward Bound.[1]

Later Williams opposed the Vietnam War, expressing as much to the newly re-elected President Johnson in 1965. The following is an excerpt from the book Pillar of Fire (pg. 384), written by Taylor Branch:

"From his sick bed, dying of Cancer, Aubrey Williams scrawled a “Dear Lyndon” letter to his rambunctious protégé of the New Deal era. He instructed the President that if he received the letter and did not find it “worth answering, do not send me one of those synthetic letters that somebody signs for you.”

“What I want to say-and I feel sure that I speak for the great majority of American people- for Godsake [sic] don’t get us bogged down in a hopeless mess in South East Asia. [John Foster] Dulles made as many mistakes as any one man in our history. Agree to a conference and get out. It must be costing us 2 million dollars a day. That is a lot of money. Will you let me give you one more piece of advice. All men want individual freedom. It may take time for you to work it out, but one of the great things about Franklin D. Roosevelt was poise. He knew human nature and had the courage to give it a chance. I hope you get to see this. Still devotedly,”

In his reply, Johnson assured his old mentor that he “would never reply to him synthetically”, adding that he believed his Asia policy to be “the correct one.”

Soviet Union support

In 1963/64 the Soviet Union actively tried to undermine Republican presidential candidate Barry Goldwater, in favour of Democrat Lyndon Johnson. Goldwater lost the election paving the the way for Johnson's massive expansion of Federal Government power-the "Great Society".

In their 1989 book "THE KGB AGAINST THE MAIN ENEMY-How the Soviet Intelligence Service Operates against the United States" the U.S.'s premier communist researcher Herbert Romerstein and former KGB officer Stanislav Levchenko examined Soviet attempts to blacken Goldwater's name and other Soviet campaigns of the time;

The false charge that Goldwater was a racist was only one of the smear campaigns used against his candidacy by the Soviets and their surrogates. The American Communists covertly covertly assisted in this "active measures" campaign.

A 1963 booklet claimed that Goldwater was conspiring with the John Birch Society to organize a "putsch," or violent insurrection, to take over the United States in 1964. The booklet, "Birch Putsch Plans for 1964", contained no address for the publisher, Domino Publications. The author used the not-veryimaginative pseudonym, "John Smith, as told to Stanhope T. McReady." There was nothing to tie this publication to the communists until an ad for the book appeared in the pro-communist National Guardian for April 25, 1963, listing the publisher as "Domino Publications, Suite 900, 22 West Madison Street, Chicago, Illinois."

This was in fact the address of Translation World Publishers, which was registered under the Foreign Agents Registration Act as an agent of the Soviet Union. The co-owners, LeRoy Wolins and David S. Canter, were identifed by the House Committee on Un-American Activities as members of the Communist Party USA.

In 1965 Domino Publications of Chicago published a pamphlet attacking the NATO multilateral nuclear force (MLF). The pamphlet, by David S. Canter, was titled MLF-Force or Farce? It presented the Soviet arguments against the NATO nuclear defense.

ITT interview

In August 2006 Bill Ayers and Bernardine Dohrn were interviewed by Chicago socialist journal In These Times

Bernardine Dohrn called for a major "progressive" movement to move the next government to the left-as had happened under Franklin Delano Roosevelt in the 1930s and Lyndon Johnson in the 1960s[2].

To mount a movement, “let’s look at history,” said Dohrn between bites of her tuna nicoise salad. “Lyndon Johnson was not a civil rights leader; Lyndon Johnson was responding to a civil rights movement. FDR was not a labor leader; FDR was responding to a labor movement. We confuse these things when we think about them today.”
Indeed, that’s “a great mistake. Lyndon Johnson was the most effective politician of his generation, but it took a movement independent of Lyndon Johnson to get Lyndon Johnson to use that effectiveness for the good.

References

  1. John Salmond (2007), Aubrey W. Williams, Encyclopedia of Alabama, accessed September 16, 2009
  2. http://www.inthesetimes.com/article/2785/