5. Stage Four – Lyndon B. Johnson and the Great Society:
“I am concerned about the whole man. I am concerned about what the people, using their government as an instrument and a tool, can do toward building the whole man, which will mean a better society and a better world.” – Lyndon Baines Johnson
Lyndon B. Johnson became the 36th President of the United States of America after tragedy struck and President John F. Kennedy was assassinated in Dallas, Texas. LBJ was a progressive leader that wanted to deliver just as much “change” to the United States as his predecessors, FDR and Woodrow Wilson did. Just like the last major progressive in the office before him, LBJ wanted to significantly change the landscape in America with a monster set of programs like the New Deal. LBJ called his monster the Great Society.
The Great Society was not only the second coming of the New Deal, it also borrowed many ideas from JFK’s New Frontier, which was never really implemented on a large scale due to his death just a few years into his first term. The basic make-up of the Great Society consisted of civil rights and the war on poverty, as well as programs for education, health care, the arts, transportation, consumer protection and the environment.
The first of these factors I want to look at is civil rights. To be clear, I am definitely in favor of civil rights in theory. Everyone deserves equality and no one should be discriminated against due to race, color, creed, etc. Civil rights and women’s rights were huge victories in their day. However, apart from all the fanfare and all the glory, there is a lot of tyrannical and evil bullshit. The thing I am talking about specifically is the Civil Rights Act of 1964. Now this bill was written by Republicans and most of the GOP supported it, while the Democrats were strongly opposed to it. In fact, I talk about this in greater detail in my article “Republicans: The Party of Racism?“. Essentially, the Republicans were all for civil rights, while the Democrats, today’s race baiters and favorite party of most minorities, were against them. Interesting, eh?
One Democrat seemingly saw the light however and that was Lyndon B. Johnson. LBJ adopted the Civil Rights Act as a part of the Great Society. Even though it was drafted by the opposition, LBJ wanted desperately to make sure that blacks and other races had the same rights as whites. While this is quite noble and admirable, his efforts have grown to become counterproductive. Now the liberals will sneer at that and think it is some form of right-wing propaganda that I am trying to push off but I am only concerned with the facts. The facts clearly show, that in some aspects, parts of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 have violated the Constitution and have also given a lot of minorities a sense of dependency on the federal government.
One way that it goes against the Constitution, is that it forces business owners to have to comply with a set of laws that makes it so they have to service everyone, no matter what the color of their skin is. Sure, this sounds good but if someone doesn’t like a certain group of people, should they be forced to do business with them? That goes against their individual rights and if it is their business, it goes against their property rights. I’m not turning a blind eye to bigotry, but that person, no matter how they feel, should be able to do business however they see fit. Now, that doesn’t mean that he won’t be negatively effected by his bigotry. He’d most likely loose business as word quickly spreads that he refuses to service a race that isn’t his. The government doesn’t need to regulate this, people can figure these things out for themselves. This was Barry Goldwater’s argument against the Civil Rights Act and by taking that stance, he lost the presidential election against LBJ. Nowadays, the Democrats like to paint him out as a bigot when, in reality, it was the Democrats who were the bigots of the day.
Also, as far as the unconstitutionality of the Civil rights Act goes, there is no power given to Congress that allows them to regulate employee and employer relations. This would fall under the 10th Amendment where the ability to make such laws would fall into the hands of the states themselves. Essentially, the Civil Rights Act is a violation against state’s rights in addition to the Constitution. Revisiting FDR, as governor of New York, he stated:
“..as the conduct of public utilities, of banks, of insurance, of business, of agriculture, of education, of social welfare and of a dozen other important features. In these, Washington must not be encouraged to interfere.”
If only FDR practiced as president, what he preached as governor. Too bad LBJ didn’t listen either.
Now, let’s look at the fact that the Civil Rights Act had counterproductive results. It was Congressman Ron Paul who said on the House floor:
“..contrary to the claims of the supporters of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 and the sponsors of HR 676, the Civil Rights Act of 1964 did not improve race relations or enhance freedom. Instead, the forced integration dictated by the Civil Rights Act of 1964 increased racial tensions while diminishing individual liberty.”
So, how did it do that?
Well, the Civil Rights Act of 1964 gave the federal government a huge surge in power. Their reach could literally go further than it ever had before in regards to the regulation of business at the employment management level. The government now had power of the hiring process, employee relations and customer service. In regards to this, Ron Paul said:
“The result was a massive violation of the rights of private property and contract, which are the bedrocks of free society. The federal government has no legitimate authority to infringe on the rights of private property owners to use their property as they please and to form (or not form) contracts with terms mutually agreeable to all parties. The rights of all private property owners, even those whose actions decent people find abhorrent, must be respected if we are to maintain a free society.
This expansion of federal power was based on an erroneous interpretation of the congressional power to regulate interstate commerce. The framers of the Constitution intended the interstate commerce clause to create a free trade zone among the states, not to give the federal government regulatory power over every business that has any connection with interstate commerce.”
The Civil Rights Act of 1964 did not accomplish its goals of creating racial harmony and promoting equality. You cannot regulate what is in a man’s mind. If he is a racist, you cannot legislate it out of him. If anything, this sort of action will create strong resistance, which in many cases is what has happened. People generally are good, but you can’t force them into being good. It has to be something that they are by their own accord.
Forcing employers to hire based on a racial quota is ridiculous. If you are giving minorities an extra edge then that certainly isn’t equal. Affirmative action in all its forms is racist in itself and a giant oxymoron. Ron Paul also had something to say about this aspect:
“Racial quotas have not contributed to racial harmony or advanced the goal of a color-blind society. Instead, these quotas encouraged racial balkanization, and fostered racial strife.
Of course, America has made great strides in race relations over the past forty years. However, this progress is due to changes in public attitudes and private efforts. Relations between the races have improved despite, not because of, the 1964 Civil Rights Act.”
I keep quoting Dr. Paul here because he has a way with words that eloquently portrays the reality of this controversial subject. Well, “controversial” if you seemingly oppose it.
Trying to put a price tag on the Civil Rights Act of 1964 is impossible. However, the vast majority of the programs under the umbrella of this bill have been incredibly costly over the years. The biggest cost however, has been the cost of individual liberty. If we all just got behind individual liberty and respected it, laws like this one wouldn’t even be necessary.
According to Wikipedia, “The most ambitious and controversial part of the Great Society was..” the War on Poverty. Man, seems like we’re always at “war” with someone or something, doesn’t it? I don’t want to go to war with the poor! Apparently, this wasn’t a war against the poor, it was a war to “help” the poor. Funny, how can you help the poor when wars are expensive? No one ever helped the poor with wasteful spending. Hell, wasteful spending is why many people are poor. So apart from the obvious, how was this a costly, counterproductive, horrible idea from the minds of progressives?
Well, the Economic Opportunity Act of 1964 was comprised of a laundry list of programs guaran-damn-teed to end poverty in the United States. It didn’t matter to LBJ that the experts of the day were stating that poverty was on a sharp decline in America. No, no, no! LBJ had to try and meddle with it and force the turnaround quicker. Don’t these tyrants ever learn from the “good intentions” of their predecessors? No, they don’t. They don’t concern themselves with facts and data, they concern themselves with guilt and ego. In fact Johnson championed in what progressives before him had done when he declared:
“The Act does not merely expand old programs or improve what is already being done. It charts a new course. It strikes at the causes, not just the consequences of poverty. It can be a milestone in our one-hundred eighty year search for a better life for our people.”
LBJ claimed that the Economic Opportunity Act would accomplish five goals. They first goal would provide half a million underprivileged young Americans with the opportunity to develop skills, continue education, and find useful work. The second goal would give every American community the opportunity to develop a comprehensive plan to fight its own poverty—and help them to carry out their plans. The third goal would allow Americans to enlist in helping fight the War on Poverty. It was voluntary however. The fourth goal would destroy the barriers holding back workers and farmers. The final goal was the creation of the the Office of Economic Opportunity, a federal HQ for the War on Poverty. Man, all that shit sounds expensive! Why not just give the money to the people charitably, as opposed to forcibly taking it via taxpayers’ dollars and distributing it into these expensive and expansive programs? I guess having a gun to one’s head to force their charity is more romantic.
LBJ and the newly refurbished Magical Progressive Problem Solving Machine created the Welfare State. In a typical case of “unintended consequences”, the welfare system has failed miserably and created a society that is further dependent on government handouts, whether through the abuse of food stamps or unemployment benefits. Just look at how out of control unemployment is now. The government now allows people to collect unemployment checks for 99 weeks! That’s a month shy of two years! I know unemployment is bad in this country right now, but my-fucking-god, is it really going to take two years to find a job? I’ve never in my entire life been unemployed for a quarter of that time. When I was, I was too proud to take unemployment benefits. Maybe that was a mistake on my part but I still went from being homeless and penniless to making a pretty good salary and holding a pretty sweet job. If there is a will there is a way! I’ve said it again and again. However, the government takes that will away.
You se, the length of unemployment benefits allows people to be overly selective with the jobs they choose. People turn down menial hard-working jobs for little pay because they are getting little pay to sit at home to browse TMZ and play Farmville between casually scanning Monster, Craigslist and CareerBuilder. Yes, I realize the unemployment benefits are small and near impossible to make a living off of, but with all the other entitlements and handouts added in on top of that, one can live pretty phat for an unemployed person. People can debate this to death but I have seen this in action with my own eyes throughout my life. This IS what motivated me to not become one of those people. Guess who’s gotten further in life between those people and I? I did, and I was even worse off than most of them when at my lowest. We have created a nation of lazy entitled whiners because of these progressive programs. If you think I am an asshole for stating that, you are a blind idiot for not understanding the concept of “cause and effect”. Truth is, the Great Society created the Weak Society.
Another part of the Great Society was education. LBJ dropped a few new laws on us with the Elementary and Secondary Education Act, the Higher Education Act and the Bilingual Education Act. With these acts came some unintended consequences born out of good intentions like every goddamned progressive invention. With the Elementary and Secondary Education Act came the Head Start program. With the Higher Education Act came the Teacher Corps.With the Bilingual Education Act came special federal aid to schools that had students with limited English speaking ability.
This bilingual idiocy has led us to a country that is overly sensitive to the needs of non-English speakers. Instead of promoting our national language, we force our citizens to conform to the needs of those who aren’t even citizens. It makes it so that immigrants to America don’t have to learn the national language. We are the only country in the world promoting such nonsense. If you, as an American, move to a foreign land and refuse to learn their language, not only will you be laughed at, but you will fall behind immensely. It is not a nation’s job to adapt to an outsider, it is an outsiders job to adapt to the nation. Maybe it is just me but that’s common sense. Our political correctness has made us a nation of pacifist pussies always trying to belittle, demoralize and demonize ourselves and our culture for the sake of those escaping their situations for the American life. Hell, we’re cheating them as much as we’re cheating ourselves here.
The Great Society also created the medical monsters Medicare and Medicaid. Just like with FDR’s Social Security plan, one doesn’t have to look too far to see how these entitlements are ruining our economy still to this day. In fact, the combination of Social Security, Medicare and Medicaid took up 43 percent of our national budget in 2010! Nearly half of our federal budget goes to just these three pieces of progressive legislation! It’s fucking insanity! Problem is, even the fiscal conservatives, for the most part, refuse to give up these entitlements. What these programs are, in layman’s terms, is welfare for the senior citizen crowd. Medicare and Medicaid also opened the door to socialized health care and eventually, Obamacare. I’ll cover that in the next section of this article.
LBJ’s Great Society also thought it was necessary for the federal government to involve itself in the arts and broadcasting. Why the hell government needs to be involved in art or broadcasting is beyond me. Many liberals have tried to explain this to me but their explanations continually fall short. First of all, art is open to interpretation and what some sees as art, someone else might not. Art is subjective. So who the hell is the government to think that they can funnel tax dollars to a subjective thing? How do you quantify that even? This is why we end up with our tax dollars paying for museum exhibits of ant-covered Christs. I plan to write an article about government and art in the near future.
As far as broadcasting goes, the federal government has given us PBS and NPR. To some, mainly the lefties, this is a great thing. To those on the right or in the middle even, this is ridiculous. First of all, it would be great if government funded broadcasting was non-partisan or even bi-partisan. It is neither of these. NPR for instance, is a hardcore leftist entity. Why should someone who is opposed to that ideology have to pay for it? Hell, NPR themselves have been on record saying that they would actually do much better without government funding. Okay assholes, then why are you stealing from us then? Give us back our money and go private. As long as you’re public and taking my money, you have no right to shove socialist and progressive bullshit down my throat. Now you can argue that I don’t have to listen to it. Good point, and I don’t. But I DO have to pay for it, and that is the problem. PBS is leftist too and I don’t feel like I should have to pay for them either.
Idiot shitcock Ralph Nader wrote a stupid ass book called “Unsafe at Any Speed”. Because of that stupid ass book, the LBJ administration added some transportation legislation to the Great Society. The biggest of these progressive programs was the National Traffic and Motor Vehicle Safety Act. What this law did was it empowered the federal government to establish safety standards for motor vehicles, as well as overseeing traffic safety. Once again, the progressives thought that they could do something more efficiently than the private sector. There are already several agencies that test countless things with motor vehicles and other items. Nader’s big stink against the Corvair, which was a focal point of his book, ended up being complete bullshit. The car was considered “unsafe to drive” and was pulled off the market. A few years later, the vehicle was tested to see if these claims were valid, and they weren’t. All this was created on a lie. Nader’s attack was complete bullshit and used as a catalyst to get the people to believe that we need government to protect us from those evil automakers. On this topic Milton Friedman said:
“Nowadays there are Corvair fan clubs throughout the country. Corvairs have become collectors’ items. Consumers have given their verdict on Ralph Nader and the government regulations.”
The last area of the Great Society I want to talk about is the environmental portion. Where the two Roosevelts and Wilson wanted to protect existing resources and promote conservation, LBJ took it even further. During his time in the Oval Office, he signed several environmental bills into law. These bills were the Clear Air, Water Quality and Clean Water Restoration Acts and Amendments, the Wilderness Act, the Endangered Species Preservation Act, the National Trails System Act, the Wild and Scenic Rivers Act, the Land and Water Conservation Act, the Solid Waste Disposal Act, the Motor Vehicle Air Pollution Control Act, the National Historic Preservation Act, the Aircraft Noise Abatement Act and the National Environmental Policy Act. All of these bills come with their own forms of tyranny built in. Most of them have created some ridiculous laws that negatively impact economic growth. By putting the rights of a single endangered bird over the rights of thousands upon thousands of people to go into a Wal-Mart and buy their necessities is pretty fucking ludicrous. Analyzing each of these in full detail would take up a whole book. What I can say here though, is that with each of these programs comes a heavy price tag which we are still paying today. With each also comes a loss of liberty, especially individual and property rights.
There are several other aspects of the Great Society that I haven’t mentioned, but I am sure you get the idea. This being the fourth huge section in my giant article about the roots of progressivism should probably prepare you for the fact that the fifth and final part will also not have a positive ending.
Looking back at LBJ here, it is pretty apparent that his performance as POTUS was greatly influenced by the progressive masterminds before him. Because of that, LBJ’s legacy was just as tyrannical and maddening as the legacies of his predecessors. When you dump the Great Society on top of the New Deal, Wilsonian policy and Teddy Roosevelt’s programs, you are left with a giant beast risen from the ashes of liberty. The Great Society, the New Deal and all the other progressive bullshit programs did not empower people like they promised, instead they stripped great Americans of their already existing power, their resourcefulness, their drive, their pride and their self-reliance. All that was replaced with apathy, complacency and dependence on the State.
No need to worry though, there was another progressive who rose from the ashes promising “hope” and “change”. He is the subject of the fifth and final part of this article.
“This is the moment when we must build on the wealth that open markets have created, and share its benefits more equitably. Trade has been a cornerstone of our growth and global development. But we will not be able to sustain this growth if it favors the few, and not the many.” – Barack Hussein Obama
This article will be continued in PART V