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Prof. Boerner's Explorations

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Tag: Great Society

Edited by Gerald Boerner

    

    
Introductory Comments:

JerryPhoto_thumb2_thumb_thumbMany of our featured postings for today focus upon the subject of war. These battles range from the needless, to the unjust, to the idealistic. And the final one is the one that actually brought Lincoln’s Emancipation Proclamation a reality of a huge portion of our citizens. We have been fighting these wars ever since we won our independence from the British in 1783 when we signed the Treaty of Paris.

CrazyHFight

In most of these cases, these battles created American heroes. General Andrew Jackson became an instant folk hero following his heroics during the Battle of New Orleans; this battle, ironically, was unnecessary since it occurred after the Treaty of Trent had been signed that ended the War of 1812. One of the sad points in American history was our treatment of the Native American tribes, as exemplified by the defeat of Crazy Horse at the Battle of Wolf Mountain. But we do not remember the leaders of that U.S. Cavalry unit, but we do remember Crazy Horse as a hero of Native American rights!

More recently, we have to remember the attempt of Woodrow Wilson to create a new world order following World War I through his Fourteen Points. These points created a framework for a just peace that remove the need for more wars — the War to End Wars. As a result of the isolationist mood of the U.S. Congress and the imperial ambitions of the British and French leadership, these Fourteen Points were bypassed to impose a vindictive, punitive settlement upon Germany in the Treaty of Versailles in 1919. This treaty called for the creation of the League of Nations, as a forum for the peaceful settlement of disputes; our own Senate failed to ratify this treaty and therefore did not join the League of Nations. Win a little, lose a lot!

The event that is the high point of these posts is the “War on Poverty” program proposed by President Lyndon B. Johnson (LBJ) in his State of the Union speech in 1964. This proposal created the Great Society set of programs that brought about the realization of Lincoln’s Emancipation Proclamation of 100 years ago. This program would provide rights to all Americans, including Voting Rights, Equal Treatment under the Law, the Ending of Segregation in the South, etc. It was probably one of the most significant programs since the New Deal of Franklin D. Roosevelt and the Fair Deal of Harry S. Truman.

NAACP Turns 100

So let us take a look at these notable events that occurred on this day, including some that we have not highlighted… GLB

These Introductory Comments are copyrighted:
Copyright©2012 — Gerald Boerner — All Rights Reserved

[ 961 Words ]
    

    

Quotations Related to Lyndon B. Johnson:

[ http://www.brainyquote.com/quotes/authors/l/lyndon_b_johnson.html ]

    

“A man without a vote is man without protection.”
— Lyndon B. Johnson

“A President’s hardest task is not to do what is right, but to know what is right.”
— Lyndon B. Johnson

“Education is not a problem. Education is an opportunity.”
— Lyndon B. Johnson

“I am a freeman, an American, a United States Senator, and a Democrat, in that order.”
— Lyndon B. Johnson

“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 B. Johnson

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Edited by Gerald Boerner

    

    
Commentary:

JerryPhoto_thumb2_thumbTruman was well-known for his desk sign, “The Buck Stops Here.” But the relatively inexperienced haberdasher turned politician from Missouri. He was elected as vice-president in the 1944 election with FDR. With the war approaching completion in Europe, FDR left Truman out of the “loop.” When FDR died suddenly, Truman was thrust upon the world scene to negotiate with the experienced world leader, Churchill and Stalin. He is outmatched, but being from Missouri, he rises to the occasion to hold his own.

In the post-war turmoil with Stalin occupying eastern Europe and spreading his communist doctrine, Truman put forward a number of diplomatic initiatives to help Europe get through those trying times. He put forward the Marshall Plan, the Truman Doctrine, implemented the Berlin Airlift to help the West Berliners survive Stalin’s blockade, and supported the United Nations. But it was on the home from where he probably made the greatest difference.

Medicare

Truman put forth his 21 Points for the reshaping America to become more equitable and provide civil rights to all. While he could not get most of these points through the very conservative, contrary Congress, he created the Marines and Air Force as separate services within the military. More importantly, he ordered the desegregation of the military; the entire country would not realize the benefits of desegregation until the mid-1960s under LBJ’s Great Society. His Fair Deal program of social reforms was an attempt to carry on the New Deal started by FDR and would reach realization under the Great Society of LBJ.

This post is an attempt to tie together these programs of social reform over the span of three democratic administrations. These programs obtained some success that survived the attack of conservative republican administrations that worked to undo those changes that did not require changes in major laws. They were more or less picked apart. Once again, the Obama administration is attempting to finish the reform job, at least on universal health care. This is a goal that has eluded many, many administrations over the last century!

So, let’s get on with our exploration of Harry Truman’s “Fair Deal” program of social reforms. It will be up to the reader to read the details of these reforms due to space limitations… GLB

These Introductory Comments are copyrighted:
Copyright©2012 — Gerald Boerner — All Rights Reserved

[ 4215 Words ]
    

    

Quotations Related to Harry S. Truman:

    

“A President cannot always be popular.”
— Harry S. Truman

“The President is always abused. If he isn’t, he isn’t doing anything.”
— Harry S. Truman

“There is nothing new in the world except the history you do not know.”
— Harry S. Truman

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