While watching “Meet the Press” yesterday, I remembered a counter to Republicans always mentioning their opinions of Ronald Reagan: Democratic President Lyndon B. Johnson’s “GREAT SOCIETY! Read this from Wikipedia:
The Great Society was a set of domestic programs suggested or enacted in the United States on the initiative of President Lyndon B. Johnson. Two main goals of the Great Society social reforms were the elimination of poverty and racial injustice. New major spending programs that addressed education, medical care, urban problems, and transportation were launched during this period. The Great Society in scope and sweep resembled the New Deal domestic agenda of Franklin D. Roosevelt, but differed sharply in types of programs enacted.
Some Great Society proposals were stalled initiatives from John F. Kennedy‘s New Frontier. Johnson’s success depended on his skills of persuasion, coupled with the Democratic landslide in the 1964 election that brought in many new liberals to Congress. Anti-war Democrats complained that spending on the Vietnam War choked off the Great Society. While some of the programs have been eliminated or had their funding reduced, many of them, including Medicare, Medicaid, the Older Americans Act and federal education funding, continue to the present. The Great Society’s programs expanded under the administrations of Richard Nixon and Gerald Ford.
Doesn’t that sound like what we need today? Mr. President, maybe looking backward will inspire us forward. Democrats were great then. The times needed us to be great. President Johnson had his connections with The Congress to press adoption of the Great Society. Sadly, President Obama has been the victim of an organized campaign from the right to delegitimize his presidency and limit his success. What we need from him is a BIG DEAL. And, to get it, we not only must press him, but use our collective influence on our senators and representatives to pass the Obama Agenda. Perhaps it would be more palatable for Republicans if we call it a New Great Society…or something appropriate. Whatever the name, we need a big job creation program that has immediate and long-term results.
We need educational programs that raise our position in global technology and innovation. Conservative Republicans are wrong to choose cuts to education. (Where does such an idea come from?)
I was so disappointed that the last stimulus has been assessed as “not big enough.” Mr. President, give us a BIG, BOLD STIMULUS and promote it so that your opponents will suffer politically if they do not adopt it. Government spending can foster job creation and can make the economy stronger and more stable. Our new Great Society must be robust!
Finally, we must do something for minority communities who suffer intolerable unemployment and have had their wealth devalued. We must present a kicker that will inspire and galvanize blacks and Hispanics who inure to the success of democrats.
Both political parties must put the health of our country before political success. That Republicans want the Presidency is legitimate but, it is unconscionable to legislate to that agenda to the point the Nation is injured. Our current problems require that republicans and democrats work together to fight our national crisis. We have done it before. Some of you in Congress remember how we pulled together during the last World War. We can do this again…without a war. All it takes is a willingness to put personal ego and political intransigence aside to achieve a greater goal.