President Johnson and His Great Society


My article, which was printed in the October issue of Beacon Lights made its appearance hard upon the election of President Johnson. President Johnson, who will be inaugurated into office in January, overwhelmingly defeated his opponent, concerning whom we wrote last time.

At that time my article should have been entitled “A Look at the Conservative Candidate” because I said so much about the Goldwater position and had been quiet respecting the position of Lyndon Baines Johnson, who represents the liberal wing in American politics. He it is who was the favorite candidate of the Labor Union leaders and was extolled be Socialist and Communist nations as being the favorite candidate of the 1964 election.

Irrespective of how you voted or whether you voted in the election, it would seem to me that you would have carefully considered the possibilities and that you would have been somewhat influenced by the tremendous flood of literature which came streaming from the pens of the conservative thinkers in America. Many of us are avid readers of Time magazine, Life magazine, the daily newspaper and other of the liberally controlled news media. There are periodicals, however, such as The National Review which purport to be more conservative in their political approach and differ with the liberal policies of the established government. It is true that the editors of some of the periodicals which I have classified as being liberal make pithy comments and point out certain peripheral inconsistencies in a newsmakers position but they never differ fundamentally with the basic position of the American politician, who seems to be content with a general movement toward more and more state and federal control of every facet of the individual’s life.

Lyndon Baines Johnson, who rose to prominence from the political backwoods and badlands of Texas, has been severely criticized previous to his election by those from his own state and by others who did not want to see him elected to the presidency. I could suggest materials to read but many of these materials reflect upon the personal life of Johnson and it is not my intention to consider the person of President Johnson but rather the ideas of Johnson as they are the trend of times.

Much of the argument and jargon of President Johnson was presented in the framework of what he called the “Great Society”. President Franklin D. Roosevelt had proffered his “New Deal”, Truman his “Fair Deal”, the late President Kennedy his “New Frontier” and now President Johnson spouts out concerning the “Great Society”. He, along with his predecessors, seems to realize that the only hope from civilization in this vale of tears is that all men unite in a fight against the curse that has come upon all men since the fall of Adam. L. B. J.’s “Great Society” will be concerned with Urban Renewal, Health Care, Making America Beautiful, Rapid Transit, Water and Air Pollution, Depressed Areas and Education. He epitomizes all his ideals by saying: “There are those that say this battle cannot be done; that we are condemned to a soulless wealth. I do not agree. We have the power to shape the civilization we want. But we need your will—your labor—your hearts—if we are to build that kind of society.”

His primary concerns are with building a “Great Society” in the United States, but I am sure that he would agree with Emery Reves, who wrote The Anatomy of Peace, that “There is not the slightest hope that we can possibly solve any of the vital problems of our generation until we rise above dogmatic nationcentric conceptions and realize that, in order to understand the political, economic and social problems of this highly integrated and industrialized world, we have to shift our standpoint and see all the nations and national matters in motion, in their interrelated functions, rotating according to the same laws without any fixed points created by our own imagination for our own convenience.”

More than 26,000,000 Americans did not assent to the election of President Johnson in spite of the great plurality by which he was elected. These 26,000,000 Americans differed politically and possibly economically with the current administration and with that which is to be. For a little while there is still a stop-gap which will seemingly prevent the administration from doing anything rashly. And yet, there is a certain momentum in the direction of extreme state-ism and governmental dictation which cannot be stopped. All things must be seen to be moving in the direction of the establishment of the anti-Christian world power. The nations from the four corners of the earth are beginning to assert themselves and to have prominent places in the high places of the world. Colonialism is almost a thing of the past and nationalism in the previously backward countries of the world is the order of the day. The thinkers of the world know that all must be united and this is Satan’s great goal that all nations shall finally unite and battle the church so that only those who have the mark of the beast will be safe.

In the midst of all this tumult when there is much confusion and conservatives prate about a Christian American which is being destroyed, we have a calling to be clear minded and a church in the midst of the world and not look to a development of “Utopia” in this world.

It is not my purpose, therefore, to defend either the right or left, to defend either liberal or conservative, but to urge you to investigate the political situation today and realize that all things in the world are far worse than we are often willing to admit. There is much more to the business of political intrigue than meets the eye as presented by the controlled press.

I urge you to read, therefore, but always with the clear consciousness of your pilgrimage. Lift up your heads, therefore, for your redemption is nigh.