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Why LBJ Chose Not to Run for Reelection in 1968 – Then Attempted to Retract it


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Just a few thoughts here for immediate sharing although I could really get into LBJ and his impact and history more later as it is a major subject of interest for me personally.

Some might consider logically the similarities between LBJ and Viet Nam and Trump and this Covid-19 pandemic nightmare.

As Philip Nelson described, much of the American public's growing discontent with that always unpopular, hard to understand, ever escalating and loss of American lives sacrifice war in that hot, steamy jungle and rice patty hell hole whose culture and people most American's couldn't relate to, eventually became a massive mistrust issue toward the hollow "light at the end of the tunnel" promoting LBJ.

An issue LBJ knew might very well had led to his defeat in the 1968 election.

Sounds familiar with Trump's incessant down playing and same hollow and unscientific predictions of a miraculous Covid virus cure.

This Covid-19 pandemic virus has brutally killed close to 3X more Americans than the entire Viet Nam war ( in just a short 6 month time frame! ) scarily infected over 3 million more and is still peaking in these two statistical areas and is simply terrifying the rest of the entire population. 

This pandemic is negatively effecting "every" American in every way so beyond what LBJ's Viet Nam escapade ever did.

Economic, personal freedoms, education, mental and physical health, social division and unrest, collective fear, uncertainty and now majority poll numbers mistrust of Trump's lack of leadership in dealing with this terrifying, true life monster.

Trump's pandemic "war" yoke is so much heavier than LBJ's Viet Nam one, to almost immeasurable degrees. 

And it "will" knock him out of the next election.

But, there is even more to Trump's loss of American trust. 

First, he didn't even win the majority of American votes in 2016.

Trump has been extremely controversial and disliked and mistrusted from the day he took office. After 3 and 2/3rds of his term already passed, his public support is even weaker than it was on January 20, 2017.

His train load of dirty laundry personal baggage from his life before his presidency is soiled with shady business deals, bad character associations, major tax avoidance and reported cheating, marital infidelity, dozens of charges of unwanted sexual advances and behavior, lack of transparency in every area and his own bad personal character being exposed in major best seller book after book as something out of a medical journal worst case sociopath study.

However, even with all this personal bad character context of Trump, if this pandemic monster hadn't blitzkrieg invaded our country with a nightmarish entire population effecting trauma almost beyond our belief, Trump might actually still have a chance at being re-elected!

Crazy yes, but our societal make up now is also that crazy in it's almost unprecedented conflicted moral, political, economic and ethnic division. Hence, a crazy person can grasp hold of this confusion and run for office and even have plurality support.

In the end however, Trump and his presidency will always be linked with this national nightmare. And in a similar failed leadership perceived way like LBJ and Viet Nam imo.

With a widely shared gut felt perception of personal corruption ( again like LBJ )  as well.

Edited by Joe Bauer
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1 hour ago, George Govus said:

With much else to do, I couldn't not finish reading that article, thanks.

George...the article, my post, or both?

Just curious.

Also, again just curious.

Your take on LBJ? 

Do you think he had or may have had anything at all to do with the JFK assassination? Or the cover-up? Do you think LBJ was as corrupt as many have claimed?

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From my book INTO THE NIGHTMARE about Johnson's forced removal from office:

 

In fact, as I was beginning to recognize at the time of Nixon’s resignation in 1974, three presidents in a row -- Kennedy, Johnson, and Nixon -- had been removed from office. It was becoming hard not to notice how the political system had changed with the Coup of ’63 and the coverup that followed. The calamitous turn in the Vietnam War when the Vietcong mounted the Tet Offensive in January 1968 led to President Johnson’s forced withdrawal from that year’s presidential race at the behest of his senior advisers, “The Wise Men.” That group was largely drawn from the leadership of the eastern establishment and including Clark Clifford, Dean Acheson, Averell Harriman, Henry Cabot Lodge, Douglas Dillon, and George Ball. Their decisive meeting with Johnson came on March 25, six days before he stunned the nation by announcing at the end of a televised speech about Vietnam, "I shall not seek, and I will not accept, the nomination of my party for another term as your President.”

Henry Brandon, the chief American correspondent of the Sunday Times of London, reports in his autobiography, Special Relationships: A Foreign Correspondent’s Memoirs from Roosevelt to Reagan (1988), about a conversation he had with President Johnson in 1968, after that decision was made: “LBJ, aware by then of his public repudiation, seemed to drag a burden of anguish in his wake when he spoke his own epitaph during a flight to visit President Truman in Independence, Missouri, aboard Air Force One: ‘The only difference between Kennedy’s assassination and mine is that mine was a live one, which makes it all a little more torturing.’” (Johnson visited Truman in Independence on May 3 and October 11 of that year.) Former Secretary of State Acheson summed up the March decision by the Wise Men by saying that “we can no longer do the job we set out to do [in Vietnam] in the time we have left, and we must begin to take steps to disengage.” Carl Oglesby in The Yankee and Cowboy War interprets what he calls Johnson’s forced “abdication” as a Yankee power play by the Wise Men to “break off [from the Cowboys] a war believed to be unwinnable except through an internal police state, both sides fighting for control of the levers of military and state-police power through control of the presidency. Johnson’s Ides of March was a less bloody Dallas, but it was a Dallas just the same: it came of a concerted effort of conspirators to install a new national policy by clandestine means. Its main difference from Dallas is that it finally did not succeed.”

Edited by Joseph McBride
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4 hours ago, Joseph McBride said:

From my book INTO THE NIGHTMARE about Johnson's forced removal from office:

“LBJ, aware by then of his public repudiation, seemed to drag a burden of anguish in his wake when he spoke his own epitaph during a flight to visit President Truman in Independence, Missouri, aboard Air Force One: ‘The only difference between Kennedy’s assassination and mine is that mine was a live one, which makes it all a little more torturing.’' 

Johnson’s Ides of March was a less bloody Dallas, but it was a Dallas just the same: it came of a concerted effort of conspirators to install a new national policy by clandestine means. Its main difference from Dallas is that it finally did not succeed.”

Fascinating.

So LBJ and Nixon were never in charge?

They were beholden to power holders above them? Unelected ones?

Were the Rockefellers part of this higher authority than the president group as well?

It seems the true reality of government and societal control in this country for many generations, is nothing close to what the average citizen ever imagined.

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George...the article, my post, or both?

Just curious.

Also, again just curious.

Your take on LBJ? 

Do you think he had or may have had anything at all to do with the JFK assassination? Or the cover-up? Do you think LBJ was as corrupt as many have claimed?

Joe, I was referring to the Nelson article Douglas posted, to do with Johnson's behavior up to and including 1967 and 1968.

As far as what I think about Johnson and JFK's horrific removal from office, I'm still a learner. I was out to lunch... for a few decades. I read a "Johnson was in on it" book, probably in the eighties, probably from the library. I'm aware people here I respect think he at least knew to duck. In terms of "who benefits," he definitely has to stand out.

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