Wednesday, November 2, 2016
Not sure much has improved since 1973......
So what of his great domestic accomplishments? What great domestic accomplishments? He sought a Great Society. He ushered in bitterness and resentment. He sought to educate all the population of America, and he bred a swaggering illiteracy, and a cultural bias in favor of a college education so adamant and so preposterous that if John Milton applied for a job with Chock Full o' Nuts, they would demand first to see his college diploma. The rhetoric of LBJ was in the disastrous tradition of JFK - encouraging the popular superstition that the state could change the quality, no less, of American life. This led necessarily to disappointment, and the more presumptuous the rhetoric, the more bitter the disappointment.
The Great Society did not lead us into eudaemonia. It led us into frustration - and to the lowest recorded confidence-vote in the basic institutions of this country since the birth of George Gallup. But: He was a patriot, who cared for his country, who was unsparing of himself, and who acquired at least a certain public dignity which lifted him from buffoonery, into tragedy. And he was the object of probably the greatest sustained vituperation in American political history. He paid a very high price for the office he discharged. And his detractors, as it happened, are America's worst friends, if that was any consolation.
-William F. Buckley, Jr., as excerpted from his eulogy for Lyndon Baines Johnson in A Torch Kept Lit: Great Lives of the Twentieth Century