Who is the most effective president since 1950? An effective president has good foreign relations and helps the country through aid, social programs, and more. An effective president also cares for his people. Lyndon B. Johnson fits these criteria. He is the most effective president of the last 50 years or so.
Lyndon Johnson was born in 1908 in Texas. He experienced some poverty, as he lived in a rural area, and he had to fight to pay his way through college. However, he managed to get a degree from the Southwest Texas State Teachers’ College. In 1934, he married Claudia “Lady Bird” Taylor.
The first office Johnson held was as a Representative in the House, where he was for Roosevelt’s New Deal. He spent a total of six terms as a Representative, and during this time also served in the military during World War II, winning a silver star for his services as a lieutenant. After this, Johnson was elected to the Senate in 1948. In 1953, he began the Senate minority leader, the youngest man to ever hold the position. In this position, he supported and passed many Eisenhower initiatives, which was unusual since they were not the major party at the time.
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Johnson’s presidential campaign began when he was Kennedy’s running mate and then vice president from 1960 – 1963. After Kennedy’s assassination, he was sworn in as the president. His first moves were to pass a civil rights bill and a tax cut, which had been a part of Kennedy’s plans prior to his death. Johnson was sensitive to civil rights because he had worked with Mexican children during his adolescence in Texas.
Johnson was also a great speaker, and he urged the nation to ‘build a great society.’ He won the election of 1964 with the highest margin ever, over 15 million votes. In his first full term as president, Johnson began to do many public works.
These are the works that made him a truly great president, and they include “aid to education, attack on disease, Medicare, urban renewal, beautification, conservation, development of depressed regions, a wide-scale fight against poverty, control and prevention of crime and delinquency, [and] removal of obstacles to the right to vote.” These were important steps in fighting the problems of the country, including racism, poverty, and more. Johnson also helped the elderly through the 1965 Medicare amendment to the Social Security Act.
Besides working to help those in the country who could not help themselves, Johnson also aided the space program, which successfully put men into space, men who orbited the moon, in 1968. Besides just going to space, the space program also came up with many useful inventions that are now common in the homes of all Americans; Johnson funded this research.
There were only two bad things that happened during Johnson’s presidency: blacks rioting in the ghettos over discrimination, and the increasing threats from Communists in Vietnam and elsewhere. Johnson did his best to try to put down the riots and have peace talks with the Communists. In fact, peace talks were still happening when Johnson left the White House and died shortly after.
Johnson was president until 1968, and afterwards he returned to his home in Johnson, Texas. He died there in 1973 of a sudden heart attack.
The least effective president of the last 50 years, in contrast to Johnson, was Carter. His efforts to create jobs and reduce inflation were met with some failure, as the economy took a downturn and interest rates and inflation remained extremely high. Carter also spent a lot of time worrying about the environment and foreign affairs, and not a lot of time working to reduce poverty or racial discrimination.
Johnson was a great man. He worked to fix all of the problems in the country, including racial issues, which were huge at that time. Desegregation had been ordered but was not being carried out; Johnson sought to fix that. He also made available help to those who were impoverished, giving them a new chance to succeed in life, and improving the health of the country in general. Johnson was the most effective president of the last 50 years.
“Lyndon B. Johnson.” The White House Biographies. Accessed December 12, 2006.
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