Institution of Affiliation
Is Lyndon B. Johnson’s vision of government better than Ronald Reagan’s vision of a better government?
The vision of a nation is of great significance as it helps the country achieve what it has planned. A vision is a roadmap that directs the people towards the achievement of their goals. Visions dictate the potentials of a candidate as their abilities lie in their visions. The speeches outline the visions of the two notable politicians with Lyndon Johnson providing the speech ‘Great Society’ while his opponent Ronald Reagan gave the speech ‘A Time for Choosing.’ Of the two greatest speeches, Lyndon B. Johnson’s speech of ‘Great Society’ outlines the vision of America way better than that of Ronald Reagan ‘A Time for Choosing.’
Lyndon claims that the purpose of protecting the life of the American nation as well as the preservation of the liberty of the citizens is the “Pursuit of happiness for all our people.” He continues to say that “Our success in that pursuit is the test of our success as a nation.”1 According to Lyndon, the vision he has for America is that of a united nation that lives together in harmony and happiness. Unity is the key and therefore for America to realize their dreams they will have to unite. Happiness is a result of contentment, and therefore people should come up with ideas that will lead to the satisfaction of the needs of the people to bring about satisfaction. For this to be possible people should make themselves useful through creativity, hard work, and dedication.
Lyndon does not emphasize on the importance of the government in making the American nation great, but instead, he focuses on the people as the only hope as it is through them that the vision of the country can be fulfilled. Lyndon claims that it is through “Your imagination, your imitative, and your indignation that will determine whether we build a society where progress is the servant of our needs or a society where old values and new visions are buried under unbridled growth.” The vision of a nation cannot be propelled without the will of the people as they are the people who are governed by the governments and therefore if they are not involved in the development of the nation then it will be tough to realize the vision of the nation.
An all-inclusive government is essential in the development of a great society as “The great society rests on the abundance and liberty for all.”2 Abundance has plenty, and this means that in the for the great society to prevail, all the inadequacies need to be addressed and these include poverty, salaries, and well skills that are essential in the achievement of the great society vision. In the great society, every person is entitled to the search for knowledge to enrich their minds and as well as a place to nurture their talents. Lyndon further claims that capitalism cannot work in the great society in that it will lead to individualism to which eventually will lead to the destruction of the environment due to the need to fulfill the needs of the body as well as the demands of commerce. And this is the reason as to why society needs to developed by all the people in the desire for beauty as well as a common good of all the people.
In the ‘Great Society’ speech, values and virtues are greatly upheld ascertaining that a country cannot prosper if its people have no moral values. Protection of nature is a key requirement in the maintenance of the nation’s heritage as it makes the people honor the creation as well as what it adds to the understanding of race. The great society is, therefore, a place where according to Lyndon, “the men are more concerned with the quality of their goals than the number of their goods.” Lyndon meant that people should be concerned with the objectives and vision and not forget what makes their lives better to focus on material gains. The people should be more focused on enriching their culture, a cultural heritage that they will be proud of in the future. People have to work hard to achieve a great society as it is a challenge that is constantly renewed, beckoning the people to their destiny such that their lives match the fruits of their labor.
The great society will be built on three places that are the cities, classrooms and the countryside. Lyndon’s vision is that “Men come together in cities to live, but they remain together to live a good life,”3 and therefore he focuses on the three areas that are attributed to making life better for the people to live. According to Lyndon, a large population of the people will move to settle in urban areas, and therefore the urban areas need to be developed through the development of infrastructures such as highways and homes to accommodate the huge population. The countryside as well needs to be protected as it is the source of beauty and resources. The countryside is mostly made of forests and therefore provide the people with water food as well as fresh air, and due to pollution, America may lose its beauty bringing an ugly America, and therefore efforts need to be put in place to restore America’s beauty. The classroom is the third component of the great society in that it is a place where knowledge is obtained, and it is through this knowledge that America will be able to fight poverty.
A Time for Choosing by Ronald Reagan, on the other hand, is against socialism that claims that the election is based on the maintenance of peace and prosperity. He says that he has “uncomfortable feeling the prosperity isn’t something on which could be used to base the hopes for the future” Reagan despite not running for the presidency and instead supporting another Goldwater bases his vision through critics on the vision of the great society. Reagan is opposed in the idea of peace in America as he says that, “There can be no real peace while one American is dying some place in the world for the rest of us.”4 On the idea of eliminating poverty, Reagan claims that a large number of the American population is poverty stricken contributing to 9 million families, but his solution to poverty is not the same as that of Lyndon. Reagan claims that the country spends more than 45 million dollars on welfare. Direct aid to the poor will help reduce the poverty level as dividing the 45 million dollars up equally among the affected families, would give each family an additional 4,600 dollars, “and this added to their present income should eliminate poverty”4. Reagan’s claim seems to solve the current problem and not in future, and therefore, his vision is short-lived and therefore according to my opinion, Lyndon’s vision of a great society is far much better than Reagan’s Time for Choosing.
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