Lyndon Johnson's Platform
April 30, 1960
Lyndon Johnson's Platform
Traveling with all the trappings of a presidential candidate on weekends and getting the maximum exposure to people and politicians, Senator Lyndon B. Johnson of Texas nevertheless deliberately refuses to announce himself a candidate for the Democratic nomination. He fears an announcement would make the Senate leaderless and adversely affect the party record he is trying to build there. But he has outlined his platform and that gives his adherents plenty to talk about.
He offered ten points which, he said, form the challenge of the decade and call for immediate action. These are:
To bring water to our arid, non-producing wastelands and transform them into farmlands to feed our growing population.
To face the challenge of the exploration of space the control of weather here on earth, the development of new forms of communication with potentials which we cannot now imagine.
To fulfill our obligations to our elderly citizens to help them meet the pressing problems brought about by the changing patterns of American life.
To mount a massive battle against disease to conquer those age-old killers, cancer and heart disease to control and eliminate crippling diseases like arthritis to wipe out the plagues of such debilitating destroyers as malaria.
To improve and expand our childrens lear[n]ing, to provide the teachers and the schools through which can be imparted the rapidly growing fields of knowledge and the skills the coming generation will need.
To help through international cooperation the under-developed nations as they take the great step into the Twentieth Century to choose the way of freedom as their way of life.
To strengthen the position of free enterprise management and labor in a world which seems to trend toward collectivization.
To redevelop our great cities, now strangling as their population grows and as their housing and their transportation fail to keep pace with the growing.
To break down the barriers to communication between the peoples spread throughout the world to find and use new, better ways to understand them and be understood by them.
To take the lead in cooperative international efforts that will lead to true and lasting peace for the first time in the history of mankind.
There is something in these ten points for everyone but they are notable as much for what is left out as for what they include. Just to mention one sure issue, what about farmers? And another, inflation and sound money? The list of omissions no doubt will be filled out later. These first ten are enough to indicate that Johnson is going all out to satisfy the North and run as a liberal, if he is nominated. He has more New Deal projects here than have been dreamed of since the New Deal itself.
All of the leading candidates are on the May 20 primary ballot in Oregon, including the two still undeclared hopefuls, Adlai E. Stevenson and Senator Lyndon B. Johnson of Texas.
The open fight has given Senator John F. Kennedy of Massachusetts the first opportunity to meet all the leading candidates on the same ballot. In other contests, as in Wisconsin and West Virginia, his only opponent on the ballot was Senator Hubert H. Humphrey of Minnesota, but the others or their representatives ganged up on him in a stop-Kennedy drive.
Kennedy is the underdog in West Virginia. If he pulls out a victory there, he will go into the Oregon primary the favorite against the field. But he needs the West Virginia win to convince Oregon his is the bandwagon to climb.
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