Lyndon Johnson, Jimmy Carter And Human Rights Vs Ronald Reagan

President Lyndon Johnson overcame his Southern past to promote the Civil Rights Act of 1964 and the Voting Rights Act of 1965 through Congress, because he knew it was the right thing to do in his time!

President Jimmy Carter took a strong stand on human rights in Haiti, the Philippines, South Africa and elsewhere when he was President, because he knew it was the right thing to do in his time!

On the other hand, Ronald Reagan did everything to work against advancement of civil rights in America and human rights overseas in his time, refusing to condemn the governments of Haiti, the Philippines, and South Africa!

Only when Haiti and the Philippines overthrew their governments in 1986 in revolution, did Reagan, belatedly, endorse the changes and say he was for human rights in those nations, only five years late, and only when the deed was done to overthrow both dictatorships!

And when Reagan had a chance to condemn apartheid in South Africa, he threatened to, and finally did veto, a resolution passed in Congress to start sanctions against that racist regime. The Congress went ahead and overrode the veto, the first time in the 20th century that Congress had overridden a President on a foreign policy matter, with many Republicans joining Democrats in overriding the veto. This is so well depicted in the fantastic film, THE BUTLER, one of the best films in many years to come from Hollywood about history and politics!

In the film, the actor portraying Reagan shows insensitivity to the main character, black actor Forest Whitaker, on this issue, but then asks, is he possibly wrong in his decision to veto? Forrest Whittaker does not answer, but the resounding answer is YES!

So despite the adulation of Ronald Reagan on the far RIGHT of the Republican Party and the conservative movement, Reagan is correctly depicted as NOT being an advocate of civil rights and human rights, and did not have the courage and foresight of Lyndon Johnson and Jimmy Carter, who were principled men for good, unlike our 40th President!