It has been a half century since the passing of President Lyndon B. Johnson on January 22, 1973.
This giant of a man and a President had massive impact on the American people and their history.
LBJ brought about the greatest social and economic reform of any President except Franklin D. Roosevelt, and many might say that his impact in some ways was greater than that of FDR.
When one considers his impact on civil rights, education, health care, and the issue of urban and rural poverty, it is clear that LBJ transformed the American psyche on these matters.
The battles he fought and overcame against Southern Democrats have now, sadly, been transformed into struggles against most Republicans, who have become the new white supremacists and are out to promote the same narrow minded “states rights” arguments to erase advancements on race, women’s rights, and gay rights, in an attempt to bring America back to the mentality of the 19th century.
Had LBJ only had to deal with domestic issues, he would be ranked in the top five of all Presidents, but sadly, his insistence on continuing and expanding the war in Vietnam caused a massive split that started the attack against American liberalism and progressivism, which he and FDR had so championed from the 1930s through the 1960s.
So his ranking is lower, although with time, it has recovered so that he is considered in the top quarter of Presidents, generally ranking as about number 10 or 11 of all the 45 Presidents we have had.