Throughout history, the pursuit and preservation of political power have often led individuals and parties to take extraordinary measures. While these actions are not confined to any specific ideology or party, a historical example within the Democratic Party sheds light on the lengths to which some will go to maintain their grip on power.
One prominent example from Democratic Party history is the case of Lyndon B. Johnson, the 36th President of the United States. Johnson’s path to power and his tactics to keep it are indicative of the intricate links between political ambition and power preservation.
Johnson’s ascent to power was marked by his shrewdness and ability to navigate the complex world of American politics. As a senator from Texas, he skillfully wielded his influence in Congress, often employing what came to be known as the “Johnson Treatment” – a mixture of persuasion, arm-twisting, and charm that aimed to secure support for his political agenda.
However, it was during his vice presidency under John F. Kennedy that Johnson’s quest for power truly came into play. Following Kennedy’s assassination in 1963, Johnson ascended to the presidency, and he wasted no time in using his position to push through groundbreaking legislation, including the Civil Rights Act of 1964 and the Voting Rights Act of 1965. These moves were not only aimed at advancing civil rights but also at solidifying his party’s base and securing support from African American voters.
Johnson’s determination to maintain power also extended to his tactics during the 1964 Democratic National Convention. Facing opposition from within his own party, particularly from anti-segregationist Democrats, he employed a combination of strong-arming and deal-making to secure the nomination.
This historical example serves as a reminder that the quest for political power can drive individuals and parties to take calculated and sometimes controversial actions, including supporting candidates who may be in poor health or not in full control of their mental state. While such actions may not be exclusive to any particular party, they underscore the importance of remaining vigilant and holding those in power accountable to ensure that the principles of democracy are upheld. In the end, the pursuit of power should be balanced with a commitment to the greater good and the democratic process, without compromising the well-being and capacity of those who lead.