Most influential president: Theodore Roosevelt or Lyndon Johnson? | The Tylt
Most influential president: Theodore Roosevelt or Lyndon Johnson?
The President of the United States is the most powerful political figure in America, and throughout history, presidents have shaped the very fabric of our nation. As we approach President's Day 2018, we are asking Tylters to tell us which president they believe had the biggest impact—positive or negative—on America.
Presidents have led us through global conflict, civil war, economic crises and cultural revolutions. From George Washington to Donald Trump, which president do you believe was the most influential?
Be sure to vote on our other President's Day matchups below!
After President William McKinley was assassinated in 1901, Theodore Roosevelt became the 26th president of the United States. At age 42, Roosevelt was the youngest president in the nation's history.
Roosevelt led the Rough Riders during the Spanish-American War and was elected governor of New York in 1898 before becoming McKinley's running mate. As president, Roosevelt championed progressive ideas that included trust busting railroad companies, supporting labor unions and prioritizing nature conservation. He also had a tough, but diplomatic approach to foreign policy, often saying "Speak softly and carry a big stick..."
I don't know whether you fully understand that I have just been shot; but it takes more than that to kill a Bull Moose... I believe that the Progressive movement is making life a little easier for all our people; a movement to try to take the burdens off the men and especially the women and children of this country.
It is essential that here should be organizations of labor. This is an era of organization. Capital organizes and therefore labor must organize. My appeal for organized labor is two-fold; to the outsider and the capitalist I make my appeal to treat the laborer fairly, to recognize the fact that he must organize that there must be such organization, that the laboring man must organize for his own protection, and that it is the duty of the rest of us to help him and not hinder him in organizing.
Roosevelt served one full term after finishing McKinley's term. He ran again in 1912 as a third party candidate for the Progressive "Bull Moose" Party, but lost.
Lyndon Johnson served as the 36th president of the United States and took over the office after President John F. Kennedy was assassinated. A Texas native, Johnson was a larger-than-life character who presided over the Civil Rights Act and the Vietnam War.
Johnson served in WWII as a lieutenant commander in the Navy. He went on to become the youngest Minority Leader in Senate history before becoming Vice President in 1960. After Kennedy's assassination, Johnson set out with his "The Great Society" agenda which included aid to education, a fight against poverty and the creation of Medicare.
Johnson made the following remarks after he signed the Civil Rights Act of 1964 into law:
Americans of every race and color have died in battle to protect our freedom. Americans of every race and color have worked to build a nation of widening opportunities. Now our generation of Americans has been called on to continue the unending search for justice within our own borders.
We believe that all men are created equal. Yet many are denied equal treatment. We believe that all men have certain unalienable rights. Yet many Americans do not enjoy those rights. We believe that all men are entitled to the blessings of liberty. Yet millions are being deprived of those blessings—not because of their own failures, but because of the color of their skin.
Johnson only served one full term as president and surprised many when he chose not to seek re-election in 1968 at the height of the Vietnam War.