Having now watched The Butler and having found out critical plot elements were complete fabrications (such as the entirety of the butler’s early life and having two sons), it would be good to call attention to the false humanization of Lyndon B Johnson. If there ever was an insidious and evil man, it was LBJ.
In a post by Steve Landsburg, he rightly marginalizes the death of JKF and then pointed out the worst consequence was the elevation to power of LBJ:
Fifty years ago today at 1:30 PM eastern standard time, a minor tragedy took the life of President John F. Kennedy. A little over an hour later, a major tragedy ensued, as Lyndon B. Johnson was sworn in to replace him.
If there is such a thing as evil, it lived in Lyndon Johnson, whose life was one long obsession with the accumulation and exercise of power.
Landsburg’s article does a good job of summarizing the hideous personal nature of LBJ, but another article comes to mind by Lt. Gen. Charles Cooper. He recalls a personal meeting with LBJ in which the military top advisors, men wise with experience, are vulgarly berated by LBJ because LBJ does not care for their advice:
He screamed obscenities, he cursed them personally, he ridiculed them for coming to his office with their “military advice.” Noting that it was he who was carrying the weight of the free world on his shoulders, he called them filthy names-shitheads, dumb shits, pompous assholes-and used “the F-word” as an adjective more freely than a Marine in boot camp would use it. He then accused them of trying to pass the buck for World War III to him. It was unnerving, degrading…
He suggested that each one of them change places with him and assume that five incompetents had just made these “military recommendations.”
With the deaths of so many American’s on LBJ’s hands, the article concludes:
The irony is that it began to end only when President Richard Nixon… did precisely what the Joint Chiefs of Staff had recommended to President Johnson in 1965. Why had Johnson not only dismissed their recommendations, but also ridiculed them? …since he was clearly a bully, maybe what he lacked was courage… But had General Wheeler and the others received a fair hearing, and had their recommendations received serious study, the United States may well have saved the lives of most of its more than 55,000 sons who died in a war that its major architect, Robert Strange McNamara, now considers to have been a tragic mistake.
In the words of Paul: “the Lord repay him according to his works.”