He wins in a Democrat landslide. Hopes are high for a progressive agenda unseen since the New Deal, and he delivers, in the first days of his presidency, an avalanche of legislation meant to fulfill those hopes.
But he also inherits a military conflict that his advisers are counseling him to escalate – with a “surge,” we might say – and the president follows that advice. Things go downhill from there.
“He,” of course, is President Lyndon Baines Johnson – LBJ. But the parallels with President Obama are obvious. Just substitute “Afghanistan and Iraq” for “Viet Nam.”
What an amazing time to be a US History teacher – especially with resources like the “American Experience: The Presidents” documentary series from America’s Public Broadcasting System (PBS) available, free and online (and many available for free download, with close captions ideal for ESL students – get ‘em while they’re hot!).
I just watched the LBJ episode and can’t wait to watch more. Coupling Obama’s presidency with LBJ’s in a compare/contrast discussion would surely enliven any US History classroom this year.
Whether you’re a teacher, student, or life-long learner, you can’t go wrong with this adventure in education. It beats the pants off of textbooks.
‘Nuff said. I hope it puts the emotion in history for you as it did for me. It’s tragic how emotionless schools can make such an intense subject.