Other formats

    Adobe Portable Document Format file (facsimile images)   TEI XML file   ePub eBook file  


    mail icontwitter iconBlogspot iconrss icon

Salient: Victoria University Students' Paper. Vol. 28, No. 11. 1965.

American Professor: Johnson More Gifted, Dynamic

American Professor: Johnson More Gifted, Dynamic

Pat Caughley interviews Clinton Rossitter.

"I Care about results and consequences rather than style," said Professor Clinton Rossitter in an exclusive interview with Salient.

He was comparing Johnson with Kennedy. "Lyndon Johnson does not speak with the grace, wit and feeling for other countries that Kennedy did," he said. Yet Professor Rossitter considers President Johnson to be a more gifted and dynamic leader than the late Jack Kennedy.

Essentially, Johnson's forte lies in the domestic sphere. "He has done more in one and a half years for USA education than all the Presidents put together who ever lived."

Professor Rossitter outlined the progress made, from the provision of schools in poor areas, to the remarkable increase in all kinds of fellowships and research grants.

The enormous advances made on the home ground demonstrate for Professor Rossitter the most remarkable period of welfare legislation since 1935. "And, what is more, Johnson gets these bills through by overwhelming margins."


Inevitably the interview drifted around to Vietnam. Rossitter admitted that Johnson's lack of tact had the unfortunate consequence of tending to alienate world opinion. Throughout, Johnson appears to have steered a kind of middle course, a policy which Professor Rossitter said was one of "non-escalation and non-withdrawal."

Professor Rossitter adamantly stated that withdrawal "would have disastrous consequences for South-East Asia, the Philippines, and eventually Australia and New Zealand."

Asked to explain the present unrest among intellectuals in USA foreign policy, Professor Rossitter said: "The natural posture of the intellectual was to oppose those in power. However, at present all contentious internal issues, such as civil rights and medicare, are more than adequately being attended to.

"The intellectual therefore looks around for some issue. Vietnam is the obvious one — a war-torn country, whites fighting Asians, and worst of all, the troops do not seem to be getting anywhere."


Professor Rossitter's explanation seemed a facile way of dealing with some of the most brilliant scholars in the USA. He appeared throughout the interview to belittle all dissenters, insisting they constituted such a miniscule proportion of the population to be of no importance.

Those calling for renewed escalation, he said, do so with a far louder voice than the intellectuals wanting withdrawal.