The old Roman Empire had it right. Conquering generals receiving a triumph were required to have a slave riding with them in their chariot whispering "Sic transit gloria" (All glory is fleeting). Presidents who are re-elected need a similar reminder. Since the presidential election of 1964, every president who has been re-elected has claimed some kind of a "mandate." Nearly all have come to grief in their second terms.
As the Republican Party hurtles toward a possible Animal House-like climax at their confab in Tampa Bay in late August, the national discussion has turned to controversial GOP conventions of the past, most missing the meaning of each and how these ideological food fights sometimes changed the face and future of the party.
"On June 4, 1965," James T. Patterson writes, "President Lyndon B. Johnson delivered a commencement address at Howard University in which he outlined to a throng of some 5,000 people the most far-reaching civil rights agenda in modern U.S. history."