Tag: Barry Goldwater

Same as it ever was: From Barry Goldwater to Donald Trump, “This man scares me.”

In 1964, this ad ran on behalf of Lyndon Johnson (h/t Alex Gourevitch). The man in the ad is a Republican (probably an actor) who can’t bring himself to vote for Goldwater. Because? He’s a “very different kind of man. This man scares me.” Sound familiar? Here are some excerpts: I certainly don’t feel guilty about being a Republican. I’ve always been a Republican. My father is, his father is, the whole family is a Republican family. I voted for Dwight Eisenhower the first time I ever voted, I voted for Nixon the last time. But when we come to Senator Goldwater, now it seems to me we’re up against a very different kind of a man. This man scares me. […]

Why You Should Never Listen to the Pundits

From Rick Perlstein, Before the Storm: At their 1964 convention in San Francisco, the Republican Party emerged from a corrosive faction fight between its left and right wings to do something that was supposed to be impossible: they nominated a conservative. Barry Goldwater went down to devastating defeat in November at the hands of Lyndon Johnson, and there, for most observers, the matter stood: the American right had been rendered a political footnote—perhaps for good. The wise men weighed in. Reston of the Times: “He has wrecked his party for a long time to come and is not even likely to control the wreckage.” Rovere of The New Yorker: “The election has finished the Goldwater school of political reaction.” “By every test we […]

Hillary Clinton: Still a Goldwater Girl After All These Years

It’s no secret that Hillary Clinton grew up a Republican. In ninth grade, she read Barry Goldwater’s Conscience of a Conservative. In 1964, at the age of 17, she was, as she wrote in Living History, a “Goldwater girl” who campaigned for the GOP candidate. But then things changed. Or did they? In her latest iteration as a defender of African Americans, Clinton has taken to criticizing Bernie Sanders for being a “one-issue candidate.” Because he focuses on, you know, the economy. Not unlike another presidential candidate of recent memory. Here’s what Clinton said about Sanders over the weekend: Not everything is about an economic theory, right? Sanders, you see, wants to reduce all social and political issues to the economy. But there […]

Rick Perlstein Schools Mark Lilla

After discussing the forgotten lunacies of the conservative movement during its heyday of the 1950s and 1960s—including one Fred Schwarz, right-wing crackpot and author of You Can Trust the Communists: To be Communists—Rick Perlstein, who knows more about the American right than just about anyone, writes this: The notion that conservatism has taken a new, and nuttier, turn has influential adherents whose distortions derail our ability to understand and contain it. In a recent New York Review of Books review of Corey Robin’s ground-breaking book The Reactionary Mind: Conservatism from Edmund Burke to Sarah Palin, which traces continuities in right-wing thought all the back to the seventeenth century, the distinguished political theorist Mark Lilla pronounced that “most of the turmoil […]