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View Diary: The Descent of Republicans (163 comments)

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  •  Goldwater's campaign staff was nuts! (1+ / 0-)
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    Gneissguy

    Having met Goldwater a few times in the 70s, I found him a decent guy privately, intensely interested in photography, in particular of his home state and in general just not frothing at the mouth.

    It was fwiw hard to square the personal experience and the early public eruptions from him about stupid extremism with the campaign of 1964, which lest it be forgot won a handful of Deep South States and Arizona. Especially given that I had direct exposure to his campaign in three of those Southern states.

    When I look back at that period, I remember that his writings and campaign statements veered to the far right in the context of a very real, far right political movement. I can't decide now whether to attribute that to his own naiveté or his acceding to the con job campaign staffs sometimes pull on candidates.

    One thing is certain. Much of his campaign staff that I knew were fucking hard right lunatics, more authoritarian than libertarian and they were brutal on anyone who got in their way. Could be that Goldwater had time to reflect on that sort of thing in the 60s after absorbing one of the worst beatings ever in a presidential election. But in my limited exposure to the personal Goldwater and the public man of the 80s, I saw someone who didn't square with the neo-nazis who ran his campaign. They didn't mind playing the race card in the South for advantage over LBJ.

    I don't generally trust the assignment of libertarian beliefs that is used to explain some of the Cowboy conservatives and the others of that ilk. Libertarianism is forever tainted by its association with Ayn Rand and her cult of whacks. Goldwater and some or the cowboy clan bought into, I think, the phony western frontier myths.

    Non-sequitar. I remember with approval LBJ yanking federal contracts out of Alabama and Mississippi after the Wallace Charades began along with those of Ross Barnett. Major military installations were closed down and the Marshall Space Flight Center was deemphasized, eventually leading to Von Braun leaving. LBJ was a master string puller and it might not have been provable, but it was something we ought to be looking at for these Red States who want their low taxes along with blue state money. Screw them.

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