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Endorse This: Confessions Of A Republican

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Endorse This: Confessions Of A Republican

Barry Goldwater Confessions of a Republican ad still

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Back in 1964, the Democratic National Committee released an ad targeting then-Republican nominee Barry Goldwater, featuring a buttoned up man explaining his reservations about the candidate, who was considered an extremist at the time. Goldwater was pilloried for his rejection of the New Deal and social programs (he wanted to roll back Social Security) and for his advocacy of using nuclear weapons in Vietnam. (Remember the famous “Daisy Chain” ad by rival Lyndon Johnson?)

The unnamed “Republican” in the ad speaks about his uneasiness with being associated with Goldwater, who he found extreme and politically dangerous. Goldwater’s habit of speaking bluntly was easy fodder for rivals.

Now, that same ad is going viral, poking at our generation’s own reactionary bigot. Just replace “Goldwater” with “Trump” and you’ll see what all the fuss is about.

“The hardest thing for me about this whole campaign is to sort out one Goldwater statement from another. A reporter will go to Senator Goldwater and he’ll say, “Senator, on such and such a day, you said, and I quote, ‘blah blah blah’ whatever it is, end quote.” And then Goldwater says, “Well, I wouldn’t put it that way.” I can’t follow that. Was he serious when he did put it that way? Is he serious when he says I wouldn’t put it that way? I just don’t get it. A President ought to mean what he says.”

He continues, “I wouldn’t have worried so much about party unity because if you unite behind a man you don’t believe in, it’s a lie. I tell you, those people who got control of that convention: Who are they? I mean, when the head of the Ku Klux Klan, when all these weird groups come out in favor of the candidate of my party — either they’re not Republicans or I’m not.”

Goldwater lost the 1964 election badly. He only won six states — all in the South — plus his home state of Arizona, with 38.5 percent of the popular vote. His legacy, however, was moving the GOP’s center away from eastern elites like the Rockefellers — who had dominated Republicanism for years — to the South and West.

Conservatives might claim that America is a fundamentally conservative country, but the facts speak for themselves.

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Photo: A still from a Republican who’s ashamed of Barry Goldwater. YouTube/TheLBJLibrary



  1. charleo1 March 14, 2016

    Very thoughtful, and insightful, but I wonder how this works in a World attuned to 3 second sound bites, and bumper sticker slogans? Or strikes a Party who for the past 20 years has depicted the Left as no less than America’s greatest threat, the enemy. Not even a legitimate Party many now claim. How would that work for those that identify themselves as Conservatives, believe as they say, in all the Conservative dogma, to go into a voting booth and vote against what they see as their Party’s mistake? No, I can’t see that happening with today’s Republicans. What I see as very much more likely, due to the intense programming so many have been unwittingly subjected to. Is when Donald Trump is chosen as the Republican nominee, and he will most assuredly be. The rank and file will show up and follow him, along with all his demagoguery, radicalism, racism, and most obvious non conservative positions, right off the cliff.

  2. Otto T. Goat March 14, 2016

    Goldwater wasn’t a segregationist.

  3. irishtap March 14, 2016

    I can’t get behind this. The GOP will turn it against the Democrats with unbridled fury. I’d rather see an ad showcasing republican obstructionism and full scale defiance to any reasonable legislation from Democrats / President Obama. Illustrate how the party of business went ballistic over the auto and bank bailouts then became recalcitrant over Dodd/Frank. Put out commercials communicating GOP disdain for their fellow countrymen receiving access to affordable health care. Pretty sick, right? Show the utter waste of time spent voting to defund the ACA. Remind voters about the GOP led government shutdowns and the harm caused to so many government workers. Highlight the republicans who were recorded bragging how voter ID laws will guarantee victory for GOP candidates and statement from conservative federal judges whom declared the GOP went too far in gerrymandering state districts. Put a spotlight on how EXXON was discovered to know the real affects from fossil fuel removal over nearly forty years ago and how the republicans continue to deny climate science.
    Tie it all together with a touch of nostalgia from the 60’s by setting it to the instrumental ‘Classical Gas’ by Mason Williams.

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