Author Topic: 2021 May 28, October 27, 1964 - Turning point in history  (Read 65 times)

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Offline Dena

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2021 May 28, October 27, 1964 - Turning point in history
« on: May 28, 2021, 04:53:46 PM »
There are moments where the outcome of history is change thought the outcome may not be known at the time. October 17, 1964 was such a moment where three lives intersected but to appreciate what happened, you have to understand the history leading up to it.

The story starts out with LBJ (Lyndon Baines Johnson). During the 1930's, he was in the house of representatives and craved power. FDR (Franklin Delano Roosevelt) appreciated him greatly because he was always able to bring Texas in for the Democrats. In addition, he was one of the people who backed FDR's attempt to pack the court. At that time, LBJ wasn't very careful about reporting all of his campaign income to the IRS and found he was involved in an audit. The audit was almost complete and because FDR favored LBJ, suddenly all of his problems with the IRS vanished.

After the war, LBJ aimed higher for a seat in the senate. Unfortunately the seat he was after was already occupied and he would have to take on a powerful Republican to get it. He decided to pull out all stops and nothing was to dishonest to attempt. He was able to achieve his goal and the path he took is well covered in The stolen election that changed the course of history.

As he was a power player, he was picked to become Kennedys Vice President. After Kennedy's death, LBJ reached the office of president and desired to keep it after the 1964 election. It was already apparent the Barry Goldwater would be running as a Republican. Goldwater would require a different approach to deal with. The Goldwater family was wealthy and a household name in Arizona. He had served in the Air Force during WWII and remained active. He was a true conservative and a believer in small government. LBJ was big government and felt that the government could solve any problem by trowing money at the problem and growing bigger.

The Campaign was brutal. While Goldwater debated the issues, LBJ painted Goldwater as a mad man. The most destructive hit was when Goldwater discussed the use of Nuclear weapons. As a military man, he couldn't discount the use of them in war. If your enemy knows that you are willing to use them, they will avoid provoking the usage of them. Even then, the media was left leaning and this was the opening that LBJ needed. On September 7, 1964, they ran the Daisy Ad which was highly destructive to the Goldwater campaign. The Wikipedia link is here.

A lessor ad Confessions of a Republican ran as well and it lacked a discussion of any issues but completely played on emotions including to have the actor lighting up to "calm his nerves". The ad is fairly hard hitting and when I just viewed it, I could still feel the emotion from it even though I knew it was one of many takes. The wikipedia link is here.

This brings us up to the day that changed history. Goldwater needed help so they enlisted an actor who after battling Marxism in his union, had switched to the Republican party. He delivered a half hour speech and while it wasn't sufficient to win the election, it would define conservative principles to this day. I give you Ronald Reagan's "A Time for Choosing" speech October 27, 1964..

Unfortunately Reagan's effort wasn't enough and LBJ won the election. We would face 4 years of a war that we didn't attempt to win resulting in a large loss of life for nothing. War protestors made a home outside the white house far in excess of what we saw January 6. The massive spending programs resulted in inflation and the money spent to fight poverty did little to alter its course. At the end of 4 years without giving credit, LBJ admitted the proper action would have been a major effort in Vietnam so he launched a massive bombing of North Vietnam. His reelection chances were poor so he didn't run for another term and he retired from public life.

Reagan's speech was so powerful that he became a rising star. First he was elected governor of California and then as you know, president. During that time he continued to follow the values that he first publicly stated in his speech. 

Barry Goldwater remained active in public life until 1987 but also continued with his personal interests and charitable activities. He wasn't very public about his charitable activities but if you knew where to look, you could find his mark. One activity that isn't mentioned much is the extent of his interest in amateur radio. Though he lost the election, he went to the FCC and obtained a license for his legal 1,000 watt transmitter to operate at 3,000 watt. This was because he wanted to become a part of the MARS network. At that time, the few communication lines between Vietnam and the rest of the world were consumed by the military so it was difficult for service men to talk with their family. Goldwater opened his radios to anybody with the proper license so they could relay phone calls between the service men and their family. Unfortunately sometimes, these calls were the last contact the family had w ith their sons. The operation was in his house and I was lucky enough to visit it while it was in operation as guest where always welcome. We were told, if we have a valid license we could operate the equipment. Unfortunately I never had the required ticket so I was only able to watch.

There was one last event in my life. One cool evening a year for two after the election, I was attending a boy scout troop meeting and we were instructed to go outside. There was Barry Goldwater parked in a fancy red sports car with the windows rolled down. He never left the car but demonstrated the Ham equipment installed in the right half of the car while signing autographs for all who wanted one. He had nothing to gain by being there but at least for me, created a memory I still remember today. And yes, the following image is from that night over 50 years ago.
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